San Mateo ( SAN mə-TAY-oh; Spanish for ‘”Saint Matthew“‘) is a city in San Mateo County, California, approximately 20 miles (32 km) south of San Francisco, and 31 miles (50 km) northwest of San Jose. San Mateo had an estimated 2019 population of 104,430. It has a Mediterranean climate, and is known for its rich history. The biggest economic contributors to the city include the Medical Center, one of the local school districts, and Sony’s Sony Interactive Entertainment division. Finally, being in the center of the San Francisco Bay Area, it has many ways to travel back and forth beween the major cities of that area.
In the early 20th century, Japanese immigrants came to San Mateo to work in the salt ponds and flower industry. Although Japanese-Americans only account for 2.2% of the population today, they continue to be a major cultural influence and a draw for the rest of the region. The Eugene J. De Sabla Japanese Teahouse and Garden was established in 1894 at 70 De Sabla Road, designed by Makoto Hagiwara, designer of the Japanese garden in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. He arranged for Japanese artisans to be brought to the United States primarily for its teahouse construction. The parcel was purchased in 1988 by San Francisco businessman Achille Paladini and wife Joan, who have restored it. The garden features hundreds of varieties of plants and several rare trees. A large koi pond surrounds an island. The property was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
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