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Godzilla to receive Shinjuku ‘residency’

Godzilla in Kabukicho (The Tokyo Reporter)
Godzilla in Kabukicho (The Tokyo Reporter)

TOKYO (TR) – Later this month, Godzilla is not only set to become a tourist attraction but also a “resident” to boot, reports public broadcaster NHK (April 4).

On April 9, the Toho monster will receive an honorary residency certificate from Shinjuku Ward. The ceremony will precede the opening, on April 17, of a new theater building that will include a “life-size” rendering of the popular kaiju creature, whose six-decade career spans 28 films.

A 12-meter tall Godzilla replica from the neck upwards, based on the original 1954 film, will grace a terrace on the eighth floor of the Toho Shinjuku Building, a commercial complex located in the middle of Shinjuku’s Kabukicho red-light district.

The building contains the 12-screen Toho Cinemas Shinjuku theater. A terrace on the eighth floor will allow visitors to stroll past the Godzilla structure, which is visible from nearby Yasukuni-dori, a street that borders the Kabukicho area.

The site of the project was once the home to the Koma Toho theater, which was in the basement of the Koma Theater building. Until it closed in 2008, the Koma Theater was a home to kabuki and enka performances for more than five decades. In 2008, both venues shut down in preparation for demolition.

The Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, which occupies the upper floors of the Toho Shinjuku Building, will contain a special room decorated in a Godzilla motif. The hotel opens on April 24.

Last year, Warner Bros. released the Gareth Edwards-directed “Godzilla,” which collected $525 million in revenue worldwide, according to the site Box Office Mojo.

With Godzilla’s recent popularity overseas, the ward is hopeful that promoting the star’s image will encourage foreign tourists to visit Japan, NHK reported.