“Roaming Rachel” with Rachel Byrd

Do you ever feel like you would want to spend the day away from the hustle and bustle of the fast paced city? Then immerse yourself in another culture, all without breaking the bank or travelling to a foreign country: spend some time at a beautiful authentic Japanese House and Garden! One of my favorite locations in Philadelphia is the Shofuso Japanese House and Gardens, located at Horticultural and Lansdowne Drives in West Fairmount Park. Students with a college ID pay $5.00, adults without a student ID pay $7.00 and parking is free. The house itself was built in 1953 and has withstood the test of time and stands to this day as a beautiful representation of the elegance of traditional Japanese living. Surrounding the house is a breathtaking traditional Japanese garden that is true to the gardens in 17th century Japan.

Thanks to the dedication of the people who work hard to upkeep the Shofuso for all visitors to enjoy, we are able to learn and truly enjoy the traditions of authentic Japanese living. The gardens at the Shofuso have received many rave reviews that some couples have even had their weddings there. With the beautiful gardens in the background their wedding pictures are that much more amazing. They also hold events at the Japanese House, such as the art of traditional tea ceremony. Where you can not only watch a professional make tea, you can also take lessons and taste the tea! They also hold lessons and performances for the art of traditional Japanese dancing. You have many options to enjoy, you can either go on a tour of the beautiful tranquil estate or you can go even further than that and learn about the Japanese culture by participating in their events!

Shofuso was named the third-ranked Japanese garden in North America by the Journal of Japanese Gardening in 2013, was listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places in 2013, and is a contributing structure to the Fairmount Park National Historic District since 1972. The Shofuso has survived fires, long distance travel, and years of visitors passing through. It has made its home in Philadelphia and we are proud to have such a magnificent structure that represents a hugely rich culture for both locals and tourist to come visit.

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