With bold reds, radiant yellows and warm oranges, the latest ikebana creations on display draw inspiration from the vibrant tapestry of autumn's palette.
Shofuso is a 17th century style Japanese house and nationally-ranked garden in Philadelphia
Shofuso Japanese House and Garden is a traditional-style Japanese house and nationally-ranked garden in Philadelphia’s West Fairmount Park that reflects the history of Japanese culture in Philadelphia, from the 1876 Centennial Exposition to present day. Shofuso hosts over 30,000 visitors each year from more than 20 different countries. Shofuso was built in Japan in 1953 using traditional technique
s and materials and exhibited in the courtyard at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was moved to Philadelphia in 1958, to the site of several previous Japanese structures dating to the 1876 Centennial Exposition. In 2007, internationally renowned artist Hiroshi Senju, inspired by our waterfall, donated 20 murals to Shofuso. A viewing garden with koi pond and island, a tea garden, and a courtyard garden comprise the 17th century-style Japanese walled and fenced garden of this historic site and museum. The newly-restored, historic 1876 Sakura Pavilion is year-round space for programming, classes, meetings, events, and exhibitions. Shofuso was again named the third-ranked Japanese garden in North America by the Journal of Japanese Gardening in 2013,was listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places in 2013, and is a contributing structure to the Fairmount Park National Historic District since 1972.
With bold reds, radiant yellows and warm oranges, the latest ikebana creations on display draw inspiration from the vibrant tapestry of autumn's palette.
A glimpse into the passion that keeps Shofuso thriving: out team’s annual cleanup is a labor of love for preserving our cherished museum 🌺🧹
Thanks to everyone who joined our Yokai-themed festivities this past weekend. We hope you had a hauntingly good time! 👹👻
A gentle reminder that we are switching to winter hours this week. Shofuso will be open on Saturday and Sunday only, 10 AM to 4 PM until December 10. Purchase tickets in advance at japanphilly.org/shofuso and visit us on the weekends!
Our Yokai Weekend is lurking just around the corner. 👺
Join us at Shofuso Saturday & Sunday to uncover the mysteries of Japanese folklore and experience Halloween like never before! 👹🕸️
Only 3 spots left for our Shichigosan photoshoot on November 5! Join us at 12 PM, 2 PM or 3 PM for a day of beautiful memories. Secure your spot before it's too late 📷✨
Shichi-Go-San is for 3 and 7-year-old girls and 5-year-old boys. Special kimono can be rented for an additional price. Those not opting for kimono rental will wear our standard kimono or are welcome to bring their own 👘
📌 More info at https://ow.ly/AeJr50Q181P
Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors of fall and witness the magic of the changing seasons at Shofuso 🍃🍁
Unlock the hidden world of Yokai 👹 Yokai are supernatural creatures and spirits from the Japanese folklore that live all around us. Join us October 28-29 for this all-ages weekend event at Shofuso!
👻 Activities (free with admission): scavenger hunt, kamishibai (paper theater) storytelling and origami making.
🕸️ Only on Saturday, 10/28, we will be holding a Yokai-inspired "Tsukumogami" Flea Market outside Shofuso, where vintage Japanese wonders, each with its own unique story and spirit, find new purpose! In Japanese folklore, tsukumogami are objects or tools that come to life after 100 years of use, often with mischievous or playful intentions.
Happy 65th Anniversary, Shofuso! 🎉 Today, we celebrate 65 years in the heart of West Fairmount Park.
Shofuso’s journey began within MoMa’s sculpture garden in New York, where it was on display from June 1954 to October 1954, and again from April 1955 to October 1955 as part of the “House in the Garden” series.
After the exhibition concluded, Shofuso found its new home in West Fairmount Park, which originally boasted a Japanese temple gate (Niomon) tragically destroyed by a fire in 1955. The decision to relocate the house here was driven by a desire to maintain a meaningful Japanese tradition on this very spot.
In the fall of 1956, the house was disassembled by Isao Okumura, the chief carpenter who had previously contributed to the MoMa installation. Reassembly in Philadelphia occurred between 1957 and 1958 under Okumura’s leadership, with the assistance of garden designer Tansai Sano and roofer Kichinosuke Morikawa. The trio trained Fairmount Park's carpenters in the art of constructing the Japanese house.
Surrounded by a Japanese garden specifically designed for this new location by Sano, Shofuso officially reopened to the public on Sunday, October 19, 1958.
💎 A rare 8mm footage, captured by Okumura in 1957, documenting the installation of the house in West Fairmount Park, is now on display at Shofuso as part of the "Okaeri: The Nisei Legacy at Shofuso" exhibition.
Grateful for the beautiful melodies that filled Shofuso during the Sanshin concert with Marin Naruse, made possible by the support of the Asian Cultural Council and Multicultural Sonic Evolution (MuSE) 🎶
📷 Photos by Yui Kitamura
By Rolando Rosa When Candice Graham stepped into Shofuso on a mid-June morning in 2022, she was met with a disheartening scene. Two waterfall murals, gifts from renowned artist Hiroshi Senju, had been defaced overnight at this cherished Japanese historical site and exhibition space in Philadelphia.
Only 3 tickets left for an exclusive day of art and history in New Hope, PA! Explore the Raymond Farm Center for Living Arts and Design and Nakashima Woodworking Studios. Don't miss out, grab your ticket for Saturday 10/21 now! 🎨🌳
Friday marked the launch of the self-guided audio tour for our current exhibition, "Okaeri (Welcome Home): The Nisei Legacy at Shofuso".
Featuring the voices and stories of the Nisei (second-generation Japanese American) leaders highlighted in the exhibit, these oral history recordings are enriched by the perspectives of their surviving siblings, children and friends.
Ready to listen? 🎧 Click the link below to access the audio pieces on our website, and visit Shofuso to immerse yourself in their stories until December 10.
📌 Exhibit Website: https://okaeri.japanphilly.org/Audio
📷 Photos by Rob Buscher
We're delighted to welcome back West Park Cultural Center at Shofuso with a Photography/Poetry class for kids aged 8-13. Learn more at westparkcultural.org/program/photography-poetry/
Mark your calendar for this year's Shichi-Go-San celebration on November 4-5! 🎉
Bring your 3, 5, or 7-year-olds for an unforgettable experience, and capture precious memories as your child dresses in a beautiful kimono at Shofuso 📸👘
📌 Learn more about pricing & reserve your spot today at https://ow.ly/MEpE50PVgHQ. Please note that Shichigosan is open to 3 and 7 year-old girls and 5 year-old boys.
This Saturday, October 7, admission will be $5 for garden-only access, as private tea ceremonies and public demonstrations will take place inside Shofuso's house and tea house all day.
Please be aware that participation in the tea ceremonies is limited to Omotesenke guests, practitioners, and visitors who have registered for public demonstrations.
🍵 Last Chance Alert! Join us for a serene tea experience at Shofuso's final tea demonstrations of the year. Limited tickets available – grab your seats now before they're gone! 🎟️
📅 Saturday, October 7 - 12:30 PM (6 left) & 1:30 PM (4 left)
Did you know you can find "a bit of Japan" just a short 45-minute drive from Philadelphia?
On Saturday, October 21, join us for a special tour of the Raymond Farm Center for Living Arts and Design and George Nakashima Woodworkers, and learn about mid-century architecture and Japanese design influences in New Hope, PA.
🗓️ Participants will meet at Raymond Farm (photos 4-6) at 11 AM for a tour of that site first, followed by a bento box lunch at 1 PM and a tour of the nearby Nakashima studios (photos 1-3) at 2 PM.
📍 Learn more and reserve your spot at japanphilly.org/?event=a-tour-of-raymond-farm-and-nakashima-studios. Space is limited!
Join our special members-only admission hours on Friday, October 6, 5 - 7 PM!
Meet other JASGP members, enjoy light refreshments and embrace the beauty of Fall at Shofuso 🍂 Matcha tea will be offered to guests by Urasenke practitioners (while supplies last).
RSVP at https://ow.ly/HbTR50PPnbi
Otsukimi has been a Shofuso tradition since the time of the "Friends of the Japanese House and Garden", the non-profit organization founded in 1982 by a group of Philadelphia’s second-generation Japanese Americans.
The Friends restored Shofuso, which had fallen into disrepair, and turned it into a convening space for the whole Japanese American community, through daily tours of the house and seasonal festivals (Obon, Otsukimi, Tanabata) that continue today as the core of Shofuso's programming.
You can learn more about the Friends at okaeri.japanphilly.org and by visiting the exhibition currently on display at Shofuso through December 2023.
Photo: Taeko Shervin, Urasenke Tea master and member of the Friends, arranged the offerings for Otsukimi, 1996.
Save the date and join us for an unforgettable evening of traditional Japanese music with Marin Naruse, musician and Asian Cultural Council grant recipient 🎼🍃
On Sunday, October 8, 5:30 - 7 PM, Marin is stopping for one night only at Shofuso to perform on the sanshin (a snake-skinned shamisen originally from Okinawa) the intimate music of Shimauta, a style originating from the Amami islands of Kagoshima Prefecture.
🎟️ Don't miss it and buy your ticket today: https://japanphilly.org/?event=shamisen-marin-naruse. Event in partnership with Multicultural Sonic Evolution (MuSE).
There are still tickets available to the last tea demonstrations of the season, Saturday, October 7 12:30 & 1:30 PM.
Savor the delicate flavors of Usucha (thin tea), and immerse yourself in the art of Japanese tea ceremony as the graceful movements and meticulous rituals transport you to a realm of serenity and mindfulness 🍵
📌 Sign up for 12:30 PM: https://ow.ly/zye150PKMW4
📌 Sign up for 1:30 PM: https://ow.ly/9UUv50PKMW2
During the Yokai Weekend, in late October, we will be hosting a Flea Market to sell donated items or items that we no longer need from our storage.
If you would like to donate something for this flea market, fill out the form at the link below. All proceeds will go to Shofuso. Please note that we are only accepting Japanese-made or Japan-related items.
Join us on Friday, September 29, from 7 - 9 PM to watch the moon rise over Shofuso’s pond! 🎑
Otsukimi (お月見, moon-viewing) is a Japanese holiday that celebrates the harvest moon and is usually observed in September and October.
This moon-viewing party at Shofuso will include snacks and refreshments, fine sake tastings 🍶 and live musical performances. Festive/cocktail attire is requested.
📌 RSVP at https://japanphilly.org/?event=otsukimi-moon-viewing-party
Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower-arranging, focuses on nontraditional plant materials such as branches, mosses, fruit and vegetables, as well as flowers in all their evolving forms. The use of space between materials and the asymmetry of the design is an important element of this art.
The arrangements will be on display at Shofuso through Sunday, September 10. Please note that, until then, the Okaeri Exhibition will be temporarily taken down to make space for the arrangements.
📷 Photos by Millie Chen, Membership and Development Coordinator
Are you a member? Join us for an exclusive sneak peek of our annual Ikebana Exhibition this Thursday, 5 - 7 PM 🌿 We’re excited to honor Ikebana International Philadelphia Chapter 71 for their fantastic support in making this event possible ✨
Stunning ikebana arrangements created by practitioners from various schools will transform our historic house and veranda from September 8 to September 10. Don’t miss this chance to immerse yourself in the beauty of Japanese flower art! 💐🇯🇵
📌 Members can RSVP for this event at https://japanphilly.org/?event=ikebana-exhibition-members-preview
Gearing up for Labor Day Weekend? 🤗
Get fun family time at Shofuso with these awesome activities:
🎏 Feed our voracious koi - they go where the food is!
🏯 Tour the historical house and the garden 👉 Pro tip: Ask our docents any questions you have for a guided museum tour!
💁♀️ Learn about Japanese American history and the legacy of our Nisei founders through the Okaeri exhibition
🌿 Relax on the veranda and take in the beauty of the scenery 😌
Buy tickets in advance at japanphilly.org/shofuso.
Discover the Art of Ikebana at Shofuso! We are thrilled to host an exquisite exhibition honoring Ikebana International Philadelphia Chapter 71 and their incredible support 🙌
Experience the beauty of ikebana arrangements created by talented practitioners from various schools, adorning our historic house and peaceful veranda 💐✂️
📅 When: September 8-10
⏰ Time: 11 AM - 5 PM
🎟️ Included in Shofuso admission
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to witness the harmonious blend of art and nature! 🌿
The stoic elegance of the stone lantern overlooking the turtle island 🍃
Immerse yourself in the timeless elegance of traditional Japanese architecture, lush foliage, and serene koi ponds. Today is the perfect day to escape the ordinary and embrace the extraordinary beauty that awaits you at Shofuso 🍃
Earlier this August, we had the most heartwarming opening reception of the "Okaeri: The Nisei Legacy at Shofuso" exhibition here in Philadelphia.
Through oral history recordings and projection of never-before-seen archival videos, "Okaeri" (Welcome Home) represents an incredible tribute to the unwavering spirit of the Nisei leaders who played a monumental role in restoring the beauty of the Shofuso Japanese House and Gardens.
In addition to the site-based exhibition - included in Shofuso admission and on display through December 2023 - users can access a curated selection of digital documents, photos, and videos related to this project at https://okaeri.japanphilly.org/.
Tōrō Nagashi (literally “floating lanterns”) is a summer ritual held during the Obon season. Paper lanterns are decorated with stickers and messages and then lit with candles before being released down a river to guide the ancestors' spirits back to the other world.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone who joined us this past weekend to celebrate Obon!
The wait is over: the Obon festival is tomorrow! Here's everything you need to know to plan your outing and enjoy this family-friendly event in West Fairmount Park:
Dance and Performance Schedule:
🥁 Performance by Mac's Taiko Workshop Participants (3 PM)
👘 Bon Odori Group Dances at 3:10 PM, 4:25 PM & 5:25 PM
🥁 Taiko set by KyoDaiko, Hoh Daiko and Casual Fifth, respectively at 4 PM, 5 PM and 6 PM
🎨 Uchiwa Decorating
🧧 Origami (Paper Folding)
🪀 Yo-Yo Tsuri (Water Balloon Fishing)
🛍️ Vendor market with food, drinks and goods from local vendors
🎟️ Visiting Shofuso (11 AM - 5 PM)
🏮 Lantern Floating Ceremony (sold-out on 8/12, under 10 tickets remaining for 8/19)
📍 WHERE: Outside Shofuso, at the intersection of Lansdowne Dr & Horticultural Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19131
Ready to shop? Take notes and venture out to Shofuso this Saturday to meet the Philadelphia Obon Festival’s Vendors!
🧋 Lulu Cafe lulucafeonlineorder.square.site/
🍻 Triple Bottom Brewing Company
🍶 Joe and Kay whatnowphilly.com/kamihira-family-preparing-to-open-izakaya-restaurant-joe-and-kay-produce-in-northern-liberties/
📿 Hikari wo Sagasu 光 を 探す
👘 Kimono/Yukata sales and dressing
🐰 QuiescientSnow etsy.com/shop/quiescentsnow
📣 JASGP Members are invited to the opening reception of "Okaeri (Welcome Home): The Nisei Legacy at Shofuso," a site-based multimedia exhibit telling the story of the Nisei (second-generation), American-born persons of Japanese descent, and their unique connection and contributions to Shofuso.
Through audio🎙️and projection 🎥 of never-before-seen archival footage from the 1957 installation of Shofuso and oral history recordings, the exhibit will allow visitors to hear the stories of the Japanese American community in their own words, exploring topics related to the forced removal and incarceration during WWII, resettlement to Philadelphia in the postwar era, the role played by arts and culture in local Japanese American activist movements, and the untold labor that has gone into preserving Shofuso.
📌 RSVP for the opening reception on Thursday, August 8, 5:30 - 7:30 PM at https://ow.ly/ST7x50Pspjt. The exhibit will be on display throughout the rest of the 2023 season and is included in admission.
This and the next Saturday, July 29 & August 5, come learn Bon Odori Dances with the Seabrook Minyo Dance Group! 👘
The practice will take place just outside Shofuso 12 - 1 PM, and will be followed by a Taiko workshop led by instructor Mac Evans. Sign up at japanphilly.org/programs or walk-up!
💡 We recommend wearing comfortable clothing and shoes, and to dress appropriately for the weather. No previous dance experience is necessary.
SAVE THE DATE! 👘 The Philadelphia Obon Festival returns at Shofuso Saturday, August 12. From 3 to 7 PM, enjoy this summer celebration with traditional bon odori dances, taiko drumming performances, food, Japanese arts and crafts and more!
The event will take place outside of Shofuso and is free and open to the public. Please note that admission to Shofuso and to the Lantern Ceremony on August 12 will require a separate ticket.
Learn more at japanphilly.org/obon 🍡
Horticultural & Lansdowne Drs
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Shofuso Japanese House and Garden is a traditional-style Japanese house and nationally-ranked garden in Philadelphia’s West Fairmount Park that reflects the history of Japanese culture in Philadelphia, from the 1876 Centennial Exposition to present day. Shofuso hosts over 30,000 visitors each year from more than 20 different countries.
Shofuso was designed by modern Japanese architect Junzo Yoshimura, and is based on a 17th century guesthouse at Kojo-in, a sub-temple of Onjō-ji temple in the city of Ōtsu. It was built in Nagoya, Japan in 1953 using traditional techniques and materials and exhibited in the courtyard at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Following its exhibition, Shofuso was moved to Philadelphia in 1958, to the site of several previous Japanese structures dating to the 1876 Centennial Exposition.
Shofuso features three traditional gardens on its 1.2 acre site: a hill-and-pond style garden featuring a waterfall, island, and koi pond; a courtyard garden in the style of an urban 17th century Kyoto garden; and a tea garden, which is a rustic path to its tea house. In 2007, internationally renowned artist Hiroshi Senju, inspired by Shofuso’s waterfall, donated 20 murals, which are on view inside the house. The newly-restored, historic 1876 Sakura Pavilion offers year-round space for programming, classes, meetings, events, and exhibitions.
In 2016, Shofuso merged with the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, a private nonprofit organization which has brought Philadelphia and Japan closer together for more than 25 years. The house and garden is a beacon for Japanese cultural programs throughout the year, beginning with the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival every April. Throughout the year, Shofuso hosts Japanese tea ceremony lessons and demonstrations by the Urasenke Tea School of Philadephia, features weekly floral installations by Ikebana International Philadelphia Chapter 71, and is the site for taiko drum performances by Kyo Daiko and Japanese classical dance performances by IchiFuji-kai Dance Association.
Shofuso is named the third-ranked Japanese garden in North America by the Journal of Japanese Gardening, is listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, and is a contributing structure to the Fairmount Park National Historic District. More information on Shofuso can be found by visting japanesehouse.org.