New Internationalist

A reason why we have our office in Chofu city.

「調布? なんでまた調布に?」「調布? それどこ?」
"Chofu? Why in Chofu?" "Where is it?"

When I was asked the location of the NI Japan office, I often saw such reactions after I replied "Chofu city in Tokyo".

Usually, offices are likely to be located in a central part of a city with good train connections and many offices around. But we decided to have our office here in Chofu.

From Shinjuku, where the Tokyo Metropolitan office and the governor of Tokyo are stood and looking down on us, it takes 15 minutes by express trains to Chofu station. And then take a local train, and get off at the next station, Nishi-chofu station. "Nishi" means "west" in Japanese. The NI Japan office is 3 minutes walk from Nishi-chofu station.

Nishi-chofu is only 17km from Shinjuku, but it is calm and suburb setting. It is mainly a residential area with some farm plots except some shops around the station.

Only 2km to the south, there is the Tama River with a spacious riverside space and wide sky. In winter, you can clearly see the snow capped mountain, as well as Mt. Fuji (3776m), the highest mountain in Japan. In this photo, you can see the Tama River in the near side and the white peak, Mt. Fuji, in the far side. I took this photo 3 days ago.

There are some reasons why we decided to have our office here. One of the reasons is the Chofu city library.

Every month, the NI magazine covers different topics from variety of subjects. To translate such broad articles and make the NI Japan magazine, it is necessary to research each subject extensively. Internet is useful. But I sometimes feel that its information is not enough in terms of quality and depth. So periodicals, such as newspapers and magazines, and books are important for the research every month.

When I get a new magazine topic, I first check with the Cross Search System for All Public Library in Tokyo. Using by this system, you can do the keyword search through 45 million books and periodicals in all public library in Tokyo at once. As I used this system several times, I came to realize that the Chofu library has a good number of books I have been looking for. With other nearby public libraries' books, I can cover broad subjects and a lot of books. Beside, the Chofu library has a better search system for periodicals than some other public libraries. So our office in this location helps the research activities.

I will write about some interesting features of this Chofu community later.

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