Hakone Estates, located in Saratoga, California, is a privately-owned Japanese garden. The property includes a bamboo garden, elevated and flat trails, several Japanese style homes, and of course, a koi pond. You can host events here such as weddings, corporate meetings, and any other special occasions. This San Francisco Bay Area estate offers serenity and tranquility, great views, and a true Japanese experience.
The location of Hakone Estate is 21000 Big Basin Way in Saratoga, California. To gain entry to this beautiful estate, you must pay the entry fee of $10 for adults 18-64 years old, $8 for seniors 65+, $8 for students 5-17, and children 4 and younger are free. If you are a Saratoga resident, you can get a $2 discount and free entry on the first Tuesday of the month. The Hakone Estate is open from 10:00 am – 5 pm during the weekday and 11:00 am – 5 pm on the weekend in Spring and Summer and they close at 4 in the Fall and Winter.
You pay the entry fee in the gift shop after you park. There is no food allowed in the garden but they have a few picnic tables near the gift shop. There are no pets allowed and the gardens are not wheelchair accessible, there are stairs and loose gravel so be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
Hakone Estate offers cultural classes such as the Japanese Tea Ceremony, Zen Study class, Seido Karate, Tai Chi, and Mikkyo Zen Meditation. The prices and schedule for the classes are located on their website. You can also receive a Docent guided tour, view a Kimono wearing demonstration and there is even origami and storytelling for children ages 5-13. They ask that you make reservations 2 weeks in advance.
Once you’re inside the gardens you can take your time to explore, take as many photos as you want, and even feed the koi fish with the koi food purchased from the gift shop.
Be sure to bring water, comfortable shoes, and an attitude ready for adventure. Also, be sure to be respectful of the neighbors that live on the Hakone Estate. To read more of my adventures in the San Francisco Bay Area, check here!