This is a haven of peace and tranquillity and the perfect place to get away from the fast-paced culture and throbbing cityscape that is San Francisco. As you wander round the Japanese Tea Garden, you’ll feel peace descend. Spend some time relaxing in these exquisitely beautiful surroundings. Find a quiet spot among the 2.2 hectare setting, which incorporates trees, plants, benches and walkways.
The origin of the Japanese Tea Garden is surprising. It was originally commissioned as an exhibit for the World’s Fair in San Francisco which took place in 1894. Once the fair closed, the garden designed by Baron Makoto Hagiwara, a Japanese landscape gardener, was turned into a permanent feature of the district and was expanded in size. The family and descendants of Hagiwara then resided permanently in the area and maintained the garden well into the twentieth century.
Find yourself at one with nature and discover your spiritual side in the meditative Zen Garden, a particular favourite with San Francisco’s Bohemian residents. The Zen Garden has attractive water features and contains the Lantern of Peace, a bronze lantern that weighs in at a huge 4,082 kilograms and that represents the reconciliation between Japan and the United States after the horrors of the Second World War.
The Japanese Tea Garden is particularly beautiful in the spring, when its thousands of cherry blossomed trees bring real beauty to the garden. Come autumn time, the burnished reds and oranges of the falling leaves also create a beautiful and colourful setting. Overlooking the site the Tea House, a quaint and attractive building open all year round and in which Hagiwara introduced San Francisco to the fortune cookie.
San Francisco’s Japanese Tea Garden is a little gem of the orient in California, and well worth a visit.
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