Hakone Gardens is a traditional Japanese garden in Saratoga, California, USA. A recipient of the Save American's Treasures Award by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, it is recognized as one of the oldest Japanese-style residential garden in the Western Hemisphere, and an enduring American treasure. Notable features include a bamboo garden, a Zen garden, a strolling garden (the Hill and Pond Garden), tea houses, and the Cultural Exchange Center, which is an authentic reproduction of a 19th century Kyoto tea merchant's house and shop.
Red-eared slider turtle and Koi at Hakone
In 1916, two San Francisco arts patrons, Oliver and Isabel Stine, intending to build a summer retreat, purchased the 18 acres (73,000 m2) site on which Hakone now stands. Inspired by her trips to Japan, Isabel Stine modeled the gardens upon (and named them after) Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. She hired Japanese landscape artists and architects to design the gardens and the Upper "Moon Viewing" House. In 1932, ownership passed to financier Major C. L. Tilden who added the main gate to the gardens. When he died, Hakone was inherited by his sister, Mrs. Walter Gregory. After she passed away in 1959, Hakone was left untended, and the property was put up for sale.
In 1961, Joseph and Clara Gresham, their son Eldon and wife Deon, and four Chinese American couples: George and Marie Hall, John and Helen Kan, Dan and June Lee, and Col. John C. and Mary Lee Young purchased the estate. This partnership restored Hakone to its original splendor, keeping its traditional Japanese authenticity while using it as a private retreat. In 1966, the partners offered a beautifully maintained Hakone for sale to the City of Saratoga. Today Hakone is administered by The Hakone Foundation, a non-profit organization, which was established in 1984 to restore and enhance the gardens independently of public funding. The gardens are open to the public and the various community facilities are often used for cultural events.
Film History 
Hakone Gardens was a filming location for the movie Memoirs of a Geisha (2005).
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Coordinates: 37°15′09″N 122°02′27″W / 37.252384°N 122.04095°W