One of Japan’s most successful and well-loved ambassadors, Godzilla stands at about 100 metres tall and is both literally and figuratively a landmark of Japanese culture. Racking up 36 films since his debut in 1954, the towering dinosaur-like monster has inspired an entire genre of movies and been the inspiration for many more Kaiju monsters, bizarre and enormous creatures like Mothra and Gamera.
With so much history laying in Godzilla’s path of destruction it’s about time his work was commemorated, and anime park Nijigen no Mori has done just that by creating the world’s first Godzilla Museum.
Godzilla threatens Awaji Island
Nijigen no Mori is based on Awaji Island in the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan, and is home to exhibits from the popular manga ‘Phoenix’ and children’s’ anime ‘Crayon Shin-chan’. There was a huge addition to the park last year, with new sets and characters from the Naruto and Boruto series being introduced, along with a recreation of Hokage Rock.
Although the exact dates remain unannounced, the next big change for the park will be all about Godzilla, and the terrible threat of destruction he presents. From their YouTube channel Nijigen no Mori has hinted that we’ll get full access this summer, at least that’s when defensive strategies and evacuation orders are set to begin. The park seems to taking the situation pretty seriously, and the attraction’s official (and very dramatic) name is “Godzilla Interception Operation Awaji ~National Awaji Institute of Godzilla Disaster~”.
Surviving the Rampage
The attractions planned for Godzilla’s territory in the park include shooting games to stop new monsters appearing, and a zip line with routes around Godzilla’s body or directly into his mouth, which seems like a terrible path to take. We might need to wait a little longer for these areas, but the Godzilla Museum is up and running, and filled with never-before seen exhibits.
The Museum will only be open until August 31st, at which point it will close down until Godzilla Interception Operation Awaji opens properly. Until then, let’s take a look at some of exhibits and maybe work out how to escape if you ever find yourself attacked by the King of Monsters himself.
Reconnaissance on the Target
The feature of the museum most likely to draw attention is the specially made dioramas, recreated using costumes and building sets from the original films. With cooperation from Toho Studio, the action and terror of scenes from Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. and Shin Godzilla have been brought back to life, with models of Mothra and Mechagodzilla making an appearance.
There’s about 80 different Kaiju on display, as if Toho were getting ready to film the ultimate crossover movie. That includes monsters both old and new, as well as some prototype designs.
It’s not just the museum which has opened in advance, there’s also special themed food at the park’s restaurant Mori no Terrace and Godzilla merchandise and artwork that you’ll only be able to buy at the park’s shop.
We might not be able to get the full experience just yet, but this might just be the best place to encounter Godzilla – and live to tell about it.
Visit the Nijigen no Mori site (Japanese)
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31 October 2023
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