Many animation fans are familiar with the works of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. And lucky for those visiting Tokyo, the Ghibli Museum is a wonderful place to see the history and creativity behind the studio’s works.
Located in Mitaka City in the western part of metropolitan Tokyo, the Ghibli Museum is open six days a week from 10:00am to 6:00pm. To get there, visitors can take the train to Mitaka or Kichijoji stations and walk to the museum. A bus is also available from Mitaka Station for those looking for a quicker trip. Keep in mind that entrance to the museum is assigned by time and missing out on the time slot on your ticket means you can’t go inside. Once you’re in, however, you can roam and explore the museum as long as you want.
Upon entering the museum, guests can marvel at the Central Hall which reflects the unique architecture and design featured in Ghibli films. Take time to look around the area before going into one of the many rooms around the first floor where the animation process is reflected through a replica of an artist’s workstation.
Every visitor to the Ghibli Museum has to go to the Saturn Theater located in the basement where they can watch an animated short that is only screened at the museum. The films change every few months so be sure to check the schedule to see what’s showing. A brief summary of each film is also available for those curious to know what they’re about.
The Ghibli Museum features a different exhibit every year on the second floor. Fans are able to get a glimpse of sketches, techniques, and more behind the movies that made Studio Ghibli famous around the world. More information on the special exhibitions can be found on the museum’s website to give visitors an idea of what to expect.
The Ghibli Museum is a great space for children to explore. For people traveling with young kids, the TRI HAWKS reading room is a place where Miyazaki hopes children can discover the wonder of books. The area is full of children’s books and picture books that are available for kids to browse through. Another child-friendly space is the Cat Bus Room where the famous fluffy vehicle from “My Neighbor Totoro” is available for kids to play with.
After exploring the inside of the museum, visitors are able to walk up to the roof of the building where they can meet the Robot Soldier from “Castle in the Sky” who looks over Inokashira Park surrounded by a garden. It’s a great spot to take in the view and take a few photos of your visit!
Once you’re done walking around the museum, don’t forget to drop by the MAMMA AIUTO! gift shop where you can pick up a souvenir from the Ghibli Museum. Hand-painted animation cels depicting various scenes from Studio Ghibli movies are also available for purchase.
Outside, visitors can drop by the Straw Hat Cafe where meals, snacks, and drinks are available for purchase. Diners can take in the cozy indoor atmosphere or find a table outside and enjoy the scenery.
Ghibli fans who want to experience the beauty and wonder of art and animation, the Ghibli Museum is a must-do when visiting Tokyo. If you’re thinking of visiting, take note that Ghibli Museum tickets are available by advance purchase only and often sell out quickly. Don’t worry, though! KKDay offers tickets and a guided walk through scenic Inokashira Park to get to the museum.
*Featured image by cowardlion on Shutterstock