Welcome to Tokyo's newest - and perhaps shortest-lived - tourist attraction, a 20-meter robot standing in a park, overlooking the harbor of the world's manga metropolis. The lifesize, plastic replica of a robot from Gundam, (a hugely popular Japanese animation series), officially opened on July 11 2009 and will be closed to the public on August 31st. It is part of the celebrations for Gundam's 30th anniversary.
Until then, the robot - which shoots smoke and lasers, can move its arms and head and plays disco music - will be a number one draw on the sightseeing hitlist of visiting otaku, as anime-loving geeks are called here. The Gundam robot is large enough to be visible on the drive from Narita airport to downtown, as cars cross the Tokyo Bay-spanning Rainbow Bridge.
There have already been calls to make the temporary attraction a permanent fixture of Tokyo's anything-goes postmodern cityscape. The giant robot currently stands ten minutes walk from a one-third scale Statue of Liberty and a shopping mall with a fake Renaissance Italian village interior, so the Gundam robot would fit right in.