The San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden - also called the Sunken Gardens - was an unexpected find in San Antonio, a city dominated by Latin culture. However, as I found out after visiting the garden, it is just as embedded in the city's culture and history.The tea garden, formerly a rock quarry, was established by the city's parks department in the early 1900s. Though opened as a Japanese tea garden, the city unfortunately fell sway to the prevailing WWII anti-Japanese sentiment in the 1940s, and the park was renamed the Chinese Tea Garden. This is especially noticeable at the old entrance gate to the park where "Chinese Tea Garden" is chiseled in the wood-designed concrete. However, in the 1980s, the name was changed back to Japanese Tea Garden by mayoral decree.The Japanese Tea Garden has a large pagoda, koi ponds, winding walkways, stone arch bridges, and a restaurant on the grounds. As one might expect, the environment is rife with lush vegetation and relaxing waterfalls.The restaurant - called the Jingu House - matches the garden's Japanese theme. One can enjoy light Asian dishes on tables with centerpieces of orchids floating in water. Though the restaurant is a nice value-add for the tea garden, I found the prices somewhat high for food that was not very impressive.That being said, the Japanese Tea Garden is a great (and free) place to visit during any stay in San Antonio!