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Japanese Tea Gardens, San Antonio

(4.5/5 based on 1,100+ reviews on the web)
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. San Antonio has another Japanese Garden called Kumamoto En inside the San Antonio Botanical Garden.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.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • from Japanese Gardens to CHINESE gardens because of the WWII connotations...these gardens have been renovated and are top notch! 
  • i loved the character and beauty of these gardens. my husband went with me and we both enjoyed the views and a cool drink at the restaurant. Very well maintained. 
  • Very nice and relaxing time. Something free to do on a nice day. Very nice waterfall and a great place to take wedding pictures. There is a actual Japanese tea cafe. 
Google
  • Beau-TEA-ful! This place is definitely a must-see for visitors and should be visited often by locals. It is free to leisurely stroll around the property and take in the awesome atmosphere of this historic quarry-turned-garden. The pathways, bridges, water features, and shelters make the visitor feel as if he or she stepped right into a Dr. Seuss story with an ancient tropical spin. This little oasis is another world.... HIGHLY recommended!
  • Took my breath away! I loved walking around and exploring the gardens. The photo ops here are endless. The pond has huge coy and turtles! Be sure to stop in the cafe and get some delicious hot or iced tea to take with you. I enjoyed a freshly brewed iced loose leaf white tea with pineapple and coconut- yum!
  • Revitalized. This place has definitely seen a face-lift since the last time I visited and the beauty is uplifting and calming at the same time. There is also a restaurant now that service finger foods and drinks and has Bento Boxes. While a little on the high side price wise it was still a great part of the experience.
  • Very tranquil place to visit. Highly recommended to come during non-peak hours and day to get the full experience. Can often be filled with many people during the weekend visiting, taking professional photograps, etc.
  • The view is amazing! They have a pavilion and a waterfall ( the waterfall is currently my backround). It only takes aroumd ten minutes to walk through.