Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco

4.5 out of 5 stars 49 Reviews

75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., San Francisco, CA 94118 (415) 668-0909
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  • spidermiss's Profile Photo

    The Japanese Tea Gardens

    by spidermiss Updated Jun 22, 2016

    While I was in San Francisco, back in 2002, I had an opportunity to briefly visit The Japanese Tea Gardens. Originally it was created as a "Japanese Village" exhibit, for the Midwinter International Exposition in California in 1894. It was a tranquil and pleasant place to wander round with its Japanese features including its bridges and pagodas,

    After the fair closed, Makato Hagiwara, a Japanese landscape architect, enthusiastically and passionately designed and created a permanent Japanese style garden as a posterity gift to the city. The garden was expanded to 5 acres. History dictated unforeseeable circumstances when Mr Hagiwara and his family was forbidden to return to his house in the gardens after the Second World War which led the gardens seeing new additions.

    Further information can be found here including visiting information.

    Address: Located in Golden Gate Park

    Directions: 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
    San Francisco CA 94118

    Phone: 415-752-4227

    Website: http://japaneseteagardensf.com/

    Japanese Tea Gardens, Golden Gate Park, SF
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  • apbeaches's Profile Photo

    Japanese Tea Garden

    by apbeaches Updated Jan 8, 2016

    The Japanese Tea Garden, the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States located inside Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California.

    It was originally created as a “Japanese Village” exhibit for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition, the site originally spanned about one acre and showcased a Japanese style garden. When the fair closed, Japanese landscape architect Makoto Hagiwara and superintendent John McLaren a agreed to create and maintain a permanent Japanese style garden as a gift for posterity. In 1942 the garden expanded 5 acres, it's current size of When Japanese Americans were relocated the Hagiwara family was not allowed to return to their home at the tea garden and in subsequent years, many Hagiwara family treasures were removed and new additions were made.

    Today, the Japanese Tea Garden is a popular attractions in San Francisco, featuring classic elements such as an arched drum bridge, pagodas, stone lanterns, stepping stone paths, native Japanese plants, serene koi ponds and a zen garden. Cherry blossom trees bloom throughout the garden in March and April.

    They are opened daily from 9 until 6 in the summer and 4:45 in the winter. Admission is free at 10:00 AM on
    Monday Wednesday and Friday.

    Address: http://japaneseteagardensf.com/

    Directions: Located in Golden Gate Park

    Phone: 415-752-4227

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  • chattygirl7491's Profile Photo

    such a beautiful peaceful place

    by chattygirl7491 Written May 12, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We were only in town for less than 2 days .. but we came here and I highly recommend it. It was so lovely and peaceful.
    great place for pictures and kids seemed to like it. We visited in the spring and it was one of the highlights of our visit to the city.

    Tip Tip Tip Tip Tip

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Tea House of the Savage Mob

    by goodfish Updated May 27, 2010

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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:

    http://www.inetours.com/Pages/SFNbrhds/Japanese_Tea_Garden.html

    See the link below for entrance fees, hours, location and stuff.

    Address: Located in Golden Gate Park

    Directions: 7 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive

    Phone: (415) 666-3232

    Website: http://japaneseteagardensf.com/index.php

    Buddha assuming Temple of Sanity? Bridge. The half with no people on it Scummy pond but the iris were nice
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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    My favorite spot in Golden Gate Park

    by Jefie Updated Oct 6, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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

    Address: Golden Gate Park

    Directions: Next to the de Young Museum

    Phone: 415-752-4227

    A Japanese pagoda at the Japanese Tea Garden Japanese Tea Garden, in San Francisco The biggest and oldest bronze Buddha in the US The garden's tea house On top of the half moon bridge
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  • J_Lyons's Profile Photo

    Japanese Tea Gardens

    by J_Lyons Written Aug 26, 2009

    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.

    Address: Located in Golden Gate Park

    Directions: North side of the park.

    Phone: 415-752-4227

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  • ashmantoronto's Profile Photo

    Finding your zen

    by ashmantoronto Written Jan 30, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Address: Located in Golden Gate Park

    Phone: 415-752-4227

    Entrance to the beautiful garden Pagoda
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  • sarahandgareth's Profile Photo

    Asian calm in Golden Gate park

    by sarahandgareth Updated Aug 28, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Address: Located in Golden Gate Park

    Directions: The garden is relatively close to the western entrance into the park, and is located very close to the California Academy of Sciences.

    Phone: 415-752-4227

    Japanese Tea Garden Bridge

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Japanese Tea Garden

    by grandmaR Updated May 23, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Address: 8th Avenue and Kennedy Drive

    Directions: Golden Gate Park . Located just east of Stow Lake, between JFK and Martin Luther King Jr. drives.

    Phone: Admission: 415-752-4227

    Website: http://www.inetours.com/Pages/SFNbrhds/Japanese_Tea_Garden.html

    Tea Garden in April 1966 1937 Postcard My mom's picture of me and my kids on the bridge
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  • poetjo's Profile Photo

    Japanese Tea Garden

    by poetjo Written Jan 29, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Address: Located in Golden Gate Park

    Phone: 415-752-4227

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  • Karnubawax's Profile Photo

    Japanese Tea Garden - Yes, it IS worth it!

    by Karnubawax Updated Dec 14, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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)

    Address: Located in Golden Gate Park, next to the DeYoung

    Phone: 415-752-4227

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  • Romantic Ride

    by Manyana Updated Oct 19, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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

    Address: Located in Golden Gate Park

    Phone: 415-752-4227

    temple have your japanese tea tranquility
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  • SteveOSF's Profile Photo

    Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park

    by SteveOSF Written Dec 18, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Address: Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive

    Directions: They are on Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
    -- at the Music Concourse Region of Golden Gate Park.

    Phone: 415-752-4227

    Entrance to  the Japanese Tea Garden
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  • Escadora7's Profile Photo

    Japanes Tea Garden

    by Escadora7 Written Oct 21, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Built during the 1894 Winter Exposition, this is the oldest public Japanese Garden in California. It is nice for a quite zen-like stroll on a sunny afternoon. There are numerous ponds spread throughout the garden, connected through various bridges and walk-ways. The gardens are well taken care of and provide great photo-opportunities (huge Buddha-statue, peace-lantern, moon-bridge, temple gate, etc.). After your stroll you can relax in the tea-house, being served in authentic japanese tradition (Kimonos and all). Of course, no tourist site would be complete without the souvenier-shop. (Prices are higher here than at the Pier and Chinatown.)

    Address: Area bounded by Lincoln, Fulton, Stanyan.

    Directions: Golden Gate Park next to the Asian Art Museum

    Phone: (415) 752-1171

    Moon Bridge Buddha statue Tea-house
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  • kathybrownlee's Profile Photo

    get out of the city

    by kathybrownlee Written Jul 25, 2006

    the japanese tea garden is a heaven in the middle of the city! well just on the outskirts of the city!

    we got there by train/tram. it was really weird as we got on a bart train and when we exited the underground the train turned into a tram! it was great. but the garden was easy to reach and then there are plenty of other things to see in the park.

    we then took a bus to the golden gate bridge......very handy. i would recommend a travel pass as it allows travel on buses, cable cars, trams!

    Address: Located in Golden Gate Park

    Phone: 415-752-4227

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