With its ancient temples and broad open gardens, Chofu City would seem complete with tourist attractions but the city has a few extras up its sleeve. A memorial of respect for an Italian advocate of education, a touch of both ancient and modern history as well as contemporary art adds to the city's appeal. Here is an introduction to the museums and galleries of Chofu and how to reach them.
A tireless worker for underprivileged children, Vincent Cimatti was an Italian-born priest whose influence on education in Japan is honoured by the Cimatti Museum. A treasure trove of historical and personal artefacts about the man they called 'The Venerable', the museum is home to a small collection of ancient Bibles including one from the 16th-century, as well Cimatti's own musical compositions and natural science and archaeological items sent from Italy.
A 15-minute walk from Chofu Station on the Keio Line.
Chofu City Folk Museum
The Chofu City Folk Museum is home to an ever rotating series of exhibitions and events designed to highlight the city's history, culture and nature. Visitors to the two-storey building will find ancient earthenware and stone tools, more recent historical documents and artefacts from the Edo and Meiji periods as well as natural science displays. There are also a number of exhibits related to Kondo Isami, the famous Shinsengumi captain who was born in the city.
A 5-minute walk from Keio-Tamagawa Station on the Sagamihara Line.
Tokyo Art Museum
A fit for purpose gallery created to exhibit modern works by both local and international artists, the Tokyo Art Museum was designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando. The seemingly austere design turns out to be surprisingly welcoming as visitors move through the gallery taking in the works on display. Closed between exhibitions, the gallery's modest JPY500 admission fee is light on the budget making a visit well worth it.
A 3-minute walk from Sengawa Station on the Keio Line.