Oh, no. There goes Tokyo.
Everyone has their favorite Godzilla. Whether it’s the prolific and heroic Showa Godzilla, the heel-era Heisei Godzilla, the latest bro-Godzilla from Legendary, or the 1954 OG, you really can’t go wrong. Excluding the 1998 Jurassic Park-knockoff Godzilla from TriStar. He doesn’t count. Regardless, if you’re in Japan, you owe it to yourself to meet the big guy himself.
This is the equivalent to Jesus appearing in toast—whether it actually looks like him is solely in the eye of the beholder. There are too many rocks that look like Godzilla in Japan to count. If you type “Godzilla Rock” or ゴジラ岩 into Google Maps, you’ll get a long list of results.
While some actually do have an uncanny resemblance to everyone’s favorite monster, others literally look like a pile of random rocks. The most attractive one is in Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It looks especially spectacular with the sun setting behind it. Others can be found in Hokkaido, Ishikawa, and Oshima Island.
Japan is amping up tourist attractions in anticipation of the 2020 Olympics, and who better to represent Japan than the king himself? In the summer of 2020, a life-size 120-meter-long bust of the 2016 Shin-Godzilla will open at the Awaji Island Anime Park in Hyogo Prefecture. Better still, it features a zipline ride through Godzilla’s head—for science! At the Godzilla: Interception Operation attraction, park guests assume the role of a scientist and blast away at the monster’s insides.
This 80-ton Heisei Godzilla head (and claw) is based on the 1992 monster film Godzilla vs. Mothra. The head rests 50 meters above Kabukicho, spews mist, and has glowing red eyes. He may not move much, but we like to think it is because he’s silently judging people.
For an even closer look at Godzilla’s head, check-in to the Hotel Gracery Shinjuku. Not only is there a Godzilla statue waiting to greet you in the lobby, but die-hard fans can book a room with a birds-eye view of the green giant for about ¥25,000 per person. Hotel guests can get up close and personal with the head on the “Godzilla Terrace,” but non-guests can visit the terrace if they are dining at the hotel’s (pricey) Cafe Terrace Bonjour.
Real fans will already know that Shinagawa is where Godzilla first set foot in Tokyo (and obliterated) back in 1954. There are quite a few Godzilla Easter eggs around the neighborhood.
Outside the entrance of a restaurant called Mutsumimaru in Higashi-Shinagawa are two tiny Godzilla statues made of stone. You can also visit the Yatsuyama Bridge, which Godzilla destroyed in the original film. Finally, Shinagawa Station has an unofficial commemorative tile that marks ground zero of Godzilla’s rampage located on platform #1 of the Yamanote line, though it looks more like a children’s dinosaur, really.
This three-meter-tall Godzilla statue is the tallest in Japan. Based on Shin-Godzilla, it sits on a platform guarding the entrance to the Hibiya Chanter building in the Yurakucho district. A previous statue depicting the Heisei Godzilla was erected here in 1995 but was relocated to Toho Cinemas Hibiya in 2018.
That statue featured a plaque which read, “I don’t think this Godzilla is the last one,” a quote at the end of the original 1954 film. The Shin-Godzilla statue features a new quote: “The human race must coexist with Godzilla.”
This 45-meter-long, 8.75-meter-tall Godzilla slide is located at Kurihama Flower Park in Kanagawa Prefecture. We’re still scratching our heads over why Heisei Godzilla, who’s generally viewed as a big and scary jerk, was chosen over the slightly-cuter Showa Godzilla, but here it is. Unfortunately, only children 12-years-old and under can ride on the big lizard. The park itself is famous for its beautiful seasonal flowers.
Without film producer Tomoyuki Tanaka and Toho Studios, we probably wouldn’t have Godzilla or any of our favorite kaiju (giant monster films), for that matter. Likewise, Toho probably wouldn’t be what it is today without Godzilla. The studio pays respect to the character with a bronze Godzilla statue at the gate entrance to its headquarters in Tokyo. Unfortunately, the studio is not open to the public, but the massive Godzilla mural painted on the studio wall can be seen from the street. Go ahead and take that selfie.
Also known as Rekihaku in Japanese, the National Museum of Japanese History in Chiba Prefecture focuses on, well, Japanese history. It’s filled with galleries, replicas, and restored artifacts detailing Japan from 37,000 years ago to the modern age. But of course, you’re going there for Godzilla. A large statue of the original 1954 Godzilla turning Tokyo into rubble can be found in the museum’s Gallery Six.
If you consider yourself not just a Godzilla fan, but a kaiju fan in general, boy, do we have the bar for you. Kaiju Sakaba is an izakaya (Japanese pub) dedicated to the kaiju genre and is filled with old school memorabilia. The dishes and drinks are all kaiju inspired, too. The best part is the staff and customers alike who dress up in sick monster costumes pretty much every night. They have two locations—one in Tokyo, and the other in Kawasaki city, about 30 minutes outside of Tokyo.
Inside Aqua City—one of Odaiba’s numerous shopping malls—is a trendy store selling stationery, clothing, miscellaneous goods, and licensed merchandise—including Godzilla. You’ll also find one seriously jacked Godzilla statue inside. Odaiba is one of Godzilla’s favorite stomping grounds. It’s home to Tokyo Bay, which is featured in several Godzilla films from the Showa, Heisei, and Millennium series, and even as recently as Shin-Godzilla. While you’re in the area, you may as well see the Gundam Statue and nearby Poop Museum.
The Setagaya Literary Museum, which is located not too far away from Toho Studios, was built to promote the culture of the surrounding neighborhood. Its cafe, Cafe Donguri, also displays a pretty scary looking Godzilla statue at its entrance to greet customers. It almost feels out of place, but that’s one of Godzilla’s best qualities. He strikes when you least expect him to.
We couldn’t have a list of spots to find Godzilla in Japan without mentioning his official store! Located on the first floor of the Shinjuku Marui Annex, it’s pretty much overflowing with Godzilla merch. Everything from postcards, keychains, figurines, and gnarly King Ghidorah jackets can be found here. It’s all pretty expensive, but nothing is stopping you from just browsing and taking in all the kaiju goodness.