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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


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Japanese Tea Gardens

See all 985 Properties near Japanese Tea Gardens
Hotel Contessa - Luxury Suites on the Riverwalk $135
Hotel Contessa - Luxury Suites on the Riverwalk

Hotel Contessa - Luxury Suites on the Riverwalk

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

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    El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel $63
    El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel

    El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel

    110 Lexington Ave, San Antonio, TX
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Downtown San Antonio, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tobin Center for the Performing Arts and River Walk. San Antonio Majestic Theater and Alamo are also within 15 minutes. San Antonio Station is 25 minutes by foot.

      Riverwalk Plaza $89
      Riverwalk Plaza

      Riverwalk Plaza

      100 Villita Street, Dwyer/Main Plaza, San Antonio, TX
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly San Antonio hotel is located on the riverwalk, within a 5-minute walk of Tower Life Building and River Walk. San Antonio Majestic Theater and Market Square are also within 10 minutes. San Antonio Station is 23 minutes by foot.

        Private Cozy Apartment in Park & University Area
        Private Cozy Apartment in Park & University Area

        Private Cozy Apartment in Park & University Area

        San Antonio, TX
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Midtown, this vacation home is within a 15-minute walk of Kiddie Park and Japanese Tea Gardens. San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium and San Antonio Botanical Gardens are also within 1 mi (2 km).

          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

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

          San Antonio, TX
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Midtown, this historic vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kiddie Park, San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium, and San Antonio Botanical Gardens. Japanese Tea Gardens and Trinity University are also within 1 mi (2 km).

            Luxury Townhome - Pearl Brewery and Riverwalk!
            Luxury Townhome - Pearl Brewery and Riverwalk!

            Luxury Townhome - Pearl Brewery and Riverwalk!

            San Antonio, TX
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Midtown, this historic vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kiddie Park, San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium, and Japanese Tea Gardens. Trinity University and Pearl District are also within 1 mi (2 km).

              Huisache Haus - Historic Home, Pearl, Riverwalk
              Huisache Haus - Historic Home, Pearl, Riverwalk

              Huisache Haus - Historic Home, Pearl, Riverwalk

              San Antonio, TX
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Midtown, this vacation home is within a 15-minute walk of Trinity University and Japanese Tea Gardens. San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium and San Antonio Botanical Gardens are also within 2 mi (3 km).

                Best Western Plus Downtown North $76
                Best Western Plus Downtown North

                Best Western Plus Downtown North

                2131 PanAm Expressway, San Antonio, TX
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Government Hill, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Pearl District, Alamo, and River Walk. Fort Sam Houston and San Antonio Botanical Gardens are also within 3 mi (5 km).