Is The Japanese Tea Garden In San Francisco Worth It
Yes, the San Francisco Japanese Tea Garden is worth it.
This tea garden is filled with rich history and stunning Japanese architecture. The price is extremely fair even for non SF residents as well.
When we visited, this tea garden was brimming with both locals and tourists which is always a good sign. The staff were super friendly and we highly recommend the free walking tour if you can fit it into your schedule.
M/w/f Free Entry Before 10am
The garden opens at 9am and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday weekly you can enter the garden for free if you arrive before 10am. The entrance fee is normally $9 for non-SF residents, so if you are visiting with a large group or family, avoiding the entrance fee on free mornings is a smart move. Because of the popularity of free mornings, I highly recommend arriving right at 9am to enjoy a bit of the garden before more people arrive. It can get crowded on free mornings!
Race Ethnicity Religion And Languages
San Francisco has a population, as comprise less than half of the population, 41.9%, down from 92.5% in 1940.As of the 2020 census, the racial makeup and population of San Francisco included: 361,382 , 296,505 , 46,725 , 86,233 , 6,475 and , 3,476 and other and 73,169 persons of other races . There were 136,761 of any race .
In 2010, residents of constituted the largest single ethnic minority group in San Francisco at 21% of the population other large Asian groups include and , with , and many other Asian and Pacific Islander groups represented in the city.The population of Chinese ancestry is most heavily concentrated in Chinatown, , and , whereas are most concentrated in the , as well as in . The is home to a large portion of the city’s Vietnamese population as well as businesses and restaurants, which is known as the city’s Little Saigon.
The principal groups in the city were those of and ancestry. The Hispanic population is most heavily concentrated in the , Tenderloin District, and . The city’s percentage of Hispanic residents is less than half of that of the state.
Source: US Census and IPUMS USA
As of 2010, 55% of San Francisco residents spoke only at home, while 19% spoke a , 12% , 3% , and 2% . In total, 45% of San Francisco’s population spoke a language at home other than English.
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Visit The Serene Koi Pond
A koi pond is a traditional feature of Japanese gardens because these fish are sacred in the Japanese culture. Koi represent strength, courage, patience and success as they are known to swim against strong currents.
If you are traveling with kids, they will love looking for the bright colored Koi in the pond of the tea garden.
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Stone Lantern Along Edge Of Main Road
Many stone lanterns have been placed throughout the Japanese Tea Garden. Stone lanterns were introduced to Japan in the Sixth Century along with Buddhism. Pathways to temples and shrines were lit by oil lamps placed inside the lanterns. The typical stone lantern is made up of six parts: the base stone , the stem , central platform , for the lamp oil , the light compartment, the broad roof , and at the top, the jewel .
History Of The Japanese Tea Garden
It’s the oldest formal Japanese garden open to the public in the United States.
The Tea Garden arose out of the Japanese Village exhibit built for the 1894 World’s Fair in San Francisco .
Makoto Hagiwara, an immigrant from Japan, created an authentic Japanese tea garden in Golden Gate Park, contributing many valuable sculptures, structures and plants. He and his descendants were caretakers of the garden until 1942.
During the war, anti-Japanese sentiment led to the Hagiwara family being interned and the garden was renamed the Oriental Tea Garden. The garden went into a decline and many artifacts were stolen. After the war, the garden got its original name back and the street was named after Mr. Hagiwara.
For the past fifteen years, the Japanese Tea Garden concession had been under other management, but in the summer of 2009, the garden returned to Japanese hands. Most of the servers in the Tea House are now Japanese .
There was an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the controversy surrounding the change.
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View Towards Brick Terrace
In 1943, Julius L. Girod, the Superintendent of Parks, constructed the brick terrace and below it the Sunken Garden, a landscape he designed on the site of the Hagiwaras former home. The building in the background currently houses the Asian Art Museum. The large keyaki tree between the Gift Shop and the Asian Art Museum was planted before Mr. Hagiwara’s time.
Science Technology And Energy
The United States has been a leader in technological since the late 19th century and scientific research since the mid-20th century. Methods for producing and the establishment of a industry enabled the of sewing machines, bicycles, and other items in the late 19th century. In the early 20th century, factory , the introduction of the , and other labor-saving techniques created the system of . In the 21st century, approximately two-thirds of research and development funding comes from the private sector. In 2020, the United States was the country with the number of published scientific papers and second most patents granted, both after China. In 2021, the United States launched a total of 51 . The U.S. had 2,944 active in space in December 2021, the highest number of any country.
In 1876, was awarded the first U.S. . ‘s developed the , the first , and the first viable . The in 1903 made the , and the automobile companies of and popularized the assembly line in the early 20th century. The rise of and in the 1920s and 30s led many European scientists, such as , , and , to immigrate to the United States. During World War II, the Manhattan Project developed nuclear weapons, ushering in the . During the Cold War, competition for superior missile capability ushered in the between the U.S. and Soviet Union. The invention of the in the 1950s, a key component in almost all modern , led to the development of , , and the . In 2022, the United States ranked 2nd in the .
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Vist During Cherry Blossom Season
During the Springtime in March and April, the entire city starts blooming. This is peak cherry blossom season! If you really want to get that classic Japan experience without the price tag of visiting Japan, head to the tea garden during cherry blossom season! There are many cherry trees throughout the garden to help create a sense of awe.
I hope this helps you plan your visit to the Japanese Tea Garden! If you have any questions at all, leave a comment below or DM me on Instagram @thewhimsysoul.
World War I Great Depression And World War Ii
The United States remained neutral from the outbreak of in 1914 until 1917 when it joined the war as an “associated power” alongside the , helping to turn the tide against the . In 1919, President took a leading diplomatic role at the and advocated strongly for the U.S. to join the . However, the Senate refused to approve this and did not ratify the that established the League of Nations.
Around this time, millions of rural African Americans began it would continue until about 1970. The last vestiges of the Progressive Era resulted in and . In 1920, the women’s rights movement won passage of a granting . The 1920s and 1930s saw the rise of for and the invention of early . The prosperity of the ended with the and the onset of the . After his election as president in 1932, responded with the . The of the mid-1930s impoverished many farming communities and spurred a new wave of western migration.
At first , the United States in March 1941 to the . On December 7, 1941, the launched a surprise , prompting the United States to join the Allies against the , and in the following year, to about 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans. The U.S. pursued a “” defense policy, leaving , an , isolated and alone to fight Japan’s until the U.S.-led . During the war, the United States was one of the “” who met to plan the postwar world, along with Britain, the Soviet Union, and China. The United States emerged from the war, and with even greater economic and military influence.
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Main Gate And Monterey Pine
The smaller, much twisted pine just inside the Main Gate is a Monterey pine. It was brought from Golden Gate Park’s ocean front as a young tree by Makoto Hagiwara who planted it at its present location around 1900. Through the portal of the Main Gate can be viewed the columns of the Music Concourse, original site of the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894 where the idea of the Japanese Tea Garden originated.
Complete Guide To The Japanese Tea Garden In San Francisco
Posted on Last updated: November 26, 2022
Japanese Gardens are a place for quiet reflection and can be a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of a city. The Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco is no different as it provides an incredible place of serenity and beauty.
But with so many things to do in San francisco, is the Japanese Tea Garden worth your time and money?
Having visited San Francisco multiple times as well as spending an afternoon in the Japanese Tea Garden, we hope to help you find the answer to this exact question.
Heres how we will help you plan your visit:
- What is the SF Japanese Tea Garden and where to find it
- Ticket options and how to save money
- Things to do at the Tea Garden
- Best time to visit with pros and cons
Lets explore the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco!
*Please note this post may contain affiliate links. If you click on one, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! Read more in our disclosure policy.*
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Buy A Souvenir In The Gift Shop
This gift shop is located above the Tea House on the Terrace level of the garden. The building is similar to the tea house in that it possess a distinctive Japanese architecture.
Here you can purchase authentic Japanese items such as tea and sake sets, glazed ceramic bowls, maneki neko figurines, a variety of green tea and childrens collectables.
Gardens Of Golden Gate Pass
The Gardens of Golden Gate Park Pass is perfect for those who plan to visit the Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden, and San Francisco Botanical Garden.
Each pass grants you unlimited visits to all 3 gardens for 3 Days with just one ticket.
Gardens Of Golden Gate Passes can be purchased online or at each of the 3 garden locations. Keep in mind tickets purchased online non-refundable and non-transferable.
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How Much Does Golden Gate Park Japanese Tea Garden Parking Cost
Hourly rates at the Music Concourse Garden are $5.25 on weekdays and $6.25 on weekends and evenings. The daily maximum parking rate at the on-site garage is $29 – $33, and monthly parking costs $240. For all-day parking, secure parking garages outside the Golden Gate Park charge $15 – $20 on average. Metered street parking is minimal near the Golden Gate Park the closest spots on Irving Street, Ninth Avenue, or Balboa Street will cost you $1 – $2 an hour.
Popular San Francisco Tours
If you are tight on time or want to see more of beautiful Golden Gate Park, a tour would be a good way to spend an afternoon in San Francisco.
Here are two top rated tours for San Francisco featuring Golden Gate Park:
- Golden Gate Park Segway Tour In this 2.5 hour tour, a local guide will lead you to top attractions including the Japanese Tea Gardens, the de Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences.
- GoCar 3-Hour Tour Explore the parks and beaches of SF with a talking GoCar during this 3 hour tour as you pass by famous attractions such as Golden Gate Park, Fishermans Wharf and more.
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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.
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.
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Pros To Visiting The Sf Japanese Tea Garden
If you arent sure if the Japanese Tea Garden is worth your time, here are a few pros to consider:
- The oldest Japanese Tea Garden in the United States
- Chance to take a free walking tour to learn about Japanese landscaping
- Garden is free to SF residents with free visiting times for non-residents too
- Ability to slow down and experience a gorgeous garden
Where Is The Japanese Tea Garden In San Francisco
The San Francisco Japanese Tea Garden is located in the heart of Golden Gate Park. The Tea Garden is on Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive between Stow Lake and the de Young Museum.
San Francisco Japanese Tea Garden Address: 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118
Other points of interest nearby include the California Academy of Sciences and the San Francisco Botanical Gardens.
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Free Admission Hour Japanese Tea Garden At Golden Gate Park
Please note that as of April 2022, admission the Japanese Tea Garden now is free for San Francisco residents with valid ID. Free hours for everyone are 9-10am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The Japanese Tea Garden provides visitors from around the world with an opportunity to experience the natural beauty, tranquility and harmony of a Japanese-style garden in the heart of San Franciscos Golden Gate Park.
Originally created as a Japanese Village exhibit for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition, the Japanese Tea Garden endures as one of the most popular attractions in San Francisco, featuring classic elements such as an arched drum bridge, pagodas, stone lanterns, stepping stone paths, native Japanese plants, serene koi ponds and a zen garden. Cherry blossom trees bloom throughout the garden in March and April.
Please note that hours and costs change frequently. Visit about for updates or for tickets
Japanese Tea Garden
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Pick Out Your Own Pearl
At the back of a tea house, you will come across a large fish tank filled with many oysters. This is where an employee will tell you a short history about these beautiful Japanese pearls.
For a small fee , you can pick the oyster of your choice from the tanks and watch as it is pried open in front of your eyes. The last step is choosing a jewelry casing to house the colorful pearl.