Final Week of Shofuso Season


It’s been a long, hot summer, but brisk winds and cooler temperatures have finally come to Philadelphia. The beginning of Autumn brings beautiful fall colors, shorter days, and an end to the season at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden. This will be the last week of regular operating hours. You can visit Wednesday through Friday (10 AM – 4 PM) or Saturday and Sunday (11 AM – 5 PM). It’s also Yokai Family Weekend! You can sign up to hear Japanese ghost stories, take in the Yokai parade, and participate in a scavenger hunt. … Continue reading →

Brush Up on Yokai Knowledge with A-Yokai-A-Day


Yokai Family Weekend is coming at the end of this week! Are you ready? We have plenty of activities this weekend that will teach you all about these ghosts and monsters from Japanese folklore, but if you’re feeling impatient you can prepare for the celebrations by delving into the world of yokai on your own: Local yokai folklorist, illustrator, and author Matthew Meyer (who will be presenting his lecture and reading ghost stories at Shofuso this weekend) has been writing about yokai on his website all month! During the month of … Continue reading →

Happy 58th Birthday, Shofuso!

Shofuso in the 1960s, from a film slide.

On this day in 1958, Shofuso opened to the public in Fairmount Park. Originally built in 1953 as a gift from Japan to the United States to symbolize post-war peace, it was first exhibited in the courtyard at the Museum of Modern Art in New York as part of an architectural exhibition. Following the exhibition, it was relocated to Philadelphia. Shofuso was designed by architect Junzo Yoshimura using traditional Japanese building techniques, including the minimization of structural nails. Its roof, made from hinoki cypress bark, is harvested with special permission from … Continue reading →

Experience and Make Friends in Nara, Japan


The 2017 Japan America Grassroots Summit will be held in Nara, an ancient capital city that treasures its people alongside its traditional architecture including Buddhist statues, temples, and shrines. Some of them were designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Japanese National Treasures. The Japan-America Grassroots Summit is an annual large-scale meeting of Japanese and American citizens, held alternately in Japan and America. It celebrates the historic friendship between Nakahama Manjiro and Captain William Whitfield. Whitfield rescued the marooned Manjiro in 1841 and shared his own home with him. Later, … Continue reading →

Kobe: Philly’s Sister City in Japan


Thanks to Lower Merion’s famous basketball export, most Philadelphians are familiar with the city of Kobe and its delicious eponymous beef. What you may not know is that Kobe and Philadelphia have been sister cities since October 17, 1986. This year, JASGP will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of our relationship at our Annual Meeting on November 15 at City Hall. Before the celebration, I thought it would be interesting to share a little background on both the city of Kobe and our relationship. Back in the early ’80s, Kobe … Continue reading →