Godzilla has become a world-famous icon for the country of Japan. You can easily find the statues, murals, stores, and hotels that depict Godzilla through the years throughout all of Japan, highlighting the international impact that the King of Monsters has had since its creation in 1954.
From Manga and Anime to blockbuster movies, many iconic characters have come from the small island country of Japan, but none loom as large as Godzilla, the king of monsters.
Read on below about how you can come face to face with this iconic character around Tokyo and beyond.
The ‘king of monsters’ rose to fame after the release of the first movie depicting this large, catastrophic creature back in 1954. Created at the height of the cold war, the tension seemed to be personified in the destructive creature known as ‘Godzilla’.
According to movie lore, Godzilla is an enormous, prehistoric sea monster that is awakened by nuclear radiation and draws its power from it to wreak havoc on Japanese cities. Godzilla is cited as being both a god, similar to a Titan and the original Kaiju.
History of Godzilla?
Godzilla is a monolithic creature popularized as the star monster in the world’s oldest and longest-running film franchise that is still putting out movies today. Beginning in 1954, and the latest film being released in early 2021, this franchise has been active for over 67 years.
Godzilla was created by a Japanese studio Producer at the height of cold war tensions. A ringing metaphor of destruction that personifies the tragedy Japan had endured at the hands of atomic weapons, Godzilla was infamous from the moment the first movie was released, capturing worldwide attention and a myriad of fans.
What was the impact of Godzilla?
The original Kaiju drew immense fame and recognition with the first film and had a dedicated fan base that reached all around the world. The accumulated box office earnings before the latest series were totaled at over 520 million dollars, while the latest releases push that number way up.
The fan base surrounding this monolithic king of monsters still thrives today and is continually growing with the release of newer (and some would say better) movies. In fact, the impact of Godzilla on Japan especially can be seen in the monuments depicting the creature found all over Japan.
Where Can I see Godzilla in Tokyo?
What has become a fun, international scavenger hunt for fans of Godzilla, is the placement of different Godzilla statues in and around Japan’s capital. From staggering heights to picture-friendly depictions, you can find this infamous monster in a lot of prime locations, especially in Tokyo.
Below is a compiled list of where you can spot this famed giant and snap a picture or two:
Toho Film Studios
If you want to see a large depiction of the King of Monsters, then head to the studio where it all began. You can find an enormous mural as well as a smaller statue located a little way outside of Tokyo city.
Shinjuku, Tokyo (Toho Building)
Right in the midst of this vibrant shopping district, among the brightly colored billboards, you will find an imposing Godzilla, peeking his head and claws out from the top of a building.
Although it is only Godzilla’s head and claws, the effect is imposing and the timed roar that echoes throughout the street and the steam of blue erupting from his mouth only adds to the effect.
Standing alongside the Hibiya Ticket Box near Yurakucho station is the largest statue immortalizing this famous character. This statue stands tall and proud and protects the treasure within itself – the last shooting script and a storyboard from the 1958 original.
Izu Oshima, Godzilla Island
This island, located past Tokyo and Sagami Bay, played host to the movie sets of two different Godzilla movies. Amid the natural, striking landscape of the island, you will find smaller statues and plaques depicting the famed Godzilla.
There is even a Godzilla rock jutting out from the active volcano, that when viewed a certain way, is uncanny with the head of the prehistoric beast.
Kurihama Flower Park
Although the name of the park sounds quite flowery, amid the playpark and featured slide, you can find a large statue paying homage to Godzilla. The imposing beast does contrast a bit ironically with the children’s slide and will create some fun photos for anyone willing to journey to the park.
Even though this restaurant, located near the Hama-Rikyu gardens in Tokyo, is dedicated to all Kaiju, you can find the Original Kaiju standing proud inside the shopping mall in which the Kaiju Sakabar is found.
Godzilla Interception Operation Awaji
A life-like depiction of Godzillas open-mouthed head bears a stunning contrast to the rest of the Hyogo Prefecture Awajishima Anime Park Nijigen no Mori’s green surroundings. Especially as you watch people zipline into the mouth for a wicked illusion of being eaten by the famous monster.
And with a permanent museum highlighting the history of Godzilla and all the movies made over the past 64 years, Godzilla Interception Operation Awaji is really a haven for every Godzilla fanatic.
National Museum of Japanese History
Located in the Chibu prefecture, this large museum exhibits galleries and artifacts that trace Japan’s long history. And among the archeological finds from feudal japan, you will also see a large statue depicting the classic 1954 Godzilla as it rampages through Tokyo.
Famed for being the first place that Godzilla stepped foot in when he began to wreak havoc on Tokyo in the 1954 classic, Shinagawa is not shy in honoring the infamous King of Monsters with statues, plaques, and even a ‘ground zero’ commemorative tile.
Godzilla Store, Tokyo
Of course, a store dedicated to the longest-running franchise in the world will have everything from statues to small collectibles depicting its star. Godzilla can be seen on keychains, stickers, and even clothing found in this shop. A worthy place for any avid Godzilla fan to visit.