One of the many scenes in which people look forward to whenever a new Godzilla film is released is when astute citizens notice the towering kaiju and scream “Godzilla!”. In this moment, you feel like you’re in their place, staring into the eyes of a 300m dinosaur-like monster.
If you’re looking to experience this in real life, Japan is the place to be!
Tokyo actually boasts some of the most entertaining life-size statues of the most popular Japanese pop culture characters as well as adorable animals. From Godzilla to Gundam, you’re in for a treat!
Arguably the most popular Japanese monster of all time, anything Godzilla-related is instantly recognised by the public.
Take, for example, the huge statue of Godzilla peering over the top of the Toho Cinemas building in Kabukicho. If you’re in the area anytime from 12:00PM to 8:00PM on the hour, visit the building (entrance via Hotel Gracery) and listen to the Godzilla theme song as Godzilla himself roars and blows smoke from his mouth!
2. Litter of Puppies
At the Ritsushisha Wan Wan Park (‘wan wan’ being the noise that dogs make in Japanese), there exists a statue of three adorable puppies overlooking the street from a balcony. The balcony is a part of a building that hosts an animal education school where people can go to learn how to take care of, groom, and train dogs.
They consist of a dachshund, a dalmatian, and a quirky looking shiba inu. If you’re a dog-lover, a visit here is a must!
The life-size statue of the Unicorn Gundam that stands loud and proud in front of the DiverCity mall in Odaiba has pulled in tens of thousands of tourists every year since its instalment. It’s an absolutely stunning construction that stands at 19.7m tall!
To make it as real and interactive as possible, the statue demonstrates a light show at 11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm, 5:00pm every day for anyone lucky enough to be around to witness it. And if you’re still around at 7:00pm, settle down for a quick movie screening of the Gundam Divers series.
Read More: Most Instagrammable Places In Tokyo
4. Tokyo Monsters – King Kong (Gorilla)
Are gorillas and King Kong your thing? If so, you can actually witness and photograph a huge statue of a gorilla hanging over the edge of a building with a girl in his palm, right in the middle of Tokyo!
The chill suburb of Sangenjaya is home to this statue, and whilst no locals really know just how it came to be, there’s no argument that it has become a central part of the community.
The statue sits above a building that hosts a FamilyMart, so head there from Sangenjaya station, grab a drink from the konbini, and admire the gorilla from across the street.
Exact location and more info here: King Kong in Tokyo
This terrifying giant spider statue sits in the middle of the popular and affluent suburb of Roppongi (location at the foot of Roppongi Hills building). It’s unique and standout features makes it one of the most easily identifiable monuments, and thus acts as an easy meeting spot for people looking to hang out in Roppongi.
There are five other versions of ‘Mamam’ around the world, in the US, Canada, Spain, Korea and Qatar.
6. Jumbo Chef
Asakusa is famous for being home to the stunning Sensoji temple, but did you know it also has a famous street called the Kitchen Street?
This funky strip of kitchenware-themed shops sits in Kappabashi-dori and sells a whole heap of variety of things! Browse everything from pots and pans, cute Japanese cutlery, to (arguably the most popular thing people go there for) plastic wax versions of your favourite dishes.
Sitting atop the building at the big intersection of this street is a peeping chef’s head – it’s actually huge so you simply can’t miss it!
7. Kitaro Park
If you’ve come across the Japanese manga series ‘Gegege no Kitaro’ before, you’re going to love Kitaro park.
The spirits, monsters and creatures from this Japanese folklore manga are brought to life at this park. From characters sitting on the benches to characters becoming the activity equipment themselves, it’s quite a sight to see.
In particular, Nurikabe, who is a rectangular yokai, becomes a cool children’s rock-climbing wall!
8. Tyre Monsters
Located at Nishi-Rokugo park is a collection of Japanese ‘tyre monsters’ that are not quite what you’d expect at a park!
They are quite literally figures of monsters made of meshing together multiple pieces of tyres! Scattered around the park, you will see monsters of varying heights (some even reaching 20m!) with eyes, mouths, and even arms.
There are also tyre-based activities around the park, such as a tyre wall, swing, and tyre ladder.
Remember though, you are not meant to climb the tyre monsters themselves, but take a photo for your memorabilia!
9. Oni Slide
The Oni slide has been described by some as being super impactful when first witnessed!
This bright red oni (Japanese demon) is definitely eye-catching. Set in amongst Nishikidaini Park (close by to Tachikawa Station), a park full of lush greenery, this slide is incredibly popular amongst the children. It also makes for a fantastic photo opportunity with one of Japan’s most well-known demons!
Tengu are another form of Japanese yokai, or demons. There are a few types, but the one you may be most familiar with is the one with a long nose!
If you’re heading to Mt Takao for the day, you’re in for a treat. Located between platform 3 and 4 at Takao station is a massive stone statue of a tengu! It stands out from the platform due to its size and fierce expression.
If you get to Takaoyama Yakuouin Yukiji temple, you will also be able to see a beautiful red statue of a Tengu head.
Well, we hope you enjoyed reading about all these giant monsters you can find in Tokyo! They all offer some epic photo opportunities, with most existing only in Japan. If you know any others, feel free to drop them into the comments below, we’d love to hear about them!