Clinton’s “Birthplace” – in Japan?

If you haven’t made it to Hope, Arkansas, you haven’t had a chance to visit Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site.  Unless, of course, you’ve been to the Japanese island of Okinawa.  Wait…what?

We’re guessing you wouldn’t expect to tour the boyhood home of a U.S. president in Japan.  But you can (sort of).  Eccentric Japanese businessman Takeharu Shiraishi, an admirer of Bill Clinton, built an exact replica of the president’s birthplace home on the grounds of a private golf resort.  This was in 2000, just as the 42nd president was arriving in Okinawa for the G-8 Summit.  Clinton apparently never toured the building, though he later met Mr. Shiraishi.

The modest two-story house features the same white clapboard siding and green trim as its authentic counterpart in Arkansas.  It is even furnished much like the original, with period-appropriate furniture and antique appliances purchased in the U.S.  The home originally functioned as a tourist attraction then was later repurposed as a daycare center.  It has reportedly fallen into disrepair, unlike the real thing in Arkansas. 

So if you’re interested in experiencing the ACTUAL birthplace home of Bill Clinton, we suggest you take a trip to Hope.  National Park Service rangers give tours every 45 minutes Sunday through Friday.  You can also explore exhibits at the park Visitor Center and, of course, stop in at JNPA’s gift shop.  A virtual tour of the home is also available for non-travelers, as is our online store.  

President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site in Hope, Arkansas

How Many National Park Sites Have YOU Visited?

The National Park Service system currently includes 423 sites throughout the United States and its territories.  These range from national monuments and battlefields to national historic sites and recreation areas to national rivers and seashores. 

Don’t feel bad if you haven’t visited the majority of these places (most of us haven’t!). But luckily, National Park Week is just around the corner – a perfect time to add to your NPS “life list.”

National Park Week is an annual celebration jointly hosted by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation to encourage everyone to discover our nation’s diverse historic, natural, and cultural treasures.  This year, the week runs from April 16 through 24.  Parks across the country will host a variety of special programs, events, and digital experiences, including National Junior Ranger Day for kids on Saturday April 23.  You can find out more about programs and themes you might be interested in by going here.  

Another bonus for park visitors during National Park Week – entrance fees are waived at all parks on Saturday April 16.  (Other 2022 free fee days can be found here).  Luckily, there are never entry fees at JNPA’s partner parks but each of them would be glad to see you in April, or any time!

If you’re planning to visit any of the 63 parks that have “national park” in their name, you’ll want a copy of National Geographic’s national park guide as well as the Passport to Your National Parks, which not only contains park information but allows you to collect the passport stamps from every park you visit. 

Honoring our Presidents

Just in time for Presidents’ Day (February 21), JNPA has a wide array of cool gift items for that POTUS* geek in your life.  What else would you expect from a non-profit with stores at three national parks that honor U.S. Presidents:  Gateway Arch National Park, Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site, and Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site?

Gateway Arch National Park is a memorial to President Thomas Jefferson and his role in greatly expanding the borders of the United States.

JNPA greatly respects Jefferson’s accomplishments, as evidenced by the many books and statues we sell at The Arch Store.  But we also sell a few more whimsical items that still honor our third president, like this stately bobblehead and  mini-building block set.  (We trust Mr. Jefferson doesn’t object to our…ahem…taking “liberties” with his likeness.)


President Bill Clinton spent his early boyhood years in a comfortable two-story frame house in Hope, Arkansas, an experience that he says helped develop his broad views on race relations, social justice, and public service.  Our book on Clinton’s early life features numerous photos of the home as well as of the young future president. 

Credit: Clinton Foundation

An image of the home is featured on this handsome earthenware mug.  And of course, we also sell a fun bobblehead version of the 42nd president.


Credit: David Newmann

If it’s President Ulysses S. Grant you’re interested in, JNPA offers numerous items commemorating both Grant and his wife Julia.  From books to sturdy mugs to fun kids’ products, there’s something for everyone.  And don’t forget our popular bobblehead version of our 18th president.

*President of The United States