Protecting historic places that matter. 


Special Architecture Walking Tour
This event is no longer on sale.
Wednesday June 30
6:00 PM  –  8:00 PM

**Special Tour** Shofuso House and Garden

In recognition of Shofuso's Preservation Achievement Award for their work of Pebble Beach, the Preservation Alliance is excited to announce 2 special tour dates to visit the site after hours, led by former Shofuso Director and Associate Director of the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Frank Chance.
Shofuso 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 present day. It includes three garden areas, a natural pond stocked with koi, and the largest collection of murals by artist Hiroshi Senju outside of Japan.
The Japanese House was designed by Japanese mid-century modernist architect Junzo Yoshimura in 1953, as part of an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Shofuso was reassembled at the current site in 1957-58, where there has been a continuous Japanese presence since the 1876 Centennial Exposition, when the first Japanese garden in North America was installed behind a small Japanese bazaar. Based on newly-discovered 1957 drawings made by Shofuso’s original garden designer, Tansai Sano, in 2020 Shofuso brought to life a traditional Su-hama Pebble Beach on the garden’s boat-landing shoreline. This archetypal Japanese Garden motif invokes the spirit of the pebble strewn shorelines of Kyoto’s Kamo River and the rocky coasts of Japan, by incorporating elegantly designed stretches of pebbled beach along a garden pond’s lowest contours.
COVID19 and Shofuso Preservation Policies:
  • Under COVID19 all visitors are required to wear a face mask when inside of the house, but may choose to remove it when in the garden.
  • Shoes are not permitted inside of the house and visitors should bring socks to wear in order to protect the wooden flooring.
  • Water bottles or drinks with lids are allowed on site, but no food is permitted.


Meet at the entrance of Shofuso located at Lansdowne Dr. & Horticulture Drive (map).

Free parking is available on site. Shofuso is not responsible for any personal items in your vehicle. Please don't leave your valuable belongings unattended.

Public Transportation Directions

Shofuso is located a five-minute walk from the Please Touch Museum, on the grounds of the Horticulture Center, in West Fairmount Park, Philadelphia.


  • Take Septa Bus 38, Septa Bus 40, or the PhillyPhlash to the Please Touch Museum.
  • If facing the Please Touch Museum, turn left and walk down the Avenue of the Republic until you reach the sign for Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
  • Turn right onto the path and follow it until you go through the gate
  • Shofuso will be directly ahead

In registering to attend this walking tour, you agreed to the following (Please note the updated changes as of May 26th 2021):

  • During tours, facemasks will be optional for all fully vaccinated individuals including the tour guide
  • During tours, facemasks are required for individuals who are not fully vaccinated
  • Facemasks are required to enter buildings on certain tours. Please bring one with you in case it is needed 
  • Preservation Alliance walking tours utilize an audio system that transmits from a headset worn by the guide to earpieces worn by tour attendees. The equipment is thoroughly sanitized before and after each use. Tour attendees can also plug in their personal headsets or earbuds that use a standard headphone jack.
  • Be sure to bring water and wear comfortable clothing 

Space is limited. Advance registration required.