NEWS from JAPAN

Game & Anime, Tourism

Visiting the Gundam Factory Yokohama: A Holy Land of All Things Gundam

Join me as I infiltrate the world’s hottest Gundam spot, Gundam Factory Yokohama, and let you in on all the secrets of this must-see Gundam spot just outside Tokyo. It’s only open until the end of March, 2024!

What Is the Gundam Factory Yokohama?

Gundam Factory Tokyo opened in December 2020 as a facility focused on the beloved anime Mobile Suit Gundam, and home to a real, enormously life-sized RX-78-2 Gundam! This destination was originally intended to close at the end of March 2022, but after all the unexpected chaos those years brought about, the opening period was extended until the end of March 2024. For Gundam lovers this place is seriously a dream come true, and it’s a destination for fans from around Japan and even the rest of the world.

▲ The Gundam Factory Yokohama entrance.

The Actual-Size “Moving Gundam” Is the Highlight!

When it comes to what to look out for when visiting the Gundam Factory Yokohama, the real star of the show is the actual-size moving Gundam, which towers overhead and pulls off a series of cool movies. This 18-meter-tall Gundam robot makes it feel like you’ve really slipped into the world of the Universal Century, lighting up every time it moves, and playing sound effects straight from the anime.

Up until now, the Unicorn Gundam located in front of DiverCity Tokyo Plaza (in Odaiba, Tokyo) enjoyed a fair amount of fame as a real-life moving Gundam, but Gundam fans who go to see it will know – the Unicorn Gundam can only move a small portion of its body, which is certainly cool, but just not the same as full-body robot action. The full-sized RX-78-2 Gundam now found in Yokohama, however, is another story. We finally have an actual-size replica of a Gundam robot that can actually move its whole body. It’s the world’s first genuine “Moving Gundam”!

(For the curious: there are currently three actual-size Gundam replicas around Japan, and one in China, for four in total around the world.)

▲ Yokohama’s actual-size moving Gundam!

The Gundam-Dock Tower, where the moving Gundam is set up, also offers viewing platform tickets that you can purchase to see climb up to eye level, and see the moving Gundam up close. In the adjoining exhibition area there are displays on the history of Gundam, and all the work that went into making this actual-size moving Gundam model. There are also miniature models that let you feel how the moving Gundam functions!

▲ There’s lots of information on the actual-size Gundam in the exhibition rooms!

A Deeply Impressive Gundam Performance

Yokohama’s actual-size moving Gundam puts on a show twice every hour, showing off its realistic moves with a soundtrack of music that fans will recognize from the anime. Yours truly went to see the Gundam in person, so please enjoy a little look at what the actual-size RX-78-2 Gundam is capable of!

It’s Not Just the Moving Gundam! Don’t Miss the Shop & Cafe

To be fair, even just the moving Gundam would be enough to satisfy many huge Gundam fans, including myself. But the Gundam Factory Yokohama does have more to offer for fans of the anime, and Gunpla model-makers, at the Gundam Base Yokohama Satellite shop and the Gundam Cafe.

The shop is especially good for Gunpla fans, with unique products like a Gunpla version of the actual-size Gundam right outside, and other limited-edition sets found nowhere else. There’s a lot of Gundam merch that you can only get at the Gundam Factory Yokohama! If you’re a big fan, it’s definitely worth a visit.

▲ The author’s own purchase – a limited edition Gunpla kit.

The Gundam Cafe offers original Gundam-themed drinks and bento meals, and they sometimes offer limited-edition original coasters, and even some cool Gundam latte art. You’ll definitely want to get your hands on the special clear bottle, only available at the cafe!

▲ In 2023, cafe customers were given coasters decorated with Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway’s Flash designs.
▲ The bentos include Gundam decorations like this nori seaweed creation.

There’s also a food truck outside with more themed drinks and snacks. Back in May 2023, they were selling The Witch From Mercury drinks, as it aired on TV, but this drink is no longer available.

▲ A limited-time-only drink and coaster from the food truck.

Experiencing the Gundam Factory Yokohama

It’s time to let you in on a little secret… this visit to the Gundam Factory Yokohama wasn’t actually my first. That first visit was back in February of 2021, not long after the facility had opened its doors to the public, and the joy I felt back then has stuck with me all this time. As a Gundam fan, even now I can still feel the shock and awe of seeing a real Gundam mech in movement for the first time. To quote Amuro Ray in the very first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam, it was a real moment of “hey… this thing can move!” Anyone who calls themself a fan of Gundam should definitely go check the Gundam Factory Yokohama out, if only to see the elaborate lights, sounds, and movements that go into every performance of this Gundam work of art. Next time you’re in Yokohama, or anywhere nearby, don’t miss it!

Access/Hours

Gundam Factory Yokohama
279-25 Yamashitacho, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa
Hours: weekdays 11:00 – 19:00 | weekends & holidays 10:00 – 20:00
Access: From Tokyo Station, take the Keihin-Tohoku Line (25 min) to Yokohama Station. From Yokohama, take the Minato Mirai line (8 min) to Motomachi-Chukagai Station, go out exit #4 (Marine Tower Exit) and walk approx. 7 minutes. (Also easily accessible from Shinagawa Station or Shibuya Station.)
Tickets: adults 1,650 yen | children 1,100 yen
Gundam Dock Tower Fee: 3,300 yen (available at the facility or online)
*The Gundam Dock Tower Fee does not include entrance to the main facility.
Official Website (en)

JAPANKURU

Looking for the convenience of a nearby store location? We are here to assist you. By clicking on this link: Homebase opening times near me, you will gain access to a comprehensive directory of stores in your vicinity. The directory includes vital details such as regular business hours, special holiday schedules, and daily closing times. This allows you to effortlessly verify whether a particular store is open today, or to find their hours of operation for any day of the week. This valuable resource is designed to provide you with all the information needed to effectively schedule your shopping trips. Make sure to remember to add this link to your bookmarks for easy access, and consider sharing it with others who might benefit from this information.