Japanese Tea Garden

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After the conclusion of the 1894 World’s Fair, Makoto Hagiwara, a Japanese immigrant and gardener, approached John McLaren with the idea to convert the temporary exhibit into a permanent park. Hagiwara personally oversaw the building of the Japanese Tea Garden and was official caretaker of the garden from 1895 to 1925. He specifically requested that one thousand flowering cherry trees be imported from Japan, as well as other native plants, birds, and the now famous goldfish. After San Francisco’s 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition closed, he obtained the two large ornamental wooden gates, and probably also the Tea Garden’s prominent five-tiered pagoda, from that fair’s Japanese enclave.

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