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Hakone Gardens

Vacation Travel Guide
Hakone Gardens showing a garden

Set in the Saratoga Hills, this tranquil replica of a Japanese samurai estate is the perfect place to reconnect with your inner zen. 

Established in 1915, the Hakone Japanese Gardens are the oldest of their kind in the Western Hemisphere. Commissioned by art patrons Oliver and Isabel Stine, the gardens were originally designed as part of a summer retreat. The gardens have changed hands many times over the years, but are now owned by the City of Saratoga and are open to the public year round.

Wander through the 18-acre (seven-hectare) estate of harmoniously arranged trees, manicured hedges, flower gardens, rock formations and water features. Stretch your legs at the Pond Garden, a koi pond encircled by paths and picturesque viewing spots. Pick up a bag of koi food from the gift shop and throw some in to see the fish and turtles compete for a meal.

Around the pond and throughout the gardens you’ll come to buildings inspired by traditional Japanese architecture. Visit the Upper House atop Moon Viewing Hill, as well as the Cultural Center inspired by a 19th-century tea merchant’s house.

Be sure to collect a map, as the gardens are made up of many smaller areas dedicated to particular species. Stroll under the wisteria arbor, take a seat on a bench in the camellia garden and listen to the waterfall near the azaleas.,

Learn the finer points of flower arrangement and origami, or relax in a yoga and meditation class. Check the website for class times. There are also tea ceremonies and kimono-wearing demonstrations, but these must be booked in advance. The Hakone Gardens also host a number of festivals and events, most notably the Lunar New Year celebration and Matsuri, a spring festival.

The gardens are open every day and are at their most tranquil during the week. Weekends can get busy as the estate is a popular venue for weddings and special gatherings. The Hakone Gardens are in Saratoga, a 20-minute drive southwest of San Jose.

Top things to do in Hakone Gardens

Top Hotels Close to Hakone Gardens

Saratoga Oaks Lodge
Saratoga Oaks Lodge
3 out of 5
14626 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $128 per night from Jul 26 to Jul 26
Located in the heart of Saratoga, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Hakone Gardens and Villa Montalvo. Mountain Winery is 1.8 mi (2.9 km) away.
4.6/5Exceptional! (390 reviews)
"A clean and quiet single story room that was large and spacious. Conveniently located for what I had planned to do. Comfortable bed and finally large king size pillows that were like home."

Reviewed on Jul 16, 2021

Saratoga Oaks Lodge
The Inn at Saratoga, Tapestry Collection by Hilton
The Inn at Saratoga, Tapestry Collection by Hilton
3.5 out of 5
20645 Fourth Street, Saratoga, CA
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $181 per night from Jul 26 to Jul 26
Situated in the historical district, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Hakone Gardens and Villa Montalvo. Mountain Winery and Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards are ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (536 reviews)
"Cute spot. Convenient location. Really all you need even wo a pool"

Reviewed on Jun 28, 2021

The Inn at Saratoga, Tapestry Collection by Hilton
Whimsical Cottage Near The Village Of Saratoga
Whimsical Cottage Near The Village Of Saratoga
Saratoga, CA
Situated in Saratoga, this historic cottage is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Hakone Gardens and within 3 mi (5 km) of Villa Montalvo and Mountain Winery. Vasona Lake ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (11 reviews)
Weekend Getaway
"The accommodations were quaint and clean, well located near Saratoga village. We enjoyed our time thoroughly."

Reviewed on Jun 14, 2021

Whimsical Cottage Near The Village Of Saratoga
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Hakone Gardens

Saratoga Oaks Lodge
Saratoga Oaks Lodge
3 out of 5
14626 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA
The price is $128 per night from Jul 26 to Jul 26
Saratoga Oaks Lodge
The Inn at Saratoga, Tapestry Collection by Hilton
The Inn at Saratoga, Tapestry Collection by Hilton
3.5 out of 5
20645 Fourth Street, Saratoga, CA
The price is $181 per night from Jul 26 to Jul 26
The Inn at Saratoga, Tapestry Collection by Hilton
Whimsical Cottage Near The Village Of Saratoga
Whimsical Cottage Near The Village Of Saratoga
Saratoga, CA
Whimsical Cottage Near The Village Of Saratoga
Saratoga Saray
Saratoga Saray
Saratoga, CA
Saratoga Saray
The Ultimate Comfort, privacy & Comfort- in a Saratoga Villa.
The Ultimate Comfort, privacy & Comfort- in a Saratoga Villa.
Saratoga, CA
The Ultimate Comfort, privacy & Comfort- in a Saratoga Villa.
Guest House Suite - Serene Setting - Pet Friendly - Clean & Homey !!
Guest House Suite - Serene Setting - Pet Friendly - Clean & Homey !!
Saratoga, CA
Guest House Suite - Serene Setting - Pet Friendly - Clean & Homey !!
Gorgeous Two-story Saratoga House w/ Large Backyard
Gorgeous Two-story Saratoga House w/ Large Backyard
Saratoga, CA
Gorgeous Two-story Saratoga House w/ Large Backyard
Toll House Hotel
Toll House Hotel
3.5 out of 5
140 S Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos, CA
The price is $178 per night from Jul 25 to Jul 25
Toll House Hotel
Caboose in the Redwoods Just Outside of Cupertino
Caboose in the Redwoods Just Outside of Cupertino
Cupertino, CA
Caboose in the Redwoods Just Outside of Cupertino
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.