Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Where To Find Giant Anime Robot Statues in Japan

Scattered around Japan in various cities like Tokyo, Kobe, and others are giant statues of giant robots from anime such as Gundam, Macross, Gigantor, and Patlabor.  I haven't seen all of these, but I definitely plan on seeing a few more on the next trip over there.

Tetsujin 28-go (Gigantor)
This was the first big statue raised in a permanent location in homage to a classic giant robot. Tetsujin is 60 feet tall, weighs 50 tons, and was raised to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the quake that rocked the city in 1995.  It is located in Wakamatsu Park, about 5 minutes from Kobe's Shin-Nagata Station.
Tetsujin 28.  Kobe Japan
Image provided via creative commons license from dozodomo.com Flickr.


Gundam RX-78-2
This is the giant 60 foot tall big white robot in front of Diver City Mall, Odaiba, Tokyo.  You can see this fantastic big robot and visit the Gundam Front mini-theme park inside Diver City for more Gundam goodness.
The Enduring Gundam Anime Franchise
Day 1 - Tokyo Travelogue with the Giant Gundam, Space Boats, and the Tokyo Skytree
Giant Gundam
Back of the giant Gundam in Odaiba.  Everyone shows the front!
Not quite as amazing, but there is also a big bronze statue of Gundam in front of the Kami-Igusa Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line.https://www.flickr.com/photos/heiwa4126/4230115713/in/photolist-dXk9tt-dXqN45-dXk6s4-dXqPW3-dXk5BH-dXqJqE-dXqMnN-7rNs2x

UPDATE: The RX-78-2 was taken down in March of 2017.  A Unicorn Gundam is was put up in the fall of 2017 to replace it.

This one is a partial full-scale model of the robot in Gerwalk mode that is located on the 8th Floor Chiba Institute of Technology Robot Museum at the Tokyo Skytree. 

There are many person sized replicas of the various EVA units.  You can find them in anime stores, pachinko parlors, and other locations.  They do move so I can't really give you a permanent location.  Look around Akihabara.  I myself saw EVA-01in the old demolished Radio Kaikan building and in Nakano Broadway.

There is a full scale head of EVA-01 at the Fuji Highland Theme Park Evangelion Attraction and there is also an Evangelion experience at Universal Studios in Osaka.

This one is being used to film the new live action series and probably won't have a permanent home for a few years.  However, it has been seen at Japan Anime and in other venues on occasion.  I'll update this if I ever hear of a permanent home!

Amazon e-book available.
More pop culture posts.
More Tokyo highlight posts.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Noitamina Cafe Store, Fuji TV, and More in Odaiba

Hanging out in Odaiba on a visit to Tokyo is good for the otaku soul and educating the brain.  It is easy to spend an entire day here if you want.   There is the giant Gundam at Divercity, Fuji TV for cool architecture and gift shops, and the malls such as the Decks, Aquacity, and Venusfort.  You can even take a space age tour boat to Asakasa.  For the mind, you have the Miraikan, the science and technology museum with a Asimo and more along with the very cool Maritime museum that even has real ships to tour through.  First lets talk about malls and fun geek stuff though.  If you have tickets in advance and the timing is right you might even be able to take in a major anime or big trade show over at the Tokyo Big Sight.
First, lets start off with the Fuji TV building that is on the other side of the monorail tracks from the Aqua City Mall.  The massive building looks like a big steel framwork with a big metallic ball suspending in it.  There is an observation gallery here and even a One Piece anime themed restaurant.

Rear of Fuji TV Building, Aqua City is the pink building on the left.
Fuji TV South


Behind this building to the east, is Divercity.  A newer mall, it is home to the Giant Gundam robot that stands out front and you can visit the Gundam Theme park "Gundam Front" inside.

Divercity and Giant Gundam
Giant Gundam!

My Odaiba Travelogues: 

Now, head back west after buying your Gundam souvenirs, and browsing through the Divercity Mall with maid cafes and conveyor belt sushi inside.  You'll be right back where you started and probably debarked from the monorail on the Yurikamome Line.  Here, you'll find Aqua City, home to a big Toys R Us, a Daiso 100 yen store, Ramen City, and the Noitamina Cafe Store.  If this isn't enough for you to see and do, you can also visit the roof for some great views and the small Shinto shrine there (the only one in Odaiba).

If Aqua City isn't enough mall for you, keep going north to visit the Decks which is right next door.  The Decks has a Sega Joyopolis Mega Arcade/Entertainment Park,  Little Hong Kong for dining, Lego Land, and a Takoyaki Museum (with many kiosks to fulfill your octopus batter ball taste buds).  Inside both malls are also smaller stores that sell a variety of merchandise, some with traditional flair.

Little Hong Kong, Decks.
Statue of Liberty and Rainbow Bridge from Aqua City
 The Noitamina Cafe Store is of some interest as it often has a theme going for one of the Fuji TV anime series and you can find merchandise here for shows like Galilei Donna, Psycho Pass, Tsuritama, or Anohana (one of my favourites).  The menu at the cafe has many anime themed items from the various shows.  You  might even be able to catch a special exhibit or something happening at the theatre there.  The Noitamina Cafe is on 4th Floor of Aqua City.  Noitamina is Fuji TV's midnight block of anime programming.
The Ramen City at Aqua City also looks like a great place for a meal during you hectic day.
Links to the three malls in the area.
Now, back to the museums.  I like both of these museums and especially Asimo the robot who does performances at the Miraikan.  This museum has some big rocket nozzles and many other technology artifacts on display.  It is worth a visit if time permits.

Giant Animated Globe at Miraikan
Rocket Engine.  Japan has its own space program via JAXA, their national space agency.

 A joint JAXA + NASA anime for their GPM Weather Satellite!

The Maritime Museum is cool as it even looks like a ship. There are mockups of a submarine and even some portions of big ship engines on display.  If you love models of ships - you are going to be in heaven here.  Outside there are a few vessels that you can tour through.

Maritime Museum
Big model of a tanker
Submarine mockup with control room underneath
Moored ships

At the end of the day, you might want to unwind a bit too and hit a hot springs resort that pumps up water from deep in the earth.  You can visit the Ooedo Onsen Monogatari, which recreates a traditional hot springs inn as a theme park.  They even have those little doctor fish that nibble your dry skin off your feet.  It is located 2 minutes south of the Tokyo Teleport Station.

Their official website in English.
External post about the resort.