VISITORS FROM AROUND THE WORLD TOUR THE SHOFUSO JAPANESE HOUSE AND GARDEN – KNOWN AS THE “JAPANESE HOUSE” BY LOCALS – IN WEST FAIRMOUNT PARK, PHILADELPHIA.
The Japanese House was a gift from the Japanese after World War II. It was built in 1953 as an exhibit for New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
In 1958, the house was moved to its current location, a garden was added, and it was opened to the public. Facilities include a 17th-century-inspired shoin-style house, tea house, and viewing garden off the veranda that features a weeping cherry tree, azaleas, cut leaf Japanese maple, waterfall, and pond – “a way to escape to Japan without traveling to Japan,” explained Prudence Haines, executive director of the Japanese House.
In 2006, the house underwent preservation by Japanese craftsmen. The hinoki wood on the veranda needed repair; new gutters and drainage system were installed; and plaster replaced latex paint. New murals created by Hiroshi Senju took the place of ones destroyed by vandals.
The Subaru of America Foundation funded preservation efforts as well as the house’s ongoing educational programs. These include storytelling, exploring traditional Japanese clothing, learning about design and fabrics, and tea tasting.
The Japanese House has a variety of other offerings for the public. They include a tea ceremony, moon viewing festival (October), summer festival (June), Japanese gardening workshops, summer camps, and more.
See the Community Transitional School here.