The daddy of all creature features, with the radioactive lizard first appearing on the fictitious ‘Odo Island’, supposedly off the Izu Peninsula.
The ‘Odo’ scenes were filmed around Toba City, entrance to the Ise-Shima National Park on the north of the Shima peninsula, about two hours by train east of Osaka.
The monster naturally heads for Japan’s capital, and trashes Tokyo – but remember, of course, that miniatures of the city were built at the famous Toho Studios. Godzilla comes ashore at eastern Tokyo Bay, destroying a train at Shinagawa Railway Station, the large station serving the south and Yokohama.
He stomps through Minato-Ku and Shimbashi on his way to the central shopping district, Ginza. He torches Matsuzakaya Department Store, 6-10-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku (Subway: Ginza), tears down the clock on the Wako Department Store, 4-5-11 Ginza, Chuo-ku at the main Ginza crossing, Yonchome, and heads northeast across Sukiyabashi (Sukiya Bridge), which was demolished shortly after the film was made.
He goes on to destroy the Nichigeki Theatre, since redeveloped as the glitzy Tokyo Marion Building, 2-5-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, and crosses into the Akasaka district, home to the major government and media buildings, where he smashes the national assembly hall, the Diet Building, Nagatacho 1-chome (Subway: Kokkaigijido).
Don’t worry, the 1936 building still stands, and you can take a peek inside to watch a debate in progress (admission free). He then destroys Kachidoki Bridge at the mouth of the Sumida River, before returning to the ocean.
Don’t miss the statue of Godzilla, in Hibiya Chanter Square (Subway: Hibiya) in the Yurakucho neighbourhood.