Cherry blossoms at the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California
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It's Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
With Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month kicking off today, we're visiting the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Originally designed as a temporary exhibit in the 1894 World's Fair, the gardens became a permanent fixture in the park, overseen by landscape designer Makoto Hagiwara.
Hagiwara poured his money, passion, and talents into giving visitors to the garden an authentic taste of Japanese horticulture. Visitors then and today cross bridges over koi ponds and wander through pagodas and gardens full of native Japanese plants and trees. Hagiwara died in 1925, but his family remained in the house he built on the property until they were sent to an internment camp during World War II and the gardens were renamed the 'Oriental Tea Garden.' Once the war was over, the original name returned, but the family did not. Hagiwara's vision lives on in the gardens, and as one example of the millions of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans who've helped build and beautify our nation.