MyKaiju Returns


Somebody pinch me because I must be dreaming. There are no words that I love to see on my computer screen then, “Your reservation has been booked successfully.” After a few months doubting I would make the trip back to Japan for the release of the Godzilla Minus One trailer, the excitement of going to Tokyo to see Godzilla and join the Godzilla Fes celebration clinched the deal. As these events kick off Godzilla’s 70th anniversary, my trip marks 30 years of travel to Japan since my first trip in 1994. As usual I like to make a commemorative logo for each trip.

MyKaiju Trip to Japan November 2023

“G70” represents Godzilla’s 70th Anniversary. The yellow circle with “Japan” set in the middle is a play on the Japanese flag. My trip is focused upon the release of Godzilla Minus One and Godzilla Fes.

Yesterday, I booked my flight and made my hotel accommodations. This trip is $500 cheaper than in March. And later in the evening when I thought it couldn’t get any better, my dear friend bought our tickets to Godzilla Minus One on opening day. I haven’t gone to Japan twice in one year since I stopped teaching and living in Karuizawa in 2013. My first double trip was in 1999. My trip in November is short from Sunday, October 29 through Sunday, November 5. I won’t go outside of Tokyo like my first trip. No rail pass is required. I will stay at my favorite place in Asakusa, a short train ride to Hibiya Square, where the Godzilla Fes (ゴジラフェス) will take place.

Godzilla Fes 2023
Hibiya Godzilla Square

First: 東京ミッドタウン日比谷 日比谷ステップ広場 ゴジラスクエア Tokyo Midtown Hibiya, Hibiya Step Plaza Godzilla Square; Second: Hibiya Godzilla Square 日比谷ゴジラスクエア(Japan, 〒100-0006 Tokyo, Chiyoda City, Yurakucho, 1 Chome−3−2 日比谷シャンテ内)

I expect this trip to be just as full as my trip in March, which was all about Godzilla 1954 and finding Odo Island. Every trip is full of adventure and surprises. Last trip I made a scheduled visit to X-Plus HQ. Little did I know when I returned home my services were requested to shoot Master Yuji Sakai’s Godzilla 1954 for his next release in the soft vinyl model series. Everything about that trip prepared me for that project. In November, we will go back to 1947 postwar Japan, the setting of Minus One. I will absorb postwar history and visit some of the movie locations such as Wako Building in Ginza.

Godzilla Minus One
Wako Building in Ginza

Wako Co., Ltd. (株式会社和光, Kabushiki-gaisha Wakō) is a department store in Japan at the heart of the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo. In 1881, Wako was founded by Kintaro Hattori as a watch and jewelry shop called K. Hattori (Seiko Group Corporation) in Ginza. In 1947, the retail division split off as Wako Co., Ltd. From 1894 to 1921, the Hattori Clock Tower stood on the site that Wako occupies today. In 1921, the Hattori Clock Tower was demolished to rebuild a new one. The new tower was completed in 1932 as the K. Hattori Building. In homage to its predecessor, the new store was also fitted with a clock. The 1932 building was designed by Jin Watanabe. It was one of the few buildings in the area left standing after World War II. The building functioned as the Tokyo PX store during the Allied Occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1952. (Source: Wikipedia)

I’ve already compiled lists of where I want to go and what I want to do. I’ve decided on the Godzilla places to visit with a very special surprise location so fitting for the occasion. Most time will be spent at Godzilla Square in Hibiya, Godzilla Head atop Hotel Gracery and the Godzilla Store in Shinjuku. I will indulge on Godzilla Day, Minus One collectibles and theater exclusives. No trip is complete without shopping at the shops in Nagano Broadway, Akihabara and Shibuya. I will make another pilgrimage to Toho Studios and get on the Godzilla Ride at Seibuen Amusement Park. The climax of my trip will be seeing Godzilla Minus One and going to Godzilla Fes on Friday, November 3. I want see to Minus One three times over the last three days with the last show at Humax Cinema in Ikebukuro, where I saw my first Godzilla movie in 1994. Going to Japan is a dream come true over and over again. I don’t ever want to wake up. I’m looking forward to sharing my dream with you. Please follow my journey to Japan and Godzilla Fes and see review of Godzilla Minus One on my trip page. Check out my previous trips to Japan as well.