Translated by Shinji Takaramura
Going Back To Childhood - A Visit To The Ghibli Museum, Mitaka
The animation films created by Studio Ghibli have fans all over the world. At the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka city you can experience the magic of the Ghibli animation films.
Written by OsawaKimie
The animation films of Studio Ghibli are adored by everyone, regardless of their age, gender and nationality. What makes them so popular? Could it be the concept which inspires the imagination of the audience? Or the excellent drawing technique? To find out more about Japan's leading animation company, MATCHA visited a special place in Tokyo.
The Ghibli Museum, Mitaka - A Museum In The Heart Of The Forest
Mitaka City is a short train ride away from the Tokyo area. The Ghibli Museum in Mitaka can be reached in a fifteen minute walk along the Tamagawa jōsui aqueduct, an area where you can always feel a cool breeze. The museum is located on the tree-lined grounds of the Inokashira Park. Tickets must be purchased in advance, as the visit requires a reservation. Also, inside the museum cameras are not allowed, so please be careful.
Read also: How to Buy Tickets for the Ghibli Museum
The Ghibli World Beyond the Gate
At the entrance, the visitors are welcomed by Totoro. Before entering the museum, take a look at the mural on the domed ceiling. The hand-drawn painting in gentle colors represents the style of Studio Ghibli.
The ticket handed out at the entrance is a genuine 35 mm film. Hold it up to the light, and you will see a scene from a Ghibli movie. The museum has many similar staging effects.
Let's Wander Around Together!
The theme of the Ghibli Museum is "Let's Wander Around Together". True to this word, there aren't many signs or information boards in the museum, so the visitor decides where to go.
Where shall I go? Everyone ponders over this question, and with expectations rising, they start wandering around. By following one's instincts, visitors are sure to recall how it felt as a child.
The Permanent Exhibition: "The Birth Place Of A Film"
The exhibition entitled "The Birth Place Of A Film" introduces the process of making an animation movie, and consists of five rooms. The room shown in the picture belongs to a boy, who works on the sketches of a movie. The various items in this room, such as pencils and paintbrushes, tin toys and old books, are all "fragments" contributing to the creation of the concept of a movie.
This exhibition should be an eye-opener for the children who wonder how an animation film is made, as it shows the effort put by Studio Ghibli in its works.
A Famous Character Awaiting on the Rooftop
By climbing the spiral staircase from the terrace on the second floor, visitors can reach the rooftop. In this place full of plants awaits none other than the robot from "Laputa: Castle in the Sky". Cameras are allowed here, so go ahead and take photographs.
At the Mugiwarabōshi Café, You Are the Star of a Ghibli Film
If you start to feel hungry after walking around, go to the Mugiwarabōshi Café. "Mugiwarabōshi" means "straw hat". In this lovely café you can take a break while talking about the exhibitions with your companions.
A staple in the menu is "The gourmand's pork cutlet sandwich" priced at 1,100 yen (tax included). The combination of juicy pork, fresh leaf lettuce and fragrant bread makes this a very tasty dish, and its jumbo size is sure to satisfy anyone.
Executive director Hayao Miyazaki opened the museum in 2001, with the intention to create a museum that makes visitors feel enriched when they leave. There are many wonders hidden inside, and if the visitors manage to recall their childhood days while enjoying the visit to this museum, that means they have received the message at the core of Studio Ghibli.
©Museo d’Arte Ghibli