Friday, March 12, 2010


The Ghibli Museum is the sweetest little museum you are ever likely to see. Studio Ghibli has produced lovely animations such as: My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Spirited Away and Ponyo. Adults and children alike would love to spend a day in this museum, which depicts the history of animation and the Ghibli films. Unfortunately, no photography is allowed inside, so all these pics are outdoors.

To get there, catch the train to Mitaka station, and then travel on the Cat Bus directly to the museum. There are lots of helpful attendants at the bus stop and museum to guide you.
The gardens of the museum.

The museum is adjacent to a park, which would look lovely in springtime.

A cute little birdhouse someone has thoughtfully placed in this tree.

I think this garden is supposed to represent one from one of their films.

This cute little man seemed to be the gardener.

A little about the museum... The museum is set out with lots of little interesting rooms to explore. There is a huge hall which has interactive displays of the history of animation, which is very interesting. There is a cinema which plays a short animation, exclusive to the museum, projected from a huge old style movie projector. The film we saw was only in Japanese, but there wasn't alot of dialogue, so it was easy to follow. The story was of an elderly couple living in the country who had a group of sumo wrestling mice living secretly in the house. Each night the mice would walk into the woods to compete in a sumo match with big rats, who always beat them. When the couple discover their tennants, they decide to help them by fattening them up with a huge feast. They then attend the sumo match after they have put on some bulk to cheer them on, and of course, the mice win for the first time. It was hilarious, and the whole audience had big smiles on their faces.

In fact, you couldn't help but feel happy in this museum. There were many displays showing how the animations are produced. Most of the films backgrounds are hand drawn with pencils and watercolours, which are truly beautiful. Then there are lifesized dioramas of the house where the founding animator lived, set out as the actual rooms of his house. There was a restaurant, but there was a long queue, so we ate at the cafe. Of course, the gift shop was wonderful too - stacked to the rafters with Ghibli mechandise, which everyone was feverishly buying (including me) It sold lots of soft toys of all the characters, plus stationary, some lovely cards from the films and many other nicknacks.

The Bus Stop.

The Cat Bus. Don't worry, it's not as embarrasing as it looks to travel in !

I purchased these adorable softies. The mouse in the centre is from the sumo film we saw, and is exclusive to the museum shop.

Some very cute stationary.

How wonderful are these post cards? I'm going to frame them.

The museum only allows 200 guests per day, and if you are a tourist, you must purchase your ticket before you arrive in your home country. In Australia, you can purchase your tickets from JTB over the internet. Also, ensure you buy your tickets several months in advance, as it is extremely popular. And, you must bring your passport along to verify your identity. Do not miss this museum if you travel to Tokyo. You will leave with an uplifted attitude and a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart ! And happily, the souvenir shop accepts credit cards, which is just as well because I don't think anyone could leave without a big bag full of goodies. Highly recommended, even if you don't have children. Ghilbli Museum is sure to enchant you.

A card featuring a stained glass window of Totoro. And, who doesn't just love Totoro?


  1. Nice post including usefull tips to help the future visitor of the museum (which means me !)
    Taking pictures of the surroundings and transportation is always a good idea

    Would like to visit it also !

  2. Have a look at the website as it tells you how to get there from central Tokyo, operating hours etc.

  3. I love studio Ghibli ... the merchandise are so kawaii ..!!

  4. thks for the heads up!!! i must try to get myself in there!! :))))

  5. The park of Totoro..... *bliss*