The Japanese Friendship Garden provides a place of peace and contemplation in a familiar environment. There is a tremendous amount of thought behind creating and maintaining a venue of such simplicity. It is a deceptively secluded area of Balboa Park, with very little outside noise allowed in. In fact, it wasn’t until I left the garden that I was reminded of outside noises such as children and passing cars. There was a real feeling of back-to-the-real-world.