Fangirling at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo
It’s safe to say that I think the world has seen the extent of my passion for Ghibli/Miyazaki films with my post on Female Stereotype Reversal in Miyazaki’s Films. But what drew me to Ghibli films in the first place? Growing up, my mom would put on My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro) in Japanese for me to watch, and I loved it even though I had no clue what they were saying. I’ve since watched more of the Studio Ghibli films and force my friends to watch them too! It naturally made sense to visit the Ghibli Museum when I visited Tokyo. It was the pinnacle of my Ghibli fan experience and affirmed why I was drawn to the Ghibli films and why I keep going back to them.
I seriously was as giddy as a schoolgirl the day I got to go to the Ghibli Museum. The museum has the feel of what it would be like to visit a great-aunt – a big house with lots of rooms and character. You never know what small details you’ll find in the most unexpected places. Although pictures were not allowed inside, I made sure to take lots of photos outside and also snuck one while inside the nekobasu/cat bus (albeit a crappy picture).
Inside the museum, you’ll be able to watch short films created by Hayao Miyazaki that are not available on dvd or to the public outside of the museum. They also have rooms dedicated to Miyazaki’s storywriting and filming process, and you’ll get to see why his animation style has set the stage for other animators following him. If you’re interested in Miyazaki’s technical processes of film and animation, I encourage you to read Thomas LaMarre’s book, The Anime Machine: a Media Theory of Animation. My favorite part of the museum was pretending I was really riding the nekobasu like in my childhood dreams of when I watched Totoro. If only it was real…
Outside of the museum is even more amazing. Miyazaki specifically asked for the robot from Laputa Castle in the Sky to be recreated as a statue on the top of the Ghibli Museum. Once again, it shows the carefully crafted details put into the museum. There’s a reason why the Ghibli Museum is my favorite museum in the world. Not only is it about my some of my favorite movies, but the curators also put in great care and detail to cater to the fans experience.
The Ghibli Museum is located in the Mitaka district of Tokyo. I’d recommend visiting Kichijoji district’s wonderful nearby lake and then walking over to the museum. Otherwise, the Ghibli Museum website has details on how to get to the museum with the chance to ride a nekobasu (although, it is a real bus). Check out my other article on 5 Weird Places to Visit in Tokyo for more ideas for your trip!
As a tourist to Japan, you can either buy the tickets in advance online or buy them at any local Lawson Convenience Store within the country. Just make sure the tickets aren’t sold out on the day you want to go!
1-1-83 Simorenjaku, Mitaka-shi,