Taiken Japan

Autumn Leaves 2016

A Visit to Chofu Airport

Photo: ucb on Flickr

A Visit to Chofu Airport

Gianluca Rocchi

Chofu Airport (調布飛行場, Chōfu Hikōjō) is an minor airport located inside Tokyo Metropolitan Area at northwest of Chōfu. Just a bit positioned at west from Tokyo centre, its 800 square meters of asphalt surface are surrounded by 5 beautiful travellers spots: Musashino Park, Nogawa Park, Mitaka area, Osawa ground and Tokyo Stadium (best known as Ajinomoto stadium).


Tokyo Chofu Airfield was opened in 1941 to provide air defense against USAAF B-29 Superfortress attacks, equipped with Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien “flying swallow” fighters (10th Hiko Shidan).


Photo : Wikipedia Commons

The units assigned to the 10th Hiko Shidan included the 244th Hiko Sentai (Fighter group), then commanded by Captain Takashi Fujita, who organised a ramming flight called "Hagakure-Tai" ("Special Attack Unit"), which was composed out of volunteers from the three Chuatai (squadrons) of the 244th: the 1st Chutai "Soyokaze", 2nd Chutai "Toppu", and the 3rd Chutai known as "Mikazuki".

Three pilots of 224th in Chofu were the first recipients of the Bukosho, Japan's equivalent to the Victoria Cross or Medal of Honor, which had been inaugurated on 7 December 1944 as an Imperial Edict by Emperor Hirohito (there are 89 known recipients, most of whom fought and scored against B-29s) A number of Ki-61s were also used in Tokkotai (kamikaze) missions launched toward the end of the war.Tokyo Chofu Airfield is become famous during ww2 for presence of MajorTeruhiko Kobayashi JAAF's youngest Sentai commander (Ki-61-I-Hei, s/n 4024.).

Captain Kobayashi flight ace inside 224th had text on the fin of his aircraft as his message “ We must win” in Japanese kanji letter becoming a sky legend:


Photo : Wikipedia Commons

As the end of the war drew closer, the Japanese increasing prepared their homeland for an expected invasion. Thirty concrete hangars were constructed in 1944 to protect the “flying swallows”.

chofu pictures 1

Photo : http://www.ipernity.com/

Today two airplane bomb shelters are visible to visitors as a monument named Wartime Concrete Aircraft Hangars “OHSAWA 1 & 2′′

chofu pictures 2

Photo : http://www.ipernity.com/

chofu pictures 3

Photo : Gianluca Rocchi

Airline and Fleet

Main commercial activity for this airport is commuter flights to the islands south of Tokyo and return. The airline name is New Central Air service Corporation which it operates domestic services to the 4 izu islands: Kōzushima, Miyakejima, Niijima, Oshima.

The Izu Islands ( 伊 豆 諸 島 Izu-shoto) stretching south from the Izu Peninsula are a group of volcanic islands that administratively all part of Tokyo Prefecture. They form a widely distributed archipelago of over thirty (30) islands some 1,000 km due south of Tokyo.

The New Central Air service fleet consists of the following aircraft to reach the islands :

N°4 - Dornier 228-212 (New Generation) - 19 passengers seats

The Dornier Do 228 is a twin-turboprop STOL (short takeoff and landing) utility aircraft, manufactured by Dornier GmbH. The new version NG was produced by RUAG Aviation and certified by EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) on 18 August 2010. First delivery, of this new version, is this Japanese Airline and it took place in September 2010.


Photo : http://photozou.jp/

Propeller Café

propeller cafe

Photo : kawabata on Flickr

The propeller cafe is located in Chofu Airport, this cafeteria is become famous because you can enjoy your meal while viewing the airplane. But the really tips that whort a visit his flying simulator inside the café.Since the cafe opened, customers have been allowed to use the flying simulator system with the instruction of pilots from Nippon Aerotech, which operates the cafe in its flying club.

Even if you are a beginner, you can fly up into the Tokyo tower, soar over main Tokyo skyscrapes and try landing at Haneda Airport in a 10-minute with a reasonable fee ticket.

With his interesting spaces and services the café shop can be satisfied from children to the elderly. It is open seven days a week from 10:00 to 18:00.


  • Location : Chofu, Tokyo Nishimachi 290 No. 3
  • Administrator : Tokyo Chofu Airport Administration Office
    TEL 0422-34-4840 FAX 0422-34-4842
  • Flight plan : Tokyokokukyoku Chofu Airport Office, TEL 0422-31-7331
  • Weather : Japan Weather Association Chofu Airport branch office, TEL 0422-31-0812
  • Position : North latitude 35 degrees 40 minutes 06 seconds east longitude 139 degrees 31 minutes 52 seconds
  • Altitude : 42.3m
  • Area : About 39ha
  • Runway : 800mX30m
  • Landing strip : 920mX60m
  • Taxiway extension : 92m
  • Apron : 105.491 m²
  • Control tower area : height of about 750m from the (runway center point of), 5km radius of airspace
  • Tarmac possible number of aircraft : Fixed-wing aircraft 90 minutes rotary wing aircraft 6 minutes
  • Operation time : Weekdays 8:30 to 17:00 day national holiday 10:00 to 17:00 , however, as long as the passenger transport of air carrier, 18:00 until (April-August)
  • Operation method : Visual flight rules (VFR)
  • Communication and aviation security facilities:
    TWR Chofu Tower 118.0 126.2
    APP Yokota Approach 118.3 120.7 123.8
  • Fuel : Ishino mineral oil (stock) TEL 0422-31-6768