Originally created as a "Japanese Village" exhibit for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition, the Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park originally spanned about one acre. When the fair closed, Japanese landscape architect Makoto Hagiwara created a permanent Japanese garden as a gift for posterity. Hagiwara became caretaker of the property, pouring all of his personal wealth and creative talents into creating a garden of perfection. Hagiwara expanded the garden to its current size of approximately 5 acres. He and his family lived on the grounds for many years until 1942 when they were forced to evacuate their homes and put into internment camps. Today, the Japanese Tea Garden endures as one of the most popular attractions at Golden Gate Park, featuring an arched drum bridge, pagodas, stone lanterns, stepping stone paths, native Japanese plants, serene koi ponds and a zen garden.
- ©John Lander
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