Japanese Tea Garden

See below for Japanese Tea Garden Locations in the U.S.

The  is a part of a traditional japanese tea ceremony found in Japan and in places around the world. In the United States, several beautiful public tea gardens exist.

Japanese Tea Garden

Generally, a tea garden surrounds a tea house. Guests enter the garden and walk along stepping stones and lush foliage to a special bench, where a host greets them.

The experience is designed to be relaxing, friendly, and even inspiring. The garden helps set the mood and tone.  After the host greets the guests, they enter the tea house.

There the host brews tea and everyone engages in pleasant conversation. Guests compliment the host on the decor and the taste of the tea. After drinking tea and enjoying one another's company, guests leave the tea house and garden the same way they entered.

Tea ceremonies are common in Japan and a centuries old tradition. While most people do not have their own tea house or a tea garden, ceremonies are held in the home or in tea restaurants.

When such ceremonies are held in private homes, these houses often have nice landscaping that might mimic a formal tea garden.

Japanese Tea Gardens in the U.S.

In the United States, there are a number of tea gardens that are open to the public. 

Some of these impressive tea gardens are more than 100 years old.

Here are a few you might like to visit:

  • Located at 7 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive in San Francisco, California, this tea garden is thought to be the oldest such garden in the U.S. The garden is situated inside Golden Gate Park. The Japanese-style tea garden was built in 1894, as part of the California Midwinter International Exposition.

    Makoto Hagiwara, a Japanese immigrant, designed the space and took care of the garden until World War II. This tea garden is one of the most famous in the nation. It features bridges, native Japanese plants, ponds, and monuments. It also has a tea house and a gift shop.

  • Located at 3853 N. St. Mary's St. in San Antonio, Texas, this beautiful tea garden has many flower displays and features aquatic plants. Created in 1899, the tea garden was created from an old rock quarry and is a registered historic landmark.

  • Located in San Mateo, California at the area's Central Park, this tea garden offers a lovely pagoda, a bamboo grove, cherry trees that bloom in the spring, a koi pond, and a tea house. The garden was created by Nagao Sakurai, a landscape architect for the Imperial Palace of Tokyo.

  • In Seattle, Washington, visitors will find a Japanese garden at the UW Botanic Gardens at the Washington Park Arboretum. This garden consists of 3.5 acres designed in 1960 by Juki Iida, a world-famous Japanese garden designer.

Hours of operation and the cost of admission vary from one tea garden location to another. So, it is always helpful to check in advance. You may have a Japanese tea garden in your own hometown. Check with local arboretums, parks, or Japanese restaurants. 

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