JAPANESE FRIENDSHIP GARDEN
An Oasis in the Desert
HOSTS TWO EVENTS THIS WEEKEND
Text by Kathryn Brooks

The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix, named RoHoEn, is an authentic 3.5 acre Japanese Stroll Garden with a tea garden and a tea house. This tranquil and beautiful setting features more than 1,500 tons of hand-picked rock, stone foot bridges, lanterns and more than 50 varieties of plants. As visitors stroll the path, they will enjoy flowing streams, a 12-foot waterfall, and a Koi pond with over 300 colorful Koi fish.

Above: The Japanese Friendship Garden is located at 1125 N. 3rd Avenue in Phoenix.

Named RoHoEn by its creators, the Garden represents the devoted and friendly relationship between the Sister Cities of Phoenix and Himeji, Japan. Designed and built by Himeji architects and contractors, the Garden’s name is rooted in the Japanese language:

  RO, the Japanese word for Heron, a bird symbol of Himeji City, 

  HO, the Japanese word for the mythical Phoenix bird, and

  EN, the Japanese word for Garden.

The mission of the Japanese Friendship Garden, is to maintain a beautiful, serene Japanese garden in the heart of Phoenix and provide educational and artistic programs and events that continue to deepen our relationships and celebrate the rich history and culture of Japan. Its vision is to provide a place of beauty and tranquility as an escape from the everyday pressures of life, for meditation and relaxation and to enrich and restore the body, mind and spirit.

Given its objective to promote the education, understanding, and appreciation of the Japanese culture and its rich history and traditions, the Garden hosts events regularly. This weekend two events are scheduled:  

Above: The method of Wabi Sabi reflects an acceptance of transience and imperfection.

WABI SABI POTTERY WORKSHOP

Saturday, March 27, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Sunday, March 28, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Attendees will learn the traditional method of Wabi Sabi to create hand-formed tea bowls in Japanese known as “chawan.”  The term Wabi Sabi, an acceptance of transience and imperfection, is deeply rooted in Japanese culture and aesthetics. In tea bowls, irregularities and imperfections are prized. The instructor Ping Wei will demonstrate the process of making pinched bowls first. Participants will have enough time to make a tea cup and a tea bowl. All materials are included. After the workshop, Ping Wei will have your pieces fired and ready for you to pick up in three weeks. The general admission class fee is $65, $60 for members which includes admission to the garden for the day.

Above: It is believed that sound relaxes the mind, balances energy centers, and rejuvenates our spirit.

HIGH VIBRATION GONG SOUND JOURNEY MEDITATION

Sunday, March 28, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

It is believed that sound relaxes the mind, balances energy centers, and rejuvenates our spirit. Healing can be achieved through gentle, natural methods such as sound and vibration. Ancient civilization and Eastern Cultures have been utilizing some of these methods for centuries, such as Sound Healing or Vibration Medicine. Each sound journey is different. The instructor Emily Slonina intuitively will bring unique and custom Sounds Journey meditation through different tools and instruments by being guided by sprits.  The Gong will be the main instrument but a surprise or two will also accompany the meditation. Attendees are asked to wear light, comfortable clothes, bring a yoga mat, water and anything else you may need to be as comfortable as possible to lie down on the Earth. For those who would prefer to be seated, chairs will be available. The general admission class fee is $30, $25 for members which includes admission to the garden for the day.

For more information, visit www.japanesefriendshipgarden.org