Gridlock, haboobs, Sheriff Joe — life in Phoenix can be harsh sometimes. Fortunately, there exists in the center of town a space so secluded, so peaceful, we almost don't want a lot of people to know about it. Okay, fine. We'll share.
The next time you need a moment of Zen, you're welcome to join us at Ro Ho En, also known as the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix. Completed in 2000 as a symbol of the relationship between Phoenix and its sister city Himeji, Japan, this 3.5-acre "strolling garden" offers stress relief and inner calm in the form of paved paths, shade trees, stone sculptures, friendly wildlife, and a central lake. The Garden hosts special events now and then such as tea ceremonies and an annual moon viewing festival, but really, any time is a good time to feed the koi, exhale deeply, and experience a little serenity now.