From Our Editors
Awarded the Best Japanese Tea in 2009 and Best Escape to Japan in 2008 by the Phoenix New Times, the Japanese Friendship Garden captivates the senses with 3.5 acres of lush outdoor space. Designed by more than 50 landscape architects from Himeji, the tranquil plant life and stonework emulate the delicacy of Japanese gardens while simultaneously enduring the onslaught of a desert environment. The garden features more than 1,500 tons of hand-picked rock lining the paths and waterways, authentic Japanese accents such as stone footbridges and lanterns, and more than 50 varieties of plants, including two types of bamboo and one man-eating kudzu. Stroll by the flowing streams to relax and gaze up at the majestic 12-foot waterfall before stopping to admire the 300 colorful fish swimming, eating, and slam-dancing in the Koi pond.