Japanese Tea Garden 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive San Francisco, CA 94118 (415) 752-1171
As a young girl growing up in the East Bay, I have vivid memories of sitting in the back seat of the car with my little sister as my mother drove us over the Bay Bridge. I remember trips to the San Francisco Library, and climbing what seemed like thousands of stairs. I remember running on the Pier, and the sound of my sandals slapping against the wood decking. I remember eating chunks of hot, fresh sourdough while looking out across the bay and listening to the shrieking seagulls. But one of my most precious memories is climbing on the round bridge at the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate State Park. After my family moved away, we still went to the Japanese Tea Garden every time we were back in the Bay Area for a visit. And after I married and moved back to California, I started taking my husband to visit the Tea Garden whenever we'd be up North to spend time with my Dad. It's no secret that I love formal urban gardens, but the Japanese Tea Garden will always remain my favorite because it is entrenched in my personal history. I've been visiting it for the past thirty years, and it remains much the same, year after year. A spot of serenity in the midst of a bustling, vibrant metropolis. It's stunning.
Images by Lauryl Lane.