Shinjuku’s New Popular Icon
Godzilla’s Head is a statue resting on the Hotel Gracery’s 8th floor in the Shinjuku Toho Building located in Kabukicho district in the west of Tokyo. It can be seen from the street or approached closer from the "Terrasse Bonjour" Café.
Godzilla (or Gojira in Japanese) is one of the most famous monsters in the world, born in the post war Japanese pop culture, that even has its own star on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. The monster can be spotted in several places throughout Tokyo. The life-size (12 meters high) statue of its head called Godzilla Head is overlooking from Hotel 🏨 Gracery Shinjuku’s terrace, and is arguably the most popular and unusual display of the radioactive lizard in the capital.
Built in 2015, the Godzilla Head statue was designed for the inauguration of the Shinjuku Toho Building, a property of the Japanese production company Toho that also owns the kaiju’s broadcasting rights in theaters. The reptile has only the head and 3 enormous claws surfacing from the high-rise, a stance that is a reference to the popular 1992 movie Godzilla vs Mothra.
Its open mouth shows numerous and sharp teeth in a menacing attitude to passersby who can see it from the street. Its seems like its roar is echoing in the city. Godzilla Head is indeed animated every hour in the afternoon : it roar and breath white smoke while its pierce eyes are glowing with blue flashes.
Café and rooms at the kaiju’s image
The Hotel Gracery Shinjuku is at the heart of Kabukicho, a neighborhood renowned for its lively nightlife, but that is nonetheless family-friendly on the daytime. In addition to the view form Kabukicho Central Road, it is possible to get near the statue on the terrace of the hotel’s café at the 8th floor. The venue is called Cafe Terrace Bonjour, and is open to everyone with access from an elevator located in the hotel’s lobby. To go there:
- Enter the Shinjuku Toho Building;
- Find the entrance of the Hotel Gracery;
- Take the lift and stop at the 8th floor and the café.
Then, the cafe’s open-air terrace is freely accessible and one can stop a moment watching Godzilla and taking pictures. Visitors who would like to stay longer and enjoy a break in the company of the monster must order a drink or a snack. As of 2023:
- The expresso costs ¥1,331 (~US$9.08);
- A matcha latte is ¥1,452 (~US$9.91); and,
- A drink + pastry set is ¥2,057 (~US$14.03).
There is also a large selection of Japanese spirits (nihonshu 🍶, whiskey and shochu) at even higher prices.
Excessive drinking put your health at risk. Alcoholic beverages should be consumed in moderation.
Die-hard fans can also stay in one of the 2 Godzilla-themed rooms at the hotel:
- Godzilla Room with an interior decoration designed at the kaiju’s image; and,
- Godzilla View Room with a direct view on the monster’s profile, that seems to be watching over the guests at night!
Note that there is no souvenir shop at the venue. However the capital’s official Godzilla Store Tokyo is located in the same neighborhood, about 10 minutes’ walk near Shinjuku-sanchome station (exit C1, floor 1F in the Shinjuku Marui Annex).
Since 2018, another very popular Godzilla statue is also on display in front of the Tokyo Midtown Hibiya complex. While smaller (2,5 meters high), it is a complete representation of the reptile, and is a reference to the 2016 Shin-Godzilla movie.