About Hakone

Hakone Estate and Gardens

Hakone is the oldest Japanese and Asian estate gardens in the Western Hemisphere, established in 1915. It is one of the prime land marks by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is an authentic replica of Japanese Samurai or Shogun’s estate garden, designed by one of descendent of the imperial gardening family members.


Located in the Saratoga hills, Hakone occupies more than 18 acres of chaparral, woodland and manicured Japanese gardens. It was designed and built by San Francisco cultural leaders Isabel and Oliver Stine; after falling into disrepair Hakone was rescued in the 1960’s by a group of prominent Chinese families. Today Hakone is owned by the City of Saratoga and administered by the Hakone Foundation. For the garden map, click here.


About the Gardens

Hakone is made up of a variety of waterfalls, hillside and strolling gardens, koi ponds and other elements of Japanese civilization. The Gardens exhibit the harmonious positioning of plants, stones and water elements: sublimely beautiful in all seasons. Learn more about the gardens here.


About the Buildings

Nestled among the gardens are several historic buildings that only serve to underscore the authenticity of this unique place. The Upper House, built in 1918, sits on the slope of the Moon Viewing Hill. The Lower House was constructed in 1922, blending traditional Japanese construction with the early California bungalow style. The Cultural Exchange Center was built in 1991 as an authentic reproduction of a 19th century Kyoto tea-merchant's house and shop.


Funding for Hakone’s programs is provided by contributions from individuals, foundations, corporations and government agencies. Learn more about the historic buildings here.