All About "The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan"

Above, Yuu Asakura with "The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan." Photo by Armand Vaquer.

by Armand Vaquer

The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan is the world's first and only Japan travel guide especially tailored to tourists who are also fans of Japanese science-fiction and fantasy movies.

Several studios have produced Japanese science-fiction and fantasy films. Studios include Toho Company, Ltd., Kadokawa Herald, Ltd. (formerly Daiei Pictures) and Toei Co., Ltd.

Most of the locations covered in The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan are primarily from Toho's Godzilla series of movies, but other studios' monster movies are also covered. Toho started the giant monster movie (daikaiju eiga) genre in 1954 with Godzilla. The action in Godzilla takes place primarily in Japan's capital city, Tokyo. Locations used include the Wako Department Store in the Ginza section; The Kachidoki Bridge on the Sumida River; and The National Diet Building. These and other Tokyo locations are covered in The Guide.

The Guide starts with the island of Hokkaido and makes its way down the main island of Honshu and finishes off on the island of Kyushu.

Helpful articles on what a visitor to Japan needs to do and know are also included. Articles on currency, the JR Railpass, the Shinkansen (bullet trains), weather and others are included in The Guide. Where available, lodging information is also included. If there's a hotel or ryokan (Japanese inn) I have personal knowledge of, I will make a recommendation.

The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan was started in early 2008. I wrote the text and most of the photographs are from my five trips to Japan in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. G-FAN magazine editor and publisher J. D. Lees assisted with editing, location ideas and the layouts. 20-year graphic designer Archie Waugh created the cover, based on a rough idea by me. The photographs on the cover were all by me. The big photo on the cover is of the Godzilla statue located in the Hibiya section of Tokyo, which is next to Ginza. I took that photo during my April 2007 trip to Japan.

Thanks to a recommendation by Mad Scientist magazine editor and publisher Martin Arlt, it was decided to employ the services of ComiXpress to provide the printing and handle sales of The Guide. I was impressed with the work ComiXpress does for Mad Scientist and their terms, so I elected to use them.

I may do further updated versions of The Guide. But that is at least a couple of years away. Other travel guides do annual updates, but I am not "corporate America," so it will have to wait a while. I do hope to return to Japan later this year and obtain more material for future updates.

Above, Yuu Asakura. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The retail price for The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan is $15.00 US. There is also a wholesale price for travel/tour companies, bookstores, comic book shops, newsstands and other retailers. ComiXpress does ship overseas. Contact them for overseas rates at

The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan will also be a useful tool for travel professionals who can use it to plan special tours of Japan for monster enthusiasts. They can also sell copies to their customers and make money on it.

Go to and set up a retailer account. It's fast and easy!

To order a copy, go here.

I hope you will find The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan informative as well as entertaining. Thank you for picking up a copy!

Note: The model in the two accompanying photos, Yuu Asakura, appeared in Don Glut's The Mummy's Kiss: Second Dynasty.


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