Private site rentals for photography and videography are now available at Shofuso. If you are interested in a casual, non-professional, non-commercial shoot during regular hours, please visit our photography policy page. We are unable to support private events at this time.

Shofuso is available for private photo or video shoots from June through August. Sessions may occur after regular operating hours on Friday-Sunday from 5:30pm-7:30pm. The site will not be closed to the public early to accommodate a session. Please email for availability.

House Rules

We can provide access to areas of the house normally off-limits to the public for photography and videography use.  A staff member must be present at all times while such areas are in use. Please note that the island, bridge, and berm can be unstable, and use of such features are at your own risk. For preservation purposes, we do not permit drones at Shofuso.

Due to the fragile nature of the house and its surrounding grounds, the following rules have been created to protect the site, and will be strictly enforced by the staff. Failure to follow these rules can result in eviction from the site and forfeiture of all fees.

  • NO SMOKING or use of any flame is permitted within the grounds of Shofuso. This ban includes the use of lit candles or incense.
  • SHOES MAY NOT BE WORN IN THE HOUSE. Even small amounts of grit and dirt can cause permanent damage to the wood and mats within the house. All members of the group including the photographer/videographer and any crew members or assistants must wear socks or stockings in the house to comply with state health codes. Disposable stockings (peds) are available for those who do not have socks or stockings. The tips of mobility devices must be rubber tipped if to be brought into the house. If any guests cannot remove shoes for mobility reasons, soft booties will be provided.
  • SHOES MUST BE WORN IN THE GARDEN.  Socks that have touched the ground, even briefly, must be replaced before re-entering the house.  For your own safety, bare feet are not allowed in the garden.
  • Photography equipment, props, and chairs cannot rest directly on the wood or tatami. Photography equipment, props, and chairs must have rubber or soft tips if they are to be used in the house.  Staff will provide straw work mats to be placed under tripods, equipment, and chairs at all times.
  • No permanent changes or alterations may be made to Shofuso for a private event. No tape, tacks, or nails may be used.
  • While Shofuso is ADA compliant, as a historic structure, the house is not wheelchair accessible. Canes and wheel-less walkers with soft tips are permitted in the house. There is limited wheelchair accessibility in the garden.


Our maximum capacity for private groups is 20 people, including camera crew. 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.


Rental time cannot be adjusted to accommodate for late arrivals. The rental period begins at 5:30pm and ends at 7:30pm, no exceptions. Any set-up, break-down, and clean-up activities are the renter’s responsibility, and the arrival and departure of all participants from the premises must take place within the allotted time slot. If any activities exceed the Scheduled Time Period, renters will incur an Unscheduled Additional Use Fee. No refunds will be made for partial use of the Scheduled Time Period due to late arrival.

Please email for availability.


$700 for a 2 hour time period for up to 20 people, including camera crew. This price includes a $50 preservation fee.

A non-refundable deposit amounting to 50% of the total fee is due at the time of booking in order to secure the session date and time. The remaining fees are due two weeks (14 days) prior to the scheduled session, or the session will be automatically cancelled. Payment can be made in cash, by check made out to the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, or by Visa, MasterCard, or Discover.

Proof of public liability insurance for the amount of $1 million must be provided two weeks (14 days) prior to the scheduled session in the form of a certificate of insurance listing the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia as additionally insured. Professional photographers often carry this type of insurance, or it might be added as a rider to an existing insurance policy belonging to a member of the party. Failure to provide proof of insurance two weeks (14 days) prior to the scheduled date will cause automatic cancellation without refund of fees. Renters, photographers, and any assistants agree to hold harmless Shofuso, its staff, and volunteers from any and all claims and injuries whatsoever arising out of the use of this site or in performance of this agreement.

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