Do You Remember That Giant Bird Statue In Tokusatsu?

I remembered one of the most common locations in Super Sentai, Kamen Rider and if I'm not wrong also Metal Hero and Ultraman. So what's this location with the giant bird statue? I decided to do some research and found out that it's a place called the Izu Saboten Park which is located at the Izu Peninsula. Saboten is cactus in Japanese. In short, it means Cactus Park. It's also a zoo. Maybe you noticed this place but never noticed its significance.

Back then, I remembered how I just called it the "Bio Fort" or "Bio Park" because I first saw it in Bioman. I remembered watching the nightmare-fuel inducing Bioman episode 27 which had robot spiders capturing people. I always had myself fascinated by that giant bird statue. It also felt like an Aztec park. But what was that bird statue? It wasn't going to be the last I'd see that bird statue. 

Maskman episode 25 had the grand martial arts tournament. So what were the Maskman doing in "Bio Fort"? Oh, I never realized that the guy with the mustache was the legendary Kazuo Niibori until I saw Akibaranger's tribute for the said person many years later. I always wondered what place was that?

Maybe, you even remember episode 43 of Kamen Rider Black where the Gorgom zoo was built. It's because the place itself is an actual zoo. I think some children may have been too scared as a result of that. I kinda wonder how the cast of Kamen Rider Black treats the place? Speaking of Kamen Rider, I remembered playing the Kamen Rider 1 game in the first Playstation. One of the places that were given CGI treatment was this place. I could remember that giant bird statue in the background of the Story Mode of the same game. I never realized how much sentimental value that place has for Tokusatsu fans!

Years later, I never realized that the site was also used in Flashman episode 16 after Kaura temporarily damaged Flash King. It takes a lot of guts for actor Joji Nakata to be standing up there! I'd really faint if I were the one standing up there! I think Nakata himself probably has all that experience to make any newbie cringe at that time. 

The story behind the giant bird statue isn't Toei's legacy. Rather, it's Tsubaraya's. Here's what I found from the Fuji Travel Guide:

The entrance to the five pyramid-shaped greenhouses was this monster, Hydra, a kaiju from Ultraman. In the Ultraman story, Hydra was born from the crater of the volcano (Omuroyama) behind the park. In actual fact, Omuroyama last erupted more than 4000 years ago and lay dormant now.

The giant bird itself must have been very iconic. Why would the Izu Saboten Zoo erect a giant bird that resembles the Hydra way back in 1966? I guess the people respected the myth and created a giant statue which probably explains why the giant bird statue is there. 


What Toku episodes have you noticed the Izu Saboten Park in? What did I miss? Comment! Meanwhile, check this entry out for more filming locations.