An Afternoon at Hakone

Tucked away in the Saratoga hills, away from the bustle of Silicon Valley, you’ll find a Japanese garden where turtles bask lazily in the sun and colorful Koi fish race under a quaint wooden bridge. It could be a scene out of a movie.* Welcome to Hakone Gardens, “the oldest Japanese and Asian estate gardens in the Western Hemisphere” – a designation, I’m guessing, that came with becoming one of the preserved gems of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

It’s too early in the year to show you the flowers in full bloom (you really should see the garden late in spring), so I’ll try to bring you back another day. In the meantime, let’s saunter around the main garden, my favorite of the four gardens in this tranquil oasis.





As we cross the bridge one last time, Mr. Turtle remains rooted by his sunny little patch of grass. I’ll leave you in his relaxed company while I head off to dinner downtown. Peace.


*Fun fact: Scenes from the movie, Memoirs of a Geisha, were filmed here.