Visiting all the Japanese gardens in the Bay Area is definitely a hobby of mine. I’ve been to just about all of them! And although the San Mateo Japanese Garden is small, it certainly doesn’t disappoint!
Here are some other Japanese gardens you may enjoy in the Bay Area:
The San Mateo Japanese Garden is located at 50 East 5th Ave, in the heart of downtown San Mateo. They are only open from 10 am to 3 pm so be sure to plan accordingly. Entry is free as it is part of San Mateo Central Park, however, you’ll have to pay for parking on the street.
There are restrooms and water fountains outside of the garden.
This garden was built to show the friendship between San Mateo and their sister city, Toyonaka. The San Mateo Japanese Garden contains ponds full of koi fish, a tea house, and a pagoda. If you visit the garden in the late winter and early spring, you’ll get the chance to see some cherry blossoms!
In the gardens, there is no food, pets, or strollers allowed. There is plenty of shade and a few benches to rest along the path. The garden makes the perfect place to take photos or just relax. If you’re short on time, you can enjoy the entire garden in 30 minutes or less. But you’ll probably spend longer here as it is so beautiful!
The garden is so well-maintained and is a serene park to unwind and escape reality for a little while. Although you cannot eat in the gardens, you can still relax and even watch the gardeners feed the koi fish. The tea house also makes for the perfect shaded area to escape from the sun. If you are in the area, the San Mateo Japanese garden is a must-see!