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Godzilla returns to Tokyo's Shinagawa for sweet showdown

The "Godzilla Resurgence" (2017) incarnation of Godzilla pulls apart a train decorated with strawberries and other fruits in a dessert town buffet table at the "Ichi-Godzilla" lunch buffet at "The Dining Room" restaurant and bar at The Strings InterContinental Tokyo, in the capital's Minato Ward, on Jan. 15, 2018. (Mainichi/Alina Kordesch)

TOKYO -- The king of the monsters Godzilla has appeared in the capital's Minato Ward once again to battle yet another foe: strawberries.

As part of the celebrations of the 65th anniversary of the original 1954 film and the new "Godzilla: King of Monsters" movie due out in Japan on May 31, Godzilla came to wreak havoc on a dessert town at "The Dining Room," a restaurant at The Strings by InterContinental Tokyo near Shinagawa Station on Jan. 15. The location for the sweet showdown "Godzilla vs. Strawberries" lunch buffet was chosen because the district was the backdrop for the original 1954 movie. The start date was chosen to match the Japanese word for strawberry, "ichigo," which can also be "one-five," or 15.

Under the direction of Godzilla film production company Toho Co., Executive Chef Patisserie Takeshi Suzuki took on the creation of some 20 different sweets that melded the unusual combination of the dark movie monster and the sweet red fruit. Among the lineup are the "king of shortcake" strawberry and whipped cream delight, "Ichi-Godzilla cream puffs" modeled on Godzilla's face with the pastry dyed black with bamboo charcoal, an entire strawberry in the "mouth" and distinctive eyes on top, Godzilla footprint cookies, Godzilla strawberry macarons, yogurt mouse in cups made to look like the monster Mothra's eggs and even Godzilla-style mousse cake made to look like the jagged spines on the star's back.

"It's such an usual combination," commented one woman in her 20s who came due to the uniqueness of the event. While not fans of the series, she and a friend could not miss out on the unique collaboration and its "Instagram worthy" photo opportunity appeal. "This is not something you see often at all."

For fans of the series, there are several statues of Godzilla, from one greeting you at the entrance to the restaurant, to one overlooking the roast beef to the most recent incarnation tearing apart a pink strawberry-decorated train. There are also paintings on display of movie posters from the Heisei Series, "Godzilla vs. Biollante" (1989), "Godzilla vs. Mothra" (1992), and the Millennium Series "Godzilla Final Wars" (2004).

The buffet, which will run until "Godzilla: Godzilla King of Monsters" hits theaters on the last day of May, also offers over 30 lunch dishes -- including roast beef with pink sea salt. Guests can enjoy the spread in 90-minute all-you-can-eat slots, the first from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the second from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. The cost for adults is 5,000 yen on weekdays and 6,000 yen on weekends and holidays. While the lunch and dessert buffet includes tea and coffee, for an extra 1,500 yen, adults can add an option to drink white, red, or rose wine. There is a service charge of 13 percent.

Children aged 3 to elementary school can eat for 2,500 yen, and their ticket comes with the picture book "Ganbare Chibi Godzilla! (Go for it, Little Godzilla!)" published by Kodansha Ltd. Chibi Godzilla is a new character debuting for the 65th anniversary of the franchise, illustrated by Chiharu Sakazaki of Suica penguin fame.

The Strings InterContinental Tokyo is only a few minutes' walk from JR Shinagawa Station and reservations and other inquiries can be made at 03-5783-1258. English-speaking staff members are also on hand. This is one tasty battle Godzilla fans won't want to miss.

(By Alina Kordesch, The Mainichi Staff Writer)

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