Hideki Matsui; Photo: Koichi Kamoshida/Getty

Godzilla has returned to Japan. No, not the overgrown monster from the South Sea, but Japan's own Hideki Matsui. The Yankees and Matsui arrived after 1 am Tokyo time this morning (or was it yesterday morning, the time difference has Gothamist all messed up). The team was dressed to the nines, wearing suits and ties, not the sweat-suits and slippers they wore on the plane. The line of stars made it off the plane one by one, with photographers and a small group of fans greeting them in the closed Narita Airport.

Matsui and the Yankees are already drawing large crowds during their practices at the Tokyo Dome, with more than 30,000 people turning out. The Japanese fans just love Matsui, with some people comparing his status to The Beatles or to Elvis.