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Hakone Gardens, Saratoga

4.2
#2 of 13 in Things to do in Saratoga
Hakone Gardens is a traditional Japanese garden in Saratoga, California, United States. A recipient of the Save America's Treasures Award by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, it is recognized as one of the oldest Japanese-style residential garden in the Western Hemisphere, and an enduring American treasure. Notable features include a bamboo garden, a Zen garden, a strolling garden (the Hill and Pond Garden), tea houses, and the Cultural Exchange Center, which is an authentic reproduction of a 19th-century Kyoto tea merchant's house and shop.
In 1915, two San Francisco arts patrons, Oliver and Isabel Stine, intending to build a summer retreat, purchased the 18acre site on which Hakone now stands. Inspired by her trips to Japan, Isabel Stine modeled the gardens upon (and named them after) Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. She hired Japanese landscape artists and architects to design the gardens and the Upper "Moon Viewing" House. In 1932, ownership passed to financier Major C. L. Tilden who added the main gate to the gardens. When he died, Hakone was inherited by his sister, Mrs. Walter Gregory. After her death in 1959, Hakone was left untended, and the property was put up for sale.
In 1961, Joseph and Clara Gresham, their son Eldon and wife Deon, and four Chinese American couples: George and Marie Hall, Johnny Kan and Helen Kan, Dan and June Lee, Col. John C. Young and Mary Lee Young purchased the estate. This partnership restored Hakone to its original splendor, keeping its traditional Japanese authenticity while using it as a private retreat. In 1966, the partners offered a beautifully maintained Hakone for sale to the City of Saratoga. Today Hakone is administered by The Hakone Foundation, a non-profit organization, which was established in 2000 to restore and enhance the gardens independently of public funding. The gardens are open to the public and the various community facilities are often used for cultural events.
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Hakone Gardens Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
200 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • the cherry blossoms were beautiful and the azaleas and camellias also blooming. this is a carefully designed japanese garden that stretches up a hillside with paths under wisteria and through a bamboo...  more »
  • We attended a wedding at Hakone Gardens and it was beautiful. We didn’t have time to take in all the sights but enjoyed what we had time to see. The staff was nice and other guests were very considera...  more »
Google
  • Nice Japanese style garden, can't believe it was built by American one hundred years ago. Beat time to visit is spring and autumn. $10 entrance fee for adult, children under 5 is free.
  • Such a wonderful place to visit and hang with family. The hike uphill was no joke! But it beats driving up and nowhere to park. Cherry blossoms with the nature backdrop will give you eyegasm 😍

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