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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.
The 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 4.5
1,601 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Spent about 40 minutes walking around the tea garden. It was so lovely. Very picturesque! Was not expecting it to be so nice. They have a little cafe when you first walk in. So relaxing to sit there a...  more »
  • This is a beautiful spot to visit in San Antonio. There is no admission fee, so you can easily stop by for a quick visit while in the area. The gardens are well designed for nice views. We arrived in ...  more »
Google
  • This place is worth the visit without a doubt. If you're looking for a change from the River Walk and the Mission Trail, head to the Japanese Tea Gardens. The footpaths throughout the gardens meander and there are many different ways you can walk around the area - nothing feels repetitive. The fish are massive and plentiful, and kids will love watching them up close. The visual interest and the way the stones are stacked to create beautiful, lively structures that integrate into the thoughtful landscaped gardens will keep your eye wandering and keep you visually engaged.
  • Good place but I wasn't that impressed to visit the tea garden. Occasionally good but the weather was not impressive. The place is green, tea tastes good, has a good fountain into the middle of the garden, good space for walk and deep forest for good breathe. Entire package is good but not something I'd say eye-catching. Entry is free and can avail free parking. Have good restroom facilities. So not that bad for budget tourists.

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