Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on January 2011
Tell us about your book.
The Monster Movie Fan’s Guide To Japan is a travel guide with fans of Japanese science fiction and fantasy movies in mind. It describes locations and their history, what movie(s) they were in, where to stay, and what other attractions are nearby. The book can be used by vacationers or tour companies to tailor tours for monster fans.
How did the idea come about?
I wrote a series of “spotlight” articles on Japanese science-fiction and fantasy movie locations for G-Fan magazine for about seven years. In 2007, I got laid off from my job as a claims adjuster and was bored. So I got the idea to “recycle” my location spotlight articles for a travel guide to those locations.
Which locations impressed you most?
It is a toss-up between Ginza Crossing in Tokyo, which appeared in Godzilla (1954), and the Saikai Bridge near Sasebo City [in Nagasaki] that was featured in Rodan (1956). I really felt I had made it to Japan once I got to Ginza Crossing in 2001 and saw the Wako Department Store with its clock tower. Special effects supervisor Eiji Tsuburaya’s team really nailed the miniatures perfectly for all those locations. The area near the Saikai Bridge is beautiful.
What are some notable monster-related spots our readers can check out in and around Tokyo?
The Kachidoki Bridge on the Sumida River (Godzilla, 1954), Odaiba (Godzilla x Megaguirus, 2000), Tokyo Tower (Mothra, 1961; Gamera, Guardian of the Universe, 1995), the Yurakucho Mullion Building in Hibiya (Return of Godzilla, 1984), the Diet Building in Tokyo (Godzilla, 1954; Godzilla x Mothra x Mechagodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., 2003) and, half an hour away, the harbor area of Yokohama (Godzilla vs. Mothra, 1992; Godzilla and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, 2001).
Who would really win a fight between King Kong and Godzilla?
If it were the RKO/Universal Kongs (1933 and 2005 versions), Godzilla easily! Godzilla is much bigger than those Kongs. As for the Toho Kong, well, it would be a tie as it was in 1962, when Kong was beefed up in size in relation to Godzilla.
The Monster Movie Fan’s Guide To Japan (ComiXpress, 2010) is available for US$15. To order, see http://meturl.com/monster