This past weekend we visited San Diego’s Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park for their annual Taste of Japan- a place to sample many of Japans “street foods”, common throughout Japan. We purchased many delicious food items. We enjoyed yakitori (grilled meats, organs-grilled over special coals from Japan), yakisoba (grilled noodles with veggies), sushi, taiyaki (red bean waffle cake shaped like a fish), and ended our eating adventures with shaved ice.
The Taste of Japan also featured local artisans like Tsuyosa Creations who recycles old kimono’s into beautiful bags, purses and pillows. Kyocera- known for their knife and kitchen tools were there for people to try out. Totally bamboo was here selling bamboo kitchenware and accessories and Sylvia Hwa was here selling Asian-inspired, hand-made cards, notebooks, and bags.
Singers performed traditional Japanese folk songs and they even had a Halloween costume contest for the little kids along with fun Halloween crafts.
The Friendship Garden is a great place to visit if you love Japanese culture, art and a quiet, serene place to visit. The strolling gardens offer beautiful specimens of pine tree, bonsai and more. I hear it’s the place to go to see the cherry trees blossom in the Spring.
They offer changing exhibits throughout the year that focus on Japanese culture and are currently expanding the gardens which will include a traditional tea house, a pavilion for three hundred patrons, and outdoor amphitheater. It’s my understanding that they will also offer classes in the traditional arts once they expansion is completed.