It all started with a simple question: who is Totoro and why is he very famous among Japanese kids? I never knew that Studio Ghibli Animation existed until I heard about Totoro from almost everybody here in Japan. Then I watched the critically-acclaimed Spirited Away in a TV special here and found out that the makers of the said animation film is the same as Totoro’s. Plus, my friends and co-workers kept on talking about Ghibli characters that I didn’t know so I decided to watch six Ghibli movies straight in the beginning of this year. I gotta admit, Ghibli movies make really sense compared to other anime films, production and story wise. That’s why it really got me hooked and dreamed of going to the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka city. Ashley and I tried to go before as walk-in customers until we were informed about how to get tickets. It can be little bit of a hassle because you need to get a reservation in advance preferably a month before in all Lawson stores in Japan. For tourists, tickets can be purchased through the museum’s website. So just imagine how happy I was when I was able to find a spot during the weekend.
The Ghibli museum is a few minutes away from Mitaka station. A loop bus going to the museum is available but if you’re in for some walking, it will take like 15 minutes. That’s enough time for you to play My Neighbor Totoro’s famous song “散歩” (Stroll) for more than five times. We took the bus going to the museum and what’s funny is we went down in the wrong stop. We had to take walk for a few minutes more while we were making fun of our laughable mistake. Oh by the way, I also forgot to put battery in my camera so thus, the iPhone photos.
Once I saw the Ghibli museum signage, I immediately asked Nao to take my picture in front of it. At last, after several failed attempts of getting tickets, here we were. I’m wearing that personalized tee that I got from Uniqlo’s UTme. I blogged about it here. Please don’t forget to comment about it because I’m thinking of doing it as my blog’s merchandise.
These are our tickets. They only cost ¥1,000. Not that expensive but totally hard to catch so it’s a must that you check on Lawson’s ticket machine very often and once you find an available date, call that friend, settle your schedules and buy those tickets. This photo was taken with my Hey HodgePodge bookmark courtesy of my good friend Kaila.
These are the entrance and facade of the museum which are covered by all these green leaves which makes the place really dreamy like most Ghibli films. Photography inside the museum is strictly prohibited but let me describe it to you. Once you get in, you will be greeted by a hallway with an amazing fresco painting of the sky and the sun plus all these stained glass windows of Ghibli characters. Then, there’s this staircase that leads you to the basement. In the basement, there is a cinema for a short film which is only shown in the museum. There’s also a room full of animation exhibits like pictures of famous Ghibli films, diagrams and animation machines. The room is dark because there is this machine of different Ghibli character miniatures in different motion positions. Once it spins fast and the light hits the miniatures, it appears like they are moving. So amazing! You can also find the Central Hall and see an old European inspired interior for the museum . There’s also a door that leads to a garden.
Totoro greets visitors in the entrance. I didn’t realize those black spirit friends were there below the ticket window.