Japan is very good at coming up with movie tie-ins in unconventional ways and that is certainly true where one of its most famous sons is concerned. The “Godzilla Hotel” in Shinjuku is one such example of that and a recent addition has been to transform this traditional Japanese bathhouse into a Godzilla-themed one.
Kamata Onsen has actually been a place I’ve been interested in visiting for a couple of years now as it is famed for its kuroyu (black hot spring water). We never quite found the time to go there two years ago when we went ‘Out & About in Ota‘ looking at Senzoku-ike and Ikegami Honmonji Temple among other things.
After my monster-ously priced Godzilla cake set at the Gracery Hotel in Shinjuku I ventured to the very southern parts of Tokyo and Ota-ku where I took the train to Kamata station using the Keihin-Tōhoku line. For the record, it can also be reached via the Tōkyū Ikegami and Tōkyū Tamagawa lines. It is a 10-15 minute walk from there to this old style bathhouse in this quiet residential area south of Kamata Station. The place now has a Gojira curtain at the entrance. There are shoe lockers in the entrance area and the lobby is decorated with many Godzilla movie posters from 1954 to the present day.
Kamata supposedly features in some scenes in ‘Shin Gojira‘ (2016) but I can’t testify for that as I am still yet to see it. This Japanese made film is known as ‘Godzilla: Resurgence‘ in some countries. Entrance to these baths is ¥460 and once you’ve gone through the navy Godzilla curtain you’ll see a couple more movie posters.
The monster footprints lead you through the changing room to the baths and showers. Through the window you can see the nearly three metre tall and twelve metre wide wall painting which was completed in two days by a 33 year old female picture artist. Sadly by the time this post is published it will have already disappeared as it was only ever gonna be a temporary mural.
This place was founded way back in 1937 and was actually damaged during WWII. It has been renovated since then. As someone who has only really had baths at hotels and ski resorts I was a bit surprised to see how small this one was. Just three small baths with the black one naturally being the one of most interest. This distinctive colour derives from an organic kind of acid found in the groundwater under Ota. These baths supposedly help smooth your skin, heal sore knees and backs and improve blood circulation.
As I was getting changed I realised I had no towel or anything so paid a reasonable ¥110 for the cloth, soap and shampoo set. Usually you’d use the cloth in the bath but I left it in my locker to dry myself with after I’d finished. Only after getting out did I notice the sign on the entrance door saying no photography! It’s not surprising of course but even if I had known beforehand I would probably still have taken a sneaky snap or two.
Kamata Onsen is located at 2-23-2 Kamata Honcho, Ota-ku.
Click here to read ‘Dining Out: The Godzilla Hotel’
Click here to read ‘Cycling The Godzilla Tokyo Trail…In One Day!’
Click here to read ‘Tokyo Daytripper: Gojira-Koen (Godzilla Park)’
Click here to read ‘Tokyo Filming Locations #5 – Godzilla (1954)’
Click here to read ‘Review: Films Set In Japan – Godzilla (2014)’
Click here to read ‘Review: Films Set In Japan – Godzilla (1954)’