Many years ago I remember hearing about a survey of famous Japanese people conducted somewhere in the western world. I think Jackie Chan was on the list even though he’s not Japanese and in the number one spot was Godzilla which just goes to show how few Japanese people have made it really big overseas!
My first encounter of Godzilla was in its guise as the fire breathing 1980’s cartoon and I saw the 1998 Godzilla remake before the 1954 original. Godzilla is a legendary Japanese monster and as much as I like the icon I have to say that the films are not up to scratch.
Odo Island, where the radioactive creature first appears is completely fictitious but all the Tokyo places are real, well kind of! They were actually filmed at Toho Studios with miniature sets being used to replicate the capital whilst a man wore a rubber suit and stomped all over the three metre high set-pieces.
Godzilla comes out of the water at Tokyo Bay and promptly destroys Shinagawa station (below) on 43 minutes before torching Matsuzakaya Department store at 6-10-1 Ginza after 59 minutes.
After 59 minutes he rips the clock from the Wako Department store (below) at 4-5-11 Ginza.
The National Diet Building (above) at 1-7-1 Nagata-cho doesn’t fare much better three minutes later! Both featured in my original Tokyo Godzilla locations post a couple of years ago and in between those two places he crosses Sukiya Bridge (60 minutes) before the New Marion Building at 2-5-1 Yurakucho in Chiyoda-ku is smashed up on 61 minutes.
The monster lizard finally destroys Kachidoki Bridge (63 minutes) which stretches across Sumidagawa River and he then returns to the ocean and his 15 minutes of terror are over.
There is a tiny statue of Godzilla (above) at 1-2-2 Yurakucho in Ginza which I must have visited many times as it often becomes part of my cycling tours of Tokyo. I say tiny statue but its not as if it was ever gonna be a full-size one!! However, much further afield in Seijogakuenmae there is a much bigger statue on display outside Toho Studios at 1-4-1 Seijo, Setagaya-ku.
For other Japan filming locations click on the links below:
You Only Live Twice Lost In Translation Kill Bill Babel Walk Don’t Run Into The Sun Monster Wasabi The Grudge Ju:On The Grudge The Ramen Girl The Toxic Avenger Pt II The Wolverine Memoirs Of A Geisha The Last Samurai