Chofu is located in the eastern part of Tama, Tokyo. Many old temples and nature areas remain, and bordering the 23 wards of Tokyo, it's very convenient to access from within the city.
One of Chofu’s many attractions is the delicious soba around Jindaiji Temple. There are many soba shops in the area, so you can taste many different dishes using these famous soba noodles. On top of that, this year the same area is a point of interest as the venue for the Rugby World Cup. If you’re coming to watch the game, here are five spots you can check out along the way.
The Rich Nature and Delicious Soba of Jindaiji Temple
The Jindaiji Temple, boasting a 1300 year history, was established in year 733, when the guardian deity for which the temple is named was enshrined here. It is also a temple famous for its amulets as well as marriage, and draws in weekend crowds of families and couples who come to enjoy the surrounding nature and the famous Jindaiji soba.
There are many water springs in the area, and the making of soba has developed along with these rich water sources. The Jindaiji Soba that is served in this vicinity has become the local specialty, and there are currently as many as 20 soba shops around the temple.
Though so close to the center of the city, the land is blessed with abundant nature such as greenery and fresh water, and the air itself has a sacred feel. It’s one of the best places to take a stroll, or a nice, quiet, leisure trip.
- Address 5-15-1 Jindaiji Motomachi, Chofu-shi, Tokyo-to, 182-0017
From JR Chuo Line/Sobu Line, Mitaka/Kichijoji Station, take the Jindaiji-yuki bus to Jindaiji Temple, then 3 minute walk; From Keio Line Chofu/Tsutsujigaoka Station, take Jindaiji-yuki bus to Jindaiji Temple, then 1 minute walk
- Phone Number 042-486-5511
Hours: 9:00AM~4:00PM (winter, autumn), 9:00AM~5:00PM (spring, summer)
Entry Fee: ¥300 (free for high school and under)
A Must-See for Fans, “Kitaro Chaya”
“Kitaro Chaya” is a shop based on the most popular yokai comic in Japan, “GeGeGe no Kitaro.” The author of the manga, Shigeru Mizuki, has lived in Chofu City for over 50 years. “GeGeGe no Kitaro World” has been reproduced here in Chofu, his second home.
The outer wall of the shop is decorated with drawings of the manga characters, such as Kitaro, Medama-Oyaji, and Nezumi-Otoko. A wide variety of yokai-themed items line the inside of the shop, making it a popular photo spot as well. The manga also boasts many overseas fans, so this popular place is crowded with people every day.
The inside of the shop is an old-fashioned house with both large and small table seats. There are also GeGeGe no Kitaro themed original sweets and seasonally limited menu items.
Next to the cafe is a shop that sells Kitaro goods. The shop sells an assortment of around 700 different Kitaro items, making it an irresistible location for fans. Because it is also a great spot for photos, you can surely grab attention on social media as well. Whether you’re a super fan or not, it is a place worth visiting at least once.
- Address 5-12-8 Jindaiji Motomachi, Chofu-shi, Tokyo-to, 182-0017
From JR Chuo Line Kichijoji/Mitaka Station, ride Jindaiji-yuki Odakyu bus about 20 minutes to last stop.
From Keio Line Chofu/Tsujijigaoka Station, ride Jindaiji-yuki Keio Bus about 15 minutes to last stop.
- Phone Number 042-482-4059
Hours: 10:00AM~5:00PM (L.O. 4:30PM); Gallery last entry 4:45PM
Closed: Mondays (Open on holidays with following day off)
A Spot For Mayonnaise Lovers, “Mayo Terrace!”
The Mayo Terrace, operated by the food manufacturer Kewpie, is a hands-on facility where you can learn all about the history of mayonnaise and the secrets of its flavor, manufacturing process, and quality control. Free 90 minute tours are provided with the assistance of a tour guide.
*Tours must be reserved in advance. *Tours are only offered in Japanese at this time.
The Mayonnaise Dome is built in the shape of a mayonnaise bottle, and is about 500,000 times the size of an average bottle. Inside the wooden dome you will learn about the secrets of the mayonnaise’s flavor and how it is made.
At the Kewpie Kitchen, you can experience creating your own original mayonnaise. There are various seasonings and dressings on each table that you can use, as well as salad that you can try it together with. From ketchup and soy sauce, to various dressing flavors such as basil, peanut, black pepper, shiso, and togarashi (may vary by season), you can create your very own unique mayonnaise flavor, completely different from the original.
There is also a Kewpie Shop where you can buy original Kewpie items. One of the most popular mayonnaises amongst all seasonings and loved by people all around the world, this is definitely a place to visit if you are a fan.
- Address 2-5-7 Sengawa-cho, Chofu-shi, Tokyo-to, 182-0002, Sengawa Kewport
7 minute walk from Keio Line Sengawa Station
- Phone Number 03-5384-7770
Closed: Sat, Sun, Public holidays, other temporary closings
Famous for its Soba Bread, Sweets Shop “Ameya”
Ameya is an open-air sweets shop located near Jindaiji Temple. The Soba Bread (¥300, tax included), created by the lady of the shop, is a famous fast-food item in Jindaiji and is made with local soba (buckwheat) flour that is used to make sweets.
The buckwheat flour is mixed with wheat flour, brown rice flour, and sugar, then steamed to its perfect, gentle sweetness.
There are four types of soba bread in total, including anko (red bean), takana (mustard greens), sliced daikon radish, and keema curry. It is the perfect snack to enjoy while walking around Jindaiji Temple.
There are also the popular yomogi rice cakes (¥200, tax included), made with yomogi (mugwort) dough and stuffed with anko paste, and nappo mochi (¥200, tax included), made with fried mustard greens. The inviting aroma of this Jindaiji Temple shop will surely make you want to stop by.
- Address 5-15-10 Jindaiji Motomachi, Chofu-shi, Tokyo-to, 182-0017
From JR Mitaka/Kichijoji" station, take Jindaiji-yuki bus to Jindaiji Temple, 1 minute walk; From Keio Line Chofu/Tsutsujigaoka Station, take Jindaiji-yuki bus to Jindaiji Temple, 1 minute walk
- Phone Number 042-485-2768
Closed: Mondays (Open holidays, following day off)
A Line with No End in Sight! Famous Handmade Soba Shop “Yuusui”
The recommended “Yusui Soba” is made with 90% buckwheat flour (and 10% wheat). With a larger proportion of buckwheat than the 80% mori-soba, it also boasts a more appetizing aroma and pleasant taste. Yusui Soba is ¥750 (tax included) and with its great texture, you can enjoy the scent and flavor of original soba.
“Soba Yokan” also has its own following of fans (¥360, tax included). This triple-layered buckwheat yokan has a modest sweetness and a rustic taste. Many people buy these as both souvenirs, and to take home and enjoy themselves. There are even printable coupons available on the Yusui website to receive a free small bowl of soba, so don’t forget to bring one along when you visit.
- Address 5-9-1, Jindaijimotomachi, Chofu Shi, Tokyo To, 182-0017, Japan
From Keio Line Chofu Station, take Jindaiji-yuki bus to Jindaiji Entrance, 2 minutes on foot
- Phone Number 042-498-1323
Being so near to Central Tokyo is just one of the charms of Chofu City. You can refresh yourself from the busy city by enjoying some delicious soba in the middle of a place rich in nature. If you find yourself wanting a peaceful escape, a trip for a calming walk in Jindaiji Temple is sure to enrich your mind.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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