We’ll take you to the Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix, which aims to promote education and understanding of the Japanese culture and provide local residents with a serene place for a tranquil stroll.
Ted Simons: More than 6,000 miles separate Phoenix from sister city Himeji, Japan. Off a busy freeway in the heart of downtown Phoenix the two cities share a unique connection. Producer Christina Estes and photographer Langston Fields take us to the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Reiko Reavis: This is a place for people to come enjoy. And I want them to forget everything, daily life, problems, when they come through the gate. I want them to focus the moment. Just see how beautiful this place is.
Reiko Reavis: My name is Reiko Reavis. I am the interim executive director.
Video: And this is Reiko's office.
Reiko Reavis: This has a four regions. The beach area, woods, and then lower grasslands.
Video: Each section represents the major type of terrain found in Japan. The idea to transform 3.5 acres of desert into a lush display of Japanese culture came in 1987.
Reiko Reavis: The mayor of Himeji, Japan, proposed idea to make a Japanese garden in Phoenix to cement our relationship with the two cities.
Video: Reiko says more than 50 Japanese designers and landscape architects donated their time and knowledge. Over the years they made several trips to Phoenix to understand the climate and choose local materials. They traveled across the state to hand-pick 1500 tons of rock and stone.
Reiko Reavis: interim executive director of Japanese Friendship Garden; Della Killeen: Curator of Japanese Friendship Garden