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Japan’s gigantic Gundam robot has a new opening date

by Susan and Simon Veness

Sometimes the best laid plans have to be postponed, and that has been especially true as the global pandemic has forced closings and led to delays in attraction openings. But there is good news on the horizon for Japan’s Gundam robot attraction at Yamashita Pier in Yokohama.

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Photos courtesy of Blooloop

Measuring 18 meters (59 feet) tall and weighing 25 tons (55,500 pounds), the enormous Gundam robot attraction at Japan’s Gundam Factory Yokohama had an original opening date of Oct. 22, but even a colossus of that size was no match for the chaos of 2020.

A spokesperson for the Factory explained: “This decision was made to ensure the health and safety of our fans and employees in response to the worldwide spread of COVID-19. We apologize to all of our fans who were looking forward to our grand opening and ask for your understanding. In the meantime, we will be making preparations so that all of our visitors can enjoy themselves in safety.”

But the life-sized mecha, based on a character from the 1970s anime series “Mobile Suit Gundam,” wasn’t going to be that easily defeated, and now Gundam Factory Yokohama is pleased to announce its new opening date of Dec. 19, 2020.

As the attraction’s backstory goes, an aircraft was downed during the battle between humans and Spacenoids, and several Gundam-style mobile suit parts were discovered in the suburbs of Yamashita Pier in Yokohama. Engineers were able to reconstruct a mobile suit, and now it’s ready to be set in motion.

Once activated, the robot will take steps, kneel, and raise its arms during performances on the hour and half hour, from 10:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. daily. For an added fee, guests can ascend the Gundam-Dock Tower scaffolding and view the robot’s head and body up close as it goes through its paces.

In addition, visitors can explore the two-story Gundam Lab to learn about the design and structural technology used to create the figure, or take part in the Gundam Pilot View 5G augmented reality experience, allowing visitors to observe the surrounding area for a real-time view from the inside of the robot’s cockpit.

A shop with exclusive merchandise is also available, as is Gundam Café, serving regional Yokohama cuisine.

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In commemoration of Gundam Factory Yokohama’s opening, visitors will receive a complimentary 1:200-scale plastic snap-together Gundam model, while supplies last.

The attraction is currently scheduled to run from Dec. 19, 2020 – March 31, 2022. Tickets can be booked online at Gundam-Factory.net.

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