The curtains have finally fallen on the Gundam Factory Yokohama and with it, the life-sized 18-meter tall moving Gundam. On March 31, the entertainment complex received a farewell befitting a mech of its size, stature and significance in Japanese pop culture. The festivities included an attendance of thousands who came together to see the giant mech move one last time as well as a fireworks display and a drone show. 

yokohama gundam

Gundam Factory Yokohama

Originally planned to open in 2020 to co-celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Gundam franchise and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, construction was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The robot is the first moving mech of its type and was created by the Gundam Global Challenge project which kicked off in 2014. The team included members such as Indonesian-born Pitoyo Hartono of Chukyo University School of Engineering, his mentor Professor Emeritus Shuji Hashimoto of Waseda University as well as anime director and Gundam series creator, Yoshiyuki Tomino. The exhibit was officially opened on December 19, 2020 and experienced two closing extensions due once again to the pandemic and a second time as a result of its great success. By its closing date, more than 1.5 million people had visited the space and witnessed the commandeering figure of the Gundam statue.

The Gundam franchise has spanned over 50 television series, films as well as manga, novels and video games with varying types of Gundam mechs. However the one featured in the exhibit is the iconic RX-78-2 Gundam from the original Mobile Suit Gundam series, piloted by Amuro Ray. 

yokohama gundam

Where to See Japan’s Giant Gundam Statues

Still hopeful for more mecha goodness? Unfortunately there have been no updates or official news on what will replace the Yokohama exhibit, if anything at all. However, the life-sized Unicorn Gundam statue is still standing tall outside Odaiba’s DiverCity Tokyo Plaza. Night performances are sometimes scheduled, check the website to see when you can catch the next one.

Related Posts