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Japanese Tea Gardens (Sunken Gardens)

The perfect place to spend a quiet afternoon. Stroll among exotic plants and enjoy an authentic Japanese tea house.

Step through the Japanese Tea Garden’s front gate – a replica of a traditional Japanese torii gate – and you’ll be transported into another world. This peaceful garden is filled with exotic plants, as well as pagodas, koi (carp) ponds and even a small waterfall. There’s also an authentic Japanese-style cafe that serves Asian food, sandwiches, salads, cakes and beverages.

The garden was built in 1918 on the site of an abandoned quarry adjacent to the city’s Brackenridge Park. It began as a lily pond that eventually was surrounded by plant-lined paths and a stunning Japanese-style pagoda. Located near the entrance to the park, the Pagoda is a large, open-air pavilion featuring stone columns and beautiful views of the lily pond and waterfall. Weddings and other events take place under the shady thatched roof. Right next door is the Jingu House Restaurant, which opened in 2011. 

Building this world-class Japanese garden was really an effort of the entire city. Local residents donated bulbs and the City nursery provided exotic plants. The City Public Service donated a lighting system. Improvements have continued throughout the decades. The garden was closed for almost a year in 2007 and reopened in March 2008 with a $1.5 million facelift. The waterfall and ponds were fixed up, new plants added and more walkways built, keeping much of the history but adding new life to the garden.

It’s free to come and wander around. Visit all year, between dawn and dusk. In summer, shaded walkways and lots of trees provide a welcome escape from the Texan heat. Bring a book and find a spot under the Pagoda or by the waterfall for a quiet, relaxing afternoon.

Popular Activities at Japanese Tea Gardens

Get the most out of your time at Japanese Tea Gardens. Below is a list of the best things to do:

Electric Scooter Tour to the Japanese Tea Garden is just one of the exciting experiences on offer here.

If you're after even more options, examine our San Antonio things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Japanese Tea Gardens


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Lodging Near Japanese Tea Gardens

See all 810 Properties near Japanese Tea Gardens
Riverwalk Plaza $109
Reviewed on Apr 22, 2019
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Riverwalk Plaza

Riverwalk Plaza

100 Villita Street, Dwyer/Main Plaza, San Antonio, TX
     
    3.8 of 5
    3.5 out of 5.0

    Great location; not enough parking spaces for the size of the hotel; the daily parking fee is separate from the room rate

    Hotel Contessa - Luxury Suites on the Riverwalk $159
    Reviewed on Apr 23, 2019
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    Hotel Contessa - Luxury Suites on the Riverwalk

    Hotel Contessa - Luxury Suites on the Riverwalk

    306 W Market Street, San Antonio, TX
       
      4.6 of 5
      4.0 out of 5.0

      Beautiful hotel in the heart of San Antonio. We walked everywhere. Very convenient

      Best Western Plus Downtown North $76
      Reviewed on Apr 22, 2019
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      Best Western Plus Downtown North

      Best Western Plus Downtown North

      2131 PanAm Expressway, San Antonio, TX
         
        4.2 of 5
        2.5 out of 5.0

        Hotel was very clean and check in was a complete breeze! Staff was very nice and professional and notified us immediately when we accidentally left our car lights on. The room was perfect and had everything we needed for our weekend. We didn’t go to the pool area, but it seemed very small from the ...

        5/6 BR Convention-downtown-1 Min. to Pearl Riverwalk-alamo 3 Min.- in Park, Nice
        Reviewed on Jan 27, 2019
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        5/6 BR Convention-downtown-1 Min. to Pearl Riverwalk-alamo 3 Min.- in Park, Nice

        5/6 BR Convention-downtown-1 Min. to Pearl Riverwalk-alamo 3 Min.- in Park, Nice

        San Antonio, TX
           
          4.8 of 5
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          I've stayed at this house several times in the last few years and every time it's been perfect. There are plenty of beds and bedrooms, which makes it perfect for small or large groups. The house is in a great location as well and Jean is a great host. I always look forward to staying here when I'm ...

          Private Cozy Apartment in Park & University Area
          Reviewed on Nov 2, 2018
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          Private Cozy Apartment in Park & University Area

          Private Cozy Apartment in Park & University Area

          San Antonio, TX
             
            3.4 of 5
            0.0 out of 5.0

            Definitely worth the stay, had everything I could have needed!

            Let's Rodeo San Antonio 2019 - Downtown/pearl Brewery Charmer
            Reviewed on Feb 17, 2019
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            Let's Rodeo San Antonio 2019 - Downtown/pearl Brewery Charmer

            Let's Rodeo San Antonio 2019 - Downtown/pearl Brewery Charmer

            San Antonio, TX
               
              5.0 of 5
              0.0 out of 5.0

              Excellent location - beautiful home. Great bars a block away. We had 5 couples and plenty of room.

              Luxury Townhome - Pearl Brewery and Riverwalk!
              Reviewed on Mar 14, 2019
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              Luxury Townhome - Pearl Brewery and Riverwalk!

              Luxury Townhome - Pearl Brewery and Riverwalk!

              San Antonio, TX
                 
                5.0 of 5
                0.0 out of 5.0

                Great location, beautiful property, highly recommend.

                Hotel Emma $300
                Reviewed on Mar 31, 2019
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                Hotel Emma

                Hotel Emma

                136 E Grayson, San Antonio, TX
                   
                  4.8 of 5
                  5.0 out of 5.0

                  The building, decor and surrounding development made this a unique and amazing hotel