A definite highlight from our trip to Tokyo? The Ghibli Museum. You should go, really.
Now, Spirited Away is one of my absolute favourite movies of all time (it is just so stunning and magical) and the boy and I are somewhat enamored with most of everything Studio Ghibli makes. So this was put on our Things to do in Tokyo list almost immediately.
Now, the tricky part about going to visit the Museum is actually obtaining the tickets. The tickets sell like hotcakes and are typically sold out weeks in advance. For some lucky people, you can actually buy tickets online. Unfortunately for us, we are not those people, so we had to buy them in Tokyo. Now you buy the tickets from a machine at the convenience store, Lawsons… but of course, we had no internet and could not for the life of us find one! But finally, after hilarious attempts at deciphering instructions in Japanese, we found one in Ochanomizu (there’s also one along Omotesando) and by some stroke of luck, managed to get two precious tickets at the last slot on a Monday.
The Museum is at Mitaka Inokashira Park, you take the JR Chuo line from Shinjuku to Mitaka and then, take a nice 15 minute stroll to the park (or if you’re late like we always are, a 7 minute mad dash).
Our first stop? The rooftop garden, landscaped by Miyazaki’s son, has a huge statue of the robot from Laputa.
I wish I had more pictures what’s inside the museum, it’s fascinating and has all these magical details, like a tall narrow iron staircase that brings you up 3 floors and through a door in the wall made for people half our size, stained glass windows with the kodama from Princess Mononoke and a fully functional countertop (like the one Sen’s parents were eating at) complete with dishes and utensils that you could sit at. My favourites included the exhibit showing all the original drawings and concepts behind the films and the exhibit on the bottom floor which housed a Totoro zoetrope. But then again, I’m glad photography isn’t allowed in the museum, it allowed us to be fully immersed in the experience – somehow, everything is more fantastical in our memories.