Yesterday I wrote about my trip to the Satsuki and Mei House in Nagoya, so today I would like to write about my experience at the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo. The Ghibli Museum is located near Inokashira Park where Hayao Miyazaki grew up making it a very special place to visit. If you have any interest in film or animation you should definitely check this place out. It’s extremely popular so tickets must be purchased in advance (see below for more information), but outside there is a lot of beautiful nature you can see while you are waiting for your turn to enter. Once you go inside, you will be hit with a wave of nostalgia and wonder as you navigate through the imaginative worlds that Miyazaki has created. There is also a theater where you can watch short films that change frequently. For a full list of exhibits, please see the official museum website.
Within the museum you can find various scrapbooks with details hinting at some of the inspirations for each film. Paint brushes are also on display to show how the delicate backgrounds were made. There are also life-sized recreations of the movies such as the robot from Castle in the Sky and children are able to climb inside the giant Catbus plush on one of the floors. Picture frames of sketches and artwork are almost everywhere. Photography within the museum is not allowed, but it is okay to take photos outside and around it. I spotted a miniature onsen sculpture from Spirited Away in a garden and also a Totoro plush peeking out a window. Almost everywhere you look there is a cute Ghibli reference! The museum takes roughly 1 hour to fully see, but slightly longer if you wish to see the theater films (depending on how busy it is).
My favorite Ghibli movie is Kiki’s Delivery Service because it was the first one I ever watched, but Spirited Away comes second. I have visited the real-life locations/inspirations for Spirited Away at Dogo Onsen and Jiufen in Taiwan. The more I travel around Asia, the closer I hold these films to my heart. They were a very important part of growing up for me.
After exploring the museum, you can also stop at the Ghibli Cafe and have a quick snack. The food here is quite simple (likely due to high demand), but I ordered hot chocolate and my friend ordered pudding while we reflected on our trip here. Our sweets were quite satisfying. After waiting 3 months to get in, we wanted to savor every moment.
I originally used a Loppi machine at the Lawson convenience store chain to book my tickets 3 months in advance. If you make a reservation on a weekday, you should have a chance of getting in faster. If you are overseas, please see Tofugu’s Guide on how to best purchase tickets.
Admission Fee: 1000 yen
1 Chome-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-0013
From Shinjuku Station, take Rapid Chuo Line to Mitaka Station (you can also take the non-express as well). From Mitaka Station, you can walk to Mitaka Eki Minamiguchi Bus Stop and take a bus directly to the museum. This takes around 30-40 mins and costs 430 yen.