This week marks the birthdays of two Japanese icons. Today is the turn of the always cute and enduringly popular Hello Kitty. But two days later, the cuteness will be dispensed with, as the birthday wishes turn to the renowned kaijū (monster) Godzilla, whose first feature film was released 65 years ago on Nov. 3.
This Sunday, the Hibiya district in Tokyo will celebrate the colossal creature, together with hordes of fans, with Godzilla Fes 2019.
A stage at Hibiya Step Square will host the main attractions, including an opening ceremony attended by two special guests: Shinji Nishikawa, who has designed various kaijū for decades; and Akira Takarada, the actor who starred in the original "Godzilla" film in 1954.
Visitors can also meet people in elaborate Godzilla bodysuits. But if the beasts look too scary for you, then check out a performance, starting at 3:30 p.m., which will feature Chibi Godzilla, a cuddly green-bodied character created by children's book author Chiharu Sakazaki.
During the festival, the latest goods related to Godzilla will be on offer at Toho Twin Tower Building, while kaijū-inspired dishes will be available at restaurants in the Hibiya Chanter shopping mall as well as at kitchen cars parked in the square. (Yuki Yamauchi)