The Japanese Tea Garden
San Francisco Sightseeing Attraction
San Francisco’s Japanese Tea Garden was created by Japanese Baron Makoto Hagiwara. Given as a gift to the city of San Francisco, the Japanese Tea Garden was inspired by the 1894 World’s Fair exhibit called The Japanese Village.
All Japanese gardens reflect their surroundings, and so the Japanese Tea Garden had a rustic style, relative to its setting in Golden Gate Park. As a tea garden, it also has a larger public area to accommodate a large number of guests.
It also once included a smaller, more private area for the Hagiwara family’s private residence. In its beginnings, the Japanese Tea Garden was only an acre in expanse, but over time and with increasing popularity, the Japanese Tea Garden swelled to 5 acres. The materials used to build the Tea Garden were imported from Japan. Import and export laws were even relaxed for the Baron Hagiwara, due to his influence, to complete the project. The Hagiwara family fortune went into the Japanese Tea Garden, purchasing a number of extremely valuable goods like the aviary, bronze statuary, and even the goldfish in the shrine moat. The family was never reimbursed, and a number of these items were later stolen.
However, San Francisco’s Japanese Tea Garden hold a place of honor in a Francisco’s history and geography. A jewel in Golden Gate Park’s crown, the Japanese Tea Garden is just down the path from the Academy of Sciences and the De Young Museum. Every year, the Japanese Tea Garden glows with the bloom of its thousands of cherry blossom trees, attracting thousands of guests to its peaceful, majestic interior. The Japanese Tea Garden boasts many assets, among them: three gates built by Japanese craftsmen of Japanese Hinoki Cypress. The gates are constructed entirely without nails; the Drum Bridge; the authentic Zen garden; the Lantern of Peace; the Buddhist Pagoda; and the Hagiwara Gate. There is also a small teahouse, where a guest can sit and enjoy a cup of genuine green or jasmine tea and look at the Japanese Tea Garden in all its glory.
110 years old, The Japanese Tea Garden is one of San Francisco’s longest lasting landmarks. Established as a gift from Japan to San Francisco, the Japanese Tea Garden has become one of the most visited parts of San Francisco. There isn’t a child in San Francisco who doesn’t take a field trip to the Tea Garden in elementary school, and no visitor should leave without spending a peaceful afternoon in the Japanese Tea Garden’s beautiful environs. The oldest public Japanese park in the US, San Francisco’s Japanese Tea Garden is a treasure. Peaceful, beautiful, and a vital part of San Francisco history, the Japanese Tea Garden is a great place to spend an afternoon.
The Japanese Tea Garden is open 7 days a week and has low admission prices. It’s an amazingly beautiful park honoring Japanese styles and customs and stands as a tribute to San Francisco’s diversity and elegance. The Japanese Tea Garden is breathtaking in all weather and at all times of the day. It’s a good place for older children to explore and wander around. The Japanese Tea Garden is also located in a part of Golden Gate Park that is near a lot of restaurants and transportation. Irving and Judah Streets, between 5th and 10th Avenues has a dense concentration of restaurants for all tastes. Vegetarian, seafood, Indian, Italian, a visitor can find all kinds of restaurants within walking distance of the Japanese Tea Garden. Most of these restaurants are also open for lunch and are reasonably priced. Buses the run near the area include the 44 and the 43. These buses go directly to the underground train station at Forest Hill. Trains at Forest Hill run Downtown and to the beach and the zoo.
The Japanese Tea Garden is a great place to visit because of its peaceful atmosphere and historical value. It’s also so well located that it’s a simple matter to work the Japanese Tea Garden into a fun day of exploration and sightseeing.