As a writer for Toho Kingdom, I have made a big deal out of Valentine’s Day over the past five or six years. I put together my longest article I ever wrote for TK—a piece about the many loves of Godzilla—for Valentine’s Day. I also asked my fellow TK writers to give their favorite Toho romance films for Valentine’s Day last year, and the year before that wrote up a deluge of reviews for the many, many Godzilla related Valentine’s Day chocolates sold at the Godzilla Store at that time, in 2018.
Maybe Toho Studios is paying attention to my enthusiastic coverage (I can dream), and that’s why in 2020 they put together… a Godzilla vs. Valentine Café (ゴジラ VS バレンタイン).
The café is just a limited time deal, opened at the beginning of February until Valentine’s Day on the 14th, and housed in the same Marui building which features the Godzilla Store in Shinjuku. I went shortly after the place opened to see what it was like, and stopped by the Godzilla Store as well.
As per usual, the Godzilla Store also was decked out for Valentine’s Day, with a charming diorama this time depicting Hedorah apparently making candies out of his sludge! Kind of gross when you think about it, but I still loved it. After taking a picture, I went in search of the actual café.
Being the pretty clueless person I often am, it took me a while before I could find the café. It’s tucked away into a corner, with the walls gussied up in red, a small art installation showcasing the cartoon-style illustrations featured on several of the snack boxes I reviewed last year, and (of course) a merch station as well. I tried to order at the register, but I was directed to go and have a seat and take a look at the menu, then indicate on an ordering sheet what I wanted to consume by writing a number next to each desired menu item on the slip of paper, to show how many of each I wanted. This method of ordering I rarely see in Japan, though I do remember seeing it occasionally when I went to Taiwan. Anyway, I took some time to look over the available Valentine vittles. There were a lot of different goodies on the menu.
First off, the Destroy All Monsters Curry for 1,200 yen, which comes with red curry, rice, Japanese-style fried chicken, and monaka wafers. I didn’t try this one, but I assume the wafer cakes might be the Mothra, Godzilla, and King Ghidorah cartoon figures you can see in the picture from the menu.
Next is the Final Wars Plate (ファイナルウォーズプレート) for 1,000 yen—frankfurters on sticks, lettuce, ham, sesame seeds, meet balls, chicken something or other. Meat-city, man!
For 1,200 yen, you could also fill up on a Biollante Rose Potato Salad Tower (ビオランテ・ローズポテサラタワー) made from an edible rose, basil, potato salad, crackers, mini tomatos, cheese, and olive oil. I almost ordered this one. I love how they recreated the rose Biollante out of food!
Next is the King Caesear Sookinba (キングシーサー・ソーキソバ) …or whatever that is—I googled it and came up with nothing. The sookinba (I am guessing a dish from Okinawa) is made from noodles, soup, and “Rafutee,” or “Okinawan-style stewed pork cubes.” The dish also includes fried sweet potatoes, naruto (no, not the ninja—the fish-paste chunk with a spiral pattern), more fish paste, shredded sweet egg, red ginger strips, edible rose, chikuwa, and green onion. I bought this one, and it was similar to kind of a light ramen. The edible rose was terrible, though I choked it down. I am not sure how they decided it was edible. If you look at the image closely, you can see it was made to look like a monster’s face—presumably KC, but with the chikuwa horn, I think it looks more like Baragon.
Next, for 900 yen, you can pick up Burning Godzilla Chocolate Fondant. The ingredients include, predictably, chocolate fondant, raspberry sauce, strawberry ice cream, chocolate ice cream, mixed frozen berries, and a cup of dry ice. I got this one, too, just because I thought the dry ice was cool and I wanted to see the smokey steam flowing out over my dish of sweets. You feel sophisticated paying a lot for a plate with relatively small portions, but the chocolate fondant was nice.
Next is Guardian God Mothra of Infant Island (モスラ改訂版) for 900 yen made from a mountain of custard cream balls, vanilla ice cream, strawberry sauce, mango sauce, chocolate sauce, strawberry whipped cream, chocolate whipped cream, green tea roll cake, peanuts, and the monaka wafer.
The King Ghidorah Parfait Special (キングギドラパフェ・スペシャル) for 1,000 yen includes chocolate roll cake, vanilla ice cream, chocolate mint ice cream, chocolate ice cream, whipped cream, silver dragee, dried oranges, and wafer thingees. I didn’t buy this one.
Next, on the cheaper side, the Chibi Godzilla Melon Soda (ちびゴジラ・メロンソーダ) for ONLY 700 yen. It includes melon soda, vanilla ice cream, a cherry, and a monaka wafer of Chibi Godzilla.
For the Calpis lovers out there, you could get a Mothra Mango Calpis (モスラ・マンゴーカルピス) for 700 yen. It’s made from Calpis, cotton candy, peanuts, and mango syrup.
The next one I don’t really get. The name seems to be, ‘Rodan also says ‘soda, soda’! (ラドンもソーダソーダと言っています!) Strawberry soda, also for 700 yen. It includes strawberry sauce, Sprite, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. Anybody have an idea what this has to do with Rodan, or why Rodan might say “soda, soda”? (Presumably this is a pun, as “sou da” can mean “that’s right” in Japanese, but I am not sure what the reference is to.)
The Oxygen Destroyer Punch (オキシジェンシ・デストロイヤ・ポンチ) goes for 800 yen, and features a bowl full of mixed fruits and berries and blue jelly, a bottle of soda stuck in the middle of the bowl, and a shot glass with two ramune candies. The idea is to drop the ramune candies into the soda and let the soda bubble and overflow (looking rather like an Oxygen Destroyer) into the bowl. I couldn’t resist and got this one, videoing the reaction, and scooping fruit and jelly into my maw. I just thought this one was too much fun!
Finally, you can try a MOGERA Mecha Delicious Elegant Latte with GABA, short for gamma-aminobutryic acid (MOGERA~めっちゃ元気が出るギャバ付ラテ~) for 700 yen. It includes an ice latte, chocolate, and whipped cream.
While I was enjoying my monster-themed delights, I was also delighted that GodziBan was playing on a big TV featured in the room. For those not in the know, GodziBan is a live-action Godzilla puppet show created by Studio Koganemushi on the official Godzilla Channel on YouTube. The series is a huge delight if you enjoy silly humor (which I definitely do). Also while I was at the café, they played some shorts in English, which was a nice touch.
I went in the afternoon during the week, so unsurprisingly there were not a lot of customers at that time, but I did see a few—all by themselves, though a majority were women.
After I was finished with my meal and snacks, I went to check out the merchandise. At the café and also in a small pop-up store near Shinjuku Station, you can buy a random metal badge featuring a Valentine-themed Godzilla (in one of three colors), KG, Mothra, or Rodan. For 2,800 yen you can get your own Valentine-themed Godzilla shirt featuring a box of chocolates with Godzilla-claw marks. Two thousand five hundred yen will net you a pair of monster wine glasses, while 1,500 yen gets you a cute Valentine Godzilla mug cup (the mug I got from the Godzilla VR was enough for me, thanks), or the same price can also get you an acryl smartphone stand with the familiar Godzilla Valentine art. You can also buy a passcase or a smartphone case in the style of a handbook. For me, I just grabbed all the snacks—a small box of monster chocolates, a set of milk chocolate cookies featuring the Valentine art, and a box of Godzilla donuts.
Godzilla Store and Shinjuku Station
After making my purchases, I was given a receipt and told that if I presented it at the Godzilla Store, I would receive a free postcard. On the way down, I also found there is a restroom on I think the fourth floor that has a bunch of Godzilla movie posters in the hallway—very cool. I got my free postcard, too—the staff noticed I was carrying the slip and offered to make the exchange without my saying a word to them!
After I was done at the store, I went back to Shinjuku Station and hunted down the pop-up Godzilla store that features a massive meter-tall Godzilla chocolate figure, apparently modeled after the 1954 Godzilla.
The huge chocolate Godzilla was very cool, but unfortunately they don’t let customers take a bite. I just took a bunch of pictures. All of the merch from the café was also available in the temporary store in the station.
I would guess that with the coronavirus situation, Toho probably wasn’t so successful with this café—but, while I did feel a little embarrassed going by myself, I really enjoyed myself! Now if only we could get a Godzilla vs. Christmas café, I would even dress up as Santa Claus to attend…