3853 n. st mary’s 

3853 n. st. mary’s ·  next to the zoo · open daily · free admission


the japanese tea garden is
steeped in over a century of san antonio history.

What began as a pit created from its years as a limestone quarry and cement factory, the Japanese Tea Garden is now a beloved jewel in San Antonio’s cultural landscape. In 1916, Park Commissioner Ray Lambert looked out over the rocky void and envisioned something beautiful: a Japanese style garden complete with a waterfall and koi pond. Lambert’s design for a Texas version of a tea garden was sparked by the Japanese art and fashion that were highly popular throughout the American West in the early 20th century.

Undeterred by the small size of the parks department at the time, Lambert marshaled the efforts of local citizens and businesses interested in creating this new, enchanting setting. 

The quarry was shaped into a complex that includes walkways, stone arch bridges, an island, and a “Japanese” pavilion. The garden was known as the “lily pond” and beautified by local residents who donated flower bulbs.

The San Antonio Parks Foundation completed extensive infrastructure rehabilitation to this unique attraction, including improved walkways, piping, filtration, wall repairs, and pond sealing. The restored garden features a lush year-round floral display with shaded walkways, stone bridges, a 60-foot waterfall and ponds filled with koi. Still thriving after 100 years, the Japanese Tea Garden is dear to the hearts of local residents and tourists alike and remains one of the most photographed
spots in San Antonio.

a lovely backdrop for
weddings, parties, and corporate events.

The Jingu House is an ideal setting for wedding receptions, corporate or private social events, rehearsal dinners, cocktail receptions, and private dining. The patio, pavilion, and upper garden are available for private dining or events after 5pm and can accommodate up to 300 guests.

Open 7 AM to 5 PM Daily ·  Free Admission



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

Photo Permit
Until further notice, no photo permit is required to take photos at the Japanese Tea Garden.

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.

download the app
and explore.

Designed for users of all ages, the app includes a wealth of information including a visual history of the garden, a map of the garden, and AR locations. The six augmented reality experiences include a selfie with Kokoro the flying dragon, the release of a custom-colored koi into the ponds, and an insight into the Japanese tea ceremony.

a long-lasting legacy
the jingu family fund for the arts.

Through four generations of the Jingu family, we remember and honor Eizo and Miyoshi Jingu and their children – Mary, Ruth, Rae, James, Helen, Mabel, Lillian, and Kimi. We hope to connect their artistic endeavors with all who visit the Jingu House at the Japanese Tea Garden. In their lifetime, they explored new ways to enjoy tea, wrote poetry, created flower arrangements, exhibited ceramics and so much more with laughter and fun shared by all.

To further the Jingu family legacy, the San Antonio Parks Foundation support projects at the Japanese Tea Garden that enhance each visitor’s experience and support artists in San Antonio and beyond.

Serenity and Delight:
Embark on a Culinary Journey at Jingu House

We’re excited to offer a diverse menu of boba, coffee drinks, ice cream, alcoholic beverages, Japanese snacks, and more. Experience the beauty of the gardens while savoring rotating flavors of slushies like Japanese yuzu and lychee limeade. Join us at Jingu House for a delightful culinary journey in a serene setting.

japanese tea garden augmented reality app

The newest interactive augmented reality experience is here. After 18 months of development, the Japanese Tea Garden Augmented Reality Experience App is now available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

The first of its kind in the nation, the app was developed by San Antonio-based, Geomedia, Inc. in collaboration with the San Antonio Parks Foundation Board of Directors, led by Japanese Tea Garden Chair, Marcie Ince, and former City Councilwoman and SAPF Board Member, Bonnie Conner. Designed for users of all ages, the app includes a wealth of information including a visual history of the garden, map of the garden and AR locations. The six augmented reality experiences include a selfie with Kokoro, the flyingdragon, release of a custom-colored koi into the ponds, and an insight into the Japanese tea ceremony.

During 2020, the San Antonio Parks Foundation spearheaded the initiative to properly tell the story of the San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden. Fondly referred to as the organization’s “covid project,” the development was inspired by the desire to provide an educational component that allows patrons to appreciate the peace and serenity of the garden, unencumbered by physical signage.

Ann Enkoji, daughter of Mable Jingu Enkoji who resided at the Japanese Tea Garden during her youth, played a large role in the development of the app, ensuring historical integrity and representation for the Jingu family who lived at the garden operating the Bamboo Room beginning in 1926. Photographs from archives at the Institute of Texan Cultures tell the story of the garden, dating back to the mid to late 1800s when the City of San Antonio leased the land to German masons.

Mary Jane Verette, President of the San Antonio Parks Foundation, states the cost of the development for the app totals $100,000, not including the countless volunteer hours donated by SAPF Board Members, Japanese Tea Garden Committee Members, and Murray Breit of Geomedia who all researched and verified the information in the app. Project funds drew from garden donations and Jingu House Restaurant operating profits. No taxpayer dollars were used to complete the project.