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Japanese Tea Gardens, San Antonio

4.5
The San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden, or Sunken Gardens in Brackenridge Park, San Antonio, Texas, USA opened in an abandoned limestone rock quarry in the early 20th century. It was known also as Chinese Tea Gardens, Chinese Tea Garden Gate, Chinese Sunken Garden Gate and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.HistoryThe San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden in the U.S. state of Texas was developed on land donated to the city in 1899 by George Washington Brackenridge, president of the San Antonio Water Works Company. The ground was first broken around 1840 by German masons, who used the readily accessible limestone to supply the construction market. Many San Antonio buildings, including the Menger Hotel, were built with the stone from this quarry on the Rock Quarry Road.In 1880 the Alamo Cement Company was incorporated and produced cement for 26 years in the kiln, the chimney of which still stands today. Supporting the workforce of the quarry was a small "village", populated primarily by Mexican-Americans who worked the site. They and their families became popular with tourists, who purchased pottery, hand woven baskets, and food.About 1917, City Parks Commissioner Ray Lambert visualized an oriental-style garden in the pit of the quarry. His engineer, W.S. Delery, developed plans, but no work began until individual and private donors provided funds in 1918. Lambert used prison labor to shape the quarry into a complex that included walkways, stone arch bridges, an island and a Japanese pagoda.
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Japanese Tea Gardens Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,366 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Everyone knows about the Alamo and the Downtown Riverwalk in San Antonio, and these are certainly places to visit even more than once, but don't forget all the other wonderful things to do in other pa...  more »
  • Nice to visit if you have done all the other activities that are more important.this garden takes 15 minutes to go around,more in the chinese style than japanese,architecture is not great,nice calm pa...  more »
  • Although a bit chilly out at the time, the gardens are worth the visit. The koi fish and waterfall add to the tranquil environment of the gardens. The free parking and free admission makes the gardens...  more »
Google
  • I am so amazed. So peaceful and beautiful, we came early that morning so there's no many people yet which is great. Oh I love this garden so much I don't wanna leave. So pretty, koi fish we're so amazing, even some ducks in the pond. Falls is great. Majestic. Fantastic. Surely will come back if I'm in this area again. šŸ˜‰
  • This is a very little known gem in San Antonio. I love this place because it is beautiful and free. I recommend to pair it with a day at the park or a day at the zoo, both within walking distance of the japannesse tea gardens. There is a tea shop at the entrance to refresh during the summer or warm up during the winter. This is a place to bring your camera since pictures cone amazingly beautiful
  • A very tranquil and peaceful place, even with a lot of foot traffic. Can get crowds at peak times--weekends and weekday evenings--but that is in part due to the price (FREE!) and location in Brackenridge Park, within easy walking distance of the San Antonio Zoo (which *does* charge admission). I went right at sunset, about 5:30 pm in late November. The cafe/shop was closed (it closes at 5:00) so I can't rate that, but the garden itself is great. It's well-kept, has lots of paths, and it's very photogenic if you want to take pictures with the family. One important note : the garden is as vertical as it is horizontal, so be prepared for steps. I didn't see any access ramps within the garden itself, but the cafe and gazebo/patio area (which overlooks the garden) is definitely accessible (via ramp) from the parking lot. Everyone I saw within the lower levels of the garden was on foot.
  • Pretty crowded. Nice scenery considering the season. Good place for photos if you go during a time with fewer people. Not too much walking involved but there's plenty of options for shooting if you want multiple angles.
  • This place is surprisingly beautiful, I mean who would have thought that San Antonio would have a real Japanese Garden, and definitely worth a visit given the incredible prices of admission (free). The views are great and there is even a waterfall. If you have the time for a place like this, do come. Make sure you bring a camera, or at least one of those selfie sticks. Iā€™m going to let the photos do the talking.

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Where to stay in San Antonio

To be at the heart of San Antonio's buzzing atmosphere and attractions, stay along the city's River Walk. Lined with hotels of all levels, the area is known for excellent dining and nightlife, and is close to all of the city's main sights. While this area tends to be pricier than other neighborhoods, it is the best option for those traveling without a car who want to take full advantage of their vacation time in San Antonio. For a more rustic experience, venture outside of the city limits to stay at one of the old-world guest ranches that dot the beautiful countryside.
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