Did you know that the Japanese Friendship Garden (JFG) in Kelley Park is a very special place because it is directly related to our 60 year history with Okayama City, Japan? The City of Okayama is home to one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, Korakuen. Korakuen is part of the grounds of Okayama Castle as a place for the ruling family (lord and family during the feudal era) and to receive and entertain important guests. It was built in 1687, bombed during WWII and flooded in 1934. But because of accurate records kept by the garden’s creators & designers , it has always been able to be restored to its original state.

Our Japanese Friendship Garden in Kelley Park is modeled after this great landscape garden although we do not have a crane aviary or an archery range (Japanese archery is different from western archery…and worth a look into, but that’s a separate subject!)
We do have koi – the original koi were given to us by Okayama – actually flown to San Jose!  Currently, the gardens, tea house and ponds are in the process of restoration. They suffered during the 2017 flooding, with some koi being stranded on walking paths and in bushes. However, the koi that were being incubated in filtered tanks survived, and they are now in filters in the garden until the ponds can be restored and inspected for safety.

A new group of “Friends of the JFG” is in the works!
Please email: <sjokayama1957@gmail.com> if you are interested in becoming a volunteer or being added to the list! This is a Girl Scout Gold Award project which is just getting started. Look for more information here soon!

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