Japanese Tea Garden
Attractions in San Francisco
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.
Walking Directions (about 35 minutes):
1.9 miles from Metro Hotel - Depart the hotel and head north on Divisadero Street, at Oak Street turn left, follow Oak Street along the Golden Gate Park panhandle until you reach the main area of the park, the Japanese Tea Garden is located towards the middle of the park near the de Young Museum.