In the early 1900s the San Antonio City Parks Department wanted to beautify the old Portland Cement quarry. A Japanese Tea Garden was conceived to fill the space. Japanese artist Kimi Eizu Jingu was enlisted to assist in the design of an authentic Japanese Tea Garden. Numerous plants from gardens in Japan were imported to imbue authenticity. A house was constructed on the site using rocks from the old quarry and the Jingu family was moved in to become overseers of the facility. In 1926, the Jingus opened a tea house in the upper level of their home. Mr. Jingu became famous internationally for his knowledge of teas.
The Jingu family remained in their home in the garden until shortly after the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. The resulting general fear and resentment by the American public caused the Jingu family to be removed from the garden and the name was changed to the Chinese Tea Garden. It was at that time the Chinese-style entry was added bearing the inscription "Chinese Tea Garden." The name was not changed back to Japanese Tea Garden until the 1970s!
|"Entrance to Chinese Tea Garden"|
|The Pavilion at Japanese Tea Garden|
|Texas Gold Columbine|
|Jerusalem sage (phlomis fruticosa)|
|Japanese Garden bridge and waterfall.|
|Jan, Bob, Mom--Looks warm, but it was COLD!!|
|Grasses and bridge.|
|Blue plumbago flowers (?)|
|Turtle swimming underwater.|
|Trail from Japanese Garden to San Antonio Zoo.|
|Mom, me, Jan|
We wanted to show Mom and Jan another part of the Riverwalk so we parked at Pearl Brewery and walked to the San Antonio Art Museum. Along the way, we saw the artwork of Carlos Cortes (designer of The Grotto using Faux Bois [false wood] technique), and the fish sculptures hanging under the freeway.
|Black-bellied whistling ducks.|
|Black-bellied whistling duck at Pearl Brewery Riverwalk.|
|San Antonio Riverwalk at Pearl Brewery Complex.|
|Concrete art of Carlos Cortes.|
|San Antonio Art Museum from Museum Reach on the Riverwalk.|
|Fish art under a freeway.|
|Ducklings with no momma duck. Awwww.|
|Carlos Cortes art at The Grotto.|
|What type of flower or bloom is this?|
|Explosive new growth on cacti at The Alamo.|
Then we took the elevator to new (for us) heights--the Observation Deck of Tower of the Americas. Tower of the Americas at 750' tall was built in 1968.
It was a beautiful, clear afternoon and our 360-degree panorama was unobstructed by clouds, humidity or dust. The Observation Deck has photos around the inside identifying city landmarks we could see. Texas history write ups lined the walls. Mom was most amazed by camels in Texas. She had no idea camels had been imported for use in the hot, arid conditions. That idea did not work out in the long run because camels apparently smell horrible, have cantankerous personalities and the horses who had to work with the camels were terrified of them. Oops.
An outside observation area is available as well. However, howling, icy-cold winds kept us inside, except for a foray outside to take a couple of photos.
|Looking south from Tower of the Americas.|
|Reading history of Texas.|
|The Alamodome as seen from the Tower.|
|Jan, Bob, Mom|
|Jan, me, Mom|
|Bob, Susan, Jan, Mom, and San Antonio at night.|
|Bob and Mom hamming it up in 3-D glasses.|
|Waterfalls in Hemisfair Park outside Tower of the Americas.|
We think there was a BASF convention in town.
|Tower of the Americas at night with moon.|
|Part of the Convention Center.|
|Riverwalk Mall neon and lighted bridge--Riverwalk.|
Travel Bug out.