Japanese Tea Garden, San Antonio

It’s Time to Unwind in Central San Antonio

The Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio is the perfect place to escape the hectic pace of the bustling city life for a while. An approximately 0.7 mile long footpath leads you through a beautiful, well-kept garden area.

As the name suggests, tea gardens have their roots in Japanese culture. Historically, these well-kept gardens were primarily intended to provide visitors with a tranquil environment to unwind from the shackles of everyday life over a cup of tea.

The Tea Garden is located within Brackenridge Park and is a completely free attraction for visitors of all ages.

Overlooking the Tea Garden’s lily ponds and a 60-foot waterfall, the garden’s signature ornate Pavilion provides a large open area with opportunities to host weddings, vow renewals or other events with a maximum capacity of 50 guests.

The Japanese-style pavilion overlooking a lily pond.

From Rock Quarry to Tea Garden

When today’s Tea Garden in the heart of San Antonio was once a hard-working rock quarry, no one dared to imagine that one day people would come to this place for relaxation.

The cornerstone was laid in 1917 to transform the long-abandoned quarry into a Japanese-style sunken garden. The site has undergone major construction to build walkways, bridges and a waterfall.

The 1940s were some of the hardest years for the park, mainly due to the attacks on Pearl Harbor and the resulting anti-Japanese sentiment. A renaming and the replacement of the archway at the entrance followed, in an attempt to strip the Japanese garden from its cultural influence.

It was not until 1983, under the leadership of City Councilman Van Henry Archer, that the garden was restored to its original form – as San Antonians know and love it today.

Japanese Tea Garden FAQ

Yes, you may! The park is open for dogs, as long as they are kept on a leash.
Yes, until further notice from the San Antonio Parks Foundation, no photo permit is required to take photos at the Tea Garden.

Nearby Attractions in San Antonio

3853 N St Mary's St, San Antonio, TX 78212

Opening hours

Open every day of the year from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm

Quick facts

  • Built in 1942
  • Also known as the Sunken Gardens

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