California Flowers and Gardens


Japanese Californians Japantowns, Festivals

The tea ceremony (sado: "the way of the tea") is a ceremonial way of preparing and drinking tea. The custom has been strongly influenced by Zen Buddhism. Tea ceremony consists of many rituals that have to be learned by heart. Almost each hand movement is prescribed. Basically, the tea is first prepared by the host, and then drunk by the guests. The tea is matcha green tea made of powdered tea leaves.

 Northern California

SAN FRANCISCO - Japanese Tea Garden
7 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco
(415) 752-1171

This historical Japanese-style garden was first built as the Japanese Village for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition. Makoto Hagiwara designed most of  the garden and was officially appointed caretaker in 1894. The Tea Garden is one of the most popular attractions in San Francisco, featuring monuments, bridges, native Japanese plants and ponds. Guests can also enjoy the service at the tea house and gift shop.

Japanese Tea Garden San Mateo
50 East 5th Avenue
San Mateo, CA

The Japanese Tea Garden is one of the finest tea gardens in California and was designed by landscape architect, Nagao Sakurai of the Imperial Palace of Tokyo. It features a granite pagoda, tea house, koi pond and bamboo grove. The Japanese Tea Garden is beautiful throughout the year, but be sure to visit in the late Winter and early Spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.

Japanese Tea Garden Hayward
22372 N. Third St.
Hayward, CA 94546

Hayward's Japanese Gardens were the first Japanese Gardens to be created in California and are believed to have been the first to be created in the Western United States. The designers used painstaking craftsmanship to create the gardens. There is no stain on the wood used in the entry way, the fencing, or the four gazebos. Also, care was taken to assure that all joints were notched before being assembled, and all nails and fasteners are recessed. The garden first started out as an agricultural studies program for Hayward High School, but it's now open to the public for weddings, recreation and any amateur photographer looking for an interesting subject. The garden, the senior center and the small theater all are provided to the community from the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, an independent district that encompasses Hayward, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo and other unincorporated areas such as Ashland, Cherryland and Fairview.

Hakone Gardens - Saratoga
Saratoga, CA

Hakone is the oldest Japanese and Asian estate gardens in the Western Hemisphere, established in 1915. It is one of the prime land marks by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is an authentic replica of Japanese Samurai or Shogun's estate garden, designed by a descendent of the imperial gardening family.

Japanese Tea Garden at Central Park - San Mateo
50 West 5th Avenue
San Mateo 94403

The Japanese Tea Garden is one of the finest tea gardens in California and was designed by landscape architect, Nagao Sakurai of the Imperial Palace of Tokyo. It features a granite pagoda, tea house, koi pond and bamboo grove. The Japanese Tea Garden is beautiful throughout the year, but be sure to visit in the late Winter and early Spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. The garden is part of the San Mateo Parks system operated by the City of San Mateo.

Japanese Friendship Garden - San Jose
1300 Senter Rd
San Jose, CA 95106
(408) 277-2757

Southern California

Japanese Garden - Van Nuys
6100 Woodley Ave
Van Nuys, California, 91406
Tel 818 756 8166

Self-guided tours Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Suiho En the garden of water and fragrance is a 6 acre authentic Japanese garden fashioned after "stroll gardens" constructed during the 18th and 19th centuries for Japanese Feudal lords. Our facility is unique in that it incorporates three classical designs: a dry karensansui, a wet garden with promenade chisen, and an authentic tea ceremony garden incorporating a 4.5 tatami mat tea room.Japanese Garden - San Marino

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108
(626) 405-2100

Japanese Garden Closed for Renovations till its centennial in spring 2012. The adjacent Zen Garden and Bonsai Court, to the south of the garden, will remain open during construction. The nearby Chinese Garden will not be affected by the closure.

Historical restoration of the Japanese house, repairs to the central pond system and water infrastructure, renovation of the original faux bois (false wood) ornamental trellises, improvements in accessibility, and modifications to the landscape and hardscape are in the works.

Occupying 9 acres on the slopes of a canyon, this is one of America's oldest, most elaborate, and gracefully matured Japanese gardens. A five-room house, pagodas and lanterns, and many mature plants were moved to the site from a commercial tea garden in Pasadena in 1912. A walled courtyard containing a rock and sand garden and a bonsai exhibition area was added in 1968. The garden boasts several beautiful forms of Japanese red pine, handsome spreading junipers, large cycads, arbors of wisteria, and 30' high sweet olives.

From January through April such fruit trees as the Japanese flowering apricot, Formosan cherry, flowering peaches and single- and double-flowered plums provide a succession of color. The lavender blooms of wisteria add to the spring show along with camellias and azaleas in white and many shades of pink. Several benches invite visitors to rest and contemplate the tranquil setting.

Beside the large pond are a weeping willow, clusters of cycads, as well as junipers and pines. Lotus, water lilies, and iris decorate the ponds in spring and summer. A graceful weeping willow overhangs the bridge.

The house is an example of a type of upper-class dwelling built in Japan up through the nineteenth century. Its construction features natural materials--wood, paper, and reed mats. During public hours the protective panels are open so visitors can view the interior. Ikebana floral arrangements in the style of the Ikenobo School are created by members of the San Marino League and displayed in the two alcoves.

The rock and sand garden is intended for contemplation. The gravel is raked to evoke the feeling of a flowing stream, interrupted here and there by rocks. The garden glows in the fall as the leaves of the ginkgo turn to shimmering yellow.

In the bonsai court are examples of this Japanese art--trees pruned on a miniature scale in shallow pots to represent tree forms of ancient age and natural, elegant lines. Beautiful specimens take many years to create and can live for centuries. In Japan, valuable specimens are passed down from generation to generation.

Along the path down to the lower entrance are groves of tender bamboo. Its new shoots in spring are prized for cooking.Japanese Friendship Garden and Tea Pavilion - San Diego

2215 Pan American Way
San Diego, CA
Balboa Park

Mon 10:30am-3pm
Tues - Sun 10:30am-4pm

The Japanese Friendship Garden is named "San-Kei-En" meaning "three Scene Garden" -- Water, Pastoral and Mountain. San-Kei-En is an expression of the ties between the people of San Diego and Yokohama and blends the two cultures to create a unique experience. The Garden was named in honor of the San-Kei-En Garden in Yokohama. The Japanese Friendship Garden represents a new stage in the development of the Japanese garden outside of Japan. The design of he San-Kei-En is guided by the original principles of the Japanese garden, while incorporating the local regional landscape and climate. The main principles of Japanese landscape design are "people, natural environment and culture". The life of the Garden continues to develops people's respect for the environment and cultural arts. A garden is always in a state of change.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

More Info