Fantasy meets reality: Moving Gundam

Fantasy meets reality: Moving Gundam

Gundam Factory Yokohama is a theme park of the famous robot anime franchise “Mobile Suit Gundam”. It is located in Yamashita Pier in Yokohama and is famous for the 18 meters tall giant Gundam that can move. Since my husband is a die-hard fan of the anime, we went to the Gundam Factory for a day trip, and turned out I was super impressed by the performance and became a fan too.

Gundam Factory Yokohama consists of mainly 5 parts. Firstly, the entrance is a tunnel showcasing the brief history of the Gundam series.

Near the entrance is the Academy, where you can learn how this Gundam is constructed and what technology is put into it. The Academy is an enjoyable place to interact for the virtual experience to pilot the Gundam and learn about industrial technology as well!

The Gundam Dock is where the 18 meters robot stands and the structure resembles a maintenance hanger for the robot. The 5th and 6th floors of the dock are accessbile for extra fee to view the Gundam head in close distance with the majestic panorama of Yokohama bay. During its special performance the Gundam will turn its head and look at you!

The highlight is the "Moving Gundam" show which takes place twice an hour. Usually there are two set of performances but occasionally there are special seasonal shows. With LED lights, music and voice, the colossal Gundam moves slowly but smoothly in different poses. It was really unforgettable and like a marvel to me to witness such giant robot to kneel down, walk, turn its head and even point its fingers. I also felt really touching that the common love for Gundam brought Japan’s best technology companies to make the fantasy comes to reality: a life-size Gundam that moves.

In the Gundam Base, you can shop some Gundam goods and souvenirs that are only available there. The most popular item would be the Yokohama Gundam’s plastic model. As a realistic structure, the Gundam’s design is altered from its anime original, so it is popular among fans to add it into their collection.

In the evening, I enjoyed a cup of coffee with Gundam characters as the latte art in the Gundam Cafe. The terrace seats have a perfect view of the Gundam!

It is a pity that the Gundam Factory is a limited-time attraction facility which opens from 19 December 2020 until 31 March, 2024. The development of the project began in 2014 and it took 7 years for designers and engineers to constrct it. Gundam is so popular around the world with growing number of fans in new generations, and also many global Gundam fans missed the chance to visit Japan during the Covid travel restrictions. Therefore, I really hope that the Gundam Factory can become a permanent attraction in Yokohama for the benefits of the Gundam fans and tourism of Yokohama.

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