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Japanese Tea Garden

San Francisco Activities

The history of this San Francisco Japanese Tea Garden begins with John McLaren, the man who began landscaping what is now Golden Gate Park for the 1894 World’s Fair. Following this exhibition, the wealthy Japanese landscaper and designer Makoto Hagiwara approached McLaren with the idea to retain the area as a permanent park.

This led to the creation of the San Francisco Japanese Tea Garden, the country’s oldest. A quiet place with cherry trees, shrubs and bonsai crisscrossed by winding paths and high-arched bridges, the Garden is an ideal place for solitude and reflection amongst its scenic beauty.

Today there is also a tea house on site, offering several specially prepared blends of tea and light snacks to keep you refreshed during your visit. The tea house is also well-known as being the site where fortune cookies were first introduced to the United States!

Other focal points within the Garden include the massive bronze Buddha (cast in Japan in 1790 and donated by the Gump Family), the Buddhist wooden pagoda, and the Wishing Bridge, which, reflected in the eater, looks as though it completes a circle.

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