What does Shofuso mean?

Shofuso means “Pine Breeze Villa.” It was named by Japanese architect Junzo Yoshimura, who designed it in 1953 as part of an exhibition at the New York Museum of Modern Art.

When is Shofuso open?

Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center is open March 20–October 27, 2024, Wednesday–Sunday, 11:00am–5:00pm.

Beginning April 9, 2024, Shofuso will also be open on Tuesdays and updated hours will be Tuesday–Sunday, 11:00am–5:00pm.

Where can I purchase tickets?

Admission is by timed ticket only and capacity is limited. Timed tickets can be purchased online on our website up to three weeks in advance. Get yours here! Please note that Shofuso is open rain or shine and all tickets are final and non-refundable.

How long does the visit take? Do you offer tours?

The visit takes approximately 30 minutes -1 hour. There are no timed tours, but pick up tours are available. Staff is always available for questions. Scheduled group tours are available for groups of 8 to 40 people. For more information, visit our Group Tours page!

Can I park outside Shofuso?

Yes, there’s free parking nearby. NOTICE: Please be sure not to leave any valuables in your car due to a recent spate of break-ins in Fairmount Park targeting cars with clearly visible bags and laptops. Before visiting, double-check that to see that you have your wallet, camera and other personal items. We are not responsible for theft or damage to vehicles or contents.

Can I take photos or videos on site? Do you allow drones?

We are not currently accommodating professional photoshoot during regular open hours. Learn more about our private site rental policy for photography and videography here. Because the house is a historic site and drones pose a risk of accidentally damaging the structures, we have a strict no-drone policy.

Can I have my wedding or another private event at Shofuso?

We cannot accept any requests for weddings, retreats, or other private events, as we do not currently have the necessary staffing.

Can I cosplay at Shofuso?

Cosplay is permitted at Shofuso, though staff may ask that certain props or costuming that may pose a risk to the house or others be removed. Please be mindful of other visitors and do not bring any costume accessories or props that may damage the house or garden.

Are pets allowed at Shofuso? What about service animals?

Pets are not allowed at Shofuso; service animals who have been trained to work or perform certain tasks are allowed. In order to preserve Shofuso’s historic flooring, we ask that service dogs wear soft booties inside of the house. Booties are available to borrow upon request. There are no restrictions on service animals in our garden.

Can I eat at Shofuso? Are there picnic facilities on site?

We do not serve food on site during regular visitation days and do not permit visitors to bring in food. We don’t have any picnic facilities of our own, but the grounds of West Fairmount Park provide ample space to do so.

Do you serve tea?

Shofuso hosts scheduled tea ceremony demonstrations through local branches of the Urasenke and Omotesenke tea schools. We also offer the opportunity to study tea ceremony with Urasenke Philadelphia, with two beginner’s sessions scheduled twice a year. Please visit our events calendar or subscribe to our newsletter for the most up to date schedule.

Are the house and garden accessible to wheelchairs or scooters?

Because Shofuso reflects the conditions of seventeenth-century Japan, it is not wheelchair or scooter accessible. Shofuso is not easily accessible to users of walkers, canes, or prosthetics. Those devices are permitted in the house so long as they have rubber tips or are covered in a soft protective covering to preserve our historic flooring. For more information, please see Title II of the ADA.

What should I wear at Shofuso?

Please dress for the weather in seasonally-appropriate clothes, as our house is the same temperature inside as it is outside. High heels and open-toed shoes are not recommended for the garden.

In keeping with Japanese tradition, visitors must remove their shoes before entering the house. Please wear socks or stockings, as bare feet are not permitted; in the event you do not have socks, we ask you to put on disposable peds. Please note that the temperature inside the house is the same as outside – we encourage you to wear thick socks during cooler temperatures in the late fall and spring!

All visitors exiting the house must leave via the front entrance, and shoes must be worn in the garden. Remember, socks that have touched dirt are no better than shoes.

If you are unable to take off your shoes, we can provide shoe covers for you to wear inside the house, though staff will inspect shoes to determine if they would pose the risk of damage to our historic flooring (heels, cleats, steel-toed shoes, etc., will not be allowed in the house.)

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