Japanese Tea Garden

japanese tea garden

The Japanese Tea Garden is one of the popular tourist attractions of San Francisco. It is one of the oldest public Japanese Gardens of the U.S. It was first created in 1894, and gradually expanded into 5 acres of beauty and tranquility.

japanese tea garden

One of the beautiful Japanese-themed architectural display

The Japanese Tea Garden is located in the Golden Gate Park among other attractions.

However, this location should definitely be the first stop upon visiting Golden Gate Park.

Although a popular tourist attraction, this garden is big enough to contain a myriad amount of visitors.

You'll be able to enjoy each and every beautiful area of the garden without fear of others "hogging the area".

This garden not only features a variety of floral display, it also features various unique Japanese-styled bridges, sculptures, and architectual designs.

You'll be amazed at the scenic paths you'll take. You'll find yourself crossing a path of stepping stones, crossing bridges over a koi pond, and strolling along a stunning, serene and tranquil pathway filled with cherry blossom trees.

The complex Japanese-themed architecture is quite perplexing. It's certainly a must to take pictures with such Japanese styled house designs, towers, bridges, and stone sculptures.

If you need a day to feel relaxed yet are motivated to enjoy a recreational activity, then I suggest you take a stroll along the Japanese Tea Garden!

    Quick Facts of the Japanese Tea Garden

    japanese tea garden

    Located at 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco CA 94118 in the Golden Gate Park.

  • They are open daily from 9am-6pm during the Summer (3/1-10/31) and 9am-4:45 during the Winter (11/1-2/28).

  • Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are free admission if you enter before 10am.

  • Otherwise, it's $7 to enter (for non-residential adults and $5 for residents). Children 5-11: $2.00, and those under 4 are free. Seniors and Youths (12-17): $5 for non residents, $3 for residents.

  • Yes, they accept credit cards.

  • If you plan to spend some time in an area to take pictures, please limit your time at that specific area to 15 minutes so others can also enjoy the view.

  • There is a Tea House / canteen in which popular Japanese food items and beverages are served. To view a copy of the menu, click here.

  • There is also a gift shop.

  • There are Tea Ceremonies, which are available to guests who reserve and make an appointment. These ceremonies are scheduled every Wednesdays and Fridays from 11-noon. It's $25/person and it includes an ultimate Japanese Tea Ceremony experience (your host, who is dressed in a kimono, will show you how to prepare and drink tea). You'll also get to sample a variety of teas, receive a hand-held paper fan, and receive a 15% discount at the gift shop! These ceremonies are roughly 20 minutes long.

  • You can find parking in the Music Concourse Garage, which you can enter from Fulton St. at 10th Ave. Parking fees is as followed:

    0-1 Hour : $3.50 on Weekdays, $4.00 on Weekends.

    1-2 Hours: $7.00 on Weekdays, $8.00 on Weekends.

    2-3 Hours: $10.50 on Weekdays, $12.00 on Weekends.

    3-4 Hours: $14.00 on Weekdays, $16.00 on Weekends.

    24 Hours is the Maximum, which is $25 on Weekdays, and $28 on Weekends.

    Please don't lose your parking ticket as it's $25 to replace it! Eeek!

    The parking garage is open from 7am to 7pm on most days, and until 11pm on Thursdays (don't ask me why, haha).

  • Unfortunately, you're not allowed to picnic in the area.

  • The following are also not allowed: Bikes, rollerskates, skateboards, pets, smoking, or sitting on bamboo railings.

  • There's plenty of ponds, koi ponds (with those pretty little fishies), stone sculptures, Japanese-themed architecture, bridges, flowers, trees, and other beautiful sceneries for your viewing pleasure!

    My Experience with the Japanese Tea Garden

    japanese tea garden

    Honestly, this place is one of my favorite places to go to unwind.

    Even though there's lots of other people out and about this place, the place is certainly big enough to just linger around and enjoy the tranquility and peaceful ambience that this environment produces.

    There's something about it that makes you wonder if you're still in San Francisco (a busy city environment, contrast to the garden).

    I went here with my boyfriend as one of our Valentine's Day dates (aww, lol) and I absolutely enjoyed it. Despite the fact that the food was rather costly (little sandwich finger foods were about $10), the location is great for a romantic date!

    Of course, you can also visit the Japanese Tea Garden with friends and good company. The more, the merrier!

    What I enjoyed the most was this Koi Pond:

    japanese tea gardens

    I think I downloaded a Koi Pond app on my iPhone because I loved the tranquil feeling it gave me, lol, so you can imagine how excited I was to see one in person!

    Um...I think the one thing that kind of annoyed me was that some tourists can be inconsiderate, taking their sweet time at one spot, or walking right in front of our camera as we took pics...

    ...but other than that, this place is amazing! I definitely encourage you to visit this place if you're ever in the area! :)

    See you around,

    Your friendly, local SF travel guide ;).

    Quick Tip:

    Order the Tea Sandwiches and Udon Soup at the Tea House mini restaurant. They're awesome!

    japanese tea gardens

    Here is what the dining area in the Tea House looks like by the way. I wanted to sit in that middle table but I felt awkward sitting next to strangers, haha. So, that area would be an awesome area to grab if you have a large party! :) The servers are dressed in kimonos to give it that extra boost of authenticity. And the food is fabulous! (Don't expect to get super full though, as the portions are quite small, lol).

Some Pictures of the Japanese Tea Garden:

japanese tea garden Hours and Admission of the Japanese Tea Garden

japanese tea garden Entrance leading up to the Tea House

japanese tea garden Entrance to another garden area.

japanese tea garden One of the many stone-bridge steps of the Japanese Tea Garden

japanese tea garden These would be a little pathway of cherry blossom trees, if they were blooming, that is.

japanese tea garden Another view of some other trees lol.

japanese tea garden One of the beautiful floral displays.

japanese tea garden Another view of the Koi Pond.

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<font size=One of the pathways down to the Koi Pond.

japanese tea garden A wooden bridge pathway.

japanese tea garden My silly boyfriend on the step stones lol.

japanese tea garden Me posing near the entrance. (You're not supposed to sit on the bamboo railings, woops lol).

japanese tea garden My boyfriend in front of this beautiful Japanese architecture.

japanese tea garden What we ordered in the Tea House restaurant. Tea sandwiches, Udon Soup, and coffee (haha, I know..I should've gotten tea, duh lol).

japanese-tea-garden It was an awesome experience!