Translated by Takuya Erik Watanabe
The Ghibli Museum In Mitaka - Welcome To The World Of Ghibli!
Written by NakagoSatoshi
Visit the world of Studio Ghibli at the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo! In this article, we introduce the features of the museum dedicated to the studio's works.
Studio Ghibli is a leading animation film studio in Japan that continues to produce dream-like movie settings that everyone wishes was real life.
That wish comes true at the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo (also known as Mitaka no Mori Ghibli Museum). This isn't your ordinary quiet museum. Nor is it a theme park filled with thrilling scream machines. It's an adventure space where visitors can explore to their heart's desire through the Ghibli displays. Children and adults alike can empty their minds and wander into this unique world!
Ghibli Museum - What Is it Like?
Walk about 15 minutes from Mitaka Station, or take the yellow loop bus mentioned here, and you will find a building that fits right in with the forest surroundings of Inokashira Onshi Park. This is the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka.
Hayao Miyazaki is the director, while his son Goro Miyazaki is the designer of the facility.
The museum was built with the wish that visitors will feel just a little bit richer in the heart when leaving.
"The displays will be... not only for the benefit of people who are already fans of Studio Ghibli and not a procession of artwork from past Ghibli films as if it were a museum of the past'"
(from the official website)
This is a quote by Hayao Miyazaki, and true to his words, the Ghibli Museum constantly offers new displays, experiences, and discoveries.
A Fun-Filled Interior
The design of the building itself is very unique. The entrance has fresco paintings of Ghibli characters (which many visitors miss in a hurry to get through the reception). You will also receive a film-design ticket at the entrance with a scene from one of the many Ghibli movies.
Many of the stained glass works within the facility have characters on them, through which light shines in to create a wondrous atmosphere in the afternoon. The central hall is double height and is decorated with a spiral staircase and illusional-like paintings. Your inner child is sure to be awakened when you step inside.
What to See at the Ghibli Museum
The building has one underground floor and two above ground, each with many rooms to explore.
Ugokihajime no Heya (Beginnings of Movement Room)
Here you can experience the principles of animation through displays like the three-dimensional zoetrope "Totoro Pyon Pyon."
The short film "Shinkaron" (Evolution Theory), shown as part of the "Film Guru Guru" (an anime short film series which was shown at the Ghibli Museum from October 1, 2001 through November 17, 2008), was created by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the director of "When Marnie Was There" (summer 2014).
Eiga no Umareru Basho (Place Where Movies are Born)
The process until a film is made is displayed here. It's supposed to be an imaginary animation studio. The atmosphere is the one of a master craftsman's factory.
At the Doseiza Theater, visitors can enjoy original short films that can only be seen here. The works on air change every month. Each film is about 15 minutes, and a film-type ticket from the reception is required to watch.
Neko Bus Room (Cat Bus Room)
Children in elementary school and younger can touch and play with the large cat bus. Adults should hold back the urge to do so.
Studio Ghibli-related books, as well as children's books recommended by Hayao Miyazaki, are on display and available for purchase.
Cafe Mugiwara Boshi (Straw Hat Cafe)
The cafe offers delicious original dishes. You can also order to-go and eat outside.
Mamma Aiuto! is the museum shop that sells original souvenirs. They open 15 minutes after the museum itself opens. This is from the wish that visitors enjoy the world of the museum facility before heading to the shop to find souvenirs from that world.
On the rooftop, you'll find the guardian of the Ghibli Museum: the Robot Soldier. Look closely at its feet and you'll find the coat of arms of a particular movie...! Photos are not allowed inside the facility, so we recommend getting your newest Instagram shot here.
Photo: from Ghibli Museum in Mitaka Official Website
Other than the permanent displays, the museum offers limited time only special exhibitions.
3 Little Things to Look Out For
Today we introduced the Ghibli Museum, Mitaka. What do you think? We hope it was helpful for those wondering what the Ghibli Museum is all about.
Before we say goodbye, let us share three little things you might want to check out when visiting.
First, if you look closely at the flower pot in front of the entrance to the museum, you'll find the bathhouse from Spirited Away: Aburaya. Second, in the Ugokihajime no Heya, you can find hidden little Totoro. Lastly, in the Doseiza theater, of the many clovers on the wall, there are two four-leaf clovers, one on each side.
Even if you've been to the museum before, if you change where you look, there may always be new findings!