Exploring the Japanese Tea Gardens: I love my city series

“It’s like a small jungle oasis in the middle of a busy city!”

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The Japanese Tea Gardens are an extension of Sunken Gardens, and located right next to the San Antonio Zoo. I love this place! I truly feel like it’s one of those hidden gems that most tourists do not know about, and many locals forget about. This is possibly because over the years it’s seen a significant restoration by the city. In fact, at one point I remember thinking it was closed to the public, although I don’t think that ever really was the case. I recently spent a morning exploring the beautiful Gardens, so in this post, I will feature some of the best parts of the park not to be missed!

The view from the Pavilion

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The moment you come through the main entrance, you take a few steps and are rewarded with this view from the stone columned Pavilion. It’s a beautiful way to get an overview of the Garden’s lily ponds and waterfall. The view is green, spacious, and quite peaceful.

The Waterfall

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Climb over the main bridge and it will bring you to a 60-foot Waterfall. This little area can actually be reserved for small weddings. It makes for a pretty photo with bamboo trees right next to it. Before you leave this spot, turn away from the waterfall and take in another stunning view looking back at the Gardens. So pretty!

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The never-ending alley

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Ok…it’s not really called that. That’s just what I call it! When you see it you’ll understand what I mean. If you walk all the way down, the alley will eventually lead you towards the San Antonio Zoo. It’s a great area to take photos with the long green alley as your backdrop.


The bridges

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There are several bridges throughout the Gardens, so have fun exploring and taken photos from them. I had to be patient to get this photo though, because there were a lot of people crossing this bridge every few minutes.

The Jingu House Cafe


If you get tired or need a break, you can stop by the Jingu House Cafe for a snack or light lunch. The cafe is lined with colorful flowers and outdoor patio seating. There is also a pavillion that can be rented out for private parties to accomodate up to 300 guests.

Those are the areas I wanted to highlight, but just know there is much more to explore. The Japanese Tea Gardens are open every day from sunrise to sunset. I should mention that if you stop by here during the week or during the day, you will feel as though you have the entire place to yourself, but on the weekends it’s pretty busy. Parts of the Gardens are wheel chair accessible, but certain areas are not. Both admission and parking are free.

If you enjoyed this post please comment below. I’d love to hear from you! For a better visual of the Gardens, check out my YouTube video called “Top Instagram Photos in San Antonio” which you can see right here!

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