When you look at things to do in SF, there are a few things that always come up: Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf and the Japanese Tea Gardens.
One Sunday afternoon, as we were cycling through the Golden Gate Park, I was on the lookout for the Gardens as I was desperate to see what the hype was about. Although not well signposted, if you are looking for them, you know when you have arrived. As the oldest public Japanese gardens in the United States, I couldn’t wait to get inside.
The gardens were originally created as a ‘Japanese Village’ exhibit for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition, but once the fair closed they decided to keep it as a permanent resident as a gift for posterity (http://www.japaneseteagardensf.com/about-us.php).
After paying our fare and entering into the gardens, I became overwhelmed by a feeling I hadn’t expected. As you leave the busy Golden Gate Park behind and enter into the tranquility of the gardens, there is a sudden sense of peace and serenity. The sound of the trickling water running through and the vibrant red and greens throughout, I immediately understood what the hype was about. We followed the paths around, taking in all of the beautiful scenery and taking plenty of pictures! The path cleverly leads to the Tea House which is centred in the middle of the grounds, and as the path lead there we couldn’t disobey it, so we sat and had some tea and few little snacks (which were amazing!). The gardens had attracted a whole host of little birds, meaning our afternoon tea had its own soundtrack too. It was weird to think that we were still in the busy city that is San Francisco, it felt as though we had disappeared for a while, and it felt good!
I love looking back at the pictures but they do not do it justice. It is more of a feeling that is the attraction as opposed to the sites. I would definitely recommend going to see this on a Sunday afternoon when you have lots of time to spend there as it is absolutely worth it; it sets the tone then for your busy week!