Godzilla is ready for his closeup, but are you ready for Godzilla?
Godzilla fans are familiar with the two Godzilla statues in Tokyo. The first one was erected in Hibiya Chanter Square in conjunction with the release of Godzilla vs. Destroyah (1995), which was billed as Godzilla's last film. In more recent years, Toho Studios built a bigger Godzilla statue (the size of the filming suit) that stands outside the studio gates. These statues have been photographed and written about endlessly by Godzilla fans, leaving the impression that that's all there is to see.
This guy might disagree!
Of all the Godzilla structures in Japan, this is by far the biggest and perhaps even the coolest. It's about as close as anyone will ever get to seeing the real thing!
And it's not just cool to look at; you can slide down Godzilla's tail! Yup, it's actually a playground slide, not a statue. Be warned, though, it was built with children in mind (I can't believe I actually had to type that!), so the slide itself is narrow. Although I didn't use it myself (recent typhoons left it a little too muddy for me), I had a hard time seeing myself actually sliding down the thing.
The Big Guy holds court in Kurihama Flower World, located in Yokosuka, Kanagawa. You can find it in the Adventure Land section of the park, among other various playground-style activities.
The Flower World is quite a distance from Tokyo (about an hour and a half train ride), which would likely explain why so few monster movie fans who travel to Japan visit it or even know of its existence.
Of course, whether this attraction might be of interest is completely up to the individual. But I must say that I'm glad I made the effort to see it. It was quite impressive, and it sure beats shopping for Bandai figures!
If you're interested in the backstory behind the massive slide, this link has the details.
Finally, I shot some video at the slide, and here it is. Call it the first installment of Pigeon Kicker TV. Or don't. That part is also up to you.