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Japanese Tea Gardens (Sunken Gardens)

The perfect place to spend a quiet afternoon. Stroll among exotic plants and enjoy an authentic Japanese tea house.

Step through the Japanese Tea Garden’s front gate – a replica of a traditional Japanese torii gate – and you’ll be transported into another world. This peaceful garden is filled with exotic plants, as well as pagodas, koi (carp) ponds and even a small waterfall. There’s also an authentic Japanese-style cafe that serves Asian food, sandwiches, salads, cakes and beverages.

The garden was built in 1918 on the site of an abandoned quarry adjacent to the city’s Brackenridge Park. It began as a lily pond that eventually was surrounded by plant-lined paths and a stunning Japanese-style pagoda. Located near the entrance to the park, the Pagoda is a large, open-air pavilion featuring stone columns and beautiful views of the lily pond and waterfall. Weddings and other events take place under the shady thatched roof. Right next door is the Jingu House Restaurant, which opened in 2011. 

Building this world-class Japanese garden was really an effort of the entire city. Local residents donated bulbs and the City nursery provided exotic plants. The City Public Service donated a lighting system. Improvements have continued throughout the decades. The garden was closed for almost a year in 2007 and reopened in March 2008 with a $1.5 million facelift. The waterfall and ponds were fixed up, new plants added and more walkways built, keeping much of the history but adding new life to the garden.

It’s free to come and wander around. Visit all year, between dawn and dusk. In summer, shaded walkways and lots of trees provide a welcome escape from the Texan heat. Bring a book and find a spot under the Pagoda or by the waterfall for a quiet, relaxing afternoon.

Popular Activities at Japanese Tea Gardens

Get the most out of your time at Japanese Tea Gardens. Below is a list of the best things to do:

Electric Scooter Tour to the Japanese Tea Garden is just one of the exciting experiences on offer here.

If you're after even more options, examine our San Antonio things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Japanese Tea Gardens


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Japanese Tea Gardens

See all 832 Properties near Japanese Tea Gardens
El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel ¥6,382
El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel

El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel

110 Lexington Ave, San Antonio, TX
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Downtown San Antonio, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tobin Center for the Performing Arts and River Walk. San Antonio Majestic Theater and Alamo are also within 15 minutes. San Antonio Station is 25 minutes by foot.

    Hotel Contessa - Luxury Suites on the Riverwalk ¥15,267
    Hotel Contessa - Luxury Suites on the Riverwalk

    Hotel Contessa - Luxury Suites on the Riverwalk

    306 W Market Street, San Antonio, TX
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Downtown San Antonio, this spa hotel is steps from Briscoe Western Art Museum and River Walk. Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and San Antonio Majestic Theater are also within 10 minutes. San Antonio Station is 18 minutes by foot.

      Hotel Emma ¥33,929
      Hotel Emma

      Hotel Emma

      136 E Grayson, San Antonio, TX
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Midtown, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Pearl District, San Antonio Museum of Art, and The DoSeum. Brackenridge Park and Witte Museum are also within 2 mi (3 km).

        Bonner Gardens Bed and Breakfast ¥12,118
        Bonner Gardens Bed and Breakfast

        Bonner Gardens Bed and Breakfast

        145 E Agarita Ave, San Antonio, TX
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Midtown, this bed & breakfast is within 2 mi (3 km) of Trinity University, San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium, and Japanese Tea Gardens. San Antonio Botanical Gardens and San Antonio Majestic Theater are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Best Western Plus Downtown North ¥9,154
          Best Western Plus Downtown North

          Best Western Plus Downtown North

          2131 PanAm Expressway, San Antonio, TX
             
            2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

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            Hotel Valencia Riverwalk ¥15,413
            Hotel Valencia Riverwalk

            Hotel Valencia Riverwalk

            150 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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              Wyndham Garden San Antonio Riverwalk/Museum Reach ¥12,817
              Wyndham Garden San Antonio Riverwalk/Museum Reach

              Wyndham Garden San Antonio Riverwalk/Museum Reach

              103 9th Street, San Antonio, TX
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Downtown San Antonio, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of River Walk, Alamo, and Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Market Square and Alamodome are also within 3 mi (5 km). San Antonio Station is 27 minutes by foot.

                Wyndham San Antonio River Walk ¥14,972
                Wyndham San Antonio River Walk

                Wyndham San Antonio River Walk

                111 E Pecan St, San Antonio, TX
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Downtown San Antonio, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Travis Park, San Antonio Majestic Theater, and River Walk. Market Square and Alamo are also within 15 minutes. San Antonio Station is 27 minutes by foot.