The Green Tokyo Gundam Project

Tokyo’s giant Gundam is currently attracting millions of visitors who come to see the giant steel robot rising up over Shiokaze Koen in Odaiba. It’s official name is the Green Tokyo Gundam Project, and it’s part of a plan to promote Tokyo’s campaign for the 2016 Olympics – they’re trying to make things greener and more environmentally friendly for the games. It’s easy to be cynical about using a giant steel robot to promote the environment, and how there’s nothing really “green” about the souvenir shops and the way it’s set up. When you go there, there are no environmental messages or other things you’d expect from “green Tokyo” campaign. The Tokyo Olympic committee is working with a for-profit company, Bandai, helping them to promote their products in Tokyo’s bid to host the games so that the city can get prestige and the economic stimulus that comes with being a host city.
But maybe this is the future of environmentalism. They’re going to use the money raised from selling souvenirs to plant trees and put lawns in school grounds. If people come and see the Gundam and have a good time, do they need to learn about the environment? If they are encouraged to consume, to buy gundam models and souvenir booklets, as long as the money is going to the environment, you can argue that it’s doing more good than harm. And a green Olympics is better than a polluting one, even if the organizers are doing it as part of their promotion strategy, right? I guess I can’t really convince myself completely, but it is something to think about.

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love-hotel-coverBy the way, my book, Love Hotels: An Inside Look at Japan’s Sexual Playgrounds is finally available on Amazon.co.jp, as well as Amazon.com. I spent years visiting Japan’s kinky, sex-oriented hotels, interviewing love hotel designers, owners and staff, and wading through Japanese sources on sex and love hotels to bring you this book.

It’s 182 pages of information about their history, the people who design and operate them, their place in Japanese society, crime, and much, much more. There’s also a love hotel guide with information on how to get to the best hotels in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Yokohama, Sapporo, and Fukuoka.

For more information about love hotels, please visit my newly updated love hotel page at: http://www.quirkyjapan.or.tv/lovehotels.html

To order or find out more about the book, please visit: http://www.quirkyjapan.or.tv/lovehotelbookintro.htm. There’s also a smaller guidebook, with just the hotel information for 500 yen: http://www.quirkyjapan.or.tv/lovehotelguide.html.

There are more love hotel-related posts
here.

28 replies
  1. E. Michael Martin
    E. Michael Martin says:

    The Japanese culture’s dedication to fiction is always astounding to me. It is not a fringe group, as it is in the West, but a very healthy and large portion of the population that dedicates its time to these fictional characters, or to legends from ages past.

  2. Thomas Odzyskiwanie Danych
    Thomas Odzyskiwanie Danych says:

    I love those Japanese giant robots, their modern culture is based on such creativity and incredible ideas that sometimes I can’t just imagine how good they are at making new things alive. O would like to see this robot on my own eyes (pretty impossible) but thanks for the photos, the Gundam looks great – much better than Megatron for example.

  3. Will
    Will says:

    Excellent photos (are they yours) and an interesting read. I meant to get down to photograph the Gundam, but I’ve been overloaded with work and I’m out of Japan from next week for a couple of weeks, so unfortunately I will miss it.

    Your book on Love Hotels looks interesting. I once had to take some shots for an American magazine in an S&M love hotel near Azabu, no dount you’ve been there.

    Regards

    Will

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