Golden Gate Park ~ Japanese Tea Garden, Museums, Something for Everyone!

Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park

Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park | Source

Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park

Buddha and my hubby in the Japanese Tea Garden.
Buddha and my hubby in the Japanese Tea Garden. | Source
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park | Source

San Francisco Park


Often when people think of visiting San Francisco, certain things come to mind. The steep hills and cable cars were made famous by the old Rice-a-Roni ads on television. "Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat!" Remember those advertisements? Perhaps some of you even have that food product on your pantry shelves.

And then, of course, is the famous Golden Gate Bridge of iconic fame. It is a structural beauty connecting part of San Francisco to Marin County and the route that many people take when going to parts of California's Wine Country such as the Napa Valley.

Alcatraz Island where hardened criminals used to be held in captivity, surrounded by the cold waters of San Francisco Bay, has certainly been made famous through the years because of movies. The Bird Man of Alcatraz readily comes to mind.

Fisherman's Wharf and Chinatown draw more than their fair share of tourists, and rightfully so.

Remember the television series Hotel? The Fairmont Hotel which was utilized as the setting for that series is on Nob Hill...just one of many premier hotels in San Francisco.

"I left my heart, in San Francisco"...no wonder that song has been such a hit. I can almost hear Frank Sinatra singing that right now as I am thinking about that eclectic and vibrant city.

I could go on and on mentioning things of interest for visitors to that "City by the Bay" but one place not to be missed is the Golden Gate Park. It is not just another ho-hum city park. Far from it! It has a spectacular Japanese Tea Garden, museums, horticultural collections from all around the world and one of the most serene and beautiful settings for nature lovers that I can imagine and even more...literally, something for everyone!


Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park

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Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate ParkJapanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate ParkJapanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate ParkJapanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate ParkJapanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate ParkJapanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate ParkJapanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate ParkJapanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park | Source
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park | Source
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park | Source
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park | Source
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park | Source
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park | Source
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park | Source
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park | Source

San Francisco's Japanese Tea Garden (in HD)

Japanese Tea Garden


This is the oldest of such gardens in the United States and dates back to the year 1894 when its three acres were constructed to be a part of the Midwinter International Exposition which drew about two and a half million visitors to Golden Gate Park during the six months the Exposition was operational.


It is beautifully landscaped with not only a tea house but bridges, water features including waterfalls, rocks, tiered temples, stone lanterns, various types of appropriate plants and gardens, and even a bronzed statue of a Buddha.


After the devastating 1906 earthquake thousands of refugees who had lost their homes lived temporarily in the confines of the tea garden.


During World War II, the Japanese family by the name of Makoto Hagiwara who lived in the Japanese Tea Garden managing it and running the Tea House, were summarily shipped off to internment camps along with so many others simply because of their country of origin. It is a dark moment in American history!

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, suspicions against Japanese Americans ran high. Over 100,000 people (mostly on the west coast) were placed in these "camps" against their will and held there until the war-time hysteria ceased. Many years later monetary reparations were made to those held captive or their heirs, but that hardly made up for this egregious conduct authorized by the U.S. government.


Thousands of people of German and Italian descent were also held in various places around the United States.


Since this country is primarily made up of immigrants and it is such a melting pot of people whose countries of origin come from everywhere around the globe, along with their customs, ideas and beliefs...this would probably never again happen in today's age and time.




M.H. de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park

M.H. de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park
M.H. de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park | Source
Museum courtyard where we had lunch.
Museum courtyard where we had lunch. | Source

de Young Museum: Weekend in San Francisco

M.H. de Young Museum


This museum contains not only a huge Asian art collection ( the largest my husband or I have ever personally seen in one place ) but also art coming from ancient times and up to the present. Over 300 cultures are represented and just about every type of art ranging from paintings to silver, furniture to tapestries, sculptures and more, can by found here.


It bears the name of Michael H. de Young who was the publisher of the San Francisco newspaper and who was the museums' first major benefactor.


There were some fabulous Bierstadt paintings that my husband and I particularly liked on the day of our visit and represent his work over the course of his entire career.


The location of this museum is adjacent to the Japanese Tea Gardens and it was also built for the 1894 Midwinter Exposition. It has been remodeled since that time.


We took time out of our day to have some lunch in their open air courtyard and enjoyed tuna fish sandwiches on dill bread. The resident blue-jays were eagerly hoping for some crumbs to fall in their direction.


It is well worth spending some time in this fabulous museum if one is any type of an art lover.

We purchased a number of postcards to remind us of some of some of the art that we particularly admired to be put into our photo album as a memory of our visit there.

Botanical Gardens at Strybing Arboretum

Strybing Arboretum


This area of the Golden Gate Park is expansive covering about 55 acres.

There are expanses of lawn where people can spread out their blankets and enjoy picnics, whisper sweet nothings into a lover's ear, sunbathe or simply decompress from a busy day's work and enjoy the sights and sounds of people at play.

It is now more commonly known as the San Francisco Botanical Garden.



Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park

Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park
Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park | Source

Strybing Arboretum

Strybing Arboretum
Strybing Arboretum | Source


Plant species from around the world are featured in various ways.

Some are clustered together as to country of origin.

Others may be organized by fragrance or by type.


Thousands of them are labeled in the Strybing Arboretum so that one can learn about how to grow them in your own landscape, if desired.

Strybing Arboretum Photos - Golden Gate Park

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Strybing Arboretum PhotosMy hubby resting under an arbor.Strybing Arboretum PhotosLook at those bromeliads growing on the thick branch of that tree!Strybing Arboretum PhotosStrybing Arboretum PhotosStrybing Arboretum PhotosCalla lilies at the base of a treeStrybing Arboretum Photos
Strybing Arboretum Photos
Strybing Arboretum Photos | Source
My hubby resting under an arbor.
My hubby resting under an arbor. | Source
Strybing Arboretum Photos
Strybing Arboretum Photos | Source
Look at those bromeliads growing on the thick branch of that tree!
Look at those bromeliads growing on the thick branch of that tree! | Source
Strybing Arboretum Photos
Strybing Arboretum Photos | Source
Strybing Arboretum Photos
Strybing Arboretum Photos | Source
Strybing Arboretum Photos
Strybing Arboretum Photos | Source
Calla lilies at the base of a tree
Calla lilies at the base of a tree | Source
Strybing Arboretum Photos
Strybing Arboretum Photos | Source

Strybing Arboretum photo

Strybing Arboretum photo
Strybing Arboretum photo | Source


Wildlife also shares these spaces with visitors to the park.


The glittering scales of fish can be seen swimming in the water.


Ducks, geese, pigeons, sparrows and other birds are often nearby to the delight of bird watchers.


Between the fluttering butterflies and other insects, the swishing tails of those ever industrious squirrels and the 200 plus other forms of wildlife, there is much to see and enjoy on the grounds of the Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park.

San Francisco Botanical Garden photos / Strybing Arboretum

San Francisco Botanical Garden photos
San Francisco Botanical Garden photos | Source
San Francisco Botanical Garden photos
San Francisco Botanical Garden photos | Source

Rhododendron Dell


At the end of April one year when my husband and I were visiting Golden Gate Park, the rhododendrons were in full bloom. What a sight to behold!

Rhododendrons in bloom in Golden Gate Park

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Rhododendrons in bloom in Golden Gate ParkMy hubby
Rhododendrons in bloom in Golden Gate Park
Rhododendrons in bloom in Golden Gate Park | Source
My hubby
My hubby | Source
Source
Source

A room of The Conservatory / Golden Gate Park

Inside one of the rooms of the Conservatory in Golden Gate Park.
Inside one of the rooms of the Conservatory in Golden Gate Park. | Source

The Conservatory


This is nicknamed the "crystal palace" and that is exactly how it appears as this structure comprised of lots of glass and wood glitters on sunlit days in the park.


It functions as a greenhouse and the conservatory houses tropical and exotic specimen plants which can be enjoyed year round in the appropriately temperature and humidity controlled rooms.

It replicates the design and look of a hothouse in Kew Gardens located in London, England.


Located there since 1878, it is the oldest building in Golden Gate Park.

View of The Conservatory in Golden Gate Park

View of The Conservatory in Golden Gate Park
View of The Conservatory in Golden Gate Park | Source
Flower bed outside of The Conservatory
Flower bed outside of The Conservatory | Source

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park | Source
One of 2 windmills in Golden Gate Park
One of 2 windmills in Golden Gate Park | Source

Golden Gate Park

San Francisco's Golden Gate Park: A Self-guided Pictorial Walking Tour (Visual Travel Tours Book 136)
San Francisco's Golden Gate Park: A Self-guided Pictorial Walking Tour (Visual Travel Tours Book 136)

Great way to preview what you might wish to see when touring Golden Gate Park. It takes many days to truly see and enjoy it all! We have spent many hours there on different vacation days while in San Francisco.

 

Golden Gate Park


This amazing city park was built out onto what started out primarily as a collection of sand dunes which stretched for approximately 4 miles by less than a mile in width. It was acquired by the city of San Francisco from a Spanish land claim back in the year 1870.


The first young man who oversaw the development of what would become the 3rd most visited park in all of the United States was a man by the name of William Hammond Hall.


It was quite an undertaking!

Plans were made and loads of topsoil had to be hauled in and grasses planted to help stabilize the sand dunes. The first of thousands of trees were planted.


A long time superintendent of the park was a Scotsman by the name of John McLaren. He devoted much of his life to the further development of Golden Gate Park from the years 1887 to 1943..

One could spend countless hours and numerous days trying to see and enjoy all that this spectacular park has to offer. We have visited Golden Gate Park on two occasions...one time for a full day...during two different vacations to the west coast and have yet to see it all.


People who live in or nearby San Francisco can take full advantage of the sports fields made available and let their children enjoy the playground built especially for them including an old fashioned carousel. Then there are the lakes where one can rent a paddle-boat or sail some model boats.


Perhaps next time we will get to enjoy the California Academy of Sciences which is a natural history museum including the Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium, a tropical rain forest exhibit and more. It sounds like a full day could be spent in that one spot!

There is even an area of the park that has buffalo!

My husband and I would love to return and see more of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park someday. This is one stellar attraction in California that should be added to everyone's bucket list of places to see, in my opinion.


Another view of The Conservatory in Golden Gate Park

Another view of The Conservatory in Golden Gate Park
Another view of The Conservatory in Golden Gate Park | Source

Does Golden Gate Park look like a place where you would enjoy spending some time?

  • Yes!
  • Perhaps after seeing other sites in San Francisco
  • Probably will never travel there, but enjoyed getting to learn about it.
See results without voting

A Walk in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park

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Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, USA
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5 out of 5 stars from 6 ratings of Golden Gate Park

© 2012 Peggy Woods

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Comments are welcomed. 64 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Kseniya,

Depending upon which part of the world in which you live, one can always be assured that the months will pass and the weather will change. Hope you get to enjoy those flowers soon. :))


Kseniya 3 years ago

This week?I'm sooooo jeluoas!! I'm up to my ankles in slush and still freezing my lil' butt off at my place . I want some pretty spring flowers too!! Sigh Oh well they're coming. I just know they're coming .. (God, I hope they're coming .)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Au fait,

As you say there is so much to see in San Francisco and it would take multiple visits to see it all. Happy that you liked these photos and descriptions. Thanks!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

Even though we lived only about 3 hours east of San Francisco before daughter was born we never got there to see everything. So much to see and do there and your photos are gorgeous as always. Voted up, interesting and beautiful. Gave you 5 more stars, pinned to my 'purple II' board (the photo with the purple flowers) and will share.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Suzanne,

We must have lucked out when we visited the M.H. de Young Museum as it was not that crowded. Nice for us! If I lived in that part of the country I would certainly spend much more time at all of the various places in Golden Gate Park like you got to do. Nice! Thanks for your comment and the rest. :)


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