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Japanese Tea Garden Tours

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Japanese Tea Garden
Dotted with Buddha statues, dwarf trees, and koi ponds, the Japanese Tea Garden (or Hagiwara Tea Garden) is a tranquil place amidst the urbanity of San Francisco. Experience the beauty and harmony of a traditional, Japanese-style garden, enjoy a cup of tea at the teahouse, and experience other aspects of Japanese culture in the heart of Golden Gate Park.
 
The Basics
San Francisco’s Japanese Tea Garden is the oldest public Japanese garden in the US. Many visitors walk its five acres (two hectares) quickly while others pace more slowly, using the meticulously designed landscape features—such as Japanese maples, Buddha statues, and stepping stones—as tools for reflection and contemplation. The property’s teahouse pavilion, which serves light snacks and an assortment of traditional and modern-style teas, and adjacent gift shop are a hub of activity.
 
Many San Francisco tours cruise through Golden Gate Park, and some popular tour packages include entrance to the garden. But most Segway, self-guided surrey, and hop-on hop-off bus tours take you to the garden but do not include the entrance fee.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Japanese Tea Garden is a must-see for Japanophiles and lovers of the outdoors.
  • Families with small children will enjoy watching fish swim around in the koi ponds and walking around the sunken garden. 
  • Wear sturdy walking shoes—the garden has many uneven and slippery surfaces—and layers to ensure that you keep warm in San Francisco’s unpredictable climate.
  • Admission is free before 10am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  • Due to its uneven surfaces and rocky paths, the garden is not accessible to wheelchairs or strollers.
 
How to Get There
The Japanese Tea Garden is located in Golden Gate Park, right near the DeYoung Museum, California Academy of Sciences, and San Francisco Botanic Garden. MUNI’s 44-O’Shaughnessy, 5-Fulton, 21-Hayes, and N-Judah streetcar all stop within walking distance of the garden’s entrance. If driving, there is a parking lot at the Music Concourse and free on-street parking throughout the park.
 
When to Get There
The garden opens at 9am every day of the year, and closes at 4:45pm November through February and 6pm March through October. Arrive before 10am to experience the garden’s pre-crowd tranquility, especially on summer weekends and holidays. Seeing the cherry blossoms in bloom (March and April) is worth braving the flocks of visitors.
 
The Establishment of the Garden
Today’s Japanese Tea Garden was originally created as a Japanese Village exhibit for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition. Japanese landscape architect Makoto Hagiwara and Golden Gate Park superintendent and horticulturalist John McLaren reached an agreement for Mr. Hagiwara to create and maintain a permanent Japanese-style garden as a gift to the citizens of San Francisco. Many of the bonsai trees maintained by Mr. Hagiwara now tower over the teahouse, main gate, and gardens.

Address: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, USA 94117, USA
Admission: Varies
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15 Tours and Activities to Experience Japanese Tea Garden

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Hop-on Hop-off Tours

1 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour (City Tour & Sausalito)

Make your own travel itinerary for the day while in San Francisco with this full-day hop-on hop-off buss pass. Ride a double-decker bus throughout the city, and hop off and back on at any of the stops along the route. Make stops at Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Park, Union Square, Chinatown, the Financial District, and Haight-Ashbury. Along the way see some of SF’s most popular places, such as Pier 39, the Palace of Fine Arts, the de Young Museum, and War Memorial Opera House.
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  • 60 to 120 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
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US$54.99
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  • 60 to 120 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Bike & Mountain Bike Tours

Golden Gate Park Surrey Rental

Rent your very own surrey to explore Golden Gate Park for an hour. These high-quality vehicles are the best way explore the park in a relaxing way with your friends and family. Pedal past Kezar Stadium, the Conservatory of Flowers, Shakespeare Gardens, the Japanese Tree Garden, Stow Lake Boathouse, and much more. Every handlebar features a take away map with a curated Surrey Route to make your ride even easier.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
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US$11.25
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation

Hop-on Hop-off Tours

2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour in San Francisco

Make your own travel itinerary for the day while in San Francisco with this 2-day hop-on hop-off bus pass. Ride a double-decker bus throughout the city, and hop off and back on at any of the stops along the route. This bus offers four routes you can choose from, and along each route you can listen to historical and fun facts about the areas you pass. See some of SF’s most popular places, such as Pier 39, the Palace of Fine Arts, the de Young Museum, and War Memorial Opera House.
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  • 60 to 120 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
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US$77.99
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  • 60 to 120 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Segway Tours

Golden Gate Park Segway Tour with the Exclusive Park Tour Co

Explore San Francisco’s beautiful Golden Gate Park on this 2.5-hour Segway tour. Led by a local guide, you’ll pass top attractions like the Japanese Tea Gardens, the de Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences. All equipment is included, as well as a safety training. Cover even more ground on a Segway as you soak up Golden Gate Park's rich history and hidden gems from your guide.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
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US$75.00
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Historical & Heritage Tours

San Francisco City Insider's Tour

Explore San Francisco with a local insider and experience an extraordinary afternoon. This half-day tour takes you sightseeing around the city with a guide to offer commentary. Neighborhoods include Fisherman's Wharf, Presidio, Haight-Ashbury, Golden Gate Park, the Castro, and North Beach plus the Golden Gate Bridge. Free Wi-Fi is available aboard the vehicle so you can post your snaps to social media en route.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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US$79.00
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Segway Tours

3 Hour Golden Gate Park Segway Tour to Ocean and Windmills

Glide through San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and experience its history in just a few hours by Segway. In 2.5 hours, zoom around effortlessly and see the park’s highlight attractions, including Shakespeare Garden, the Japanese Tea Garden, the de Young Museum and Lily Pond. Learn fascinating history and trivia from an informative guide through a radio headset. This San Francisco tour is suitable for all skill levels and is limited to just 8 people, ensuring more personalized attention.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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US$85.00
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

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City, Muir Woods and Sausalito Tour

On my tour, you will journey through San Francisco's unique districts and visit famous landmarks, all while learning interesting facts and historical commentary as you go. We will stop for plenty of photo opportunities, but I won't make you feel rushed. After exploring the city we will cross the Golden Gate Bridge and enter Muir Woods, one of the country's most magical Redwood Tree forests, with trees over 1,000 years old and over 250 feet tall.After spending over an hour at Muir Woods we will catch a bus to Sausalito, the picturesque waterfront community, world renowned for its Mediterranean flair and breathtaking views. Once in Sausalito, we will have the ending of our tour, so we will return to San Francisco by ferry.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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US$350.00
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Historical & Heritage Tours

Small-Group Full-Day Tour of San Francisco with Alcatraz

Explore San Francisco on a small-group full-day tour that covers top attractions including Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz. Get great views of the San Francisco Bay Area during the short ferry ride to Alcatraz Island, where you then take a self-guided audio tour of the infamous prison. Return to shore for your bus tour of destinations such as Nob Hill, the Haight-Ashbury, the Castro, the Mission, and Golden Gate Park. Includes hotel pickup and drop-off in San Francisco.
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  • 10 to 11 hours
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US$147.00
From  
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  • 10 to 11 hours

Hop-on Hop-off Tours

City and Sea Adventure: 1 Day Hop-On Hop Off Pass and San Francisco Bay Cruise

In just one day, experience the best of San Francisco by land and sea with this combo package that includes two hop-on hop-off bus tours and a cruise. Check out the top attractions of San Francisco, wind through the downtown streets, and cross over the Golden Gate Bridge. Each hop-on hop-off bus tour lasts 60 minutes to 2 hours and offers live commentary. The 1-hour boat cruise takes you through San Francisco Bay, giving you prime views of Crissy Fields, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
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US$79.99
From  
US$79.99
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation

Private Sightseeing Tours

Private Segway Tour through Golden Gate Park - 3 Hours with Your Own Guide

See beautiful San Francisco by Segway on this 3-hour private tour. Enjoy routes that travel through Golden Gate Park and more. A local guide will lead the way, providing fun and insightful commentary as you discover San Francisco on two wheels.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$115.00
From  
US$115.00
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Segway Tours

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Early Bird Segway Tour Deal Save on Golden Gate Park Tour at 10:30am

Hop on an eco-friendly Segway for a convenient tour of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park! You'll see all 1,000-plus acres of the park as you learn the rich history of this majestic San Francisco green space on a narrated journey. This unique tour is the perfect way to see Golden Gate Park and its hidden gems. Riding a Segway is similar to riding a bike. It's intuitive, but nobody is born knowing how to operate it. You'll have 20 - 25 minutes of training prior to beginning the tour so you can get familiar with the most innovative transportation device of the millennium. You will practice on the Segway until everyone feels comfortable and ready to tour Golden Gate Park!
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
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US$65.00
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Hop-on Hop-off Tours

2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Pass + SF Dungeon (SAVE $15)

Check out San Francisco's top attractions plus receive admission to the San Francisco Dungeon with this combo sightseeing tour. With a 48-hour hop-on hop-off pass, you'll travel around the city by double-decker bus, hopping off at the locations that interest you, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, or even all the way across the bay to Sausalito. There are four routes to choose from, including a night tour for evening views of the city. With your San Francisco Dungeon admission, learn about the city's dark history through interactive exhibits performed by live actors.
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  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation
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US$87.99
From  
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  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation

Hop-on Hop-off Tours

Family Hop (incl. 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off + Madame Tussauds + 7D Experience)

Tour San Francisco at your own pace on this hop-on, hop-off tour of the City by the Bay, along with a 7D Experience at Pier 39 and Exploratorium passes. Take advantage of a 24-hour bus pass to explore the city easily at your own pace with narration on board. Admission to both the Exploratorium on the Embarcadero and the 7D Experience at Fisherman's Wharf included anytime during opening hours.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
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US$74.99
From  
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation

Bike & Mountain Bike Tours

Golden Gate Park Guided Bike Tour

Get a comprehensive tour of Golden Gate Park via bicycle on this guided bike tour. Follow your guide through the enormous park on a comfortable, modern bike; there's no need to worry about navigation, so you can just enjoy the scenery. Highlights include Strawberry Hill, the Japanese Tea Garden, the Conservatory of Flowers, and the bison paddock. Along the way, learn about the park's history through your guide's commentary.
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  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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US$50.00
From  
US$50.00
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  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Bike & Mountain Bike Tours

Alcatraz and Golden Gate Park Guided Bike Tour

Combine two top activities in San Francisco with one package that includes tickets to Alcatraz Island and a bike tour of Golden Gate Park. When booking, select the date desired for your Alcatraz Island visit, which includes ferry ticket, admission, and self-guided audio tour. Your bike tour takes place the day before your Alcatraz reservation, and you can keep the bike until evening to explore more after the guided tour.
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  • 2 days
From  
US$99.00
From  
US$99.00
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  • 2 days


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