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The San Mateo Japanese Garden

Fifth Ave., San Mateo, CA
415-377-4700
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Ranked #1 of 18 attractions in San Mateo
Type: Gardens
Description: Japanese garden located in Central Park, a tranquil spot among the high rise buildings.
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35 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
5 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2014

Beautiful tea garden with a pagoda from San Mateo's sister city. Well-kept plants and trees, koi pond and a tea house. No tea seems to be served there as there are no food or drinks allowed. Free admission and adjacent parking structure. My brother who has lived in Japan says it is very authentic. It makes for an enjoyable visit.... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2014

Best Japanese park I've visited in the us so far. They even have a tea house and a pagoda. The design is great, compact but refreshing. Great place for kids as well.

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Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
20 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2014

americans and their time invested into japan as a nominal profit school children respects government

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San Mateo, California
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
8 attraction reviews
254 helpful votes 254 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014

This is a lovely place, especially for us Japanese Americans. This garden is very well maintained, various types of maples, pines, camellias, etc. so that you can enjoy here season by season. Large beautiful koi (carps) are in the pond but please don’t feed or scare them.

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Somerton, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
11 attraction reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

If in San Mateo and have to to relax and unwind in a beautiful setting, this is a park to see. Small, but beautifully designed and a lovely place to sit quietly.

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San Mateo, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

I love the Gardens....it's small, but lovely......and Central Park is also very nice.......I've been to the park in the center of Vienna Austria and it has some comparisons.........and for a nice afternoon out, it's really very pleasant.

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Foster City, California
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
48 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

I have been here intermittently over 30 years. The garden design is lovely, and when kept up properly, it's fun to visit, even with kids (they like the koi). Come on a weekday or at a time when it isn't crowded to get the sense of peace that is proper for Japanese gardens like this. It's not open all the... More

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Florida
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

The garden is small but very well thought out and is a lovely place to take a stroll or sit and gaze at the plantings.

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SF Bay Area
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
4 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

love this peaceful getaway far from the maddening crowds. the manicured trees, landscaped gardens, koi-filled ponds, lovely flowers... we had our wedding photos taken here, it is such a beauteous place in the middle of san mateo.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Belmont, CA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

I'm glad this exists. It's not big, but it's perfect for what it is: a site of contemplation. But as other reviewers note, it's difficult to meditate or sit peacefully here as many parents allow their kids to run in and scream and yell at the koy. Sort of the opposite of what you want in a Japanese tea garden.... More

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