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Japanese Friendship Garden - Kelly Park in San Jose CA

Updated on September 30, 2012

Japanese Friendship Garden was build in 1960 as the living symbol of the Sister City relationship between Okayama, Japan and San Jose, California. It is one of the most beautiful garden in San Jose CA. It has everything a Japanese garden should have: ponds with Koi, bridges, stones, cherry trees, stone sculptures, winding paths and a lot of evergreen trees. You will feel peace from the moment you step into this well kept Japanese garden. Every turn you make, there is a breathtaking scene unfolding in front of you. Dense trees line up alongside the perimeter and acts as a buffer zone to help filter out some of the noises from the the busy street. Japanese Friendship Garden is a perfect place for you to enjoy a relaxing and peaceful day. Best of all, it is free. But you will have to pay for the parking if you park at one of the two parking lots there.

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Scenery in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAJapanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAJapanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAPeople Walking on A Bridge in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAJapanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAPeople Walking on A Bridge in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAJapanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAGirls Walking in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAJapanese Friendship Garden San Jose CABaby Ducklings in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAJapanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAJapanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAJapanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAAn Egret in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAJapanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAJapanese Friendship Garden San Jose CASmall Water Fall in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAJapanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAAn Egret in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAAn Egret in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
Scenery in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
Scenery in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
People Walking on A Bridge in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
People Walking on A Bridge in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
People Walking on A Bridge in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
People Walking on A Bridge in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
Girls Walking in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
Girls Walking in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
Baby Ducklings in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
Baby Ducklings in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
An Egret in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
An Egret in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
Small Water Fall in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
Small Water Fall in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
An Egret in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
An Egret in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
An Egret in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
An Egret in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source

The Koi in Japanese Friendship Garden

The Koi returned to Japanese Friendship Garden on May 04, 2012 after three years of absence due to the outbreak of Koi Herpes virus that killed a large collection of Koi. You are welcome to feed the koi with the food from the vending machines. It costs a quarter for a small amount of food. But kids would love feeding the koi.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAThe koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAThe koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAThe koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAThe koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAThe koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAThe koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAThe koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CAThe koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
The koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
The koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
The koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
The koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
The koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
The koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
The koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
The koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
The koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
The koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
The koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
The koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
The koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
The koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
The koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
The koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source
The koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
The koi in Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source

What to Do at Japanese Friendship Garden in San Jose CA

Japanese Friendship Garden is a perfect place for a getaway. People come to this garden to do the followings:

  • Just relax and stroll around the garden while enjoying the breathtaking scenery with our nature friends such as birds and squirrels.
  • Feed the koi and ducks. You can purchase food for them from the vending machines. Just remember don't feed the koi and ducks with other food
  • Watch the beautiful Koi and ducks in the ponds.
  • Take pictures to keep this beautiful memory.

Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source

Park Rules

Each park has its own rules. When you visit this garden, make sure that you follow these rules:

  • No pets are allowed
  • No bikes, skates, or skateboards allowed
  • Stay on paved path
  • No through anything into the pond except fish food from vending machines
  • No alcohol allowed.
  • You can eat your snack on one of the benches. But you have to go to the picnic areas outside by the garden if you want to have a picnic.

Opening Hours of Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA

Although Japanese Friendship Garden is part of Kelly Park which is a regional park, the open hour is different than the other parts of the park. The special hours for Japanese Friendship Garden is 10 a.m. to sunset. Please make sure that you leave the garden before it is close because the door will be chained.

Parking Lot in Between Japanese Friendship Garden and History Park.
Parking Lot in Between Japanese Friendship Garden and History Park. | Source

Parking

You can take the parking lot in front of Happy Hollow Park and Zoo, or you can park in between Japanese Friendship Garden and History Park. The entrances for both parking lots are on Senter Road. The parking fee is the same, six dollars. You can pay with credit card or exact cash then there is no one at the ticket booth.

Public Restrooms Outside by the Back Entrance of Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA
Public Restrooms Outside by the Back Entrance of Japanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA | Source

Public Restrooms

There is no public restroom inside the garden, but there are public restrooms outside by the back entrance of the Japanese Friendship Garden. They are right next to the picnic areas. You can also get drinking water from the water fountain.

Location of Japanese Friendship Garden In San Jose CA

Japanese Friendship Garden is located within Kelley Park on Sentre Road. Japanese Friendship Garden is accompanied by History San Jose Park on one side and Happy Hollow Park and Zoo on the other. It is minutes drive off the highway 101 or 280.

show route and directions
A markerJapanese Friendship Garden San Jose CA -
Japanese Friendship Garden Restroom, San Jose, CA 95112, USA
get directions

B markerHappy Hollow Park & Zoo -
City of San Jose: Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, 1300 Senter Rd, San Jose, CA 95112, USA
get directions

C markerHistory of San Jose Park -
History San Jose, 1650 Senter Rd, San Jose, CA 95112, USA
get directions

Restaurants, Shops and Gas Stations

Once you exit highway 101 on west Story Road, you will be greeted by Vietnamese business district filled with shops and restaurants for at least a mile. Then about 2 blocks before you turn left onto Senter Road Road, there is Walmart. If you go toward Tully Road on Senter Road, you will find Costco on your right and more shops and restaurants, even a gas station on your left. All of these restaurants and shops are just few minutes drive from Japanese Friendship Garden.

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    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 4 years ago from UK

      This looks like a beautiful place to go. I have never heard of koi before, though we do have similar fish here, mostly in indoor pools because our climate would be too cold for them. They look beautiful anyway.

      Thanks for this interesting tour of the Japanese Gardens.

    • kittyjj profile image
      Author

      Ann Leung 4 years ago from San Jose, California

      Thank you Robie for reading and commenting! My kids had the most fun feeding the koi and duck. They even tried to count them. But the baby koi were way to many to count.

    • Robie Benve profile image

      Robie Benve 4 years ago from Ohio

      It looks like a very relaxing place to visit, and feeding koi and duck are some of my favorite activities! Thanks for sharing all your beautiful photos and the video! :)

    • kittyjj profile image
      Author

      Ann Leung 4 years ago from San Jose, California

      That's the reason I love Japanese Gardens too. Thank you Marcy for the vote up!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

      What a beautiful and peaceful garden! I love the exquisite look and feel of Japanese Gardens. They always manage to put many restful details like ponds and little bridges in a very small space.

      Voted up and up!