We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Need a little culture and beauty...this is the place to go!!!”

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
Ranked #75 of 433 things to do in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Tour our house, view our garden and feed our koi! Shofuso Japanese House and Garden is a traditional-style Japanese house and nationally-ranked garden in Philadelphia’s West Fairmount Park that reflects the history of Japanese culture in Philadelphia, from the 1876 Centennial Exposition to the installation of its contemporary paintings in 2007.Shofuso was built in Japan in 1953 using traditional techniques and materials and exhibited in the courtyard at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was moved to Philadelphia in 1958, to the site of several previous Japanese structures dating to the 1876 Centennial Exposition. In 2007, internationally renowned artist Hiroshi Senju, inspired by our waterfall, donated 20 murals to Shofuso.A viewing garden with koi pond and island, a tea garden, and a courtyard garden comprise the 17th century-style Japanese walled and fenced garden of this historic site and museum.
Whitinsville, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
26 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Need a little culture and beauty...this is the place to go!!!”
Reviewed April 23, 2013

This was a great little piece of culture to see. There wasn't anything really happening when we went but it was still nice to see. Not really enjoyable for kids but they did enjoy feeding the Koi fish in the pond.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank jmeadrian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

83 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    43
    26
    11
    3
    0
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Narberth, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
70 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“House and Garden, Japanese Style”
Reviewed April 18, 2013

The House is open only on weekends in April and October. In May-September, it's open on Weds-Fri. as well. My friend and I arrived on a cloudy day with rain forecast but we wanted to see the end of the cherry blossoms and take pictures. Despite the lack of sun, we managed dozens of lovely photos and walking all around the area and through the woods is so invigorating. Thankfully there were only a few other visitors so we felt we had the whole place to ourselves. We went into the visitors center and toured the greenhouse which is filled with wonderful plants, including dozens of peace lilies that were scattered everywhere. We certainly can use as much peace as we can get! The statues and sculptures everywhere, inside and outside, were especially delightful to see.

The workmen were busy on the Japanese House and in the greenhouse, getting the whole place ready for spring visitors. Last week's Cherry Blossom Festival attracted many thousands so we were happy to be there with no crowds to impede our wanderings.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank LoisAnnNeiss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
south jersey
Level Contributor
148 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Japanese house and gardens”
Reviewed January 12, 2013

I have been going to the Shofuso Japanese House and Gardens in beautiful Fairmount Part for over 60 years. Near the gardens you can also visit the Mann Center for music in the summer and the new Please Touch Children's Museum which is within walking distance.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank genelieb1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
83 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“One of Philadelphia's magical hidden gems”
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden is a traditional-style Japanese house and nationally-ranked garden hidden away in Philadelphia’s West Fairmount Park. The house was originally built in 1953 as an architectural exhibit at MOMA in New York, and then moved to its current location in Philadelphia later in the 50s, on the site of several previous Japanese structures. It's a complete tea house, koi pond, and gorgeous garden. An added bonus is its internationally acclaimed tea school (check their website for information on the tea school and other seasonal festivals.) The recent addition of the Sakura Pavilion, two buildings and a small plaza, will make it possible for Shofuso to be open year-round. Shofuso can by hard to find if you use Google Maps (Google shows the wrong location for the entrance.) If going by car, follow the park signage. If on foot, do read the review posted by longandwindingroad for how to find the gardens as a pedestrian.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank WhatKindOfDog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cherry hill,nj
Level Contributor
239 reviews
78 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
“lovely...wear socks please!!!”
Reviewed June 29, 2012

House is beautiful....what little I was able to see. Grounds are gorgeous. Wish I had known in advance that they make you remove your shoes before entering the house. Socks are okay. I didn't have socks since I was wearing sandals. Since I didn't know about this, I had to remove my sandals and put on flimsy nylon peds. They fell off. I did see some of the house before the peds fell off. I was told to leave since it was a legal problem having people without socks/peds entering the house. They should provide show covers. If you go, be sure to wear socks. Also, be aware that it is not handicap accessible, has no handrails, and very low ceilings.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank misty1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Shofuso Japanese House and Garden also viewed

 

Been to Shofuso Japanese House and Garden? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing