Tea Gardens Freely Accessible to Locals and Tourists

By Bob Kinoshita

The original 1 acre site for the Tea Garden was built as part of the 1894 World’s Fair. Over the years as more plants and colorful koi fish were imported from Japan, it expanded to approximately 5 acres. Photo by Bob Kinoshita/The Guardsman.

Its always better when you can get into an event free.  San Francisco offers an occasional free day to verified residents of San Francisco.  Several times a year access to the zoo and Academy of  Science , and other city attraction are free to residents that provide a drivers license or utility bill showing a SF City address.  How about free access all year? The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park allows free access on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9AM – 10AM.  Enter before 10AM and stay all day.  This is available to everyone including tourist.

The Tea House was also built for the fair. It has been rebuilt over the years to its current rendition. Today the house offers snacks and several kinds of tea to enjoy overlooking tranquil gardens and koi ponds. One of the more popular snacks, the fortune cookie, was introduced to the U.S. here at the Tea House around 1900. Photo by Bob Kinoshita/The Guardsman.
The bridge was originally built in Japan and shipped here for the 1894 Fair. The name Drum Bridge is derived from its shape; when reflected on the water, its full circle shape resembles a drum. The design of the bridge has 3 main functions, to slow people down, to let boats sail under and its namesake, to enjoy the water reflection of a drum. Photo by Bob Kinoshita/The Guardsman.
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