Japanese Tea Garden

Posted on April 20, 2011


Welcome to another stop along our “Farewell to Texas” tour!

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, we compiled a list of all our favorite places in Texas we wanted to visit one last time before we move.  The Japanese Tea Garden was high on our list and we are so glad we made time last Friday afternoon to visit.  We’re down to only seven weekends left and it’s becoming a mad dash to squeeze everything in.  Eek!


Renovation of San Antonio’s Japanese Tea Garden began in 2007, with construction finishing in 2008.  When M and I first moved to San Antonio in the summer of 2004, the garden was nothing more than a rocky wasteland.  It is now a city treasure and a popular photography destination for weddings, senior photos and quinceañeras.

According to the website, a Chinese-American family operated the garden during the 1960’s when it was known as the Chinese Sunken Garden.  Although it has since been renamed to the Japanese Tea Garden, the sign remains the same.

Although the Garden is stunning now, it’s even more beautiful when all the flowers and crape myrtle trees are in bloom.  Maybe we’ll make one more trip here before we leave. 😉

The Japanese Tea Garden is conveniently located within Brackenridge Park and has a lovely shaded trail that connects the park, Japanese Tea Garden and the San Antonio Zoo.

We know, gorgeous, right?  For the past several months, whenever we visit one of San Antonio’s many beautiful parks, we look at each other and say, “are we crazy for leaving?”.

Several years ago, the San Antonio City Council adopted a TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) program.  Trapped cats are neutered and cared for while they recover.  Kittens and tame cats are then put up for adoption and those deemed wild are returned to their familiar surroundings and cared for by volunteers.  Brackenridge Park is home to a large feral cat population and this structure is one of many throughout the park that provides shelter, food and water.


We continued our walk back through Brackenridge Park until we made it back to…

Gus’s car!  Now that he was tired from our walk, it was time for us to get our run on. 🙂


The Details:

Japanese Tea Garden:  3853 N. St. Mary’s Street  San Antonio, TX; 210.207.7275; Dawn-Dusk; Free

Park Rules via City of San Antonio website

Our Review (+ = positive, – = negative):

+ Dog friendly
+ Free admission
+ Located within Brackenridge Park
+ Waterfall
+ Beautiful plants and flowers
+ Stone Bridges
+ Koi ponds

– Limited parking during peak hours
– Very warm in the summer – visit in the morning!

Fun Facts:

  • The Japanese Tea Garden was a former rock quarry and was transformed into a garden using prison labor.
  • The garden underwent a $1.6m renovation beginning in 2007 and reopened to the public in 2008.
  • Construction is currently underway to restore the Jinju House – home of the Japanese family who lived in the garden in the early 1900’s.


It’s Wednesday and time to head over to BlogPaws for their Wordless Wednesday Linky.  We will update our post with the code when it’s available.  Happy Hopping!

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