Fri, Oct 22 | The Japanese Friendship Garden - Phoenix

Otsukimi Moon Viewing 2021

Stroll through our paths in the full moonlight, lit up with candles and luminaries that harmonize with nature and enjoy various Japanese arts and displays as well as sake and snacks. It will be a tranquil, socially distanced, two-night exhibit to enjoy the full moon in 2021.
Otsukimi Moon Viewing 2021

Time & Location

Oct 22, 5:00 PM – Oct 23, 9:00 PM
The Japanese Friendship Garden - Phoenix, 1125 N 3rd Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85003, USA

About the Event

Our annual Otsukimi Moon Viewing is a traditional Japanese celebration of the full moon. This year's exhibit will be a joint effort between the Phoenix Sister City Himeji committee, and the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix.

Stroll through our warmly lit paths in the full moonlight, and enjoy various Japanese displays as well as sake and snacks.

Purchase Tickets Here: 

Please read below for more information on our Covid19 guidelines and precautions, including limited-time slot tickets and an explanation of our exhibit theme: "花鳥風月 Kacho Fugetsu".

Kacho Fugetsu (花鳥風月) literally reads Flower, Bird, Wind, Moon, and means "the beauties of nature". It is a common theme in Japanese art and poetry. The deeper application alludes to "Experiencing the beauties of nature, and in doing so, learning about yourself" which each season's special animals, plants, smells, and sky inspire. Come to see the autumn beauties of Japan here at the Japanese Friendship Garden this October!

At Otsukimi 2021, we will be sharing Japanese art and culture throughout the Garden with you as well, including:

Traditional Japanese Music Performances with Shamisen, Bamboo Flute, and Taiko drums

Haiku (Japanese poetry) at the Sister City Himeji Committee Cultural Booth

Shodo (Japanse calligraphy) at our calligraphy booth where you can get your name written in Japanese!

Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement) Displays by Ping Wei of Sogetsu Ikebana

Bamboo Art Installations across the Garden

Wedding and Formal Kimono Displays

Large Seasonal Calligraphy Scroll Displays

Tea Garden Cafe - A Special Exhibit and beverage in our Tea Garden (+$5)


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 sake. 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 during our Otsukimi Exhibit.


EXHIBIT STYLE WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING Similar to Otsukimi 2020, our annual Moon Viewing which we have celebrated as a festival in previous years will be transformed from our large two-day festival into an intimate and socially distanced exhibit this year.

We will not have food vendors. Our Otsukimi Bar will be available for authentic Japanese Sake and also various drinks. Prepackaged Japanese snacks and bottled Japanese drinks will be available through our gift shop. The gift shop will be open - limited to 6 people at a time/or a family. Exhibits will be adequately spaced for social distancing. Social distancing will be practiced at the ticket gate line, snack and drink line, and at and around our exhibits.

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

TIMED ENTRY TICKETING This exhibit will be presale tickets only. Max 130 people per time-slotted ticket. Slots are available every 30 minutes. Masks are required at all times except when eating & drinking. This exhibit features 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 monitoring capacity for your safety. We appreciate your understanding. Thank you.

Purchase Tickets Here: 


Japanese Friendship Garden Parking Lot

Hance Park Lot

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!

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