"Walk with us as we grow." - Marilyn Travaglini
The Japanese Friendship Garden is named "San-Kei-En" meaning "three Scene Garden" -- Water, Pastoral and Mountain. San-Kei-En is an expression of the ties between the people of San Diego and Yokohama and blends the two cultures to create a unique experience. The Garden was named in honor of the San-Kei-En Garden in Yokohama. The Japanese Friendship Garden represents a new stage in the development of the Japanese garden outside of Japan. The design of he San-Kei-En is guided by the original principles of the Japanese garden, while incorporating the local regional landscape and climate. The main principles of Japanese landscape design are "people, natural environment and culture". The life of the Garden continues to develop people's respect for the environment and cultural arts. A garden is always in a state of change.
The haunting sounds of the distant Shakuhachi drift in the air as we walk through the gate on the winding path into the garden.
A graceful Japanese Maple tree near the tall lantern (Oribe) greets us as we approach the Exhibit House. Built in traditional "sukiya" style, the house is nestled in a garden corner.
The passage through the heavy wooden doors into the small entry room changes our perception, preparing us to appreciate the colorful Ikebana in the tokonoma area.
We walk further into the viewing room, closer, to view the "Sekitei". Devoid of clutter, the bare simplicity of raked white gravel and grey rocks absorbs our thoughts, enabling a gaze without judgement, without criticism, nothingness, reaching the quietude of oneself.
The scenery of the garden draws us outside the Exhibit House. Meandering the path, we walk toward the "Tsukubai" and its lantern (funatsuki). The drip of water accentuates the quiet. Startled, a cat slips by, caught sipping the water.
We sit under the "Fujidana", overwhelmed by the profuse purple blossoms. Transfixed by the "Sekitei", our gaze wanders among and between the mysterious rocks, then slips away to the arching trees and flowering plants. The serenity of the garden creates our sense of harmony with nature. Our moment of meditation is enhanced by the balance of rock, water, plants and flowers - a garden for discovery of oneself.