San Mateo’s Japanese garden slated for refurbishing

Arguably the most-loved spot in San Mateo’s Central Park will get its first major renovation in more than 40 years this year.

The city is planning roughly $600,000 worth of renovations to the Japanese Garden, a charming, fenced-in oasis of tranquility that draws people for photo opportunities, quiet appreciation and at least 21 weddings last year alone. Designed by former Tokyo Imperial Palace garden director Nagao Sakurai in 1964, the garden hasn’t had major work since, San Mateo Parks and Recreation Department officials said.

Project plans include a new pathway surface, signs, irrigation system, signage and security system. The latter is particularly needed, Parks spokesman Ronald Mason said.

“We still have people who will break in. We’ve had items stolen from there, like lanterns that were donated from our sister city [Toyonaka],” Mason said, adding that people have speared the pond’s koi fish.

The old security system also had a tendency to go off if a squirrel crossed the laser beams, he added.

A new, partially screened meditation area will have to wait until more funds become available, he said. But the park will get night lighting to enable evening weddings and other private functions.

The park was ranked the 14th most beautiful Japanese garden in America in 2005 by the Journal of Japanese Gardens.

The Fifth Avenue entrance to Central Park is also scheduled for an upgrade, with repainting and new landscaping and lighting. Those plans are budgeted for a total $355,500, city records indicate.

kwilliamson@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Many famillies have supported keeping John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park free of car traffic. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fight over future of JFK Drive heats up

Shamann Walton compares accessibilty issues to segregation, likens street closure to ‘1950s South’

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, pictured in March, is unveiling a series of budget proposals this week. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Newsom’s school plan has billions for college savings accounts, after school programs and more

Hannah Wiley The Sacramento Bee California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to send… Continue reading

Tara Hobson, center, principal at SF International High School, welcomes a student back on Monday, April 26, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFUSD seniors get a chance to say goodbye to school in person

Deal to briefly return older students to school leaves many parents and teens dissatisfied

Forward Andrew Wiggins hits a layback jumper to protect the lead late in the fourth quarter as the Golden State Warriors take on the Phoenix Suns at Chase Center on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Wiggins erupts for 38 points as Warriors rally past Suns 122-116

A night after beating the NBA-leading Utah Jazz, the Golden State Warriors… Continue reading

A tent sits on the sidewalk at Hayes and Laguna streets in Hayes Valley on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Gavin Newsom wants to spend billions to fight homelessness in California

Hannah Wiley The Sacramento Bee California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday… Continue reading

Most Read