This place where the Shinjuku Toho Building including the Toho Cinemas and Gracery Hotel is located used to have a time-honored performance theater called “Koma Gekijo (Koma Theater)” that was seen as a landmark of the Kabukicho district. The Koma Theater seems to have been demolished because of deterioration in 2011 after the theater got out of business due to less popularity while I didn’t know it at all.
The Koma Theater seems to have been here since the 1950s and gained great popularity in the 1970s for the shows performed at the theater although I had never entered the theater. In my impression, it looked more like a theater that attracted older people when I was in my 20s.
Turning around the corner of the newly built Shinjuku Toho Building, I tried to head for a movie theater I often visited to see movies in my youth to see what happened to it as I have not been there for a very long time.
Oh, my goodness, this is unbelievable! The whole movie theater is gone!!! This is exactly where it used to be! There used to be a fountain-like structure in the center of this square with a large movie theater in front while I forgot the name (I think it was “Shinjuku Plaza Theater”). I remember I often went to see movies there with my friends in my teens and 20s…
Well, I have no choice but to accept the reality. I am going back to the station to go home. This is the street with the fruit store I showed to you in my previous post when I looked back.
These are pictures put up on walls near the entrance of the JR Shinjuku Station that show what this area looked like in the past. They have descriptions that the one on the left side was taken in 1932 and the other one in 1958. As I was born in 1962, a view similar to the one on the right should have unfolded if I had visited this area at that time. (If you are interested in retro-looking townscapes of Japan, you can visit another blog I am running about it!)
This is the view you will get when you have crossed the street I showed in my previous post and looked back. The picture on the right shows where I came from.
And you can head for the Godzilla by walking straight down the street named “Godzilla Road” that comes into view with the Godzilla head popping out of the building. This part of the area is called “Kabukicho” and widely known as one of the largest entertainment and also red light districts in Japan.
Oh, I can’t resist the excitement I feel as I approach the Godzilla ahead of me! It looks pretty nice with the blue sky in the background!
It is much more impressive than I thought. It is truly a well-made Godzilla head! As it is shown with the sign on the wall, this building includes the movie theater “Toho Cinemas,” and the hotel sticking out of it seems to called “Gracery Shinjuku.” The hotel is likely to be affiliated with Washington Hotels run by Fujita Kanko alleged to be the leading Japanese tourism company having many hotels all over Japan. And chances are the latest Star Wars episode is on now in the movie theater.
This Godzilla head seems to have started being shown to the public in 2015 when this “Shinjuku Toho Building” was completed including the movie theater and the hotel. It is said that the head is based on the Godzilla that appeared in the 1992 Godzilla movie “Godzilla vs. Mothra” as the movie turned out to be most popular among the series of the Godzilla movies that have been screened since the Showa Period (up to 1989).
I have just learnt now that this Godzilla head roars at noon and at some other times making the sound of roar with a blue light lit in the mouth (it seems that it also gives out smoke then. It is unlikely that the mouth moves) although it didn’t roar unfortunately when I visited the place. The size of the 12 meter high Godzilla head is said to be located at the point where it measures 40 meters from the ground (the first Godzilla is likely to be set as 50 meters high).
Happy New Year to all of you, my friends! Thank you for having waited for my new posts! I had not been able to post any entries till now as I had been very busy with chores I had to do over the end and beginning of the year.
With a couple more entries on Akio Jissoji to be posted soon afterwards, I would like to show you some pictures of GODZILLA who appeared in Shinjuku, Tokyo, as I went there to see it after I had happened to glance at it from the train when passing through Shinjuku the other day although you may already know this issue better than me.
For people who would like to take a look at it when visiting Japan, I will show you the way to Godzilla with pictures rather precisely. I hope that helps.
Sorry for the blurred photo above but this is the JR Shinjuku Station. For the Godzilla, you can get through the east exit of the station while this is exactly the east exit where I came from.
When getting out of the east exit of the JR Shinjuku Station, be careful about which exit you have to get through as the station is huge enough to get you lost, this view unfolds before your eyes. The Studio ALTA in front is one of the famous landmarks in Shinjuku where people often meet up.
Right across the street, you can find a street with trees like this with a fruit store on the right-hand corner with a conspicuous signboard of fruits brightly painted.
Just go down the street. There are so many people. While the fruit store on the right hand side is closed with the shutters, I took this picture before it opened and the above one after it opened. That’s why.
After going down the street, it is just a short distance, you will find another street (Yasukuni Dori Street). Can you recognize Godzilla’s head popping out of a building ahead? The people in front are just waiting to cross the street, and it is not that they were frozen in place at the emergence of Godzilla!