Category Archives: Japanese Friendship Garden

Trains and Koi

With our disappointing trip to Balboa Park the week before, we decided that we were running low on time to use our free passes to the Japanese Friendship Garden and the Model Railroad Museum.  We decided to go on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend instead.  At least that way we got to go with our whole family.  Of course it was a bit busier in the park in general, but we had a good time.  Like I said before, we always love the Model Railroad Museum.

The kids could watch the trains for hours.  Of course, there are a couple of Thomas The Train tables set up in different areas of the museum.  Those are always a hit.  I was a little bummed that they no longer had their huge Lego display.  That was one of my favorite parts.  I do love going upstairs, though, and seeing the new scenes in progress.  It’s fun to see how they all come together in the end.

It’s always amazing to me how much detail goes into these scenes.  I wish that I could have taken my grandpa to see them.  I think he would have loved it.

After we finished with the trains, we headed down the hill to the Japanese Friendship Garden.  It’s not a huge place, but I like it.  I love how immaculate everything is.

I loved this fountain

It’s so serene.  It’s too bad we had to take the kids!  Okay, I’m kidding.  There is a beautiful koi pond in the garden.

Every time I have been, there has been a worker sitting right next to it, handing out food to the kids so they can feed the fish.  The Boy liked the fish but didn’t care much for feeding them.  The Girl lay down on a rock and put the food right into the open fish mouths!


She thought it was quite a fun adventure.  And it was fun to watch.  Besides the gardens, there is a bit of Japanese art and also a zen garden.

The door is always locked to the zen garden, but there is a room with a beautiful view of it where you can sit and relax.

Don't mind the shadow. It's just The Boy trying to receive Zen.

I enjoyed it there.

After the museums, we decided to do a cell phone scavenger hunt.  It’s called Giskin Anomaly and it follows two characters as they discover and decode people from the past.  It sounds like a great way to get to know the park better, but it would probably be better with older kids.  Our kids were just tired and we didn’t do a very good job of finding clues.  When we got to where the second one should have been, we couldn’t find it and gave up and went home.  Maybe we’ll try again next time.

If you’re interested in the cell phone scavenger hunts, there are phone numbers posted on a round sticker in the windows of a few different places you can start: The Japanese Friendship Garden, The Old Globe theatre’s box office (where we were), San Diego Museum of the Art’s front door, and The San Diego Natural History Museum’s south front door.


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Filed under Japanese Friendship Garden, Model Railroad Museum, Museum