Hot on the monster’s tail: meeting Godzilla ゴジラ in Tokyo

On my first visit to Japan I naively assumed I would encounter Godzilla paraphernalia everywhere. This misunderstanding can be traced to my complete ignorance of Japanese pop culture; not only did I not follow current trends in manga or anime, but I hadn’t even heard of such icons as Doraemon ドラえもん, Ultraman ウルトラマン, Anpanman アンパンマン, or Sazae-san サザエさん. Although I quickly stumbled upon the small Godzilla statue in Hibiya, it took me a few years to get around to putting this map and list together.

1. Godzilla statue ゴジラ像

There’s a small but satisfying Godzilla statue in Hibiya Chanter Square, just behind Hibiya Chanter Toho cinema, close to Yurakucho station. (UPDATE: In March 2018, a much larger statue was unveiled).

Location: Hibiya Chanter Square 「合歓の広場」 (ねむのひろば) (Nemu no Hiroba); UPDATE: renamed Hibiya Godzilla Square 『 日比谷ゴジラスクエア 』 in March, 2018 (map)

2. Toho Studio  東宝株式会社 (map)

Along the Sengawa River, out near Seijogakuen-Mae Station 成城学園前駅, is Toho Studios 東宝株式会社, the studio that first brought us Godzilla (and still does). The studio entrance is decorated with a distinguished Seven Samurai mural and a fierce Godzilla statue:

3. Setagaya Literary Museum 世田谷文学館 (map)

On my visit in 2012 the museum’s cafe was home to a Godzilla statue / costume. Hopefully it’s still there.

4. Ushi Tora bar ビアバー うしとら (map)

There is/was a gold Godzilla (or Mecha-Godzilla メカゴジラ?) in the bathroom of the wonderful Ushi-Tora bar in Shimo-Kitazawa. The bar has since moved.

5. Stone Godzilla Statues ゴジラ上陸の地 ゴジラ像 (Godzilla landing site) (map)

In the old fishing village of Higashi-shinagawa is a Yakatabune restaurant named Shinagawa Yakatabune Mutsumimaru 品川 屋形船 むつみ丸. Guarding the establishment are two stone Godzilla statues. This is no random location; “in fact”, Godzilla first steps foot onto Tokyo’s shores at this location in some of the films. (It may only be the location for Shin Godzilla シン・ゴジラ). See: ゴジラの“足跡”たどる 初代が上陸した品川 Godzilla’s “footprints” traced Shinagawa where the first generation landed

6. SHINJUKU TOHO Building (Godzilla on rooftop) ゴジラ(巨大 実物大) (map)

There’s a “life-sized” Godzilla head on the roof of the new Toho cinema in Kabukicho, Shinjuku.

7. Godzilla Slide くりはま花の国 (Kurihama Flower World) (map)

This isn’t in Tokyo, but it’s an easy day-trip, and is very cool: a Godzilla statue that doubles as a children’s slide. See: Tokyo Daytripper: Gojira-Koen (Godzilla Park)

8. Army command center from Shin Godzilla タバ作戦指揮所(映画「シン・ゴジラ」) (map)

No Godzilla statue, but the location from which the Japanese Self-Defense Force stages its attack on Godzilla in Shin Godzilla. Here’s a view from the location, looking towards Musashi-kosugi:

See also:


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