Yesterday my husband took a vacation day from work and we visited the Japanese Tea Gardens in Brackenridge Park. It was a beautiful sunny fall day. Students were visiting the gardens on school field trips and other people were feeding the fish or walking around the grounds. The main entry gate is closed due to the renovations but you can enter through a nearby construction gate or walk around on the right side to another entrance.
The San Antonio Parks Foundation is currently restoring the gardens to its original beauty. The Japanese Tea Garden was originally constructed in 1917-1918 on the site of a rock quarry. Phase I of the rehabilitation, completed in March 2008, included restoring the ponds and waterfall. Phase II, now underway, features the renovation of the Jingu house. In 1926, at the City’s invitation, Kimi Eizo Jingu, a local Japanese-American artist, moved to the garden and opened the Bamboo Room, where light lunches and tea were sold. After Mr. Jingu’s death in 1938 his family continued to operate the tea garden until 1942, when they were evicted because of anti-Japanese sentiment during World War II.