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Japanese Tea Garden/Golden Gate Park

Pros: The oldest Japanese tea garden in the U.S.
Cons: Disturbing lack of tranquility at peak tourist moments
Best For: Arriving between 9 and 10 a.m. Mon/ Weds/ Fri for free admission, rainy days, cherry blossoms in Spring

Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate ParkThe Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park was built for the 1894 California Midwinter Exposition. In 1895, Japanese aristocrat and gardener, Makoto Hagiwara received permission from Park Superintendent John McLaren, to expand and care for the garden. Hagiwara lived there with his family until WWII, maintaining and enhancing, until they were sadly evicted and interned, along with many Japanese in California.

Today the site retains it's charm and reflects the importance of the garden as high art, in Japanese culture.

FYI: Pines are beloved trees in Japan, symbols of dignified old age and sculpted by the elements into distinctive shapes. Black pines are
masculine. Red pines are feminine.
The flowering cherry embodies the national spirit of Japan.
The chrysanthemun, flowering in Fall, symbolizes the Imperial House.

Japanese Tea Garden
7 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
Golden Gate Park
Open daily Summer 9am-6pm, Winter 9am-4:45pm
Sip tea in the teahouse, check out the gift shop

Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate Park
Japanese Tea Garden Employee, Ben, Standing Next To 150 Year Old Bonzai Tree Planted By Mr. Hagiwara

Noteworthy: Ask to see the gate originating from the 1915 Pan American Exhibition, which was the entrance to the Hagiwara home/Look Up...Some of the Monterey Pine Trees in the garden have been twisted and trained!