Japanese Tea Garden – San Antonio, Texas

Japanese Tea Garden 1Last year, Gene and I spent Christmas and New Years in San Antonio, Texas. One day after spending a few hours at the  Alamo and River Walk, we decided to check out the Japanese Tea Garden. The Japanese Tea Gardens also knowns as Sunken Gardens is located on the northwestern edge of Brackenridge Park and was originally a limestone rock quarry. Years later, in 1880,  it was a cement company called the Alamo Cement Company for over 26 years.

Japanese Tea Garden 2Around 1917 Ray Lambert, the current City Parks Commissioner, visualized an oriental-style garden in the pit of the quarry. He took his vision to engineer W.S. Delery who developed plans for the gardens. To bring his vision to life, Lambert used prison labor to shape the quarry into a complex that included walkways, stone arch bridges, an island and a Japanese pagoda. One unique piece of the garden was the entrance itself.

Japanese Tea Garden 5You can’t really talk about the Japanese Tea Gardens without speaking of Kimi Eizo Jingu, a local Japanese-American artist in 1926. Kimi was alsp a representative of the Shizuoka Tea Association and was considered an expert in the tea business nationally. He and his family moved into the  the garden and opened the Bamboo Room, where light lunches and tea were sold.

Japanese Tea Garden 6 After Mr. Jingu’s death in the late 1930s, his family continued to operate the tea garden until 1942, when they were evicted because of anti-Japanese sentiment during World War II. It was around this time that the garden was renamed to the Chinese Tea Garden to prevent the razing and vandalism of the tea garden during World War II, as many other cities’ Japanese tea gardens were being vandalized.

Japanese Tea Garden UsIn 1984 Mayor Henry Cisneros restored the original “Japanese Tea Garden” designation in a ceremony attended by Jingu’s children as well as representatives of the Japanese government.  I personally am SO glad they renamed it back to Japanese and didn’t leave it named Chinese Tea Garden. So sad that they had to do that, but it’s understandable given the circumstances at the time.

Japanese Tea Garden 7Given the Tea Garden’s origin as a rock quarry that played a prominent role in the development of the cement business, as well as its later redevelopment as a garden, the site is designated a Texas Civil Engineering Landmark and a Registered Texas Historic Landmark. It was also added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 22, 2004.

Japanese Tea Garden 4 Today the Japanese Tea Garden features areas available for rent, which are ideal for small weddings, a memorial service, as well as an area for large corporate gatherings. So happy to share that while we were walking around and checking out the gardens, there was a couple who got engaged right under the beautiful water fall. How sweet and romantic!

Japanese Tea Garden DollyWe also saw many ponds filled with aquatic plants and many koi fish, some of the largest I have seen. There were also a lot of cute little bridges which I love and took many pictures of, lol. It was such a cool and our furbaby Dolly had a fun time running around and smelling everything shoud could.  In all seriousness, it is a very peaceful place. I realy enjoyed taking a bunch of pictures, then just sitting around and relaxing while doing a little people watching. Here is a link to a website with more information if you want to plan your own visit one day. Please share your experience if you have been here in the past. I would love to hear about your experience. Happy travels.

Japanese Tea Garden 3

Japanese Tea Garden Visitor Information


3853 N St. Mary’s St  San Antonio, TX 78212


Daily 7 AM – 5 PM








The upper garden and pavilion areas of the historic Japanese Tea Garden and the Jingu House restaurant are accessible by ramp. The lower garden is accessible only by stairs. There are designated accessible parking in the Japanese Tea Garden parking lot.

Palo Duro Canyon Park – The Grand Canyon of Texas

Palo Duro Canyon Park 1While in Amarillo, Texas November of 2020, we decided to take a drive through the Palo Duro Canyon Park. It is not very far from Amarillo, about ½ hour, so definitely something to do while in the area, especially if you have pets and want to explore some nature.  It is a huge canyon, apparently the second largest canyon in the US (behind the Grand Canyon of course). Not surprisingly it is often referred to as The Grand Canyon of Texas.

Continue reading “Palo Duro Canyon Park – The Grand Canyon of Texas”

The Alamo – Home of the Battle and the Texas Revolution

Alamo - FrontOn a road trip to Texas in November of 2010, we spent a few days in the San Antonio area and had a blast.  We enjoyed spending some time at the River Walk as well as our tour of The Alamo.  I heard it was small, but I was quite surprised at how small it really was when seeing it for the first time.  It’s amazing that this is where the Spanish colonization first took hold, Mexico armed its independence and even the Confederacy stood its ground. Continue reading “The Alamo – Home of the Battle and the Texas Revolution”

The Don Harrington Discovery Center – Amarillo, Texas

Don Harrington Discovery Center 1We had an incredible and interesting time exploring the Don Harrington Discovery Center in November of 2020 while in Amarillo for a long weekend. Apparently the center has over 8,000 square feet of hands-on fun and interactive touring exhibits. While there are a few permanent displays, the exhibits change every fall, spring, and summer to help guests discover something new each visit. It is nowhere as huge as the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, but just as interesting. FYI, I would probably compare it more to the St. Louis Science Center or the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix. Anyway, after paying for our tickets we made a right and headed into the Sun, Earth, Universe Exhibit area. Continue reading “The Don Harrington Discovery Center – Amarillo, Texas”

The Big Texan Steak Ranch, Texas – Home of the 72oz Steak

Big Texan - FrontAs we get ready to celebrate Valentines’ day, it made me start thinking about some of our Valentine’s celebrations in the past. Since Gene was working nights for quite a few years we tried to take a 3-day weekend somewhere to just get away and enjoy some time together. Happily in February of 2015, we spent three days in Amarillo and had a blast. Dinner on Valentine’s evening found us at the famous Big Texan Steak Ranch.   Continue reading “The Big Texan Steak Ranch, Texas – Home of the 72oz Steak”

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza – Dallas, Texas

Sixth Floor Museum BldgAs I wrote this post, it was the dawn of a very sad day in American history. It is the day John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, TX. We were there in November 2010, and I wanted to share our visit to The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in his honor. It was eye-opening and very sad. I wasn’t born yet when he was assassinated, but my mom and grandma have told me stories of that sad day. Not surprisingly, they also shared stores of where they were and what they were doing when they heard he was killed. Not surprisingly, that day will still probably elicit memories from people here in the US and around the world.   Continue reading “The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza – Dallas, Texas”

Amarillo by Morning – AKA as The Yellow Rose of Texas

Amarillo Sign 1For Valentine’s Day 2015 we decided to check out the little town of Amarillo, TX. and drove throughout the night to get there on Valentines Day morning.  Hence, the title, Amarillo by Morning 🙂  Couldn’t resist. Anyway, it was a whirlwind two-night trip, but we had a wonderful time exploring a new city together. The first thing I noticed was the wind. It was crazy and it didn’t stop the whole time we were there. Other than that, it seemed like a nice little town. Much slower pace than here in Denver, but still has all the amenities anyone could need. I did notice a lot of banks for some reason, lol. Continue reading “Amarillo by Morning – AKA as The Yellow Rose of Texas”

The River Walk – A Must See Attraction in San Antonio, Texas

River Walk 4Have you ever been to the River Walk in San Antonio? I had heard of this place for many years but had never been to that part of Texas. Finally we made it to the San Antonio area in November of 2010, and it was on the top of our to-do list. I will share our visit in a minute, but for those who haven’t been, or don’t know much about the River Walk, here is a little bit of history and information.  Continue reading “The River Walk – A Must See Attraction in San Antonio, Texas”

Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas – Not Just an Ordinary Street

Route 6 SignOn a recent trip to Amarillo, we had a chance to walk and drive up and down part of 6th Avenue Historic District, aka Route 66. It was a little cold in February of 2015, but we still had a nice time. As I said in another blog post, Amarillo by Morning, I was amazed at all the antique shops and stores. It definitely makes up the feel of the town. I really liked it. Continue reading “Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas – Not Just an Ordinary Street”

The Pearl Brewery Farmers Market in San Antonio, Texas

Pearl Brewery - Sign 1While enjoying the Riverwalk in San Antonio in February of 2018, we heard about a Farmers Market and decided to check it out. It was called the Pearl Brewery Farmers Market and was different than some of the other ones, but truly interesting. I also remember all the cute dogs and kids running around. It made me really miss our puppies and wished that they were with us. However, it was fun petting many of them. Continue reading “The Pearl Brewery Farmers Market in San Antonio, Texas”