Japanese Tea Garden: Potential Travel Challenge for Elderly

I love the photo above of me, my twin sister (in matching head-to-toe outfits) and our older sister during a family visit to the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco many, many, years ago.  Side note: my twin sister and I dressed alike most of our childhood thanks to our talented mother who made our clothes and styled us with handbags.  Doesn’t every little girl need a mini-purse?

OK, on to the real topic.  Recently my dad went to the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco with his assisted living group.  He hadn’t been there since the photo above was taken some forty-five years ago when he was young, strong and surefooted.  Now, at 91 he has a rolling walker, is a little unsteady on his feet and has a fear of falling, having fallen twice in the past few years.  Long story short…he went and was ok but told me how challenging it was to walk around.

Therefore, I feel it is my duty to warn anyone thinking of visiting the Japanese Tea Garden who uses a walker, wheelchair, cane or is just a little unsteady on their feet.  There are narrow bridges with water underneath, bumpy stone walkways, stepping-stones, steps, and uneven surfaces throughout the gardens (see slideshow below).  The management at the Tea Garden understands that much of the garden is not accessible to people with mobility issues and therefore doesn’t charge an admission fee if you have a wheelchair or walker.

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The following slideshow depicts how beautiful the garden is, if you can walk around safely to see everything.

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These two slideshows depict the world I straddle…looking out for anything that could harm my dad while wanting him to live a full life of beauty.  One last note: I didn’t get a photo of where tea is served but it is handicap accessible.  Safe travels.


  1. Janice Miyatake

    Great blog…I really enjoy all the research that was done and the detailed information you share .


    1. Hi Janice: Thanks for the note. Hope the info I share helps others.


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