We finally know when we’ll be able to get up close and personal with Yokohama’s 18-meter (59-foot), 25-metric ton (55,500-pound) mobile suit.

A blank spot on your middle-of-the-week entertainment calendar isn’t that unusual, so under ordinary circumstances we wouldn’t have been feeling that bad about not having any plans for Thursday. This Thursday is different, though, because it was supposed to be the opening date for the life-size moving Gundam anime robot that’s being built in the city of Yokohama, about 30 minutes south of Tokyo.

Unfortunately, complications from the coronavirus outbreak indefinitely delayed both construction and the opening of the mecha’s home, the harborside Gundam Factory Yokohama complex. But our spirits were lifted last week when the first videos of Gundam in motion surfaced, and now we’re getting another emotional boost as Gundam Factory Yokohama finally has an official grand opening date.

Saturday, December 19 is the date to clear out, and at 10 o’clock that morning Gundam Factory Yokohama will start welcoming visitors. The facility is divided into two sections. Gundam Lab is a museum-style display of how the full-scale mobile suit was put together, and also boasts an AR experience that simulates what it would be like to sit in the cockpit of the 18-meter (59-foot) tall Gundam and survey the urban landscape of the surrounding city.

The bigger draw, though, will be the Gundam Dock Tower, which allows you to climb up into the maintenance scaffolding that surrounds Gundam and get an up-close look at the artistic passion and engineering know-how involved in bringing the gargantuan anime icon into the real world.

▼ You should also have a nice view of Yokohama Harbor while you’re up there

The facility will also have a Gundam Cafe

…and, naturally, a gift shop selling exclusive merch.

Guests will also receive a free snap-together 1:200-scale Gunpla plastic model as part of the cost of their admission.

Gundam Factory Yokohama is officially calling this a “limited-time opening,” which will run from December 19 to March 31 (no information has been released as to what will happen after that period). Admission for Gundam Lab is 1,650 yen (US$15.60) for visitors aged 13 and up and 1,100 yen for those 7-12, with admission for up to three children 6 or younger free when accompanied by a paying adult. Gundam Dock Tower access is an additional 3,300 yen per guest (once again with up to three accompanied children six or younger per paying guest free). Tickets go on sale October 2 at 10 a.m. through the Gundam Factory Yokohama website here.

Source, images: Press release
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