Shofuan is a traditional san jo daime (3 and 3/4 size) hut - Japanese huts are described by the number of mats they accommodate. There are two single fusuma (sliding doors), connecting the tea room with the mizuya (kitchen area), where all the preparations are made for the tea meal (kaiseki) and the tea ceremony.
The tokonoma or art alcove, has it's historical roots in early Japanese architectural style and Buddist symbolism. carefully chosen art, almost always calligraphy, is hung from wall, and simple flowers are arranged in a modest hanaire (flower container).
Typical of tea huts is the great variety of woods and grassy materials used in the construction of Shofuan, intended to reflect not the permanence of things, but the temporal nature of life. Sugi or Japanese cedar, has been used for the structural members and roof. The lattice ceiling inside the hut is woven sugi, in contrast with the woven rush ceiling of the tokonoma and temae za (mat where the tea is served). The initial structure of the walls is sasa (small bamboo), lace bound wisteria vine, and the unfinished portions become the open windows and transomes of the house. The floor of the mizuya, made of ground cypress and bamboo, is open for the water to run through. Tea huts are washed regularly to keep them clean.
The name Shofuan, written by its designer, appears under the peak of the roof, bringing to mind the familiar phrase matsukaze, "pine wind," the sound a kettle makes when water is hot enough to make tea.