Welcome to the Japanese Tea Garden, the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States located inside Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California.
Japanese Tea Garden reopened on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 with modifications to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please read the offiical Press Release from the San Francisco Recreation and Parks here.
Authentic Japanese items including tea and sake sets, glazed ceramic bowls and vases, kokeshi and daruma dolls, a variety of green teas,maneki neko figurines, and children’s collectibles are available for purchase in the Gift Shop located above the Tea House on the Terrace level. Like the Tea House, the Gift Shop possesses distinctively Japanese style in its architecture and interior design.
Enjoy a meditative cup of tea and sample popular Japanese refreshments in the newly refurbished Tea House which has a custom-designed irori or farmhouse style family table. The Tea House is nestled in the center of The Japanese Tea Garden and overlooks the picturesque landscape and South-facing pond.
Tea House menu
The Fortune Cookie Story - According to family members, Mr. Hagiwara introduced fortune cookies to the United States from Japan in the 1890’s or early 1900’s. Initially, the cookies were made on site by hand using a special iron mold or kata. When demand grew, Mr. Hagiwara hired San Francisco confectioner Benkyodo to produce the fortune cookies in large quantities. Original fortune cookies made in Japan were savory rather than sweet, and it is believed that Benkyodo developed a vanilla recipe for Mr. Hagiwara to make it more appealing to Western palates, the flavor that is now widely popular across the U.S. The tradition of serving fortune cookies to Tea Garden visitors continues today; one is tucked inside every bowl of Japanese rice crackers or arare sold at the Tea House.
Sources: Erik Hagiwara-Nagata, Gary Ono, Carol Murata