Distant Mountain Stone by Harry Hirao (California Aiseki Kai)

SAN MARINO — “Viewing stones” may sound strange to some, but the 23rd annual Southern California exhibition of them started Thursday at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens near Pasadena.

A group of Asian art fanciers called Aiseki Kai sponsors the show of natural, thought-provoking rocks each year.

This year’s show features more than 150 unusual rocks, including suiseki and biseki — colorful stones. The majority of the stones are from California rivers, deserts or ocean shores.

Some of the stones this year are from Japan, China, Italy and the African continent.

The free exhibition will be in the Friends Hall at the Huntington through Jan. 2. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily (closed Jan. 1). The library is located at 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino. There are additional exhibitions that require paid admission. More information is available at

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