Japanese Tea Garden

Japanese Tea Garden showing a park and heritage architecture
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The oldest public Japanese garden in the United States is a place of peace and beauty nestled in Golden Gate Park.

Refresh your senses with a saunter through the Japanese Tea Garden, at the east side of Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. This peaceful respite is dotted with miniature pagodas, stone lanterns, koi ponds and cherry blossom trees. You’ll easily find your own private spot among the five acres (two hectares) of benches and walkways. Enjoy views of plants, trees and the sky, while contemplating the beauty and harmony of nature.

Established in 1894 as a temporary exhibit for the World’s Fair in San Francisco, the garden was conceived and developed by landscape gardener Baron Makoto Hagiwara. When the fair closed, Hagiwara turned it into a permanent feature and expanded its size. His family and descendants maintained the garden until shortly after the United States entered World War II.

Some of the highlights of the garden include the meditative Zen Garden, the many water features and the Lantern of Peace, a 9,000 pound (4,082 kilogram) bronze lantern which was presented as a gift of reconciliation after World War II.

The Japanese Tea Garden is a glorious sight year-round, but perhaps the best time to visit is in the spring when thousands of cherry blossom trees are in bloom. The fall is also a treat, when the changing leaves present a colorful display.

In the middle of the garden and overlooking its beautiful landscapes and south-facing pond is the impressive Tea House. It’s here that Hagiwara introduced the fortune cookie to the United States, serving them to visitors, a tradition that continues to this day. Every Wednesday and Friday morning, from mid-March to January, kimono-wearing staff members perform tea ceremony demonstrations with centuries-old rituals and practices that present the matcha, a powdered green tea.

Top Hotels Close to Japanese Tea Garden

Holiday Inn Golden Gateway, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Golden Gateway, an IHG Hotel
3.5 out of 5
1500 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA, 94109
The price is $161 per night from Jul 4 to Jul 5
Stay at this 3.5-star business-friendly hotel in San Francisco. Enjoy free WiFi, a 24-hour fitness center, and onsite parking. Our guests praise the helpful ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (1,476 reviews)
"Elevators are a little slow and old, parking is a little expensive, friendly housekeeping service. It was a great stay, will come back again."

Reviewed on Jun 29, 2022

Holiday Inn Golden Gateway, an IHG Hotel
The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel
The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel
4 out of 5
495 Geary St, San Francisco, CA, 94102
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $179 per night from Jul 3 to Jul 4
Stay at this 4-star historic hotel in San Francisco. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and a 24-hour fitness center. Our guests praise the bar and the helpful staff ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (317 reviews)
"Great hotel, nice amenities."

Reviewed on Jul 1, 2022

The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel
Handlery Union Square Hotel
Handlery Union Square Hotel
3.5 out of 5
351 Geary St, San Francisco, CA, 94102
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $189 per night from Jul 3 to Jul 4
Stay at this 3.5-star family-friendly hotel in San Francisco. Enjoy free WiFi, a fitness center, and valet parking. Our guests praise the restaurant and the ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (1,076 reviews)
"Vintage Hotel in the center of Union Square. Great location in the shopping district with nearly everything within walking distance. Anything else is a short Uber away. Exceptional staff. Wish rooms had a microwave and we had two double beds and needed queens. Fantastic stay."

Reviewed on Jun 30, 2022

Handlery Union Square Hotel
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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Popular places to visit in Japanese Tea Garden


Best Lodging Options Near Japanese Tea Garden

Casa Loma Hotel
Casa Loma Hotel
2 out of 5
610 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA, 94117
The price is $79 per night from Jul 21 to Jul 22
Casa Loma Hotel
The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel
The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel
4 out of 5
495 Geary St, San Francisco, CA, 94102
The price is $179 per night from Jul 3 to Jul 4
The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel
Holiday Inn Golden Gateway, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Golden Gateway, an IHG Hotel
3.5 out of 5
1500 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA, 94109
The price is $161 per night from Jul 4 to Jul 5
Holiday Inn Golden Gateway, an IHG Hotel
Handlery Union Square Hotel
Handlery Union Square Hotel
3.5 out of 5
351 Geary St, San Francisco, CA, 94102
The price is $189 per night from Jul 3 to Jul 4
Handlery Union Square Hotel
The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
4.5 out of 5
335 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA, 94102
The price is $215 per night from Jul 29 to Jul 30
The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
Hyatt Regency San Francisco Downtown SOMA
Hyatt Regency San Francisco Downtown SOMA
4 out of 5
50 3rd St, San Francisco, CA, 94103
The price is $175 per night from Jul 4 to Jul 5
Hyatt Regency San Francisco Downtown SOMA
BEI San Francisco, Trademark Collection by Wyndham
BEI San Francisco, Trademark Collection by Wyndham
4 out of 5
50 8th Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103
The price is $150 per night from Jul 10 to Jul 11
BEI San Francisco, Trademark Collection by Wyndham
Cow Hollow Inn & Suites
Cow Hollow Inn & Suites
2 out of 5
2190 Lombard Street, San Francisco, CA, 94123
The price is $175 per night from Jul 3 to Jul 4
Cow Hollow Inn & Suites
Grand Hyatt San Francisco Union Square
Grand Hyatt San Francisco Union Square
4 out of 5
345 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA, 94108
The price is $186 per night from Jul 3 to Jul 4
Grand Hyatt San Francisco Union Square
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.