The only three Japantowns in the U.S. are located in California (San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles,) so it only makes sense that Japanese culture and design would be a somewhat prominent force in the local landscapes of the state that has the largest Japanese population in the nation.
Japanese Tea Gardens in California offer great places to visit, reflect and enjoy the landscapes. Among the graceful Japanese gardens open to the public, tea gardens are quite popular, though not located at every Japanese garden space. The tea ceremony that includes many important ceremonial elements such as a stone path leading to the tea house, can be found in places such as Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and Balboa Park in San Diego. Japanese Gardens exist throughout the state but seem to do best in cities no more than 50-100 miles from the coast.
Some Japanese Gardens you can visit in California:
BAY AREA - Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, Japanese Tea Garden operated by the City of San Mateo, Japanese Tea Garden in Hayward, Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, and Japanese Friendship Garden in San Jose.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA - The Japanese Garden at Huntington Library in San Marino is experiencing renovation and restoration so it won't be re-opened till Spring 2012, but you can enjoy the Tea House, adjacent Zen Garden and Bonsai Court, to the south of the garden, and the Chinese Garden. Other Southern California gardens include Japanese Friendship Garden and Tea Pavilion in San Diego's Balboa Park, Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden in Long Beach, Japanese Garden at Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge, and the Japanese Garden in Van Nuys.