While looking for new things to do in Phoenix, we stumbled across the Japanese Friendship Garden on 3rd Ave. This place seemed so serene and calm that we had to check it out and soon. We went over this weekend in the early morning ready to get our walk on around the garden.

The admission was pretty cheap, only at $5, $4 for students and $3 for kids. You enter a gift shop to purchase the tickets filled with all sorts of trinkets and items stemming from the Japanese culture. I was tempted to buy a few things, but I decided it was best if we went about our walk. I did buy some food to feed the koi fish. There was no way I was able to pass up on that!

The garden itself is roughly a 10 to 15-minute walk if you were to walk straight through it without enjoying yourself, looking around at all the gorgeous trees, beautiful gardens and serene pond.

The lake was filled with colorful koi fish. I couldn’t believe the size of some of them with their mouths open waiting to be fed. Wherever we went along the pond, there they were. The koi fish knew that we had food and weren’t going to give up until they got some.

We made it a little game of seeing how quickly the fish would race to where we threw the food, announcing the winners like it was on TV.

One of my favorite parts of the walk was seeing baby ducks playing in the water and jumping off of a mini waterfall of sorts. It also came to my surprise when we noticed that the ducks would be waiting for the food we were throwing and walking over the fish to get to them.

All in all, the Japanese Friendship Garden is a must-see if you’re in the area. While it doesn’t kill a whole lot of time, you’ll still enjoy yourself. Spend your morning getting out of the desert and enjoy a gorgeous view while finding your zen.