On March 26, the Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix invites the public to a day-long Open House in support of Japan relief efforts and closes the day with a candle-light ceremony in remembrance of the earthquake and tsunami victims.
Opening at 10 am and waiving its customary admission fees for the day, the Garden invites the public to make donations to various relief agencies with computer assistance provided on site, or cash donations for victim relief efforts, which will be sent to the Japanese Consulate in Los Angeles.
Garden visitors will have the opportunity to fold origami paper cranes, a Japanese symbol of hope, or leave a written note on the Garden’s Wish Trees, thereby sending their thoughts and prayers through the wind and across the globe. The Garden welcomes musicians to bring acoustic instruments for brief interludes of music throughout the day.
Starting at 6:00 pm, a Remembrance Service will be conducted honoring the victims through words and music. Banshiki, a ceremonial song to assist the soul on its journey, will be played by Bobby Avstreih on the Japanese Shakuhachi (bamboo flute).
A Toro Nagashi, or floating lantern, will be lit and set adrift while attendees begin a silent candle-light procession around the Garden’s one acre koi pond.
The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix is located in Margaret T. Hance Park at 1125 North 3rd Avenue in Phoenix, AZ (Third Avenue, 1/2 block north of W. Portland Street). For more information, please visit www.AzJapanRelief.com.