The Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo will always be one of our favorite dream destinations in Japan. (✿◠‿◠)
Illustrations / Text by Little Miss Paintbrush for JLM
Ghibli Museum by Hayao Miyakazaki is described as a portal to your own story book. And as the main character of your own story, Ghibli Museum ask you to experience it with your senses and not through a camera’s viewfinder. That’s a perfect reason why it is not allowed to take photos inside!
Here are 10 things you might want to know about the magical place:
1. Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki designed the museum himself. ヽ(^。^)丿
2. Photography and video recording are not allowed inside the Museum, for maximum visual experience. Get lost and be inspired. Use the “no-photo taking” rule as a positive sign to immerse yourself in the world of wonder. There are lots of things you can spot if you just open your eyes. Try finding these things: the faucets that are shaped as Jiji (Kiki’s Delivery Service), Makkuro-kurosuke (wandering soots) that are locked through a porthole, stained glass Totoro, a fresco painting at the ceiling, among many others!
3. Aside from the Museum, there are many other Studio Ghibli-related features in the area that one can explore: a cafe (Straw Hat Cafe) where in you could get Ghibli characters collectible flags depending on your order or luck, a rooftop garden where the five-meter-tall Robot Soldier (Laputa Castle in The Sky) is located, a whimsical souvenir shop called Mamma Auto, based from Porco Rosso, and the reading room called “TRI HAWKS”, a pun intended for Mitaka meaning Mi (Three/Tri) and Taka (Hawk/s). Books personally recommended by Hayao Miyazaki himself could be found here.
4. At the top of the Central Hall, you’ll be able to see Totoro’s nekobus (cat bus) playroom. Unfortunately, only children below 12 are allowed to play.
5. The Saturn Theater is a place where visitors can enjoy a short film showing.
6. According to a statement by Hayao Miyazaki-san, he didn’t want to make a museum that “treats its contents as if they were more important than people”, hence the Ghibli Museum was made for the people to enjoy, understand, ponder, and feel.
7. Entrance to the Ghibli Museum is strictly by advance purchase of a reserved ticket. Click here to
Tickets for each month up to three months ahead will be sold from the 1st of every month. For example :
7/1～ July./Aug./Sept./Oct. tickets
8/1～ Aug./Sept./Oct./Nov. tickets
9/1～ Sept./Oct./Nov./Dec. tickets
8. The Museum is almost always closed on Tuesdays, except for special days and occasions.
9. The Museum is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
10. The Ghibli Museum is accessible through a community loop bus from Mitaka Station. Mitaka Station is serviced by the Chūō Line. The museum does not have a parking space for private cars.
How to Go To Ghibli Museum?
From Shinjuku, it’s approximately 20 minutes train ride via JR Chuo Line to Mitaka. Get off at Mitaka South Exit and walk along the Tamagawa Josui Waterworks for about 15 minutes to the museum. You’ll pass by Inokashira park and don’t worry about getting lost, there are a lot of Totoro signs along the way that will tell you how to get there.
Alternatively, you can take the community bus (a yellow, Ghibli characters printed bus) for 210 yen.
When you are close to the museum, you will see Totoro inside a glass window along Kichijoji Avenue.
This is the Kind of Museum I Want to Make!
by Hayao Miyazaki-san
A museum that is interesting and which relaxes the soul
A museum where much can be discovered
A museum based on a clear and consistent philosophy
A museum where those seeking enjoyment can enjoy, those seeking to ponder can ponder, and those seeking to feel can feel
A museum that makes you feel more enriched when you leave than when you entered!
To make such a museum, the building must be…
Put together as if it were a film
Not arrogant, magnificent, flamboyant, or suffocating
Quality space where people can feel at home, especially when it’s not crowded
A building that has a warm feel and touch
A building where the breeze and sunlight can freely flow through
The museum must be run in such a way that…
Small children are treated as if they were grown-ups
The handicapped are accommodated as much as possible
The staff can be confident and proud of their work
Visitors are not controlled with predetermined courses and fixed directions
It is suffused with ideas and new challenges so that the exhibits do not get dusty or old, and that investments are made to realize that goal
The displays will be…
Not only for the benefit of people who are already fans of Studio Ghibli
Not a procession of artwork from past Ghibli films as if it were “a museum of the past”
A place where visitors can enjoy by just looking, can understand the artists’ spirits, and can gain new insights into animation
Original works and pictures will be made to be exhibited at the museum
A project room and an exhibit room will be made, showing movement and life (Original short films will be produced to released in the museum!)
Ghibli’s past films will be probed for understanding at a deeper level
The cafe will be…
An important place for relaxation and enjoyment
A place that doesn’t underestimate the difficulties of running a museum cafe
A good cafe with a style all its own where running a cafe is taken seriously and done right
The museum shop will be…
Well-prepared and well-presented for the sake of the visitors and running the museum
Not a bargain shop that attaches importance only to the amount of sales
A shop that continues to strive to be a better shop
Where original items made only for the museum are found
The museum’s relation to the park is…
Not just about caring for the plants and surrounding greenery but also planning for how things can improve ten years into the future
Seeking a way of being and running the museum so that the surrounding park will become even lusher and better, which will in turn make the museum better as well!
This is what I expect the museum to be, and therefore I will find a way to do it
This is the kind of museum I don’t want to make!
A pretentious museum
An arrogant museum
A museum that treats its contents as if they were more important than people
A museum that displays uninteresting works as if they were significant
Have you ever been to the Ghibli Museum? Please share your experiences with us! ヾ(｡･ω･｡)