Fairmount Park Japanese House Allows Visitors To Observe Roof Restoration

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Visitors to Philadelphia’s Japanese House in Fairmount Park have a rare opportunity to watch skilled craftsmen restore its roof.

A craftsman hammers strips of cypress bark into place atop Shofuso Japanese House and Garden with his individual technique.

“Depending on the person, the rhythm changes,” relayed translator Dr. Frank Chance.

The hinoki cypress bark roof is the only one of its kind outside Japan. Every five years, a restoration team from Japan comes to Philadelphia to perform traditional maintenance.

And Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia executive director Kim Andrews says this time, people can watch.

“Twice a day, we have tours for visitors to walk up and see what the roof looks like, what the techniques are, to see what the materials are,” she explained.

The tours are $20, and run through October 22.

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