Japanese Tea Garden to reopen, with new restrictions in place

By Camden Avery - Published on July 21, 2020.

After a four-month closure, the Japanese Tea Garden will reopen tomorrow, joining the nearby San Francisco Botanical Garden on the list of reopened public amenities in Golden Gate Park.

The garden, which has remained closed since March 17, will open for up to 100 people at a time during restricted hours, every Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. - 5:45 p.m. Purchasing tickets in advance is recommended.

Originally built as part of a model village for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exhibition, the tea garden is a showcase of traditional Japanese landscaping, architecture and design.

The reopening will take place even as the garden's pagoda remains under scaffolding, as part of a $2 million restoration project. The pagoda is expected to be complete and unveiled around December of this year.

Fundraising for that effort is still ongoing, as the Friends of the Japanese Tea Garden and the SF Parks Alliance seek additional money to restore and stabilize the Torii Gate (removed in 2001 due to structural issues), repair the Long Bridge, and add extra landscaping around the pagoda.

For now, the garden's tea house will remain closed. Rec & Park spokesperson Tamara Aparton said the garden was exploring how to offer safe food and beverage service.

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