Monday, August 8, 2011

Tokyo: Familiar names and faces

With Heisei Gamera SFX maestro Shinji Higuchi at T.G.I. Friday's in Shinagawa, Tokyo. 

In the coming days, I plan to blog more about my various excursions around Tokyo. For right now, I'll cover some of the highlights of my trip, focusing here on many of the familiar faces I was happy to meet (some for the very first time).

Sandwiched between model maker extraordinaire Hiroshi Sagae and filmmaker Yoshikazu Ishii, at the same T.G.I. Friday's.

It was a true thrill to meet Yutaka Hayashi (Godzilla vs. Megalon) at a Beatles-themed nightclub in Roppongi! Mr. Hayashi is a genuine childhood hero.

With Godzilla series screenwriter Wataru Mimura (Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla 2, Godzilla 2000, Godzilla: Final Wars) in Shibuya.

Meeting one of my very first G-FAN interviewees, Richard Berger (Grenchiko in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah). We visited Harajuku and Omotesando.

Here with Jon Gallock, who appeared as a terrified airline pilot in Godzilla vs. Destroyah, in Shinjuku.

With Bin Furuya (the original Ultraman suit actor and Ultra Seven cast member) at a shabu shabu dinner in Roppongi.

Here I am with another legendary Toho actor, Yosuke Natsuki, at Toho Studios! All three of his Toho kaiju eiga (Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster, Dogora the Space Monster, and Godzilla 1985) are favorites of mine.

Holding the Oxygen Destroyer with Godzilla himself, Haruo Nakajima, the original Godzilla suit actor from 1954-1972, at Toho Studios. Yosuke Natsuki looks on.

With expert monster suit maker Shinichi Wakasa at his workshop. As you can see, Destroyah was there, too!

Sitting between the original Ultraman and Godzilla at -- where else? -- Toho Studios.

Inside Toho's Studio 8 where all the great drama scenes were filmed. Standing with Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster director Yoshimitsu Banno and Haruo Nakajima.

Meeting Derrick Holmes (Godzilla vs. Biollante, Lady Battle Cop). We walked around Roppongi, and man, what a night it was!

Hanging with Kent Gilbert (Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah) in Roppongi. Kent remains a very busy guy to this day.

With Akira Takarada, who at this point needs no introduction. He's the man who made the Toho tour happen. Couldn't ask for a better tour guide. Arigato gozaimasu, Takarada-sama!

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