"The best of nature's handiwork in a limited space. . . "
----- Landscape gardener Seyemon Kusumoto
I first visited San Francisco in January 1980 -- during Winter Break of my junior year of college. I drove there with Tom (my then-boyfriend) and two of our friends (one had a medical school interview out there, which was the purpose of our journey). It was a quick trip - and I remember packing a lot of adventure into just a couple of days!
While walking through Golden Gate Park, we stumbled on to the Japanese Tea Garden. It was deliciously foggy -- and so magical!
I had never heard of Japanese gardens before that visit. I had no expectations or knowledge or understanding. I just knew . . . when I stepped into that foggy garden . . . that I was feeling a strong, deep connection with the landscape. Ever since, I have been fascinated with Japanese gardens. (I actually think it may have been that visit to the Tea Garden that spurred my own interest in becoming a gardener!)
Although I have been back to San Francisco a few more times over the years, I've never been back to the Japanese Tea Garden! A return trip was high on my list of "must-dos" this time around.
And so, on another foggy day, over 30 years later, my sister and I headed out to Golden Gate Park - in search of the Japanese Tea Garden. As we enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the garden, the fog cleared, allowing us to enjoy the traditional Japanese garden. . . with features like the pagoda (above), an arched drum bridge . . .
stone lanterns. . .
koi, stepping stones, and native Japanese plants.
We enjoyed the zen garden . . .
and found a tranquil oasis . . .
perfect for contemplation . . .
Such a lovely afternoon . . .
made complete with tea . . .
and a fortune.
Words in the wild . . . from the Japanese Tea Garden!