Tucked in the heart of Golden Gate Park, the Japanese Tea Garden epitomizes the term urban retreat. And aside from the serene sighing from fellow visitors, the quiet escape promises only the sounds of a trickling waterfall.
To avoid the crowds and the $5 entrance fee, the savvy arrive at the gardens Monday, Wednesday or Friday at 9am, when the fee is waived for an hour.
In addition to founding the Japanese Tea Garden, Makoto Hagiwara was the creator of another enduring American landmark – the fortune cookie. As the birthplace of every take-out addict’s favorite dessert, the garden promises an auspicious adventure.
Though few people in San Francisco would probably remember the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894, it did leave one of the cities’ most enduring legacies – the Japanese Tea Garden. Housed in its original location in Golden Gate Park, the 106-year-old garden is a portal to Japanese tradition of a bygone era.
Wanderers and romantics alike visit the gardens to rediscover their Zen amongst the pagodas, ponds, and winding pathways. And forever elegant in its simplicity, it’s an escape steeped in history – just like its tea. Paying homage to traditional tea gardens across the pond, this San Franciscan escape serves sencha tea in a meditative house overlooking the waters.