Located in Brackenridge Park, the San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden opened in an abandoned limestone rock quarry at the beginning of the 20th century. Also known as Chinese Tea Gardens, Chinese Sunken Garden Gate and Chinese Tea Garden Gate, it is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
At the entrance to the garden, the artist Dionicio Rodriguez replicated a Japanese Torii gate in his unique style of concrete construction. In 1919, the local Japanese-American artist Kimi Eizo Jingu moved to the garden. In 1926, they opened the Bamboo Room, a place where lunches and tea were served. Kimi lived in the garden, maintained and raised eight children. He died in 1938 and in 1941 the family was evicted with the rise of the anti-Japanese sentiment of World War II.
Check out this video to learn more about the San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden:
For many years, the garden was a target of vandalism. For that reason, public and private sources had to fund a renovation project that cost $1.6 million. The restored garden included stone bridges, ponds, and a waterfall, as well as shaded walkways. The work was completed in 2011 and it includes a restaurant that serves lunches as the Jingu family did in the 1930s. Also, there is an amphitheater called The Sunken Garden with capacity for 6,000 spectators. The site has been designated a Texas Civil Engineering Landmark, a Registered Texas Historic Landmark, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Cover Picture by Brownings on Wikipedia. Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)