Fri, Oct 30 | Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix

Otsukimi Moon Viewing 2020 Exhibit

Our Annual Otsukimi - Moon Viewing will be transformed from our large two-day festival into an intimate and socially distanced exhibit this year so that you can still enjoy the harvest moon in 2020. Oct 30 & 31 - 5pm-9pm
Registration is Closed
Otsukimi Moon Viewing 2020 Exhibit

Time & Location

Oct 30, 2020, 5:00 PM – Oct 31, 2020, 9:00 PM
Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix, 1125 N 3rd Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85003, USA

About the Event

Purchase Your Otsukimi Tickets today! 

Click Read More below!


Our Annual Otsukimi - Moon Viewing will be transformed from our large two-day festival into an intimate and socially distanced exhibit this year so that you can still enjoy the harvest moon in 2020. Please read below for more information on our Covid19 guidelines and precautions, including limited-time slot tickets and an explanation of our exhibit theme "Dō - The ways of Japan".



  • Friday, October 30th & 
  • Saturday, October 31st 
  • 5:00pm to 9:00pm


Presale tickets only. Not at gate ticket sales. Limited admission to 50 people per time slot (Every 30 minutes). Members can purchase directly (no code necassary) at ticket site, but must show membership card at gate to confirm their status.

  • General: $25 
  • Members: $20 
  • Youth 3-12: $7



Walk through our paths in the moonlight under the full moon and enjoy learning about Japanese traditional arts. See the common tools, clothing, and other objects used for the traditional arts of Japan with your own eyes as you stroll through each exhibit. Our Exhibitors will be highlighting the different traditional Japanese arts that end in "Dō" (道) such as:

  • 書道 Shodō (the way of calligraphy)
  • 花道 Kadō (the way of flowers)
  • 茶道 Sadō (the way of tea)
  • 武道 Budō (the way of the warrior)
  • 太鼓道 Taikodō (the way of taiko)

Dō means way, path, or route. Dō in the names of Japanese arts signifies a process, a way in which that art should be performed to achieve an aesthetic goal. The implied nuance is that Dō embodies seeking for truth and self-discipline through dedication to a single art. We will be sharing these ways of Japanese art with you as well as ways for you to get involved and learn them for yourself here in Phoenix!


Instead of going star gazing, the Japanese go moon gazing! Similar to Ohanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing) and Koyo (Autumn Foilage) Viewing, the Japanese, who have a distinct appreciation for nature, have a tradition where they take time to enjoy the moon when it is most beautiful.

The word "Otsukimi" means to literally gaze at the moon (月 tsuki means moon and 見 mi means to look). This tradition of enjoying the beauty of the full moon in September and October dates back to the Heian period, from 794 to 1185 A.D. In those days aristocrats would gather together to admire the moon, recite poetry, and play instruments. They would admire the reflection of the moon on the surface of ponds or on the surface of their cups of rice wine. Many poems written during Otsukimi can be found in the Kokinshu, a famous ancient Japanese poetry anthology.

You too can admire the moon reflecting on our pond at the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix and participate in this mindful and restful night at our Otsukimi Exhibit.


On Otsukimi, rice cakes that resemble the shape of the full moon and pompous grass which resembles stalks of rice were used in wishes for a full and successful harvest. These remain key elements of Otskukimi today. But there is one more key element you might have noticed... the rabbit! They call it the rabbit on the moon or moon rabbit (Tsuki no Usagi 月の兎). Somewhat like how many American's see "the man on the moon" when they look up into the night sky, the Japanese see the shape of a rabbit pounding rice!

According to legend, an old man who lived on the moon decided to visit Earth. He asked a monkey, a fox, and a rabbit for food. The monkey climbed a tree and brought him some fruit, and the fox caught him a fish. But the rabbit, unable to bring anything, instead built a fire and jumped into it, offering himself. The old man pulled him out and praised his kind sacrifice, and as a reward took the rabbit back to the moon with him.



Our Annual Otsukimi - Moon Viewing will be transformed from our large two-day festival into an intimate and socially distanced exhibit this year so that you can still enjoy the harvest moon in 2020. Please remember this will not be an event and will not include musical performances, food vendors, or our tea cafe. However, we will have art displays and installations, lanterns, Ikebana displays, and of course various exhibits for you to peruse. Our Gift Shop will sell Japanese sweets, snacks, and drinks, so don't worry if you do get hungry or thirsty as you stroll.

Covid19 Precautions:

Presale tickets only. Max 50 people per time-slotted ticket. Slots available every 30 minutes. Masks are required at all times except when eating & drinking. Prepackaged Japanese snack packs and bottled Japanese drinks will be available through our gift shop. There will be no performances or food vendors. Exhibits will be adequietly spaced for social distancing. Social distancing will be practiced at ticket gate line, snack and drink line and at and around exhibits. The gift shop will be open - limited to 4 people at a time/or a family. Otsukimi Moon-viewing 2020 Exhibit is enforcing a limited capacity for a sufficiently socially distanced, low-contact, exhibit experience. In order to keep our limited capacity, you may be encouraged to make room for the next time-slotted guests after spending approximately one hour in the exhibit. Our staff will be constantly monitoring capacity for your safety. We appreciate your understanding. Thank you.

Regular operational Covid19 guidelines will be in place as well. Please take a look at our Covid19 guidelines here:


Japanese Friendship Garden Parking Lot (Friday & Saturday)

Puppet Theater Parking Lot (Directly across from JFG)  (Friday & Saturday)

Hance Park Lot

Irish Cultural Center Parking Lot (Saturday ONLY)

Street parking on side streets surrounding JFG


We look forward to enjoying the moon and the traditions of Japan with you at the Japanese Friendship Garden this October!

Share This Event