Scheduled group tours are available for groups of 10 or more. For our regular admission visitors, pick up tours are available subject to staff availability.
Our group tours lead you through each of Shofuso’s rooms, explaining the purpose and significance of all the main features of the site. Although Japanese homes today reflect modern living, many elements of traditional Japanese houses are still found in Japanese homes today.
To make your visit to the Japanese House and Garden more enjoyable, please take note of the following:
- In keeping with Japanese tradition, visitors must remove their shoes before entering the house. Please wear socks or stockings; bare feet are not permitted. Please note that the temperature inside the house is the same as outside, so please wear thick socks during cooler temperatures!
- While in the garden, however, shoes must be worn. Remember, socks that have touched dirt are no better than shoes.
- Because Shofuso reflects conditions of seventeenth-century Japan, it is not accessible to wheelchairs or scooters. Shofuso is not easily accessible to users of walkers, canes, or prosthetics, and such devices may require a soft protective covering to preserve our historic flooring.
- Late arrivals will be permitted dependent upon the schedule. If you know your group will be late, please call and inform the staff as soon as possible, and every effort will be made to accommodate late arrivals. Please note the next scheduled tour will be given priority.
- Portable toilets are located at the site and a public restroom is available nearby at the Horticulture Center.
- 48-hour notice of cancellations are required for partial refunds.
Our minimum reservation is for 10 people. Reservations for groups of less than 10 people will be charged as if 10 visitors were present. Groups of more than 30 require additional staffing, and a maximum of 60 people can participate in guided tours simultaneously. The Japanese House and Garden is a fragile artifact and the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia is committed to its preservation. We appreciate your understanding in this regard.
The Japanese House and Garden is open for group tours Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, March through October. April and early May are always in high-demand, and we suggest scheduling as far in advance as possible to ensure availability during this period.
Allow at least an hour for a tour. Additional time is generally available if you would like to have time to enjoy our gardens or gift shop.
Please email James Webster, Visitor Services Manager, at email@example.com for availability.
A non-refundable $25 scheduling fee is required to book your tour and should accompany your registration form.
- Tour of the House: $4/person (1 hour)
- Tea Tasting (appropriate for grade 3 to adults): $10/person. Trained staff lead a casual tea tasting. Hear a brief history of tea in Japan, taste a traditional sweet, and make a bowl of matcha green tea. Our tea tasting can accommodate, at most, 20 guests an hour. Be advised that seating is on the floor only for this program. (1 hour)
- Origami (appropriate for grade 3 to grade 12): $2/person. Learn to fold origami! Staff lead an origami lesson, geared to your skill level. (30 minutes)
- Kamishibai Storytelling (appropriate up to grade 2): $1/person. Since the 1920s, before the advent of TV, storytellers would travel around Japan delighting children with stories of adventure. The storyteller would use a series of posters to tell a traditional Japanese story such as “Momotaro: the Peach Boy.” In this lesson, children hear a dramatic telling of a traditional Japanese story. (30 minutes)
The Horticulture Center of Fairmount Park is located in the vicinity of the Japanese House. Tours of the Horticulture Center may be made by calling 215-685-0096. Tours must be arranged in advance.