First of all, for those of you who didn't know: Gundam is a very famous Japanese animation series ever since it began in 1979, which features giant "mech(a)" robots. Along with Macross and Evangelion, it is the most representative and successful of the genre.
RX-78-2: the first statue exposed from 2009 to 2017
To celebrate the series' 30 years, its publisher Sunrise built a robot to scale (59 feet!) and placed it on the artificial island of Odaiba. The giant Gundam, model RX-78-2, has proudly protected Tokyo for a few months during the summer of 2009. As a temporary attraction, the robot was dismantled in September of that year. Given the incredible success he had met, it was decided to rebuild it in Shizuoka, between July 2010 and January 2011.
Under public pressure, the statue made a final comeback, this time ever lasting, in April 2012. It's now back on Odaiba, in the big shopping center DiverCity's Tokyo Plaza opened for the occasion, as a symbol of its representatives: Gundam Front Tokyo, half amusement park, half goods shop. Note the pun on "Diver City" which is written ダイバーシティ in Japanese, which is a homophone of 台场 island.
In November 2016, it is announced that the classic statue will leave Odaiba from March 5, 2017 to make way for a new exhibition. Its future location (if any) is still unknown today. On April 5, the Gundam Front attraction on the 7th floor of DiverCity also closed. It has since been replaced by The Gundam Base Tokyo, a workshop where you can make your own robot with a Gunpla plastic kit.
RX-0 Unicorn: the new life-sized Gundam statue since 2017
At the end of September 2017, another Gundam replica (model RX-0 Licorne) took its place. At 19.7 meters high, the new life-size statue is taller than its predecessor!
It's therefore possible to admire the giant Gundam mecha at any time, as an almost surreal and very impressive vision that reminds us once again that Japan is definitely not a country like any other!
In November 2018, it is announced that another model will take place in Yamashita, Yokohama from the summer of 2020 and over a year.
How to get to Life Size Gundam Statue
By train -- JR Rinkai line (not JRPass compatible): Tokyo Teleport station and a 3-minute walk
By monorail -- JR Yurikamome line: Daiba station and a 7-minute walk
By taxi -- Address: 〒135-0064 Tokyo, Koto, Aomi, 1-1-10 DiverCity Tokyo Plaza (Tel +81 3-5579-6283)
Location unreachable with the JR Pass
Get there with a rental car
The Gundam Base Tokyo: open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
フルサイズのユニコーンガンダム像 (Full-size Unicorn Gundam statue)
ガンダムベース東京 (Gundam Base Tôkyô)
The statue became mobile from 2019
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The Gundam Base Tokyo Official Website (in Japanese)