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The Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park was originally built for the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894. It is the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States.
After the World’s Fair, Makoto Hagiwara modified the Japanese Village exhibit into a permanent Japanese Tea Garden, importing many of the elements from Japan. He was the caretaker until his death in 1925, when his daughter took over for him until she was forced into an internment camp during WWII.
During the War, the garden was renamed the Oriental Tea Garden and Chinese servers took over at the tea house. The Hagiwara home and Shinto Temple were destroyed. The garden was restored to the Japanese Tea Garden after the signing of the peace treaty with Japan.
After visiting the nearby Science Academy, we visited the Tea Garden, took a stroll through the lovely landscaping and had tea at the tea house.
Location: 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118
Designation: National Register of Historic Places
Date designation declared: 10/15/2004
Date of my visit: August 14, 2012