Day 4: The Ghibli museum in Mitaka

After visiting Calico cat cafe, me and Hide took the train to Mitaka to visit the Ghibli museum.

Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation studio that makes animes. It was founded 1985 by Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata and the publisher Tokuma.

Their most famous movie is “My neighbor Totoro”. Other Ghibli movies I like – and recommend everyone to see – is Princess Monoke, Laputa – the castle in the sky”, “Kiki’s delivery service”, “Spirited away”, “Howl’s Moving Castle” and so on… I have a lot of favorites. ^^

a sample of Ghibli movies.

a sample of Ghibli movies.

I’ve wanted to visit the museum for a long time but by some reason those plans were canceled last time I was in Japan.

I love Ghibli movies, but to be honest, museums is usually not my cup of tea. So even though the subject interested me highly, I wasn’t prepared to be as overwhelmed as I became this time.

I don’t think I will be able to describe this amazing experience to its fullest. All I can say is that: if you’re a Ghibli fan – you MUST visit the museum. It’s sooooo cool! Even for someone like me who usually associate museums with sleeping pills.

When we had arrived to Mitaka station, Totoro showed us the way to the museum… so we began walking…

Totoro showed us the way.

Totoro showed us the way.

We reached the garden eventually where Totoro stood and waited for us. He’s pretty big!

Me and Totoro.

Me and Totoro.

Studio Ghibli want to keep the Ghibli atmosphere magical within the walls of the museum, and hence all photographing and filming is prohibited. Hence I have no indoors pictures to show you. We were allowed to take photos outdoors though.

The museum was embraced by a very beautiful garden, colorful and vibrant – even though it’s not summer.

So beautiful.

So beautiful.

A whole school-class was about to enter the museum and they got pretty excited when they saw me taking pictures on them. They started to shout and wave. Hide thought that they suspected me to be a celebrity. ^_-



The Ghibli museum is undeniable a popular resort in Japan and the place was pretty crowded. Mostly Japaneses though – I thought there would be much more western tourists.

In the garden outside, a mysterious path…

Where does it lead...?

Where does it lead…?

… lead us to the giant robot from the movie “Laputa – castle in the sky”…

The robot from Laputa - castle in the sky

The robot from Laputa – castle in the sky

… and to the Laputa Cube with mysterious inscriptions.

The Laputa rock.

The Laputa rock.

In the museum – which entire interior was remarkable and indescribable – we could see storyboards and sketches for all movies. I especially loved a room filled with mechanics and optic illusions.

This was so cool so I don’t think I will even try to describe what I saw in there. I just don’t have the words to do it well. You got to see it yourself.

We got tickets to see a short Ghibli movie, created exclusively for the museum. The movie was great and had that cozy Ghibli-feeling. The story concerned an old couple living on a mountain and sumo wrestling mice… ^^

The ticket was an actual piece of film ^^ I got some frames from Kiki’s delivery service.

My ticket - a piece of actual film.

My ticket – a piece of actual film.

I bought a souvenir at the museum, one of my favorite characters: the cat Jiji from the movie “Kiki’s delivery service”.

Kawaii ne?

Kawaii ne?

This was truly an experience I’m very happy for. When we walked out from the museum, watching this beautiful Christmas tree…

When it got dark outside...

When it got dark outside…

… and headed back to Shinjuku it felt a little bit like we left a magical world behind us.

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November 2012

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