The Trail of a Latchkey Boy


One of the most underrated and underappreciatatted movies is Godzilla’s Revenge 1969 (ゴジラ・ミニラ・ガバラ オール怪獣大進撃). I thought I would never say that. But as I’ve grown older, I love this move more and more. While doing research this morning and reading Godzilla Toho Champion Festival Perfection 1969-1978 (ゴジラ東宝チャンピオンまつりパーフェクシオン published by Kadokawa in 2014, 176 pages) I came across the great section “Champion Godzilla Location Exploration” (チャンピオンゴジラ ロケ地探訪, p 162). I love what the writer said, “It is no exaggeration to say that the place where the Godzilla movie was set and the location where the films were shot are “sacred places” for us fans,”「ゴジラ映画の舞台となった場所、撮影が行われたロケ地は、私たちファンにとっては「聖地」と言っても過言ではない。」(円山). In the book, I found Godzilla places I had identified before and those I have not. Today, let’s identity one of them, the trail of the latchkey kid Ichiro Mitsuki (played by Tomonori Yazaki) from Godzilla’s Revenge.

While he is not taking trips to Monster Island, Ichiro lives with his parents in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Tokyo (神奈川県川崎市内). It is here where most of the movie locations are found. Returning home from school, Ichiro and his friends walk along an old dust road beside trains in a rail yard. This rail yard was the Shiohama Switchyard (塩浜操車場). Today, it is Utsutsugawa Freight Station (川貨物駅). Shiohama also appeared in Gamera and in the Showa Ultra series.

At this railroad crossing, Ichiro’s father, sitting in his train, apologies to the sign painter who is covered in paint as the result of his son’s prank. Compare the movie stills with the Google Street Views. The road, fencing, train stop, power lines, and buildings match. Jump into the movie scene along with Ichiro and travel up and down his trail.

After taking the bully Gabara down, Ichiro and his friends run up this road while laughing at the movie’s end. The building on their left is still there until this day. It is the Shiohama substation of TEPCO. This is another great Godzilla place to visit.