New Japanese theme park attraction lets guests zipline into Godzilla’s mouth

(CNN) – In a new theme park ride in Japan that could be seen as a fitting metaphor for 2020, guests can zipline down the gaping mouth of a massive Godzilla statue.

As part of a new attraction called Godzilla Interception Operation Awaji, it officially opened in October at Nijigen no Mori, a theme park on Awaji Island, southwest of Kobe and Osaka.

The star of the new attraction is the “life-size” Godzilla, which is 20 meters high, 25 meters wide and 55 meters long and is located in the heart of the park.

Zipline in the animal’s belly

Nijigen no Mori’s new “life-size” Godzilla replica is 162 meters long.

Buddhika Weerasinghe / Getty Images

As part of the attraction, visitors are invited to join the Awaji Island National Godzilla Disaster Institute and tame the fearsome animal by completing a series of “missions.”

You will first see a seven minute film that shows the story behind the website and the operation.

The missions include ziplining the roaring (but inactive) monster’s mouth and completing a shooting game in which players must stop Godzilla from growing any further by aiming at his cells.

If flying into the beast’s belly isn’t exciting enough, there is another set of zip lines that fly past the Godzilla statue. The zipline routes are around 15 meters high and 162 meters long.

As part of the new Godzilla attraction, visitors can put a zip line in the animal's mouth.

As part of the new Godzilla attraction, visitors can put a zip line in the animal’s mouth.

Buddhika Weerasinghe / Getty Images

A special bag allows visitors to take photos and videos while driving without having to worry about putting their phones down.

You can also take part in two augmented reality activities where players are asked to solve puzzles and collect evidence in the park. Those who complete their mission and solve the puzzle will receive a paper pass from the Godzilla Institute.

The new theme park also includes the world’s first permanent Godzilla museum.

Created in collaboration with Toho Visual Art Co., Ltd – the team behind the special effects of Godzilla films – the museum features approximately 100 exhibits of some large-format original props and materials, including one from the very first Godzilla film released in 1954.

More visitors than last year

Bright lights illuminate the monster at night.

Bright lights illuminate the monster at night.

Buddhika Weerasinghe / Getty Images

A representative from the park told CNN Travel that the new attraction has been hugely popular since it opened in October and the theme park has gained more visitors since the pandemic as local schools and families prefer to visit an outdoor destination like Nijigen No Mori . Amid the pandemic, Japan has been promoting domestic travel.

The park has implemented Japan’s standard practices related to Covid theme parks and has encouraged guests to practice social distancing and use hand sanitizer. Visitors’ body temperature is checked prior to entry and staff wear transparent face shields.

In addition to the Godzilla Interception Operation Awaji, the Nijigen no Mori theme park offers numerous attractions inspired by Japanese anime and pop culture.

Nijigen no Mori, 2425-2 Kusumoto, Awaji-shi, Hyogo, Japan, +81 0799 64 7061

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