FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – As soon as you walk into the Shinzen Friendship Garden the greenery and terrain make you think you are in the far east.

“When they built the garden, they purposely constructed it in that kind of pattern out of Japan. Which is about 80 % mountains,” said Roger Tsuruda, Shinzen Friendship Garden.

Tsuruda is a volunteer who helps with the upkeep of the landscaping. He pointed out that the trees surrounding the hills of Shinzen Friendship Garden are native to the Central Valley. And that they represent elegance and good fortune in Japan.

The Japanese Maple Tree and the Japanese Black Pine stay green year-round and stay true to Japanese culture. “Normal, typical Japanese gardens do not emphasize a lot of colors.  The color of the trees, the blossoms usually emphasize seasonal change,” he said. 

Spring and autumn are the best times to visit a colorful garden But summer is the best time to see the vibrant colors of the koi pond in the middle of the garden.

Even peacocks gather to watch just below an arched double-moon bridge. “They are a big attraction for the visitors and especially for the kids. We can give them food, and pellets to feed to the koi. There is just something very soothing about watching the koi swim around,” Tsuruda said.

Waterfalls and streams throughout the garden also make for a soothing experience. 

You will see the beauty and wonders of The Clark Bonsai Collection which attracts visitors from around the world.

The bonsai collection even has a book guests can sign sharing their experience with other visitors and volunteers at the garden.

A traditional tea house at the garden also catches the eye of visitors. The structure was designed and built on the other side of the world in Japan. Before it was sent to Fresno it was disassembled and later rebuilt for the Shinzen Friendship Garden.

A pole with bright blue and yellow handmade origamis represents peace for Ukraine giving visitors peace of mind in the garden.

“I say of all the times now with all that is going on in this crazy world this is a good time to be here,” said Tsuruda.

The Shinzen Friendship Garden is a place of Zen right in the Central Valley for everyone around the world.

For information on admission prices and hours at The Shinzen Friendship Garden check out their website.