Refreshments and Treats at the Tea House

Come enjoy a meditative cup of tea, mochi, or even a bowl of udon at the Tea House overlooking the picturesque south-facing pond. 

Time for an afternoon snack? Visit the Tea House inside the Japanese Tea Garden.

Guests can sample popular Japanese refreshments in the newly refurbished Tea House, featuring a custom-designed irori or farmhouse-style family table. The Tea House is nestled in the center of The Japanese Tea Garden and overlooks the picturesque, tranquil landscape.

According to family members, Mr. Hagiwara introduced fortune cookies to the United States from Japan in the 1890’s or early 1900’s. Initially, the cookies were made on-site by hand using a special iron mold or kata. When demand grew, Mr. Hagiwara hired San Francisco confectioner Benkyodo to produce the fortune cookies in large quantities.

Original fortune cookies made in Japan were savory rather than sweet, and it is believed that Benkyodo developed a vanilla recipe for Mr. Hagiwara to make it more appealing to Western palates, which is the flavor that is now widely popular across the U.S.

The tradition of serving fortune cookies to Tea Garden visitors continues today; one is tucked inside every bowl of Japanese rice crackers, also known as arare, sold at the Tea House. 

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