Godzilla gets a head in Kabukicho

I should have done this article long ago because Godzilla is a Tokyo icon.  He’s been in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho since 2015, right after he turned sixty.  I couldn’t turn up to take his photo on the big day. My first chance was in 2019.  Only I would turn up four years late.  I’m surprised he didn’t come to my apartment and stomp on me.  Sorry big guy!

Still, four years late was better than never, right?  I doubt he has changed much.  People tell me he still looks the same, and I believe them.  I’ve seen the photos.  He’s the same.

His head is visible atop the Shinjuku Toho Building, forty meters up.  Yes, just his head and some claws.  It is so cool that thousands of people walk past him daily and snap a pic.  Even at sixty-nine, the King of Monsters still draws a crowd.

What more can I say? If you need advice about taking his photo, anything will do.  Smartphones, point, and shoots or DSLRs all work.  Any camera will work.  

Please remember one thing!  Godzilla’s head is high off the ground, so the smaller your lens, the smaller he will look in your picture!  You could go up to the coffee shop on the same floor as he is, but those pictures don’t usually have the same impact.

The last time I photographed the monster was in August 2023.  These are the photos you see here.  I took them with my Fujifilm XF 55-200 mm.  With that, I got some nice shots.  What do you think?

If you are wondering about the images under him, they are from the new City Hunter movie. It comes from a manga series that ran from 1985 to 1991. There have also been several theatrical releases and this is the latest.

And there is one piece of advice I can give for taking these pictures.  The head doesn’t look very spectacular in daylight, so I recommend early evening when the sun goes down.  The fading light will add a little more drama to your photo.  He even gets lit up at that time, making things a little more atmospheric.  I’ve wanted to get those shots for ages.  But time and weather have always prevented that from happening.  For the time being, these will have to do.  One day, I will get some good night shots!

Where is Godzilla?

You can find him in Kabukicho on the Hotel Gracery verandah on the eighth floor. You’ll find that above the Shinjuku Toho Building.  Once there, take the elevator to the eighth-floor lobby. It’s only a short walk from JR Shinjuku and Seibu Shinjuku stations.

  • If you leave from JR Shinjuku’s east exit, the walk to Godzilla is straightforward.  
  • You could also go there via Shinjuku Subnabe, an underground mall.  Once underground, Exit 10 will put you in an excellent position to get to Godzilla.  Be warned.  That route will be pretty maze-like to the uninitiated.

See it here on Google Maps.

For similar photo spots in Tokyo, look at:

Wrapping up

If you are a Godzilla fan, this statue in Kabukicho should satisfy you. The only negative point is that once you could access it though. Now, there is no public access to the verandah. That is a real pity. Anyway, he does look pretty cool with his head jutting up over the building. One day, I will get around to photographing it at night!

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