Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate park

Two weeks ago we were in San Fransisco visiting the sites and seeing the sights. One garden on my bucket list has always been the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. The five-acre site was originally created as a one-acre "Japanese village" exhibit for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition in 1894.

The garden(s) are exquisite. Expertly maintained, the garden views open up as you walk through, each section different from the next but all one manicured whole. There are visually busy areas of clipped trees, bamboo hedges, bright & brash colors - but also quiet wooded areas that seemed to glow and parts with more colors of green than you've probably ever seen.

Meandering paths lead up hills, across streams, over ponds, an arched drum bridge, pagodas, stone lanterns, stepping stone paths, native Japanese plants, serene koi ponds and a zen garden.

There's a real tea house restaurant, and an obligatory gift shop selling mostly tea-related items. I was hoping for more garden-related merchandise.

It was a $7 fee to see the gardens for out-of-towners. $5 for San Fran Residents. If you get to San Francisco, it's worth the time to visit.





  1. What a beautiful garden. I'm glad there is such a place for you to visit in the city.

  2. This is such a beautifully designed garden. Your images are wonderful too, thanks for taking us along.

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  4. Mary,
    Thanks for commenting! It was a nice garden tended by nice gardeners - but you'd be hard-pressed to find a nasty gardener anyway, right?

    The gardens were such a surprise on this desolate rock known for its life as a prison for the worst of the worst.


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