Japanese Tea Garden - Meander Around Miniature Waterfalls… Hilltop Pagodas… Zen Gardens… and more…

The Japanese Tea Garden - the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States.

Easily overlooked amid the greenery of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park… it provides you an opportunity to experience the natural beauty… tranquility… and harmony of a Japanese-style garden.
Originally created as a “Japanese Village” exhibit for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition, the site originally spanned about one acre.
Today this 4-acre park offers a peaceful reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the city.

You'll instinctively find yourself lowering your voice once you're inside the temple gate.

The landscaping acts as a plush natural barrier that divides the garden into small sections… creating many secluded spots for quiet meditation.

Today, the Japanese Tea Garden stands out…

…as one of the most popular attractions in San Francisco, showcasing things like…

  • an arched drum bridge
  • pagodas
  • stone lanterns
  • stepping stone paths
  • native Japanese plants
  • serene koi ponds and a
  • zen garden

A zen garden - often called a Japanese rock garden - is a miniature stylized landscape…
carefully composed of an arrangements of rocks… water features… moss… pruned trees and bushes… then uses gravel or sand raked to represent ripples in water.
Around 1000 flowering cherry trees bloom throughout the garden during springtime each year… around March and April.

Stroll around on stepping stone paths leading to the other key attractions like meticulously kept bonsai treesminiature waterfalls… and stone lanterns.

Several man made bridges and benches are there for you to enjoy throughout the garden.

The garden also is home to several structures, including a tall, red Buddhist pagoda that dominates the top of a hill.

Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco

A bronze Buddha statue cast in 1790 sits peacefully along a path.

Climb the arching drum bridge - called a moon bridge -  built in Japan and shipped here in 1894 for the San Francisco Midwinter Exhibition.

You'll stand high above the surrounding greenery.

The surroundings allow you to wander about and enjoy the gardens from different vantage points.
The koi ponds are filled with plump, healthy fish in gorgeous colors- brilliant yellow and fiery scarlet, as well as the more classic patterns and colors like white, black, blue, and cream.

Did you know that Koi change as they grow?

Part of the enjoyment of returning to the garden is seeing how the patterns of the Koi change as they grow and mature over the years.

The Japanese people regard these wonderful fish as a symbol of resolute strength and untiring perseverance.

Walking paths meander around the garden's many plants, small lawns, bubbling creeks and reflective ponds.
Shrubs and trees thrive and make you feel like you've left metropolitan San Francisco far behind.

No visit to the Japanese Tea Garden is complete without tea…

The Tea House is nestled in the center of The Garden and overlooks the scenic landscape and South-facing pond… surrounded by Japanese azaleas and bonsai trees.

A popular place to sit and enjoy tea and snacks.

There are lots of traditional Japanese snacks and desserts to try out, along with some fruit-flavored Japanese children's drinks as well.
How about a Green Tea Latte...M-m-m-m!

So... what are you waiting for... let’s go!

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