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    Japanese Tea Garden: The oldest Japanese garden in the United States.

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    Martí Micolau

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    Holidays almost always bring with them joy, curiosity, the desire to discover different places and habits. Unfortunately, however, sometimes they can also be a source of stress, especially if time is short and there are many things to see. So what's better than dedicating a few hours just to yourself, closing the frenzy of the big US cities behind you? Give yourself a visit to Japanese Tea Garden of San Francisco to recover energies and set out to discover the States in the best possible way.


    • What is the Japanese Tea Garden
    • Where is it and how to get there
    • Timetables and tickets
    • Why visit and what to see
    • Where to sleep in the area

    What is the Japanese Tea Garden

    The Japanese Tea Garden is a beautiful Japanese garden located within Golden Gate Park. Created in 1894 on the occasion of the international exhibition California Midwinter International Exposition, the garden originally extended for about an acre. When the exhibition ended, landscape architect Makoto Hagiwara was commissioned to create a permanent Japanese-style garden by enlarging the original surface by nearly five times. Today the Japanese Tea Garden extends for approx 2 hectares and it's the oldest Japanese garden in the United States.

    While not very large, inside the garden you will find ponds, typical Japanese bridges, a Buddhist temple, a tea room and a variety of plants perfectly placed to recreate a place of peace and harmony.

    Where is it and how to get there

    The Japanese Tea Garden is located at 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive inside San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, at the intersection of Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive and Martin Luther King Drive.

    If you are in auto, you can park at the Music Concourse Garage. Primary access to the garage is from Martin Luther King Junior Drive or Fulton Street / 10th Avenue. There are also some parking spaces along the streets surrounding Golden Gate Park, but it is not easy to find them free.

    Se usi i By public transport, you can reach the Japanese Tea Garden using the N-Judah lines, 44, 7, 6, 43.

    Remember that on the weekends between 10:00 and 19:30 you can use the Golden Gate Park Shuttle, a free bus that takes you to the main attractions in the park, from the California Academy of Sciences to the Music Concourse, from the De Young Museum to the Japanese Tea Garden as well as the various botanical gardens, ponds, playgrounds and golf courses in the park.

    Here is some other information that might come in handy:

    • Getting around in San Francisco
    • How to rent a bike in San Francisco
    • Tips for car rental in San Francisco
    • Where to park in San Francisco

    Timetables and tickets

    You will be able to visit the Japanese Tea Garden everyday:

    • from 9:00 to 16:45 in winter (November to February)
    • from 9:00 to 17:45 in summer (from March to October).

    The ticket to access the garden costs:

    • for adults $ 10 in winter and $ 12 in summer
    • for children between 12 and 17 and for those over 65 $ 7
    • for children between 5 and 11 years $ 3

    Children under 5 enter for free.

    On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9:00 and 10:00, admission is free.

    Pets are not allowed.

    Why visit and what to see

    Pagodas, ponds, bridges, lanterns, statues and plants from the East, Zen gardens and a sense of tranquility and harmony characterize this small but unmissable place among the things to see in San Francisco. If you enter early in the morning on odd days of the week you won't even have to pay for the ticket.

    In addition to strolling and getting lost in the green streets of this perfectly designed and maintained garden, enjoy an excellent cup of tea at the Tea House. The tea ceremony it is a unique experience that dates back approximately to 1200 and was then codified by Zen Buddhist monks in 1500. Centuries of history and tradition combine in a visual, tactile, taste and above all spiritual experience. Harmony, respect, purity and tranquility are the key principles of this ceremony. Together with the tea you can taste the fortune cookies which were originally brought to the United States by Mr. Hagiwara at the beginning of the twentieth century, even if the original Japanese recipe was adapted and sweetened to meet Western palates.

    In addition to the Tea House, it deserves a mention there Treasure Tower Pagoda. This characteristic place that you can admire in the Japanese garden is a five-level Buddhist temple that was built together with the Temple Gate, Temple Gate, for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. Both buildings were then moved to the Japanese Tea Garden at the end of the exhibition.

    Finally, you will probably also be enthralled by the taiko bashi, the arched pedestrian bridge typical of Chinese and Japanese architecture which, reflecting on the water, creates a circle that resembles a drum (it is also known as the drum bridge).

    Where to sleep in the area

    The Golden Gate Park area, as we have already written several times, is not the most suitable for overnight stays, so I recommend that you choose one of the best neighborhoods to sleep in San Francisco and then move by public transport to reach the Japanese Tea Garden .

    Our tips for sleeping in San Francisco

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