asia, city, godzilla, japan, shinjuku, tokyo, urban, monster, asia city godzilla japan shinjuku tokyo urban monster
Godzilla at Hotel Gracery, Shinjuku.

© Jonathan Stokes / Lonely Planet

Godzilla Head

Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Godzilla, a portmanteau of the Japanese words for gorilla (gorira) and whale (kujira), is king of the kaijū (strange beasts) that ruled Japanese popular cinema for decades. This giant statue of him looking to take a bit out of a skyscraper is a (relatively new) Shinjuku landmark. Every so often he roars to life, with glowing eyes and smoky breath.

There's an up-close view (and selfie opportunity) of the statue from the 8th-floor 'Godzilla Terrace' attached to the lobby of the Hotel Gracery Shinjuku; access is limited to hotel guests and customers of the hotel's cafe (though we've never been stopped…).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo attractions

1. Golden Gai

0.17 MILES

Golden Gai – a Shinjuku institution for over half a century – is a collection of tiny bars, often literally no bigger than a closet and seating maybe a…

2. Hanazono-jinja

0.21 MILES

Merchants from nearby Kabukichō come to this Shintō shrine to pray for the solvency of their business ventures. Founded in the 17th century, the shrine is…

3. Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower

0.38 MILES

This Nishi-Shinjuku landmark building (completed in 2008) is a 50-storey webbed tower designed by Tange Associates. Easily identifiable among the blockier…

4. Shinjuku I-Land

0.51 MILES

This otherwise ordinary office complex is home to more than a dozen public artworks, including one of Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculptures (on the southeast…

5. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building


Tokyo's city hall – a landmark building designed by Tange Kenzō – has observatories (202m) atop both the south and north towers of Building 1 (the views…

6. Shinjuku-gyoen

0.75 MILES

Shinjuku-gyoen was designed as an imperial retreat (completed 1906); since opening to the public in 1951, it has become a favourite destination for…

7. Place M


Run by four veteran artists (including pioneering street photographer Daido Moriyama), this gallery serves as a hub for the city's photography scene…

8. NTT Intercommunication Centre

1.18 MILES

The ICC shows challenging, conceptual works that explore the intersection between art and technology – sometimes including participatory VR installations…