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March 16, 2021

Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center to reopen ahead of cherry blossom season

Family-Friendly Shofuso House
Shofuso reopening 2021 Courtesy of/Sean Marshall Lin

Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center in Fairmount Park is ready to welcome visitors back for the spring 2021 season. The Japanese house and garden reflect the history of Japanese culture in the city.

Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center in Fairmount Park will open for the 2021 season on Saturday, March 20, in time for cherry blossom season. Peak bloom is expected to take place in early April.

The house and garden will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through mid-December.

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There will be health and safety protocols in place for visitors, including a one-way path inside the house.

Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for senior citizens, students with ID and children ages 5-17.

New for 2021, visitors can check out Pebble Beach by the central pond. It's based on newly discovered 1957 drawings made by Shofuso's original garden designer, Tansai Sano.

In addition, there will be a few special events. A virtual marketplace selling Japanese goods will be open from Saturday, March 20, through Sunday, April 18. Visitors to Shofuso also can view a hand-painted map of where to find cherry blossoms in Fairmount Park. It was created by Japanese artist Hiro Sakaguchian, who is an instructor at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

On Saturday, April 10, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., there will be a virtual festival. It will include a presentation of cherry blossom appreciation, a Tamagawa University taiko performance (pre-recorded in Japan) and other activities, demonstrations and crafts that highlight cherry blossom culture. Tickets are $15.

The annual Shofuso Cherry Blossom 10K and 5K also will return, but as virtual races for 2021. Runners can complete their miles on their own schedules at the sanctioned course among the cherry blossom trees near Shofuso, or anywhere they wish to run. Participants are asked to complete the race between Saturday, April 10, and Sunday, April 18.

The fee to sign up is $45. All participants will receive a cherry blossom race T-shirt, a route map, a Japanese playlist to use while running and one day of free admission to Shofuso during the 2021 season.

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