NARITA, Chiba -- The Narita Anime Deck entertainment center, which includes a display of a full-scale replica of a Gundam mobile suit head from popular animated TV series "Mobile Suit Gundam," opened in Terminal 2 at Narita International Airport, east of Tokyo, on Nov. 28.
The first space of its kind to feature Japanese anime as a main theme at the airport, it consists of a maid cafe serving anime-themed meals, a shop full of anime merchandise, and more. Its 2.4-meter-tall Gundam face replica is visible to passengers who crane their necks upward at the terminal's arrivals lobby.
Measuring some 760 square meters, the center aims to promote the appeal of Japanese anime culture to foreign visitors, who are expected to arrive in increasing numbers ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
A press event to show off the center was held on Nov. 27, with participation from Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, chief director of the Anime Tourism Association, Masaki Matsubara, president of major publisher Kadokawa Corp., and Akihiko Tamura, president of Narita International Airport Corp.
Toru Furuya, a voice actor who played main character Amuro Ray in Mobile Suit Gundam, also made an appearance. He said, "I'm happy that this new sanctuary of anime is opening at Narita airport, the gateway to Japan," and cut the ribbon to celebrate the following day's opening.
(Japanese original by Tadakazu Nakamura, Narita Bureau)