The Ghibli Museum: Mitaka, Tokyo
March 16, 2013 § 2 Comments
Studio Ghibli has been famous around the world for its unique and interesting style. It has produced various animated movies such as: Princess Mononoke, Ponyo On The Cliff By the Sea, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, and it’s award winning film, Spirited Away (the setting of which was inspired by a place called Jiufen in Taiwan). Being from the creative field, I really appreciate watching films from Studio Ghibli because they are inspiring. I am really a fan of the treatment of the visuals, as well as its creative direction. If you’re not familiar with Studio Ghibli or Hayao Miyazaki, allow me to show you a trailer of one of their films. This is from Howl’s Moving Castle, my favorite Ghibli film so far.
Imagine the joy I felt when I found out I got accepted in a conference in Tokyo and realized I can finally visit the Studio Ghibli museum.
Honestly, I didn’t even know that Studio Ghibli has a museum. The idea of visiting the place was solely my adviser’s. She’s quite cool when it comes to art stuff; I also like her art style. She was also the one who took care of ordering our tickets since it’s difficult to procure. If you’re interested in vising the museum, here’s what you need to know:
1. You cannot purchase the ticket on location, or on the same day. Everything should be booked in advance.
2. If you live abroad, Ghibli has agency partners that can provide tickets. Similarly, it should be ordered in advance because tickets are limited per day.
3. People living in Japan can avail of the tickets in Lawson stores. It’s like their own version of 7-11, Family Mart, or Ministop.
4. The ticket costs 1,000 Yen.
For more info, you can visit their website.
In getting to the location, it actually depends on where you’re coming from. In our case, our hotel was in Shinjuku so we took the JR Chuo line from there. Here’s a more detailed information on how to get to the museum, How to go to Ghibli Museum.
Here are some information about the museum’s operation:
Operating hours: 10:00am – 6:00pm
Closed every Tuesdays.
On the day that we visited, my companions and I had to stay outside the museum for a while because we were too early. Good thing the museum is located inside a park called the Inokashira Park (Inokashirakoen). Since we flew in early March, the spring season was only starting so there were more bare trees that fully blossomed ones. It looked more like fall/winter, actually. Good thing I was able to see some legit fully blossomed Cherry Blossoms (Sakura), but I’ll tell you about that in another post. Here’s are some photos of the park.
Before 10am, there was already a long queue in front of the museum gate. There were a lot of children, as well as young adults, and foreigners. Unfortunately, guests CAN NOT take photos of what’s inside the museum, and I think I know why. It would lose its magic if photos of the place are seen by non-visitors. You really have to see and experience the place for yourself. I actually like the motto of the place printed on their leaflet, it says “Let’s lose our way together”. To me, it’s such a wonderful thing to do. The rule is to get lost in the place (hence, no detailed map) and discover doors, exists, and small things. Being there is like being transported to Ghibli film where everything is magical and interesting. There’s always a place that you want to see and discover. There’s always that staircase or small door that makes you wonder what’s on the other side.
Because I could not take photos inside, I only managed to take photos of the museum’s facade. Here are some of them:
The photo above is a character from the Ghibli film, Laputa, Castle in the Sky. I know it sounds vulgar if you’re familiar with Spanish, but yes, that’s the title. I haven’t watched this film so I was wondering what this character’s name was. My Japanese friend then told me that they merely call them ‘Robot Soldiers’. Personally, I think the character is adorable.
The structure of the museum itself looks like it’s from one of the Ghibli fims doesn’t it? It’s so amazing.
The photo above is the leaflet (there’s an English version) and a short film ticket with a few animation frames. It’s like a portion of an actual Ghibli film as a remembrance!
So this is the first (of many) post from my trip to Tokyo a few days ago. I hope I can be as detailed as I can in the upcoming ones since I did not do much of the planning on the trip. Looking forward to sharing more new experiences here! ‘Til next time!