Quick Links

Is there much of anything more relaxing, than enjoying a Japanese Tear Garden? If there are, they are likely quite incredible experiences in their own right. Though, travelers may not be able to experience them as easily as they can experience San Antonio’s Japanese Tea Garden. It was reopened in 2008, though it was first conceptualized and opened in the 1920s. This year-round garden is quite the sight to behold.

Travelers looking to add something different to a trip to San Antonio should consider taking a trip to the city’s Japanese Tea Garden. This site is perfect for day trippers, overnighters who are staying at a local hotel, or those who need an aesthetic background for a special event. Travelers will have a great time checking out San Antonio’s Japanese Tea Garden. Here is a look at how long travelers need to see San Antonio’s Japanese Tea Garden.

THETRAVEL VIDEO OF THE DAY

What Is So Special About San Antonio’s Japanese Tea Garden?

Reopening back in March 2008 to a serenade of Japanese songs sung by middle school Japanese students, San Antonio’s Japanese Tea Garden offers visitors sights of lush year-round gardens and artificial waterways that include a 60-foot waterfall and a pond filled with Koi fish.

These gardens represent a massive project undertaken by the city in order to restore this area. In total, over a million and a half of public and private funds were used to provide infrastructure rehabilitation to the facility. These improvements include walkways, piping, filtration, wall repairs, and pond sealing.

The Jingu family, who lived and worked in the Garden, in the 1920s, and the descendants of Ray Lambert, all played their part in having this park restored.

Ray Lambert was the individual who thought of the idea to turn the form rock quarry into a “lily pond” back in the 1920s.

San Antonio’s Tea Garden Has A Rich History

The history of this garden begins in 1899 when the San Antonio Water Works Company donated 199 acres to the City. This swath of land comprises the largest percentage of the park today. In 1901, the park’s first iteration opened to the public. However, this version of the park was short-lived and closed in 1908 when the companies operating out of the nearby stone query needed to expand.

This situation would change in 1915 when Mrs. Emma Koehler, the widower of the owner of Pearl Brewery. She would donate the land to the city, so they could create a park, however, this was easy due to the adjacent rock quarry. The City Parks Commissioner at the time, Ray Lambert, was the one to solve this issue.

His original plan was for a lily pond which ultimately evolved into a full Japanese Tea Garden. This garden included walkways, stone arch bridges, an island, and a Japanese pagoda. Thanks to donations from both the city and local community, the gardens were able to open and provided the city with something truly unique.

Related: 10 Best Steakhouses Worth Saddling Down For In San Antonio

The 1920s saw many additions to the park. A village was designed as a tourist attraction which included the sale of Mexican arts and crafts and an outdoor restaurant.

Other additions include contributions from Kimi Eizo Jingu, a local Japanese-American artist who moved into the garden by opening the Bamboo Room, where light lunches and tea were sold. He would live there until his death in the late 1930s and his family lived there until evicted in 1942 because of anti-Japanese sentiment.

Eventually, a Chinese-American family would operate the garden until the early 1960s under the name, Chinese Sunken Garden.

In 1984, it would be rededicated as the Japanese Tea Garden and aware to Jingu's children and representatives of the Japanese government.

The garden would go through renovations in 2007 but has been in its current state since 2008.

How Much Time Do Travelers Need To See San Antonio’s Tea Garden?

The Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio is an ideal destination for part of a day trip or for holding a one-day event. With such a stunning collection of sites to check out in the Garden, travelers won’t have any problem spending a few hours here, especially if they are part of an event.

Being in the city of San Antonio, including a stop at San Antonio’s Tea Garden is a great way to add some time to relax on a trip. It is easy to spend a few hours here enjoying the beauty and the relaxing nature of the garden. There is something about year-round green, especially in the less verdant months, that helps a soul unwind a bit.

Related: 10 Unique Restaurants Worth Dining In At San Antonio

This tea garden is also an incredible location for holding weddings and other important events.

With all the fantastic backdrops this park offers, including their 60-ft waterfall, there are so many great places to snag a photo adding a wonderful memory. This garden absolutely has to be on the list of best places to hold a special event in San Antonio.

Open Hours And Availability

The Japanese Tea Gardens are easy to access as they are open daily from dawn to dusk. They are also wheelchair accessible allowing the handicapped to experience the garden too.

For those looking to use this destination for an event such as a wedding or luncheon, the pavilion and waterfall area are available for reservation.

The Jingu House will also be an option for reservations once its renovations are complete.