Japan 2015 | The Ghibli Museum, Mitaka

Friday, 4 March 2016

I am writing this short post 8 months after visiting Japan and it is making me miss it more than anything but I have been meaning to write about my visit to the Ghibli Museum for such a long time, that I thought it was time I finally did it. Being able to visit Japan was such an incredible experience and I really am grateful that I was able to travel to such an amazingly, unique country and I can't wait for the day I am able to go back to where I consider home for me (as well as Disney, of course.) The first Studio Ghibli film I watched was Spirited Away and I admit that I was not a fan of it at first but the more Studio Ghibli films I watched, the more I began to love it. I give my twin brother full credit, as I know that he will want it. I was ridiculously excited to visit the museum because my brother, aunt and uncle had been before and had told me all about it on numerous occasions. It is important to know that you have to buy your tickets online, you cannot turn up at the museum and expect to get in without having a ticket already. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take pictures once you are inside the museum, so I do not have many pictures to show you but there are a few pictures situated on their official website which is linked at the bottom of this post. I agree with the policy of no pictures because it allows you take everything in and appreciate the museum a lot more without worrying about pictures, even though you still get the odd guests that will completely ignore this and take pictures regardless.

This is what they have written on their official website, "The Ghibli Museum is a portal to a storybook world. As the main character in a story, we ask that you experience the Museum space with your own eyes and senses, instead of through a camera's viewfinder. We ask that you make what you experienced in the Museum the special memory that you take home with you." I agree with this, please don't be one of those people that take pictures sneakily, just enjoy the experience!

The hotel we stayed at was in Shinjuku and not too far from the train station, so it was super easy for us to get to the museum. To get to Mitaka station you take the JR Chuo Line, which is approximately 20 minutes from Shinjuku station. I found getting the train in Japan extremely easy, their public transport I find is incredibly straight forward once you get the hang of it. You can get a bus that takes you from the station to the museum but it is only a 15 minute walk, so we decided to walk and I should add that I did get bitten by mosquito's but it was still worth it. If you want a map of the area around the museum, then you can find one here:
Once you arrive at the museum you are greeted by Totoro in a window and some soot sprites, I suggest taking plenty of pictures outside the museum!

The structure, layout and decoration inside the museum is beautiful, it is set out in way that ensures that you do not miss out any room and there is so much to look at so be prepared to be in their for a few hours. The detail that has gone into every nook and crevice is amazing, my favourite room is Hayo Miyazaki's office, you can really see how much detail has gone into creating it and making sure that it looks just like the real thing. One of the best experiences about the museum is how magical it is when you walk in and how much of a surprise it all is, so I don't want to give too much away as to what you should expect. They do have a theater where they show a Ghibli original short animated feature, which you will not be able to watch anywhere else. When you first enter the museum they switch out your actual ticket in exchange for a reservation coupon, these tickets are made of pieces of actual 35mm film prints that were used in the theaters but this will also allow you to watch the short feature, they do stamp it so you are only allowed to enter the theater once. It is in Japanese but in the short I watched it did not involve much talking, it was about a pond skater and water spider I believe, falling in love. Like any Ghibli film the animation was beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed it, I couldn't stop smiling.  Below are pictures of the tickets we got from the museum:
The majority of the exhibitions throughout the museum remain the same but they do change one, I'm not sure how often it is changed but it was different the last time we went to the time my brother went in 2013. There is a room with giant catbus inside but much to my disappointment it is only for children, As you can probably guess, the museum shop was the busiest part and because it is in quite a confined space I found it difficult to get around people. The shop is called "MAMMA AUITO!" and it was named after the sky pirates in Porco Rosso, it means "Mamma, help me" in Italian. I bought a lot of Ghibli merchandise while I was in Japan, I could try and do a blog post on some of it if I gather it all together. I just could not resist especially knowing that it will be much harder for me to obtain it in England. There is a cafe but I didn't eat in there due to only having only just eaten breakfast and the vegetarian options being extremely limited, there are also seats outside if you want to take a break from walking around the museum but beware of the mosquito's buzzing around.
On the roof of the museum is their guardian and protector, the Robot Solider from Laputa Castle in the Sky. 

The Ghibli Museum really is an incredibly, beautiful experience and I feel so lucky that I was able to visit during my time in Tokyo. If you have a trip to Japan planned and you are situated near Mitaka, then I highly recommend booking tickets to the museum, especially if you are a Studio Ghibli fan as you will not regret it. The museum will be closed between 9th May - 15th July 2016 for maintenance and upgrading. For more information on how to book tickets and what else you can find inside the museum, then visit their official website at:
I am planning on doing a post on my top 3 Studio Ghibli films soon, so let me know what yours are in the comments!

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