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Japanese Tea Garden, San Antonio

Texas
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Japanese Tea Garden, San Antonio, Texas TX

Description

It is a delight to stroll around the Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio. You walk lower and lower into the sunken garden and are greeted by koi ponds and an abundance of yellow, orange, and purple flowers. There is an island and past it, a high waterfall. Atop the rocks (the garden was a former rock quarry) is a Japanese pagoda strung with lanterns, where weddings are held. Little stone bridges are everywhere as are trees and topiaries galore, and it is so green that you can feast your eyes, especially after being in barren areas in the rest of Texas. What is lovely about the garden is how it is in so many different levels, not flat in the slightest. From the other side you can see little houses that used to be Mexican arts and crafts shops, and a Japanese torii gate made of cement that imitates wood.
The architecture of the pagoda and cafe is interesting and unique, as it's made of these flat stones that are piled on top of each other.
Some birds, such as a white egret, enjoy the garden.
If you come at lunchtime you can eat in the Jingu House Cafe (see hours below). Or head over to the Pearl District to eat in one of their hip cafes.
The garden is on land donated by Emma Koehler, the widow of the Pearl Brewery owner. Ray Lambert, the Parks Commissioner, came up with the idea of using the adjacent quarry to make a sunken garden. He used prison labor to shape the quarry, opening the park in 1919. The Japanese-American Jingu family were invited to open a tea garden cafe and live in the garden, in 1926. They operated the cafe until 1942 when they were evicted due to anti-Japanese sentiment. A Chinese-American family ran the tea room for a while and the garden was called the Chinese Sunken Garden. In 1984 the garden was rededicated as the Japanese Tea Garden in a ceremony attended by members of the Jingu family and representatives from Japan.

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Photo Gallery

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The unusual stone architecture.
The unusual stone architecture.
Little houses that used to sell Mexican arts and crafts.
Little houses that used to sell Mexican arts and crafts.
A school excursion in the garden.
A school excursion in the garden.
A white egret.
A white egret.
Japanese torii gate, made of cement that looks like wood.
Japanese torii gate, made of cement that looks like wood.
Unusual stone walkway.
Unusual stone walkway.
The lush trees, stone walls, and bridge.
The lush trees, stone walls, and bridge.
Path down into the sunken garden.
Path down into the sunken garden.
Water lilies and Japanese pagoda.
Water lilies and Japanese pagoda.
Stone walls, stairs, and waterfall.
Stone walls, stairs, and waterfall.
Green ponds that make you feel serene.
Green ponds that make you feel serene.
Red flowers and green pond.
Red flowers and green pond.
Layers and layers of colors and textures.
Layers and layers of colors and textures.
Pink flowers.
Pink flowers.
The topiaries and flowers.
The topiaries and flowers.
Purple flowers and topiaries.
Purple flowers and topiaries.
Water lilies.
Water lilies.
Jingu House Cafe.
Jingu House Cafe.
View of the waterfall from the pagoda. See the lovely lantern!
View of the waterfall from the pagoda. See the lovely lantern!
The sides of the sunken garden are just covered in lush plants.
The sides of the sunken garden are just covered in lush plants.
Orange flowers line the walkway.
Orange flowers line the walkway.

Directions

The Japanese Tea Garden is located at 3853 N. St Mary's Street, San Antonio TX 78212.
Admission is free.
Open dawn to dusk.
Jingu House Cafe is open March-October daily 10-5. In November-February, it is open Tues-Fri 11-3 and weekends 10-5, closed Mondays.

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Visitor Ratings

Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.

Last Updated Thu, 06 Oct 2016 00:05:19 GMT