Photo Policy

Welcome to the Japanese Friendship Garden. Our Garden is the product of thousands of volunteer hours and the support of many donors who share our vision. 


Our mission statement:

The mission of the Japanese Friendship Garden, Inc. is to maintain a beautiful, serene Japanese garden in the heart of Phoenix and provide educational and artistic programs and events that continue to deepen our relationships and celebrate the rich history and culture of Japan.


The garden is extremely unique to the valley. There is nowhere else in the Phoenix Metro area with the same landscaping, water and architectural features.


If you are visiting the Garden with the intent of using the garden as a backdrop for a professional, amateur, special occasion, or posed photography session you may not enter as a general admission visitor. You must reserve a photo shoot, pay the fee, and sign an agreement in advance.


Posed photography is defined as any photographer (amateur or professional) that gathers a group together for a photo and/or poses individuals for Wedding, Engagement, Family/Kid Pictures, Portraits, Graduation/Senior Pictures, Fashion, Athletic, Business, Product Endorsement, Prom, Quinceañera, Maternity, Head-shots, Website Use/Blog Posts, Student Projects, etc.


It is irrelevant if the camera and/or the photographer are professional or not. This policy includes photos taken with, but is not limited to, cell phones, SLR/DSLR cameras, instant cameras like Polaroids, video cameras, action cameras like GoPro's, selfie sticks, disposable cameras, etc.


Please be aware there is a zero-tolerance drone policy implemented by the City of Phoenix.

Click here to review their drone policy.


Still, we recognize that people like to take pictures, and everyone has a high-quality camera in his/her pocket nowadays. We love seeing guests tag us on social media (@jfgphx); however, anything beyond a quick snap is subject to review by our Garden staff.


We opened our gates today so that you can enjoy the serene Japanese Garden that we have created. People who come for other reasons may be asked to leave:

  • unscheduled photoshoots

  • picnicking

  • unscheduled commercial filming

  • sunbathing

  • etc. 

The Garden reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of any activity.  

Please see the following examples so everyone can enjoy our serene Japanese Garden.

 Allowed: please enjoy😄

  • Checking in on social media:

    • Posting pictures of the Garden and its beautiful features. 

    • How about a selfie as well? Go for it! Just don’t drop your phone in the pond. 

    • Tag us on FB and Instagram @JFGPHX

  • Taking a quick, candid picture of the Garden, for example, the koi 

  • Taking pictures of a special exhibit or display, for example:

    • Bonsai exhibit in November

    • Otsukimi décor in October

    • Haru performers in March

  • Taking close up pictures of a few favorite plants or flowers (following the Garden’s rules and etiquette at all times

Still not sure? 

Please limit yourself to the examples on the left. 


All guests, including those in scheduled photography sessions, must follow our Garden’s rules and etiquette.

The Garden reserves the right to ask a visitor to leave for inappropriate or offensive behavior. Visitors will be held liable for any damage to the Garden property.


Have further questions? Please contact our rentals manager 602-274-8700

Not allowed: 😦  

Please come back after you book your private photo shoot.


  • Tripods or additional photographic equipment are not permitted when the Garden is open to the public. Must reserve a photo shoot before/after Garden hours for professional equipment to be permitted on the premises. Equipment is subject to approval by the Garden.

  • Giving directions for poses

       (e.g. “Good, Now turn your head more to the right.”)

  • Entering the Garden with costumes or formal wear (graduation, wedding, quinceañera, etc.) for an unschedulued photoshoot

  • Changing clothes, styling hair, changing makeup,  in any part of the Garden, including restrooms

  • Going off the path, blocking the path, or entering restricted/closed off areas

  • Climbing on anything (boulders, trees, benches, etc.)

  • Benches, plants, and signage may not be moved or altered. 

  • Asking staff, gardeners, or guests to move out of your shot, especially during Garden events/workshops or set-ups

  • Disrupting the tranquility of the Garden

  • Assignments for a photography class 

  • Commercial photography or videography

  • No props (e.g. confetti, signs, baskets, bouquets, etc.)