Text and photos by Armand Vaquer
Last October, I posted a blog on Hibiya's Godzilla Statue. This is a companion blog on the Godzilla statue that now stands at the entrance to Toho Studios.
Back in 2004, Godzilla Final Wars was announced as the last Toho-produced Godzilla movie for at least a decade due to dwindling boxoffice receipts.
After Godzilla Final Wars was released, Toho made some major changes to their studios in the Setaygaya ward of Tokyo in the ensuing years.
Out were some old soundstages, administrative buildings (including a 1950s era snack bar) and the famous big pool, where Godzilla's water scenes were shot.
New and modern soundstages were erected along with new administrative facilities. Part of the modernization of Toho Studios was a new front gate with a giant mural of one of Toho's most revered movies, Seven Samurai.
Along with the Seven Samurai mural, the new main gate now has a man-sized statue of Toho's biggest star, Godzilla.
I visited the main gate at Toho Studios last December during my trip to Japan for promoting The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan.
Above, Armand with the Godzilla statue at Toho Studios.
The statue is taller than me (I'm 5'11") and its design is of the Heisei series Godzilla. I'd hazard a guess that it stands about seven feet tall.
Above, Godzilla's tail gouges a wall behind him. The main gate and the bottom portion of the "Seven Samurai" mural are in the background.
Toho Studios does not provide tours of their facilities, but fans can go to Setagaya to view the statue, the Seven Samurai mural and the studios on the outside.
Information on how to reach Toho Studios is provided in The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan.
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