Marveling At the Life-Size "Moving Gundam!" An in-Depth Tour of GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA
Follow us as we get a tour of the whole facility and marvel at the sight of a giant moving robot!
*GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA is a limited time event held from December 19, 2020 to March 31, 2023.
Getting to GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMAAs the name of the facility suggests, in order to see the "Moving Gundam" we have to head to Yokohama, the port city just outside of Tokyo. GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA stands on Yamashita Pier facing the water and Yamashita Park. The closest train station is Motomachi-Chukagai on the Minatomirai Line.
As soon as we get off at Motomachi-Chukagai station the hype already starts building!
A short walk through Yamashita Park already reveals the facility in the distance.
Here's the entrance and ticket counter! From here on we feel like we're leaving to enter the world of Gundam. Upon entering we see a showcase of the building process for the "Moving Gundam". According to the story, shards of Gundam type mobile suits have been discovered in this area. Engineers from all over the world have gathered and tried to analyze and reconstruct the suit. They used actual pictures of the building progress and the whole thing feels real. So we enter the main area and hold our breath to see what awaits.
Here it is, the life-size "moving Gundam"! A truly impressive sight. We can't wait for the "startup experiment" that will happen soon.
Learning While Enjoying the "Moving Gundam": ACADEMYMeanwhile, we head to the ACADEMY, an exhibition facility where visitors can learn more about how the "Moving Gundam" was built.
The "GUNDAM Pilot View SoftBank 5G EXPERIENCE" gives visitors a feel of what it's like to be piloting a Gundam. The screen is connected in real time with a camera that lets you experience what it's like to be inside the robot's cockpit. By shifting your weight you can also move the view left and right.
There is also a big projection screen that shows operation information when the "Moving Gundam" is moving.
The "Moving Gundam" up Close! GUNDAM-DOCK TOWERFor an additional fee, you can go up to the 5th and 6th floors of the GUNDAM-DOCK TOWER to see the big robot up close.
Getting out of the elevator we find ourselves walking along a narrow corridor right next to the "Moving Gundam".
This is the view from the 5th floor! Looking up at the head of the "Moving Gundam".
From this distance you can see all the small details on its frame. That hand is massive!
The 6th floor puts you right at level with its head. A very impactful sight! On a sunny day the view is enhanced by the panorama of Yokohama bay and the city in the background.
The Mobile Suit Startup ExperimentFinally it's time for the highlight of our visit! The "Moving Gundam" show, called the "startup experiment", takes place. There are also special seasonal shows (please check the official website for more details).
Although it's possible to watch the show from the GUNDAM-DOCK TOWER, we choose to go back to the ground level to take it all in.
The three decks in front of Gundam open and he comes forward!
This is one of several different sets of movements that you can see. It's impressive to see it kneel down like that, and the movement, while slow, is very smooth.
The robot has a total of 34 articulations throughout its body. Even its fingers can bend!
The climax comes with the final pose. The whole performance is accompanied by mist, music and voice. Below is a short video to give you a better feel for the atmosphere.
Shopping at THE GUNDAM BASE
After the exciting spectacle we explore the rest of the facility. We head to the shop to check out all the Gundam goodies.
THE GUNDAM BASE YOKOHAMA Satellite is a store filled with Gunpla models, original products and souvenirs of the Gundam Factory Yokohama.
Enjoying Gundam-Themed Refreshments at the GUNDAM Café YOKOHAMA Satellite
On the second floor is a spacious café that offers a variety of original food and drinks along with Yokohama local specialties. They also have special drinks in bottles with a Gundam design that you can take home!
GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA Cheeseburger
GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA original clear bottle drinks
GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA Ebichilli-Man / HARO Anman
The café also has terrace seats with a perfect view of the Gundam!
We enjoy some Gundam latte art out on the open terrace, a perfect Gundam-themed break!
Exploring the Facility
Tucked in a corner we find a whole row of capsule machines! Of course, every single one contains Gundam products.
And right next to that, an original vending machine that you can only find here!
Of course all the drinks inside have original Gundam designs. And when you get a drink the machine talks, too!
There is a lot of attention to detail around the factory. The usual footprint marks for standing in line and for social distancing are Gundam feet.
Don't miss this! On the second floor is also a nice little terrace with a beautiful view of Yokohama.
The second floor also gives visitors a more elevated view of the GUNDAM-DOCK. You just never get enough of this view.
We hope you enjoyed this virtual tour of the GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA! It is a limited event, but we hope you get the chance to visit in person. The life-size "Moving Gundam" statue is already pretty impressive, but the show knocks it up a notch with the moving performance.
InformationGUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA
Event period: December 19, 2020 to March 31, 2023
＊Closed for about 2 months from July 2022
Address: Yamashita Pier, 279-25 Yamashita-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa
Hours: Monday-Friday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (last admission 7:00 p.m.)
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (last admission 7:00 p.m.)
*Opening times are subject to change. Please check the official site before your visit.
Holidays: irregular closure for maintenance. Please check the official website before your visit
Entrance fee: Adults (13 years and older) 1650 yen / Children (7 to 12 years) 1100 yen / Free for children under 6 years (up to 3 per adult)
GUNDAM-DOCK TOWER viewing fee: 3300 yen
Reservations: Tickets for the facility and the GUNDAM-DOCK TOWER can be bought in advance from the official website on the ticket page.
Access: 7 min. walk from Exit 4 (Marine Tower Exit) of Motomachi-Chukagai Station on the Minatomirai Line
*The above article is based on a coverage made in April 2021.
*Prices, business hours and other information in this article are subject to change.
About the Author
Laura is an Italian living and working in Tokyo. She loves exploring hidden and unknown places, taking pictures and listening to Punk Rock music. When she’s not busy doing the above, she might enjoy a craft beer or play the sanshin (an Okinawan instrument similar to a shamisen).
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THIS ARTICLE IS BASED ON INFORMATION FROM 06 10,2021 Author：DiGJAPAN! Editorial Team