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Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center

Serenity and elegance in Fairmount Park...

Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

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The Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center offers serenity both indoors and out within the western section of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park.

The traditional-style Japanese house and nationally ranked garden reflect the history of Japanese culture in the city.

Visitors are invited to tour the house and feed the koi fish that swim in a pond under a 75-year-old weeping cherry tree, as well as explore the beautiful garden landscape that stretches for more than an acre.

Members of the Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center can visit as often as they please at no charge, as well as participate in special members-only events.

The History

First established as a Japanese-style landscape for the 1876 Centennial Exposition, the current garden was designed by Sano Tansai in 1958 when the authentic shoin-style Japanese house was moved here from New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

For Philadelphia’s 1976 Bicentennial celebration, the garden was extensively renovated by Nakajima Kenji in the authentic Momoyama style of early 17th-century Japan.

As a legacy project for Shofuso’s 60th anniversary in fall of 2018, representatives from the Sorakuen Garden in Kobe, Japan spent nine days at Shofuso working on improvements to the garden.

Added in 2021, the pebble beach along the central pond is based on 1957 drawings for the property and draws inspiration from the shoreline along Kyoto’s Kamo River.

Don’t Miss

Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center invites the public to special annual events, festivals and tea ceremonies held throughout the year.

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