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Golden Gate Park Japanese Tea Garden

What You Need To Know About The Japanese Tea Garden

Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California 2020

The Tea Garden is at 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, just off John F. Kennedy Drive and next to the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. You can park on the street nearby, or in the public parking lot beneath the Academy of Sciences.

The garden is open 365 days per year. They charge admission , but you can get in free a few days a week if you go early in the day. Check their current hours and ticket prices on the Tea Garden website.

Wheelchairs and strollers are allowed in the garden, but getting around with them can be tricky. Some of the paths in the garden are made of stone and others are paved. Some of the paths are steep and others have steps. There are accessible paths, but markings may be hard to follow. The Tea House can accommodate wheelchairs, but you have to climb a couple of stairs to get into the gift shop.

You can also see more plants and flowers in the San Francisco Botanical Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers.

Best Time To Visit & Hours

This SF gem is beautiful all year long. If you are lucky enough to visit during March or April – you will see it at the most beautiful time – when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom!

The Japanese Tea Garden San Francisco is open every day – and does not have any holiday closures. From November to the end of February, you can visit between 9 am to 4:45 pm. From March to the end of October, you can visit anytime between 9 am to 5:45 pm.

Torii And Stone Lantern

A hedge along the pathway lined with dwarf trees leads to a stone lantern while revealing impressive views of the Torii. This torii was built by Mr. Shimada in 1913 from California redwood. A torii often serves as a gateway to a Shinto shrine. Originally a Shinto shrine stood where the Pagoda now stands. The steep Penance Steps lead to the Torii from below.

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View Of Terrace From Hagiwara Gate

An ornately carved gate was built in 1916 by Mr. Shimada, a Japanese craftsman, who in 1913 had constructed the torii. The gate was originally the entrance to the Hagiwara residence built in 1908 and destroyed after the Hagiwaras left the Tea Garden in 1942. The gate now leads to a terrace overlooking the Sunken Garden which occupies the site where the Hagiwara residence formerly stood.

Restaurants Near The Japanese Tea Garden San Francisco

Golden Gate Park

Pacific Catch: Just a quick 8-minute walk away from the TeaGardens is one of our favorite local chain restaurants. Unlike most chainrestaurants, it is local, and it is great. It is in the perfect location topeople watch as you eat your meal. Some of the choices here include burgers,tacos, fish & chips, and if you want to try something different, check outtheir pokes, ceviche, or their grains and greens bowls. They also have loads ofgreat drinks, including cocktails to-go if you dont want to go into the GoldenGate Park and eat there instead. It is about a 10-minute walk to the JapaneseTea Garden. 1200 9th Avenue

Jennys Burger: Also just a quick 10 minute walk to the TeaGardens is this great little burger joint. Everything they make is perfectlycooked and totally yummy. We love all their hamburgers and their fries andonion rings also. There are a decent number of options to add on to your burgertoo. If you want something else, check out their hot dogs or sandwiches. Alongwith most soft drinks, they also make shakes. It is about a 10-minute walk tothe Japanese Tea Garden. 1233 9th Avenue

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Japanese Tea Garden In Golden Gate Park

Explore the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park and be immersed into this world that easily takes you to Japan walking along the garden pathways, bridges and quiet spots around this magnificent garden.

Slowly taking in all the details to the meticulous garden is a visual delight with stepping stones, arched bridges to climb, stone lanterns and gorgeous pagodas to photograph at different angles. Youll love visiting this wonderful and elaborate Japanese tea garden in Golden Gate park.

Where Can I Find Cheap Japanese Tea Garden Parking Garages

While the on-site Musical Concourse Garage charges $29 – $33 for all-day parking, youll find secure parking spots with all modern amenities at $15 – $20 at garages outside the park. It is the best option for a stress-free day out at Golden Gate Park leave your car at an affordable parking lot and enjoy your walk in the park. You can also take the free Golden Gate Park shuttle to reach the many attractions inside the park, including the Japanese Tea Garden. For the best parking deals, book your Japanese Tea Garden parking in San Francisco online, using a parking app or website.

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Highlights At The Japanese Tea Garden

The front gate at the point of entry is a fascinating piece of architecture. Notice that it has been skillfully crafted without the use of nails.

A spectacular structure you can’t miss in the Garden is the five-story-tall pagoda. It, too, has its own history, having been originally constructed for the Panama Pacific International Exhibition of 1915.

The strolling garden is where you can simply wander, weaving your way through the flowers and trees. Have a photo op on the historic Drum Bridge, also called Half-Moon Bridge because of its crescent shape.

If youre in a reflective mood, the 9,000-pound bronze Lantern of Peace is a calming presence. It was a gift to symbolize friendship between America and Japan at the end of World War II.

Another blissful spot is the Buddha statue, with its welcoming palms. It is over two hundred years old, first cast in 1790 and gifted to the garden in 1949.

Dont miss the chance for selfies by the koi pond and waterfalls, either.

Things To Do At The Japanese Tea Garden

Japanese Tea Garden Video Tour (Golden Gate Park)

The Japanese Tea Garden is, first of all, a garden. Like most Japanese gardens, it’s made up of small garden areas and also features beautiful buildings, waterfalls, and sculptures.

Any time of year, the garden’s classical structures are eye-catching . The entrance gate is made from Japanese Hinoki Cypress and built without the use of nails. Nearby, you’ll see a Monterey Pine tree which has been growing there since 1900. Just inside the gate is a hedge clipped into the outline of Japan’s Mount Fuji.

The drum bridge is a classical feature that reflects in the still water below it, creating the illusion of a full circle. The most spectacular structure in the garden is the five-story-tall pagoda. It came from another world exposition held in San Francisco in 1915.

In the garden, you’ll find cherry trees, azaleas, magnolias, camellias, Japanese maples, pines, cedars, and cypress trees. Among the unique specimens are dwarf trees brought to California by the Hagiwara family. You’ll also see lots of water features and rocks, which are considered the backbone of the garden’s design.

The tea and snacks are mediocre at best and the experience is decidedly “touristy,” but it doesn’t deter visitors and the Tea Garden is often packed.

A good way to better understand the Japanese Tea Garden is on a guided tour. Docents from the San Francisco City Guides lead tours of the Japanese Tea Garden and the schedule is on their website.

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More Details And Inside Tips To Visiting The Japanese Tea Garden

Spring time around March to April is Cherry Blossom time with the trees and various perennial shrubs blooming and creating a colorful show in the gardens. And worth visiting this time frame.

Summers and sunny days are best and the tea house is open air so you can enjoy the outdoors covered even on rainy days.

You can experience a beautiful tea ceremony on cleaning, presenting, receiving and drinking tea at the tea house. An elegant server in a dressed kimono will lead you through this elegant and immersive experience.

There is free entry to the garden on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays between 9am to 10am

Best to avoid the busy time frames from 11:30 to 2:30 when everyone visits and enjoys lunch service at the tea house.

The Giant Buddha donated by Gumps Department store in San Francisco

View Of Main Pond Area With Stone Pagoda

In the foreground the roof of a stone pagoda lead the eye toward the mirror-like surface of the Main Pond. A pathway winds around the north edge of the pond past two stone lanterns, one at the base of the tree and another next to the fern-covered rocks. The spire at the top of a pagoda is called a sorin and its nine rings represent various heavens of the gods.

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High Arching Drum Bridge

The high arching drum bridge is part of one of the trails. It has wooden planks that allow you to climb up and over it. Many people love to take their picture on top with the beautiful trees in the background.

If you prefer not to climb over, you can also hop on another trail and walk around either side

Experience Tea At The Tea House

Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate Park

You can enjoy some refreshing tea and Japanese snacks in the beautiful tea house with a custom made Irori or Japanese family table. Over looking the gardens and ponds, the tea house is a beautiful and relaxing space to take a break and enjoy the views of the garden.

Fascinating story of the fortune cookie

Actually, originating in Japan and brought to the US, the fortune cookie was more savory and when brought here for mass production because sweet and infused with vanilla flavor to appeal to more western taste and flavor.

It became very popular and is still served with every cup of tea for visitors to the tea house.

There is also a gift shop located in the tea house for purchasing some Japanese inspired gifts and souvenirs.

To check out the details of the tea house, visit their website here for more details.

Check out this video on what a typical tea ceremony experience is like

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Population Growth And American Acquisition

Yerba Buena began to attract American and European settlers an 1842 census listed 21 residents born in the United States or Europe, as well as one Filipino merchant. Commodore claimed California for the United States on July 7, 1846, during the , and Captain arrived to claim Yerba Buena two days later. Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco on January 30 of the next year, and Mexico officially to the United States at the . Despite its attractive location as a port and naval base, San Francisco was still a small settlement with inhospitable geography. Its 1847 population was said to be 459.

The brought a flood of treasure seekers . With their in tow, prospectors accumulated in San Francisco over rival , raising the population from 1,000 in 1848 to 25,000 by December 1849. The promise of wealth was so strong that crews on arriving vessels deserted and rushed off to the gold fields, leaving behind a forest of masts in San Francisco harbor. Some of these approximately 500 abandoned ships were used at times as storeships, , and hotels many were left to rot, and some were sunk to establish title to the underwater lot. By 1851, the harbor was extended out into the bay by wharves while buildings were erected on piles among the ships. By 1870, had been filled to create new land. Buried ships are occasionally exposed when foundations are dug for new buildings.

Parking For The Tea Garden

Parking can be tricky, especially in summer and on sunny weekends.

There is a parking garage underneath the de Young Museum nearby, with two entrances: one entry off Fulton Street at 10th Avenue, and another at the west end of the California Academy of Sciences on Concourse Drive, just off MLK Jr Drive. . Marked on map below.

Ideas for parking spaces: there can be spaces on JFK and on either side of the Tea Garden .

There is no parking on the road that goes past the Tea Garden and loops around past the Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum. Another possibility is street parking outside the park near 10th Ave, with the north side being less challenging, but parking in that neighborhood is tough.

Fallback suggestion: If the streets near the Tea Garden are packed, try parking around Stow Lake there are almost always places available around the loop. It’s only about a 10 minute walk from there.

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How And Why The Japanese Tea Garden Came To Be

In 1894, California held a Midwinter International Exposition. It was on this site, originally just one acre, that a Japanese-style garden was built.

After the fair, Makoto Hagiwara, a Japanese landscape architect, was tasked with maintaining the property as a permanent garden. It became Hagiwaras lifes passion. As the official caretaker, he lovingly planted, tended, and cared for the trees and plants, expanding this masterpiece until it encompassed nearly five acres. Some of the trees in this garden are more than one hundred years old.

What Are The Closest Stations To Japanese Tea Garden

The Oldest Japanese Tea Garden in the U.S.

The closest stations to Japanese Tea Garden are:

  • Fulton St & 8th Ave is 71 yards away, 1 min walk.
  • 8th Ave & Fulton St is 262 yards away, 4 min walk.
  • Park Presidio Blvd & Fulton St is 337 yards away, 4 min walk.
  • Lincoln Way & 9th Ave is 752 yards away, 9 min walk.
  • Carl St & Cole St is 1300 yards away, 16 min walk.
  • Metro Castro Station/Outbound is 2228 yards away, 27 min walk.
  • 17th St & Noe St is 4163 yards away, 49 min walk.
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    Is There Parking At Japanese Tea Garden San Francisco

    The Japanese Tea Garden is within easy access from the Music Concourse Garage. The 800-space underground lot offers convenient parking for visitors heading to the Botanical Gardens, de Young and California Academy of Sciences museums, and other attractions inside the park. You can reach the garage via Martin Luther King Drive for the North Entrance, enter Golden Gate Park from Fulton Street at 10th Avenue or access the South Entrance via Concourse Drive and Martin Luther King Drive. Street parking could be available on Martin Luther King Drive and Nancy Pelosi Drive inside the Park or on Fulton Street, Lincoln Way, and other streets near the park.

    Where Is The Japanese Tea Garden Located In San Francisco

    Located in Golden Gate park in the main concourse area and right next to the De Young Museum, the Japanese tea garden is hidden through ornate gates, fences and other ornamentation. Behind the exterior walls is a lush and beautiful garden that reflects all the wonderful aesthetics and features you can explore and experience throughout the garden. You will find the entrance to the garden through the main tiled gate and kiosk, check the information below for admission, information and picking up a brochure.

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    Japanese Tea Garden Parking Tips

    The Japanese Tea Garden is surrounded by several popular Golden Gate Park attractions, most of which depend on the Music Concourse Garage for on-site visitor parking. Book your parking spot in advance for a guaranteed spot and expect delays during peak visiting hours, especially during summer.

    The Japanese Tea Garden is open all days of the week, including holidays, from 9 am. Admission is free before 10 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. An early visit will also save you time hunting for a parking spot whether you are looking for a free street parking space on Martin Luther King Drive or at the Music Concourse Garage. The garage is open from 7 am to 7 pm, every day and booking a spot online will give you access to early-bird deals with discounted all-day parking rates.

    The Golden Gate Shuttle runs along JFK Drive, and you can get off at the Music Concourse to reach the Japanese Tea Garden. The shuttle is available on weekends and holidays, from 10 am to 7.30 pm.

    San Francisco Earthquake And Reconstruction

    The Japanese Tea Garden

    At 5:12 am on April 18, 1906, a major and northern California. As buildings collapsed from the shaking, ruptured ignited fires that spread across the city and burned out of control for several days. With out of service, the Artillery Corps attempted to contain the by dynamiting blocks of buildings to create firebreaks. More than three-quarters of the city lay in ruins, including almost all of the downtown core. Contemporary accounts reported that 498 people died, though modern estimates put the number in the several thousands. More than half of the city’s population of 400,000 was left homeless. settled temporarily in makeshift tent villages in Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, on the beaches, and elsewhere. Many fled permanently to the .

    Rebuilding was rapid and performed on a grand scale. Rejecting calls to completely remake the street grid, San Franciscans opted for speed.’s , later to become , provided loans for many of those whose livelihoods had been devastated. The influential or SPUR was founded in 1910 to address the quality of housing after the earthquake. The earthquake hastened development of western neighborhoods that survived the fire, including , where many of the city’s wealthy rebuilt their homes. In turn, the destroyed mansions of Nob Hill became grand hotels. rose again in splendid style, and the city celebrated its rebirth at the in 1915.

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