Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
san antonio, Texas
March 6, 2008
November 5, 2003
The Japanese Tea Garden is not within walking distance from downtown. It is in Brackenridge Park which is near the San Antonio Zoo and a few museums. The story of the Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio is an interesting one and is provided on a large plaque outside of the garden entrance. Built from an old rock quarry, the Japanese Tea Garden concept grew from what was originally just a lily pond.
Prison labor was used to build the garden’s bridges, walkways and Japanese pagoda (a large stone "house" that overlooks the garden). The people who lived in San Antonio and the city itself like the idea so much, the citizens and city donated plants and flowers. The city also contributed lighting for the garden.
In 1926 the city of San Antonio invited a local artist, of Japanese-American blood, to move into the garden. He and his family opened the Bamboo Room which served lunches and tea. His family continued to operate the Bamboo Room even after his death until 1942. During that year, the city evicted the family due to anti-Japanese feelings of American citizens after the bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War II. The prejudice ran so deep in San Antonio that they even re-named the garden to the Chinese Sunken Garden. One of the garden entrances still has this name written above the door. In 1984, things were finally made right and the garden was named back to its original name, the Japanese Tea Garden.
We only stayed about twenty minutes and during that time we wandered a bit around through the walkways and over the bridges. The grounds were kept up pretty well with minimal graffiti which is positive since it is a public park with no admittance fee. The most creative graffiti we saw were some names scratched into the long leaves of a type of palm plant.
From journal San Antonio: The Fiesta City