As part of an ongoing marketing blitz by Toho, Godzilla was granted Japanese citizenship through Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward. Shinjuku is home to the world’s busiest railroad station and is also the location of the shiny new Shinjuku Toho Building, which features a large theater and a hotel. The top of the building is adorned with a giant Godzilla head which gives the appearance, from a distance, of the massive creature strolling through downtown Tokyo. The Hotel Gracery Shinjuku also features Godzilla-themed rooms that guests can stay in; some even offering a close-up view of the Big Dude’s head looming just outside of the window and a large claw crashing through the wall behind the beds. The rooms also features various Godzilla items, such as posters, figurines, and special Godzilla bedside candy. There are only two ‘Godzilla View Rooms’ available at any given time, so traveler’s are advised to book ahead.
Shinjuku had also appointed Godzilla as the ward’s official tourism ambassador earlier in April and the Shinjuku City Office distributed 3,000 copies of Godzilla’s citizenship certificate to any happy fans who desired something new to frame along with all of their posters.
Godzilla’s citizenship certificate lists his birth date as being April 9, 1954 and lists three prior visits to Shinjuku ward that he made in the films Godzilla (1984), Godzilla vs King Ghidorah (1991), and Godzilla 2000 Millennium (1999). It should also be mentioned that Shinjuku did not fare very well in any of these ‘visits’.
With the success of Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla film and the exciting announcement of Hideaki Anno’s and Shinji Higuchi’s forthcoming Godzilla film, Toho is blazing ahead with the most marketing the franchise has seen in years. After more or less no big Godzilla news since the 2004 50th anniversary it is nice to have so much to write about the king of the monsters.