An attraction of the Golden Gate Park and one of the real sights of the city is the Japanese Tea Garden. Like the M H de Young Memorial Museum it dates back to the 1894 California International Exposition. At the time it was the setting for a Japanese village of which it was a part. Now it forms a delightful adjunct to the Asian Art Museum adjacent to it.
1 Maritime Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94111-3404, United States
Mar 1 to Oct 31: 8:30am-6pm
Nov 1 to Feb 28: 8:30am-5pm
The layout of the garden was entrusted to a Japanese, Makoto Hagiwara, who looked after it for the next three decades, living on the site. His work was then carried on by his daughter, son-in-law and grandson.
During the Second World War the Hagiwaras, like many other Japanese, were interned; the Japanese Tea Garden became the Oriental Tea Garden and several of its houses were demolished. One was converted into a souvenir shop. It was not until 1952 that the garden had its original name restored.
The following year a lantern of peace was hung up and the Zen Garden was laid out, gifts from the children of Japan to the American people. Since then its Japanese-Buddhist character has been ever more strongly emphasized. The gaily colored pagoda and the moon bridge are special attractions.
The garden is a very peaceful place with ponds and bridges, monuments, waterfalls, and of course traditional trees and plants. There is a tea house where you can sit and look out over the gardens. In the spring the cherry blossoms and blooming shrubs are a beautiful sight. Autumn also brings a splash of color to the garden. It does not take long to wander through the garden and it can make a nice addition to a visit to Golden Gate Park. There is an admission charge to enter the tea garden.