Soshigaya-Okura is still the Ultraman City
Tsuburaya Productions’ Characters on Display in Their Old Hometown
Author: Daisuke Ishizuka
From 1963-2005, Tsuburaya Productions — the television and film company behind the long-running Ultraman franchise — had their headquarters in the residential Kinuta and Okura districts of Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward. Tsuburaya Pro moved into their new offices in Hachimanyama, Setagaya, Tokyo after being purchased by the TYO Group in 2007.
For a time, the Kinuta office was maintained as an editing and computer graphic imaging facility. The second floor of the building was also used as a warehouse to store the monster suits, masks and costumes from the various Ultraman movies and shows. But Tsuburaya eventually decided to to move these departments to Hachimanyama as well, and the Kinuta branch was shut down on February 6, 2008. The property was sold to developers who demolished the office and replaced it with an apartment building.
The Soshigaya-Okura station on the Odakyu-line was the closest train station to the original Tsuburaya Productions offices. And even though Tsuburaya has moved to another city, the area around Soshigaya-Okura is still named “Ultra Town” because many Ultramen can still be seen there.
Large photos of Ultraman, Ultra Seven, and the other Ultra Warriors — including more recent heroes like Ultraman Nexus and Ultraman Mebius — are displayed on each pillar inside the station. The Mother of Ultra and Father of Ultra plus and the Ultra seven’s son, Ultraman Zero (introduced since Tsuburaya Productions’ move to Hachimanyama), are displayed on overhead banners outside of the Soshigaya-Okura ticket gate. Maybe Ultraman Saga, the latest hero debuting this March in the film ULTRAMAN SAGA, will soon join the display.
Upon turning to the right from the ticket gate, visitors can see a statue of the original Ultraman. And at three sides on the shopping street, Zoffy, Ultraman and Ultraman Jack guard the city from the sky, though these three Ultramen are a long walk from the station.
Visiting the area around the Soshigaya-Okura station is an enjoyable experience for tokusatsu fans.