The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park is nearly as old as the park itself, dating back to the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition. Created by Japanese landscape architect Makoto Hagiwara, the garden today encompasses about 5 acres and includes traditional landscape plants, pools with colorful giant Koi and classic elements like pagodas and arched drum bridge and stone lanterns.
The site is small enough to just wander and explore, letting the tranquility of the landscape erase the surrounding city. There is a tea garden where foods such as udon and miso soup can be purchased and eaten overlooking the pools. March and April are wonderful months to visit to see the cherry blossoms blooming throughout the gardens.
The admission fee ranges from $2 for children up to $8 for adults, but admission is free on Monday, Wednesday and Friday before 10 a.m.