Ghibli Museum is a museum that focuses on the works of Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli. And as a fan of their movies, it was a very fulfilling experience to explore the museum and see my favorite characters celebrated.
Since photography is not allowed inside the museum, this post will not have a lot of photos. So just trust my words okay!
We arrived at Mitaka Station, the closest train station to the museum, about 30 minutes before our scheduled visit. We boarded the shuttle bus just outside the station that goes straight to the museum. Round-Trip fare for the shuttle would cost JPY 320.00 per person. While walking from the station to the museum would take 15-20 minutes. When we arrived at the gate, Totoro was right there behind a glass window ready to welcome you in. It’s one of the only few spots you can take a picture so make it count!
As we enter the museum, it felt like going to a whole new world where everything was magical. The whole experience felt surreal and it all starts at the entrance. We entered a small lobby with stained-glass decors and walked through a hallway that leads us to the main hall of the museum.
The main hall is where you can see most of the other areas since it’s at the center. From here you decide which area to explore first, but it doesn’t matter because each one is just as good as the others. Getting around is easy too, aside from stairs there’s also a cool-looking vintage elevator.
My favorite area is where they showcase the food of every Ghibli movie. We all know how appetizing anime food looks like, and in this section, are realistic sculptures of their most popular ones. They also theme the area with a restaurant and a kitchen, even with a menu!
Another one of my favorites is where they recreated the art studio of Studi Ghibli’s art director. There are hundreds of sketches, on the walls, tables, and lots of materials they the artist usually use. It was very inspiring and I could imagine a child getting into art after visiting that area.
A highlight of our day was watching a short film at the cinema inside the museum. The ticket (which is included in the admission fee) is a three-frame sheet of an actual film from one of their movies. That alone is a souvenir in itself. The movie we watched was Boro the Caterpillar. It was weird but visually stunning as always. All the sound effects were voice generated, which was odd but gave it a little bit of character. It was a fun experience, and I would love to watch it again.
How to buy tickets outside Japan
They have multiple options, like buying from designated travel agencies, which can be viewed here: (http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/en/ticket-information/). From our experience, we got our tickets from the Lawson website (https://l-tike.com/st1/ghibli-en/sitetop) on the selling date of our target trip.
Basically, Lawson tickets for a whole month go on sale on the 10th day at 10 AM (Japan time) of the previous month. Our trip was in April, so we purchased our tickets on March 10. Be sure to be ready before 10 AM (Japan time!!!) because tickets usually get sold out within the day. Also, make sure that you have a stable and fast internet connection. This is the best way to get a ticket because you get to choose your schedule and it’s only JPY 1,000.00! If you go to a website that resells Ghibli Museum tickets, they can go as high as JPY 5,000.00. So if you really want to visit the museum, make time to buy the tickets early.
The trip around the museum didn’t take a long time. Our schedule was at 4 PM and we were outside by 7. If you pick an early schedule, you can stay at the museum as long as you like. Even though our visit was short, it was still an amazing and unforgettable experience that made us appreciate Studio Ghibli more than ever.