Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tokyo International Forum, Bic Camera, Ginza Yakitori, and Toho Godzilla

The buildings, locations, and Godzilla statue described in this post all run along the Yamanote Line and border Ginza in Tokyo.  They are a few stations apart and are quite walkable between them.
Tokyo International Forum
The Tokyo International Forum is a fantastic looking piece of architecture that looks like a long narrow boat when viewed from above.  I also recently discovered that it has been nicknamed the Tokyo Spaceship from its futuristic appearance.  It has a web of catwalks connecting the two sides of the convention center and looks like it is all made of glass.  Did I mention it looks like it was MADE OF GLASS?  I think the building looks stunning, but I've read that it was also considered folly to build this building in an earthquake zone.  Maybe I don't get it, but aren't most buildings composed of an outer glass shell anyhow?  Maybe you're worried about being inside and not outside when a big one hits...
Tokyo International Forum   Tostzilla
http://tokyoexcess.blogspot.ca/p/my-sf-writing.html

Construction was finished in 1996 and it has seven conventional halls, with the biggest seating 5000 people.  The building is just west of Yurakucho Station.  Near here, I think to the west side, there are also some entrances to buildings that resemble big airlocks.  Kinda cool.
Tokyo International Forum   Tostzilla

Surreal HDR of Tokyo International Forum   Flickr / galactic.supermarket

Bic Camera
Bic Camera is more than cameras.  They are another chain of electronics superstores that are like Yodobashi Camera.  This particular location of Bic is one stop south of the Tokyo International Forum.  It is a building which has a very nifty LED facade that lights up at night with a changing pattern of colors.  The pictured location is just West of Yurakucho Station on the Yamanote Line.  Ginza is on the other side of the tracks.
Bic Camera Shimbashi   Flickr / Slick Vic
Yakitori Under the Yamanote Line in Ginza
This was one of the things I really thought was pretty cool.  The arches under the train tracks are actually used as storefronts and restaurants.  In some of the tunnels there are these yakitori stalls where you sit, grab a beer and eat at  a counter with your back to the hallway behind you.  You can get some pretty good yakitori here. 
Restaurants and Yakitori Stalls Under The Yamanote Line   Tostzilla
Grilled Yakitori Skewers   Flickr / shinyai

Toho Studios Godzilla
Godzilla lives here outside of Toho Studios Headquarters in Tokyo.   Toho Studios HQ is located just southwest of Yurakucho Station / the International Forum and west of Ginza.  If you haven't seen a large reptile breathing radioactive breath this is your big chance to see one.
Godzilla Statue at Toho Studios HQ   Flickr / galactic.supermarket
Looks really impressive right?  But... It isn't quite like the 1:1 scale Gundam.  In fact, it is a lot smaller as it is roughly the size of a small person.
Not so big "GIANT" Godzilla   by Tostzilla
This statue was still one of the things I wanted to see just because I had never seen a large-sized godzilla statue or model.  It was interesting and I'm sure the office workers around the area are pretty used to seeing tourists posing with it.  Look around on Flickr or other photo sites and you'll see lots of people who played with the photo angles to make Big G look big and mean!
I put Godzilla appearing behind me between two buildings myself!
And using the miracle of the Google Streetview you can view a 360 degree picture of the statue NORTH of the corner of the building marked TOHO and map to it if you monkey around with Google. View the larger map and zoom out to see the streets to pinpoint the location for your reference.


More Tokyo Highlights
More Japanese Pop Culture




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