A Star Turn for the Japanese Garden, 2004

The Japanese Garden has played a supporting role in many movies over the years. One of the most noteworthy was "Memoirs of a Geisha" from Columbia Pictures, released in 2005. A key scene was filmed in the garden in October 2004. This publicity still shows stars Ziyi Zhang (Sayuri) and Ken Watanabe (the Chairman) in front of the iconic moon bridge. The flowering cherry tree--and the peacocks--may look authentic, but it was actually just a bit of Hollywood set-dressing.


The Japanese Garden turned 100 in 2012. Do you have a favorite photo of family or friends taken in this historic landscape over the years? We'd love to see it in our Japanese Garden Centennial Scrapbook.


After a year-long renovation, The Japanese Garden reopened in April 2012. Read more about the renovation of the Japanese Garden on our website.


The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

San Marino, Calif. USA



Photo by David James, S.M.P.S.P.

© Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.

Used with permission.




  • nowhereonearth 4y

    Nice! I like those prop peacocks too (or did they just mosey over from the Arboretum?) .
  • The Huntington Library PRO 4y

    The peacocks were straight out of Central Casting, I believe!
  • Marcie Gonzalez PRO 4y

    Oh my, one of my favorite books and movies. Such a beautiful film. I didn't know that's where this scene was filmed. If I would have seen the movie now I'm sure I would have recognized it. I recognized the one on Human Target not so long ago. Thanks for sharing!!!!
  • Mari Crookshanks 4y

    I loved this movie and I remember this scene! But I did not know that this is where they shot that scene! Also beautiful movie!
  • nanaofhuck 4y

    Such a romantic scene for a wedding. Very lovely capture. I also noticed some peacocks in the background as well. That would be lovely if you could have some wandering around the area when it the Japanese Gardens reopens in 2012.
  • The Huntington Library PRO 4y

    The peacocks are lovely, indeed! But I think we'll leave them to Hollywood: they can become a bit of a nuisance for neighbors when they go wandering around the nearby residential areas.
  • browndogz 4y

    I know that they also shot sequences at Yamashiro's in Hollywood.
  • 5280denver 4y

    It was hardly elegant, but I remember Chris Farley in Beverly Hills Ninja. The crew dumped tons of dirt on the road and then scooped it all up again at the end of the shoot. Truckloads. I never thought they'd get it all, but Hollywood employs lots of people to shovel dirt into trucks.
  • Blue States PRO 4y

    Now I have to Netflix these...
  • The Huntington Library PRO 4y

    Blue, be sure to add the remake of Charlie's Angels (2000) to your queue...
  • earthgoddess417 4y

    Beautiful setting. Just one of my favorite areas of the Botanical Gardens. I love the bamboo "forest" too! I wanted peacocks when I lived in Ventura but found that can be VERY noisy!!
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Taken on April 8, 2011
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