balboa park

Looking for Serenity? Japanese Friendship Garden Reopens to Public

The maximum occupancy for visitors will be 200 at a time, the garden said

NBCUniversal, Inc.

San Diegans looking for a sense of tranquility can rejoice since the Japanese Friendship Garden (JFG) reopened to the general public Monday.

Like other attractions, the Balboa Park-based garden was shut down for months due to the novel coronavirus. It even had to cancel its yearly Cherry Blossom Week festivities to keep visitors safe.

However, its doors reopened to the public on Monday under some new rules to ensure the health and safety of its patrons. The new policies the garden adopted include:

  • Maximum visitor occupancy will be at 200 at a time;
  • Mandatory facial coverings for all visitors;
  • Distancing makers throughout the grounds and staff areas;
  • Additional hand sanitizing stations;
  • One-way traffic walkways;
  • Mandatory social distancing of six feet between households.

In addition to the new rules, JFG closed its Activity Center, water fountain and café until further notice. It will also limit access to its kannon bosatsu, upper garden koi pond and Inamori Pavilion. A number of services will be unavailable as well, such as in-person docent tours, photoshoots on the grounds and the lending of wheelchairs.

“JFG has implemented these policies and guidelines to the daily operations with the safety of visitors, volunteers, and staff in mind and to further minimize the possibility of disease transmission within our community,” the garden said in a statement.

The Japanese Friendship Garden’s public hours will remain from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, with last admission at 5 p.m. For more information on the garden, or to purchase tickets, click here.

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