During my May 2006 trip to Japan I had the rare opportunity to visit the memorial of The Great One. Yes, Godzilla. The king of the monsters and an integral component of Japanese pop culture. Godzilla has been one of my heroes since childhood and, in my opinion, no trip to Japan is complete without paying respects at his statue.
The statue is located in the Ginza district of Tokyo – not too far from the Sony Building. The headquarters of Toho Pictures is nearby. The statue sits in the center of a peaceful plaza surrounded by office buildings and a convenience store. Visitors have trouble locating the statue as many sources claim it’s in Hibiya Park. My Lonely Planet guide book states it is one block away from the park so I didn’t have to search the park fruitlessly. Even with the best information available it took me some time to track it down.
I heard the statue was commissioned as a sort of publicity stunt for the 1995 movie Godzilla vs. Destroyer. Godzilla was killed by his opponent in that movie and the statue was to be a memorial. Four years later Godzilla was back for Godzilla 2000. You can’t keep a good man down!