It's been a while since we went out exploring, but once again San Antonio has delivered a real gem. I've heard about and driven past the Japanese Tea Gardens numerous times, but never took the time to stop and explore. An invitation from a friend luckily changed all that and we've been back 2 more times since! The history of the tea garden is over 90 years old and includes a Japanese family who lived on site and ran a small restaurant for a number of years until they were evicted in the 1940's due to the Anti-Japanese sentiments of WWII. Read more about it here.
Some things that struck me about the gardens. The stone work on the pagoda and surrounding buildings, walls and bridges is amazing! Secondly, the gardens themselves are so lush and green you actually feel like you've been transported to another country... quite exotic for San Antonio! Lastly, I like taking my girls to a place that they love visiting simply because it's beautiful. There are no toys, rides, games or any typical kid-attractions (OK, other than the giant Koi--the largest I've ever seen!)... but the ponds, the waterfalls and the winding paths are magical in the eyes of my girls and they never want to leave. I love that.
Here are some pics from our most recent trip:
A couple notes: The gardens themselves are free to roam as you please. There is a cafe where you can grab lunch and both times I've ordered the asian chicken salad and both times I've cleaned my plate! I love that I finally have a good arsenal of placed to take visitors when they're in town.
5 stars for the Japanese Tea Gardens!
PS you can see some of our other San Antonio Explorations here.