August 14th, 2020
If you’ve ever dreamed of flying directly into the mouth of the much-beloved King of the Monsters, Godzilla, your moment may soon be arriving.
And while 2020 may have been a monstrous year in its own right, Japan is ensuring – in typically larger-than-life form – that we can also enjoy life-sized creations depicting not only the famed mecha from the Gundam series, but also a life-sized Godzilla.
The world’s first Godzilla Museum has opened this summer as an expansion to the Nijigen no Mori amusement park at Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, and one of the main attractions will be a gigantic statue of the iconic monster, complete with a zipline allowing you to fly into the beast’s mouth.
Fortunately, visitors won’t have to deal with the creature’s dreaded atomic breath.
The museum’s initial opening is being held from Aug. 8 until the end of the month, and will feature 80 figures from the long-running Toho Studios series representing the giant monsters or kaiju from the Godzilla films, as well as a Chibi Godzilla exhibit for children, according to Newsweek.
The second phase of the museum is still being prepared, but will include the zipline that lets you fly through the gaping mouth of a towering 400-foot statue of the “God of Destruction” modeled after his terrifying final form in the critically-acclaimed 2016 film Shin Godzilla (known in some markets as Godzilla Resurgence).
The attraction will be presented as a scenario where Godzilla lands on Awaji Island in a terrific display of his size and unparalleled power.
Those who are willing will be able to enlist as scientists for the “Godzilla Interception Operation – National Godzilla Awajishima Research Center” and take part in a duel of wits with the ancient creature through a shooting game involving a special gun and a zip line quest that will take you on a journey into his “body directly from Godzilla’s oral cavity” for the sensitive mission.
As a part of the “Godzilla Interception Strategy,” fans will also be able to sample a number of specialty food items themed on the kaiju series, including desserts teeming with eyes, rice dishes with dinosaur-style paw prints, and hotdogs resembling the beast in his second form from Shin Godzilla.
And of course, one can’t simply participate in a Godzilla interception mission without being able to take home a ton of cool swag – and images of the merchandise that will be on offer at the Awajishima park includes kaiju-themed cups, pewter badges, notepads, t-shirts, and even some awesome fingerless gloves that will only cost 3600 Yen (about USD $34).
Godzilla, or Gojira as he is known in Japan, is easily one of the most recognizable and beloved film franchises to come out of Japan since he was introduced to the world in Ishirō Honda’s 1954 film Godzilla.
Godzilla was conceived in the aftermath of Japan’s own traumatic brushes with the apocalypse during World War II – especially during the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – and is rooted in Japan’s postwar anxiety, pacifism, and fear of all-out nuclear annihilation.
While western audiences view the creature as a campy and light-hearted creature who wrestles with other beasts, the Japanese films often stress the destruction the kaiju are capable of.
Godzilla has been the basis of dozens of films from Japan and the United States, as well as animated series, video games, and creative works inspired by the original kaiju.
The film Shin Godzilla, which is the basis of the zipline ride, showcases the awesome and cataclysmic wrath of the creature in a truly terrifying manner – especially in a scene when Godzilla mercilessly lays waste to a metropolis in response to attempts to subdue him through military means.