California Flowers and Gardens


Saratoga Hakone Japanese Gardens 

21000 Big Basin Way
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.

Located in the Saratoga hills, Hakone occupies more than 18 acres of chaparral, woodland and manicured Japanese gardens. It was designed and built by San Francisco cultural leaders Isabel and Oliver Stine; after falling into disrepair Hakone was rescued in the 1960's by a group of prominent Chinese families. Today Hakone is owned by the City of Saratoga and administered by the Hakone Foundation.

Daicha Kai (Grand Tea Gathering)

The Daichakai is one of the most important and enjoyable tea events in the greater Bay Area: important in that it brings together tea practitioners of different tea traditions and enthusiasm of its participants. The hope is that all who practice tea will desire to attend in order to share tea with their fellow practitioners at one of the few sites where this type of events is possible outside of Japan. 

Opera in the Gardens
Hakone Gardens
408 741-4994
21000 Big Basin Way
Saratoga CA 95070

Autumn Opera in the Gardens has become a tradition at Hakone. The Friday before Labor Day, local luminaries gather to serenade the crowds as the sun sets. The performance is followed by a reception under the stars, with the artists in attendance.

Garden Features
The Hill and Pond Garden was created for strolling. The pond is set on the slope from which a waterfall can drop into the lake below. This is the classical setting for a Chisen Kaiyu Shiki, or hill and pond style garden. This style reached great popularity by the 17th century. As you stroll the twisting paths surrounding the pond, you will discover the power of aesthetic form underlying the enchanting views. The ike, or pond, is meant to represent the sea, lake, pond or river in nature.

The Zen Garden is a dry garden whose primary purpose is for meditation viewing. It is never entered. One may contemplate the raked pattern of gravel and large stones that represent water and islands. Accents at Hakone include a shrine lantern, a black pine tree, and bamboo.

The Tea Garden is the entryway for the tea ceremony rooms, and provides a soothing, tranquil journey over moss and stepping stones. Guests participate in a transforming realm of beauty and elegance as they purify their hands at the tsukubai, or water basin. Enclosed for privacy, this cool serene enclosure of delicate plant life prepares visitors to enter the tea ceremony rooms.

The Bamboo Garden was built through the combined efforts people and organizations from both Saratoga and its sister cities Muko and Kyoto in Japan. The bamboo garden that was created is a masterpiece of lasting beauty that emerged from a grass and brush-choked hillside.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

More Info