Hakone Gardens

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Hakone Historic District
Hakone Gardens.jpg
Hakone Gardens
Location21000 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, California
Area18 acres (7.3 ha)
NRHP reference No.13000181
Added to NRHPApril 23, 2013

Hakone Gardens is an 18-acre (7.3 ha) traditional Japanese garden in Saratoga, California, United States. A recipient of the Save America'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.[1]


A bridge over the koi pond
Red-eared slider turtle and Koi at Hakone
Building at Hakone

In 1915, two San Francisco arts patrons, Oliver and Isabel Stine, intending to build a summer retreat, purchased the 18-acre (7.3 ha) 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 her death 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, Johnny Kan and Helen Kan, Dan and June Lee, Col. John C. Young 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 2000 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[edit]

Hakone Gardens was a filming location for the movie Memoirs of a Geisha (2005).[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Nippon Mura garden, also in Saratoga, was created earlier, in 1902, but changed hands and became an Italian restaurant in the 1940s.See "Three Historic Japanese Style Gardens in Saratoga". Saratoga Historical Association. Retrieved 2010-08-24. and "La Hacienda celebrates 100 years pleasing diners' palates". Mercury News. Archived from the original on 2011-04-08. Retrieved 2010-08-24..
  2. ^ "Filming locations for Memoirs of a Geisha". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-02-15.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°15′09″N 122°02′27″W / 37.252384°N 122.04095°W / 37.252384; -122.04095