Help Fund the Restoration and Repair of the Japanese Friendship Garden image

Help Fund the Restoration and Repair of the Japanese Friendship Garden

This uniquely wonderful park depends on you

$29,321 raised

$40,000 goal

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Funds needed for security and restoration

December 26, 2023

The Japanese Friendship Garden needs help for restoration and long-term protection. Help now by making a donation to the Security and Restoration Fund.

May 4, 2023

The Japanese Friendship Garden has been vandalized recently and then thieves broke in and stole dozens of our beloved Koi. We have to do something to prevent future events like this. This Park is more than just a place to see Koi, it is a community treasure that is a gift from our Sister City of Okayama, Japan. Help fund the needed upgrades and restorations to preserve this jewel.

February 1, 2023

THANK YOU! We extended the deadline for the gift match and we brought in $10,476 – well over our $7,500 goal. On behalf of everyone who loves this beautiful garden and the living Koi residents, we feel deep gratitude.

December , 2022

Matching Gift Opportunity Extended through January 31, 2023

Our gift Match sponsor is allowing us to match all gifts up to $7,500 through the end of January

You have an opportunity to improve the living situation for our beloved Koi, as well as the general conditions of the Japanese Friendship Garden, which really depends on your support.

San Jose Parks Foundation has secured a matching gift of up to $7,000 that expires on January 31, so your contribution this week will be doubled.

Since the flood of 2017, rebuilding has been slow – partly due to delays in Insurance and bureaucratic stuff that we can’t control or influence. But we have been able to address many of the areas that need help, such as purchasing some portable filters to keep the pond water clean, a special isolation tank for the Baby Koi to keep them from predatory birds, repair of some structures and help with gardening.

Through the “Japanese Friendship Garden Fund” and “Friends of” group, San Jose Parks Foundation is the primary support group for the Koi and the Garden.

Many of you have been part of the volunteer clean-ups and some of you have donated to support the volunteers. You have been the force behind preserving the Koi and the Japanese Friendship Garden. We’re asking you to come through again with a gift of $125. If we can raise $7,500, the match will give us enough to repair or replace the portable filters and to do some additional work in the garden.

Support the Japanese Friendship Garden with a gift of $125 and the matching funds will double your gift.

We will still be raising funds in 2023 and beyond, b ut this week is an opportunity for your gift to be matched.

UPDATE November, 2019

We are fortunate to have young Aderyn Clark in our community. This high school student and Girl Scout has taken on a Gold Project the establishment of a Friends of the Japanese Friendship Garden. She has held a bunch of meetings, recruited other supporters and she threw a magnificent Garden Party on November 2 to celebrate the first signs of progress.

But wait, there's more..... She has recruited the Nikkei Matsuri volunteers to become the official Adopt-A-Park stewards of the park, brought the Japantown Lions Club to share the cost of restoring the damaged Wishing Well in the park. Further, Aderyn found a wonderful artist to draw a guide map for visitors. She has led tours and is actively recruiting volunteer Docents to become part of an ongoing docent program.

Our City PRNS Staff, now led by Shannon Heimer, who oversees all of Kelley Park, repairs are scheduled for a number of elements, including the bridge and the entry gate. Estimates and bidding are progressing slowly toward the restoration of the Koi ponds and the Tea House.

Thank you to every donor and thank you, Aderyn Clark, for your good work.

UPDATE May, 2018

San Jose Parks Foundation has purchased two much-needed Koi Pond filters for the Koi Ponds in San Jose's Japanese Friendship Garden. Last year, the flooding wiped out the previous filters and left the beloved Koi in jeopardy. Volunteers were able to rescue many of the fish, but they have had to survive in less than ideal conditions. A photo of the filters is below:

San Jose's department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (PRNS). has been involved in planning for the full restoration of the Japanese Friendship Garden since the flood of 2017 caused great harm to the park and severely damaged the Tea House. Below is a photo of happier Koi:

PRNS has communicated its plans for recovery and conveyed the actual timetable. "We were contacted about a month ago with a request for immediate help restoring the Koi Ponds," says San Jose Parks Foundation's Executive Director, James Reber. "The need for filters was immediate and we felt it was something we could do with some of the funds we had raised. We know that donors want the park restored and this is one of the key elements of the park, these beloved, wonderful fish. This is a strategic first step."

These "industrial-strength" filters, built by Aquadyne, will go along way toward taking care of the Koi while further restoration is still being planned. Keeping the Koi Ponds clean and the Koi healthy is a vital part of the overall restoration.

The Koi Filers are large and powerful and were certainly greeted with relief by the parks caretakers. Preserving the Koi is an important step toward ultimate restoration.

San Jose Parks Foundation raised the funds from generous donors last year and has held onto the funds for the right opportunity to provide key support. The fundraising for restoration will continue and the foundation still retains several thousand dollars, some of which are targeted for use in restoring the Tea House.

UPDATE: January, 2018

Below you will find a brief update from San Jose's department of Parks Recreation & Neighborhood Services (PRNS) regarding the restoration:

"For the past 10 months PRNS, Public Works, and the City's Office of Emergency Management have been working jointly to scope the 25 repair projects that need to be completed as a result of the February 2017 floods. This has included coordinating with the city's insurance carriers, with FEMA, and with consultants to verify and document the damage, prepare cost estimates of the damage and necessary repairs, and develop a work plan to move forward to construction.

At this time, the damage assessments and project scoping are complete and the real work of designing the improvements is beginning. For the Tea House at the Japanese Friendship Garden the following is our current schedule:

  • Design completion: end of May 2018
  • Bid open: mid June 2018
  • Construction start: September 2018
  • Construction completion December 2018

While this could change depending on the various circumstances that will inevitably arise during construction, we are hopeful that the work will be complete by the end of next year."


The Japanese Friendship Garden is a very unique and wonderful space in Silicon Valley. Amid the frenzy of activity and industry that characterizes life in our community, this space is tranquil, peaceful, and ideal for escape and reflection. Beyond its beauty, this park is a gift from one of our sister city's, Okayama, Japan.

The two cities are actually celebrating the 60-year Anniversary of the relationship. During that time, this garden has hosted millions of visitors who enjoyed its serenity, as well as thousands of weddings, receptions, family gatherings and other special occasions.

The flooding in 2017 has had a profound impact on the space, including several damaging the Tea House, which has been the site of our annual Summer Soiree fundraising event. We need to help restore this community treasure. Your donations will help.