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.