Beginning of main content

Japanese Tea Garden

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. 


Guide to Exploring around Japanese Tea Garden


Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5
Map

Lodging Near Japanese Tea Garden

See all 519 Hotels near Japanese Tea Garden
$169
Serrano Hotel

Serrano Hotel

405 Taylor St, San Francisco
4.0
of 5, from 4,603 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

The Serrano Hotel is steps away from Union Square, perfectly positioned in the Theater District of San Francisco, 2 blocks from the Powell Street cable car.

$161
Stanyan Park Hotel

Stanyan Park Hotel

750 Stanyan Street, San Francisco
4.0
of 5, from 293 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Cole Valley, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Conservatory of Flowers and University of California San Francisco. University of San Francisco and California Academy of Sciences are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$100
Geary Parkway Motel

Geary Parkway Motel

4750 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
3.9
of 5, from 396 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Located in Richmond District, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of De Young Museum, California Academy of Sciences, and Japanese Tea Garden. University of San Francisco and Golden Gate Park are also within 2 mi (3 km).

In San Francisco With Internet

In San Francisco With Internet

357 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122,, San Francisco
0.0 out of 5.0

This apartment building is located in San Francisco (Sunset District), close to University of California San Francisco, California Academy of Sciences, and Japanese Tea Garden. Also nearby are Twin Peaks and University of San Francisco.

Non-smoking Non-smoking Spacious 1-br Apartment

Non-smoking Non-smoking Spacious 1-br Apartment

210 5th Ave, SF
0.0 out of 5.0

This property is located in San Francisco (Richmond District), close to Conservatory of Flowers, University of San Francisco, and University of California San Francisco. Also nearby are Palace of Fine Arts and Golden Gate Bridge.

Modern Inner Sunset 1 Bedroom. Brand New!

Modern Inner Sunset 1 Bedroom. Brand New!

1728 10th Ave, SF
5.0
of 5, from 7 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

This property is located in San Francisco (Sunset District), close to San Francisco Botanical Garden, University of California San Francisco, and Twin Peaks. Also nearby are Golden Gate Park and Japanese Tea Garden.

In San Francisco With Internet

In San Francisco With Internet

119 Grattan St, San Francisco, CA, San Francisco
0.0 out of 5.0

This property is located in San Francisco (Cole Valley), close to University of California San Francisco, Twin Peaks, and University of San Francisco. Also nearby are California Academy of Sciences and Japanese Tea Garden.

1.5 km From the Center of San Francisco With Internet

1.5 km From the Center of San Francisco With Internet

714 Ashbury St, San Francisco, CA, San Francisco
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in Haight-Ashbury, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Castro Theatre, University of San Francisco, and University of California San Francisco. Twin Peaks and California Academy of Sciences are also within 2 mi (3 km).