The Original Japanese Tea Pavilion

For many years, a Japanese garden has been the dream of San Diegans, many of whom recall the original Japanese tea house.

Japanese Tea House, 1915

Built in 1915 for the Panama-California Exposition, the tea house stood in Balboa Park for approximately forty years as a symbol of the strong cultural and commercial ties that linked two of the world's leading nations. What started as a commercial venture was turned over to local Japanese operators, and served as a cultural center until the early 1940s. Please visit the San Diego History Center’s website for a detailed account of the Panama-California Exposition San Diego 1915-1916, by Richard Amero. The following images are from the collection of the San Diego History Center:

Japanese Tea House, 1935