Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Japanese Garden in San Mateo, CA

Koi fish symbolize strength and perseverance.

I had no idea there was a Japanese Tea Garden in San Mateo. I found it by Googling. It's located in San Mateo's Central Park at El Camino Real at Fifth Avenue. Admission is free! Not only does this park have a Japanese garden, it also has a rose garden, picnic area, a green field and play structures. I wish I'd known about it when my kids were young.

Green field and a bench for relaxing.

Large picnic area - there are more tables not pictured.

Play structure, swings not pictured.

An old, working train only a toddler would love - $2.00


I loved the Japanese Garden. It is one acre in size and was built between 1964 and 1966 by the San Mateo Gardeners Association, with help from the Toyonaka Sister City Organization in Japan. Mr. Nagao Sakurai, the former landscape architect at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, designed the garden.

Front Entrance to the Japanese Garden

The Pagoda - a gift from sister city Toyonaka, Japan
The five tiers of the pagoda represent (starting at the bottom) earth, fire, water, wind and heaven.

Turtle Island - turtles symbolize longevity.
The turtle's head is the large stone in front of the crane, the island is the shell and the four rocks surrounding it are the limbs.

The window of the tea house (not open).

Serenity in the middle of downtown.
Last but not least is the rose garden, run by the San Mateo Arboretum Society. I thought it was just the right size - not too big and not too small.

Eight formal rose beds lie south of the gazebo.

Looking through the gazebo.

There are over 100 rose bushes in the garden.

Next to the rose garden is the Kohl Pumphouse, which is the headquarters of the Arboretum Society and also the location of the greenhouse, nursery and "gem sized" fairy garden. It is open and plants are available for sale during these hours.

The Kohl Pumphouse - too bad it was closed the day I was there.

Good to Know:  There are free music concerts in Central Park every Thursday evening from 6:00pm - 8:00pm,  June 26, 2014 - August 14, 2014.

Driving Directions: here

I highly recommend the San Mateo Central Park for families or adults who want some peace and quiet in the Japanese Garden. Have a great time!

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