Chofu City is blessed with plenty of history and landmarks that go beyond the usual temples and shopping streets. A history of film, revolution, science and comics all find a surprising place in this famous western Tokyo city. Here is a simple introduction to the historical sites and landmarks of Chofu City and how to reach them.
Birthplace of Kondo Isami
The Birthplace of Kondo Isami, now a small shrine and well, recognises the pivotal role that Kondo Isami played in the changing fortunes of Japan's modern history. A 4th generation master swordsman, Kondo found himself leading the defence of the collapsing Tokugawa Shogunate, only for him to eventually be captured and then executed.
A 10-minute walk from Tama Station on the Tamagawa Line.
Film Actors Monument
One of the city's lesser known historical tidbits is its role as one of Japan's first film studio location. The Film Actors Monument commemorates the original site of Chofu's movie studio, Nikkatsu Tamagawa, with a movie camera sculpture as well as a large relief carved with the names of scores of film stars from yesteryear.
A 3-minute walk from Keio-Tamagawa Station on the Sagamihara Line.
JAXA Chofu Aerospace Center
Japan's aerospace exploration research facility, the JAXA Chofu Aerospace Center also offers public access to with an exhibition room showcasing research for the public. Plenty of displays, including supersonic experimental aircraft and space mission simulators make the center a great visit for curious families.
A 20-minute no. 14 or 66 bus ride from Chofu Station on the Keio or Sagamihara lines.
A retro wooden building built in the mid-20th century, Kitaro-chaya is a cafe themed on the popular Gegege no Kitaro manga. This classic building has been designed with Japan's mythical yokai ghosts in mind and features manga drawings by the managa's creator, Mizuki Shigeru. Naturally, plenty of traditional sweets and tea are available.
A 15-minute no.6 or no.56 bus ride from Chofu Station on the Keio or Sagamihara lines.