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Japanese Friendship Garden
The Japanese Friendship Garden is named "San-Kei-En", in honour of the garden in Yokohama with the same name. San-Kei-En means "three Scene Garden" -- Water, Pastoral and Mountain, and the park has been created to represent the ties between the two cities. The garden has been designed according to the original principles of the Japanese garden, whilst incorporating the natural landscape and scenery of the area. It has its origins in a Japanese teahouse that had been build for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition and nowadays stretches over 2 acres as a part of Balboa Park. By the time the expansion of the park is finished it will cover 9 acres. The park offers walking trails, koi ponds, waterfalls and lily ponds, a cherry tree grove, viewing pavilion and teahouse. An outdoor amphitheater is under construction and there is also an exhibition house with changing exhibitions. The park is wheelchair accessible and offers restrooms and baby changing facilities. Opening times : Winter Tuesday - Sunday: 10am-4pm Summer Monday - Friday: 10am-5pm Saturday - Sunday: 10am-4pm Children under 6 go free.
Balboa Park, a 1200 acres area of landscaped gardens, is located in downtown San Diego. It is home to no less than 16 museums, which cover a wide spectrum of interest, ranging from arts, photography, science, sport, history to air & space, mankind and automotive. If this is not enough to keep visitors entertained, there are also theatre shows which feature about everything, from classic ballet, drama to puppet theatre. A vintage carousel and the miniature railway will keep the little visitor amused until the next show - or a visit to the zoo, which is located right next to the park. The gardens feature 16 differently themes horticultural exhibitions and visitors can choose between a Cactus Garden, Alcazar Garden , Desert Garden, Ethnobotany Garden and more. For recreation seeking visitors the Activity Centre offers a 38000-square foot gymnasium, there is a Golf Complex, Tennis Club, Senior Lounge, Hiking and Biking Trails, Lawn Bowling, Playgrounds and Picnic areas. For those who want something a little bit more substantial after all these activities, Balboa Park offers a choice of 10 cafes and restaurant and there are also snack-karts all over the park for a quick bite in between. The Visitor Centre does not only offer helpful information for the visitor, but is also home to a gift shop, whereas arts and crafts are being sold in some of the museums in the park. Admission to the park and gardens is free, fees for the museums will vary by institution.