Our Mission

We are dedicated to conserve and enhance Hakone Estate and Gardens for the enjoyment and benefit of the public, to preserve its Japanese authenticity for future generations, to promote a deeper understanding of Asian Cultures, and to serve as a global forum for art, music, culture, and ideas.

Hakone Foundation

The Hakone Foundation is a nonprofit organization seeking to manage the Gardens toward independence from public financing by encouraging membership contributions, managing rentals of the buildings and gardens and by sponsoring programs. By serving as a unique multicultural venue for residents and visitors from throughout the Bay Area and the world, Hakone is becoming a true global forum for the arts and culture. 

As an independent Foundation, launched in 2000, Hakone hosts more than 60,000 visitors a year, many of whom travel from Asia, Europe, Australia, and Africa. In recent years, the Foundation hosted the Prime Minister of Japan and a number of Japanese and Chinese Ambassadors and Consuls General. In addition, the Foundation routinely brings in renowned artists, dancers, performers, and musicians from throughout the world. Hakone also serves as a venue for art and cultural classes and cross-cultural programs and exhibitions. Many Bay Area corporations now view Hakone as the ideal setting for corporate retreats and conferences as Hakone achieves financial independence. 


Hakone is emerging as a unique artistic and cultural venue for residents and visitors from throughout the Bay Area. The Hakone Foundation is undergoing careful restoration and upgrading of its historic buildings and gardens. All donations and contributions to the Hakone Foundation are tax deductible under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and help preserve and protect this cultural jewel. 

The Board meeting is held on every other month and open to the public. For more info, please contact Events.

Hakone Board of Trustees

Executive Board

Ann Waltonsmith, Ph.D. - Chairperson

Psychologist; Former Saratoga City Council member

Emily Lo - Vice Chairperson

Former Mayor of Saratoga

Faramarz Yazdani, Ph.D - Treasurer

President, Meridian Financial Services Inc

Yuki Hashimoto - Secretary

Software Engineer, Graphic Designer, Restaurant Partner

Mary Lynne Bernald - City Council Member

Former Mayor of Saratoga, Community Leader

Connie Young Yu - Former Chairperson

Historian, Community Leader

Board of Trustees

Beverly Harada

Realtor of Sereno Group

Robert C. Himel

Sales Executive, Hewlett Packard – Retired

Reiko Iwanaga

Teacher of Odori Japanese Dance, Leader for San Jose Obon Odori Festival & Contemporary Asian Theater Scene(CATS), Owner of At Your Request Events

Sandy Miller

Financial Systems Analyst

Miki Shimabe

International Affairs Professional

Hiroshi Tomita

President of Konica Minolta Laboratory U.S.A., Inc.

Phyllis Tung

Board Member of the Saratoga Union School District

Patti Workman

Electrical Engineer

Kookie Fitzsimmons

Saratoga City Council Member

Hakone Honorary Advisors

Bradley Davis

Chancellor of the West Valley-Mission Community College District in Santa Clara County

Floyd Kvamme

Venture Capitalist

Yoriko Kishimoto

Former Mayor of Palo Alto City; now on Board of Directors, Mid-Peninsula Open Space

Allen Miner

Group Chairman/CEO, SunBridge USA

Norman Mineta

Former Member of both U.S. House of Representative and U.S. Secretary of Transportation; now President/CEO, Mineta & Assoc. LLC

Richard Moe

Former President, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Morihito Nagai

Retired, major donor for building CEC

Supervisor Joe Simitian

County Board of Supervisors

Yoshihiro Uchida

Former Judo Head Coach at SJSU, Businessperson

Hakone Personnel

Shozo Kagoshima - Executive Director

Tony Barbatti - Events Manager

Christine Vida -  Events Coordinator

Safdar Ighanian - Bookkeeper/Accountant

Chiharu Yabe - Gift Shop, Membership, Volunteer & Community Education

Anna Sekimura - Gift Shop Staff, Assistant Gardener

Noriko Ashihara - Gift Shop Staff

Jacob Kellner - Head of Grounds Maintenance

Jesus Chiprez - Assistant Gardener

Sandra Velaquez - Maintenance & Cleaning

Hakone Long Time Volunteers

Cultural Programs: John Larissou, Minako Tsuji

Docents: Arnie Cornez, Patricia Avery, June Kanazawa, Joanne Yamani, Irene Yano, Hiromi Hoshino, Margaret Tomita, Noriko Ashihara

Gardens: Arnie Cornez

Koi Consultant: Barbabra Drummer

Photographer: Mike Story