The Japanese Tea Garden, located inside the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, is the oldest public Japanese Garden in the United States. It contains over 4-acres of manicured trees and plants as well as Japanese inspired architecture.
For non-residents, entry is $10 per adult in Fall and Winter and $12 in Spring and Summer. You’ll save a few bucks if you are a San Francisco resident. However, if you’re an early riser, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 am to 10 am, there is free entry! There are restrooms inside the garden. No pets are allowed inside.
Getting to the Japanese Tea Garden
The garden is located at 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA. There are several free time-limit parking spaces located around the streets of Golden Gate Park or you can park in the parking garage for $5/hour. Keep in mind that the parking garage does close at 7 pm and they will lock your car inside if you aren’t present!
Inside the Japanese Tea Garden
After you pay to enter the garden, you’ll be enchanted by the garden’s stunning beauty. The zen atmosphere makes for the perfect place to relax and escape the chaos of the city. The garden’s structures and plants are also well taken care of.
You cannot miss the Drum Bridge that gives you an outlook onto a portion of the garden, the Half-Moon Bridge that you can actually climb on, the five-story-tall peace pagoda that was originally built in 1915 (was being reconstructed when I visited October 2020).
Also, there is the infamous bronze Lantern of Peace, symbolizing the peace between America and Japan and the giant Buddha statue that is over 200 years old.
In addition to the garden’s structures, there are perfectly manicured native Japanese trees and plants. Cherry blossoms that bloom in March and April. A Koi pond with a few Koi fish. There is also a bamboo walk, several stone paths crossing the pond, a few waterfalls, and a display of a stone garden or dry landscape.
Gift Shop And Tea House At The Japanese Tea Garden
There is a gift shop located inside the garden where you can purchase some Japanese souvenirs. However, one of my favorite parts of the Japanese Tea Garden was the tea house! This is the only Japanese Garden in the Bay Area where you can actually drink tea at a tea house.
The menu at the tea house includes several teas from Matcha to Jasmine. Udon, Miso Soup, and Organic Vegetarian Chili were also on the menu. If you just want a quick treat, there are cookies and cheesecake as well!
Enjoy the view of the garden as you drink your tea and eat your cookies right above the pond!
The Japanese Tea Garden Is A Site To See
Overall, the Japanese Tea Garden is a wonderful place to easily spend 30 minutes to an hour. It is a great place to take pictures and worth the entry fee if you value nature and history. I would recommend adding this to your list of adventures whenever you visit San Francisco!
For more adventures in the San Francisco Bay Area, check here!