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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


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Lodging Near Japanese Tea Garden

See all 481 Properties near Japanese Tea Garden
Perfectly Located, Spacious Condo Half Block From Golden Gate Park
Perfectly Located, Spacious Condo Half Block From Golden Gate Park

Perfectly Located, Spacious Condo Half Block From Golden Gate Park

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    With direct access to the beach, this Richmond District condo building is within a 15-minute walk of De Young Museum, Japanese Tea Garden, and California Academy of Sciences. University of San Francisco and University of California San Francisco are also within 2 mi (3 km).

    Geary Parkway Motel $150
    Geary Parkway Motel

    Geary Parkway Motel

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      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 University of California San Francisco are also within 2 mi (3 km).

      Stanyan Park Hotel $161
      Stanyan Park Hotel

      Stanyan Park Hotel

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        4.0
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        Non-smoking Non-smoking Spacious 1-br Apartment

        Non-smoking Non-smoking Spacious 1-br Apartment

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          of 5, from 1 reviews
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          Located in Richmond District, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Conservatory of Flowers, University of San Francisco, and California Academy of Sciences. University of California San Francisco and Japanese Tea Garden are also within 2 mi (3 km).

          Modern Inner Sunset 1 Bedroom. Brand New!
          Modern Inner Sunset 1 Bedroom. Brand New!

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            Located in Sunset District, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of San Francisco Botanical Garden, University of California San Francisco, and Golden Gate Park. California Academy of Sciences and Japanese Tea Garden are also within 2 mi (3 km).

            Hotel Whitcomb $115
            Hotel Whitcomb

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              3.2
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              Located in the San Francisco theater district with a BART and MUNI station at its entrance, this downtown hotel is 6 blocks from Union Square and within a mile of Moscone Center and SFMOMA.

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              Apartment in San Francisco With Internet

              Apartment in San Francisco With Internet

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

                Hotel Nikko San Francisco $155
                Hotel Nikko San Francisco

                Hotel Nikko San Francisco

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                  4.4
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                  The Asian-inspired Hotel Nikko San Francisco is located downtown, a 4-minute walk from Union Square and the designer shops of Westfield San Francisco Centre. Guests can catch a cable car 2 blocks south, and both Curran Theatre and American Conservatory Theater are right around the corner.