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Japanese Tea Gardens, San Antonio

Categories: Gardens, Theaters, Concerts & Shows, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 1,000+ 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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  • Visiting the Japanese Tea Gardens is something everyone should do when visiting San Antonio. It is a great place to enjoy the quiet, and the beauty and serenity of the gardens, pond and waterfall make...  read more »
  • Even if you have limited time in San Antonio, I would highly recommend this. We went really early in the morning (nothing else was open yet anyway!) and were glad we took the time to see this. There w...  read more »
  • This place is wonderful and peaceful. It is a lot of walking up and down stairs, but worth it. Find a place to sit and enjoy the beauty. 
  • Absolutely beautiful! The last couple of times I came here the water was drained and the fish were gone (I assume because of drought provisions) but this last time I went, everything was back to normal! Great place to bring people from out of town or just to have a nice nature day with your family. Plenty of parking nearby, so it's even accessible on the busiest of weekends.
  • What a gorgeous find! Fourth or fifth time in San Antonio and just found the gardens on this trip; they're a hidden treasure. Bigger than many Japanese Gardens I've been to and the topography is breathtaking with the waterfall and the paths winding around the old quarry walls. Many different trails and paths so you don't feel like you're constantly stumbling over other visitors. Little piece of history: The gateway into the gardens from the parking lot says 'Chinese Gardens'; as a plaque next to it explains, the name was changed during WWII when many Japanese people were interned and Japan was out of favour. Thankfully common sense prevailed and the original name was later restored; these are Japanese Gardens through and through. Bonus tip: Visit the Jingu Tea House; it's so much worth it! We visited in the height of summer and a cold tea was very refreshing :)
  • Gorgeous Koi, amazing sightseeing, good food at even better prices, and much more! There is an iconic viewpoint of downtown San Antonio if you take the trail and then at the green gates double back and take the trail on the other side!
  • This place is SO awesome. You will get great photos for you and your social media. This place is filled with beautiful views. Some people were getting their wedding photos taken here.
  • Beautiful place. An easy and quick stop to make that is, in my opinion, a must see. Loved learning how it used to be a rock quarry. Awesome place.
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