Godzilla, Tokyo’s tourism ambassador is head and shoulders above the rest

Where the fictional fire-breathing creature Godzilla treads - death and destroyed buildings usually follow. But this has not stopped one district of Tokyo welcoming the monster with open arms, appointing it a special resident and tourism ambassador. Fans were treated to a Godzilla-size head, measuring 171ft high, at the ceremony in Shinjuku ward. The giant lizard’s standing as an icon has had its ups and downs, but its stature was restored after Hollywood’s Godzilla movie which became a global hit in 2014.

I hear that any town Godzilla destroys on screen will become prosperous afterwards. So I hope the next movie will take place in this area.

Shinjuku Mayor Kenichi Yoshizumi

Now Toho - the Japanese studio behind the 1954 original film which was seen as a classic - is making a comeback movie this year after a decade-long break. And Japan is hoping the biggest star in this nation’s movie history will help lure tourists. At the ceremony, an actor in a rubber suit waddled to meet Shinjuku mayor Kenichi Yoshizumi. However, Toho executive Minami Ichikawa had to accept the residency certificate instead of the creature, as the suit’s claws were unable to grab anything.