Saturday, 29 September 2007

ジブリ美術館 Ghibli Museum

ジブリ美術館 Ghibli Museum

This morning Manu and me went together with my cubicle neighbour 片桐さん (Katagiri) to the Studio Ghibli Museum in the city of 三鷹 (Mitaka) in 東京 (Tokyo).
It is about 20 min. away from 新宿 (Shinjuku) with an additional 15 min. walk through the city.

三鷹 Mitaka City

the museum photographed from its highest point

next to the entrance Totoro greets new visitors

Alas we were not allowed to take pictures inside the building, but I have made some from the outside. Already from the outside it looks really cool, totally unlike a normal house or museum. But its true beauty is only revealed, if you dare to cross the step at its entrance. Unlike normal exhibitions and museums it is much modelled like a real house, with real rooms and real furniture. However the style is more like 100-200 years ago at the latest, which makes a really cool atmosphere. Apart from that most things are modelled in a comic like way. For example there was the room of Goldylocks and her three bears, which was of course so gigantic that you felt like a dwarf. You could climb the huge chairs and use the huge spoons to play with the bears meal or look on their huge beds. In the next room, however, these three bears are waiting for you, and they are as big as to use the room without burden. So be careful of what of their belongings to use...

not allowed... but Manu made one none the less ;p

The first room after you enter the room is already pretty impressive. It is solely dedicated to the mystery of how to make pictures move and how cinema works in general. There are many awesome tricks and constellations displayed and you will really feel a breeze of wonder and excitement when browsing through it. The coolest thing of course is that those things are explained to you by Ghibli characters and ideas, which makes everything in this house so wonderful =D

When you enter you also get a wonderful entrance ticket, which is in fact a piece of film from an original Studio Ghibli movie. With that you are allowed to watch a short film in the cinema on the first floor. So we watched the Ghibli short film about the dog トロ (Toro) and were glad when the little dog finally found back to his home again.

On the second floor you can see how the Ghibli artists, especially 駿 宮崎 (Hayao Miyazaki), lived and worked. They really made a wonderful job to make you think you are browsing through their real work places, everything looks totally authentical, they even have provided a large pile of smoked cigarettes, as averyone knows how much of a smoker 駿 is. Apart from that you can see what they ate (of course sweets) and an aweful lot of used pencils and which techniques they used to use almost vanished pencils even further. In this section you may also see a lot of original sketches for all the movies and lots of other cool things.

On the third floot you can find the cool cat bus from となりのトトロ (Totoro) in real size as a stuffed animal. You can really enter it, climb to its top and play with it, given you are under 1 meter tall +(. Alas only children were allowed to enter and play, which was really really cute, because all of them loved it so much. But Manu and I were not allowed to play, nor to take pictures of the bus + children.

Eventually you will take the stairs to the top of the building, where they modelled the castle in the sky. So you will see one of those cool robots and a cube with hyroglyphs on it (see pictures).

from the castle in the sky

When you are done with this true wonderland of a museum, you can enter the book store with children books from all over the world and the merchandising store on the top floor. The latter one really sells some cool stuff, however prices start at 1.000 Yen for postcards and rise up into the heavens.
Mentionable might be that they sell gigantic lolly pops, like you see children with in old children movies.

After you get out, you can also explore the museum's courtyard and well

And the we left this dreamland and everybody agreed how wonderful it was.

Still dreaming


mikan36 said...

wow that looks really great!! i love the pictures. :D i plan on going there this summer and was wondering if you had to get the tickets in advance (or could, for that matter) and how much they were... i guess essentially it doesn't matter since i'm going regardless, but it's nice to know. :) thanks!

Vilwarin said...

Hey mikan!

Yes you are right, you have to book tickets in advance, else they won't let you in.
You can find general Ticket information on the Museum's webpage here:

Or when you are in Japan, just enter the next Lawson Konbini (convenience store) around the corner and ask them to help you to book a ticket with their Loppi machine.

If you want to operate the Lawson Loppi machine yourself, the museum has a nice step by step guide how to do it:

have fun in the musem!
when will you be going exactly? maybe I am still around ^^


mikan36 said...

Ok, cool - thanks for the information! :)

I'll be going to Japan the first week of June with my family - I don't know when we are planning to visit the museum, but I'm really excited about it. I'll make sure to look up the ticket information in advance with the links you've provided me.

Thanks again!

Vilwarin said...

no problem :)
but one last word of advice, you'd better reserve tickets as soon as possible, because the museum is booked out very quickly!

If you have trouble booking from abroad (the first link in my previous comments tells you how to book from abroad), I can help you or even book for you from here.

enjoy Japan! :)