We arrived here looking for a little serenity and emerged needing valium. The garden has been a fixture since 1894 and described as having "peaceful waters" over which one can have a "meditative cup of tea" and foliage that "invites quiet reflection." Right. I found being flattened by chattering tour-bus herds hellbent on snapping pictures of everyone, from every angle, in every otherwise-tranquil spot to be a less than zen-like experience? Eeesh.
I'm sure it's pretty - if you can see around the fifty people in front of you.
Here's a nice web page with history and detailed descriptions of the botanicals and decorative enhancements:
See the link below for entrance fees, hours, location and stuff.
The one thing we decided to make time for at the Golden Gate Park was a visit to the Japanese Tea Garden, and I'm really glad that we did. This beautifully landscaped garden was created in 1894 as part of the California Midwinter International Exposition - it was the very first Japanese Garden to be created in the US and it became such a success with visitors that its designer, Makoto Hagiwara, suggested turning it into a permanent attraction. Over a century later, the Japanese Tea Garden is still as beautiful and just as popular as it was in its beginnings. Although it might not look very big from the outside, it took us over an hour to walk though the garden - I have to admit that our walk was mostly impeded by the garden's numerous photogenic features! It was also impossible to leave without stopping by the tea house, where there is a nice selection of tea and desserts that you can enjoy in a wonderful setting. Our visit to the Japanese Tea Garden was by far the best part of our quick tour of Golden Gate Park!
The Japanese Tea Garden is open daily from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm. Admission: $3.50
If you enjoy gardening as a hobby or even just appreciate well planned gardens, this comes highly recommended on my list of things to do in SF. Its a nice get away from the busy city rush and a peaceful place to enjoy some of the simpler things in life. Its a gorgeous, well maintained garden that will definitely help you relax. I didnt try the tea but it looked like a great spot to sit and enjoy tea with the garden and water features surrounding you. Across the way is the botanical gardens which is another great stroll away from the busy city.
Having to walk all day around San Francisco (and mind you, walking around this city isn't as easy as you think, especially if you're climbing uphill) it's nice to find a quiet place to just enjoy the beauty of nature...even in the middle of November!
It's actually a great time to come around the fall when the weather is cool so you can walk around the garden, admire the pagodas, listen to the birds, and lose yourself in this botanical garden. After walking around, head to the mini-cafe where you can enjoy fresh brewed Japanese tea and some tea snacks.
The Japanese Tea Garden is one of San Francisco's most distinctive stops, built over a century ago, though it has undergone many changes (including a different name during a period of anti-Japanese sentiment around World War II).
The garden is an island of calm in the midst of the busy Golden Gate park, with its beautifully crafted landscapes, its unusual collection of stone lanterns, and the twisting paths that take you around and over the various streams and ponds.
Most of the visitors are concentrated near the gift shop and tea room: you can easily find quieter corners, especially early in the day or outside the high tourist season, despite the small scale of the garden.
After you've explored, have a cup of tea and some cookies at the sheltered tea room: try and get a seat looking out over the water and look over the left to see the evocation, in plant form, of Mount Fuji, so important in Japanese culture and art.
We spent considerable time in this garden which is part of Golden Gate Park
The Japanese Tea Garden was originally built as part of the 1894 Midwinter Fair by an Australian. There are paths, ponds and a teahouse and it features native Japanese and Chinese plants.
From the website: "Also hidden throughout its five acres are beautiful sculptures and bridges. Makato Hagiwara, a Japanese gardener whose family took over the garden from 1895 to 1942, also invented the fortune cookie."
Admission $3.50, children 6-12 and seniors 65+ $1.25; last hour is free. Tea Garden open daily, 8:30 am-5:30 pm. Teahouse open 10 am-5:15 pm.
It is so beautiful here. The setting peacefull, quiet, serene with an air of tradition and culture. Ornate pagodas, stately buddhas, lush foliage, lily ponds and a gorgeous setting. I love it here. I'll get out to the garden about once a month and just soak in the beauty of it all. It's a great place for meditation and contemplation of any form. There's also a great little gift shop and if obviously if you like tea, this is the place for you.
The Japanese Tea Garden is a lovely little patch of shrubbery and pagodas just to the left of the new DeYoung Museum. And, yes, despite what others may say, it is worth it. The gardens are well maintained, and the bridges and pagodas are beautiful. It's a great place to take some pictures, or just go for a little stroll with your sweetie.
The tea house is fun, especially on a rainy day. It is pricey - I think tea service for two is something like $9 - but it's a great break from a day of running around the park.
Hours of operation:
March thru October - 8:30 - 6
November thru February - 8:30 - 5
Admission is $3.50 for adults, less for kids
First and Last hours of each day are free
1st Wed of the month half price (Sep. thru May only)
as much as i like folk architecture and roaming around different cultures, this garden was great. this cosy place is the romantic part of the Golden Gate Park. with its japenese atmosphere and scenery, it makes it a good option for having a wedding ceremony.
as usual, i'm not interested in this historical detail of this place, but i believe that the japanese when they came to SF wanted to have their heritage alive so they had a symbol of what reminds them of home - so i was told and i bought it, nice story!
there is a souvenir shop, a stream, a gate, a steep japanese bridge!, a couple of little and tiny temples, and a place where you have your japanese tea:D
entrance fee: avg $4
Opening time: until 6pm
The picturesque gardens are not too large and worthy of a mid-day stroll. They are adjacent to the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park. The gardens have a small admission, but it is well worth it, especially if you've never been there.
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