Whether or not you’ve ever watched a movie from Studio Ghibli, I still highly recommend visiting the Ghibli Museum. A bit far from Tokyo, but easily accessible by train. Here you get to see Hayao Miyazaki’s vision come to life and relive your favorite Ghibli films. Tickets to the museum are only 1000¥, but you have to order them online or by phone if you don’t live in Japan. Or you can do what we did – ask a friend in Japan to purchase them for us from Lawson (convenience store chain). You’ll get a designated date and time on your ticket to avoid overcrowding.
Cameras inside the museum are not allowed, though I managed to sneak one in. They really watch you with hawk eyes. The different rooms have props from the films, and they have a fantastic book store where you can purchase storyboards and manga. The regular souvenir gift shop “MAMMA AIUTO!” will get crowded. Many stores around Tokyo will sell Studio Ghibli gifts, so you don’t necessarily have to get it here, though they do have a comprehensive selection. Also unfortunately, the cat bus is only for children!
On the ground floor, there is a small theatre where you can watch a short film.Your admission ticket is an actual film negative from one of the Ghibli movies. Some people actually auction them off online (a friend of mine has bought several). As for the film, no need to understand Japanese – it’s mostly in jibberish anyway, but you’ll understand when you see for yourself 🙂
Don’t forget to go up to the rooftop where there’s a life-size Laputan robot from Castle in the Sky! How awesome is that?
Doesn’t this just make you want to live here? There’s also a hand-pump well you can play with.
And no visit is complete without saying goodbye to Totoro. It happened to be raining that day 😉