It’s no surprise to you that I’m a huge anime fan, and it was one of my main motivations to visit Japan. Japan’s animation has brought something into this world, so magical and so special that I wanted to see the country that makes it. Spirited Away by Studio Ghibli was the first Japanese animation film I watched (the first tv show I watched was Sailor Moon when I was 7!).
I was fourteen years old when my mum had told me she recorded ‘some cool film’ for me on TV. I was captivated and enthralled, I connected with the story on such a personal level I think I actually cried at the ending? This was where my journey began and I sought out more Studio Ghibli films and Japanese animation. Many people go through a similar experience when watching Ghibli and I absolutely love that fact, these films are meant to be shared and cherished.
Sometimes I’m disappointed with the anime community when they dismiss people who have only watched Ghibli or they only love Ghibli. They’re bloody brilliant films and have every right to be at the forefront of people’s hearts. That’s why today’s post is special to me and close to my heart, I want to help you plan your own special day at Studio Ghibli.
In the Anime Lover’s Guide to Studi Ghibli Museum I’ll cover the following:
- Purchasing tickets
- Getting to the museum
- What to do at the museum
- Exclusive souvenirs from the Mamma Aiuto Gift Shop
- Sightseeing in the Mitaka & Kichijoji Area
Purchasing tickets to Studio Ghibli Museum
If visiting Studio Ghibli Museum is essential and a priority on your bucket list then you must pre-purchase your tickets online. The easiest way to do this is through JB Travel, tickets are sold in lots of every 3 months. As we were travelling in April we had to purchase it in January. I was super keen and emailed JBT soon as the clock struck midnight on New Years Eve day to put my order in. Safe to say I landed myself and my partner a ticket. You are looking at paying around $30AUD for each ticket but you’re guaranteed a time and a date of your choosing.
The other ways of purchasing are as follows;
- From a Lawson convenience store in Japan using their Loppi machines
- Online on the Lawson website
- Booking a tour
I don’t recommend these methods because of the following:
- If you’re travelling during peak times e.g. cherry blossom season it’s near to impossible to get a ticket
- If you’re on a tight schedule and have a designated day to visit the museum it will be difficult to secure for the particular day
- You don’t need a tour as the museum has self-guided features and is small enough to do in a few hours – save your cash for Studio Ghibli merchandise!
How To Get To Studio Ghibli Museum
Studio Ghibli Museum is very easy to get to from Tokyo (thank you amazing transport system!) It’s not in the city itself but a suburb out called Mitaka.
Address: 1-1-83 Simorenjaku, Mitaka-shi,
Taking the train:
To get to Mitaka station, take the JR Chuo Line. Approx. 20 min. from Shinjuku station.
From the Mitaka South Exit, approx. 15 min. walk along the Tamagawa Josui “Waterworks” to the museum.
You can walk from the station to the museum, it’s about a 15 to 20-minute walk through the beautiful Mitaka Inokashira Park.
If you don’t feel like walking or are with small children then:
Take a Community Bus from Mitaka Station to the Museum.
Fare: Adult: 210yen(one-way) , 320yen(round-trip)
Child(12 and Under): 110yen(one-way), 160yen(round-trip)
What To Do At Studio Ghibli Museum
- Upon entering the museum ground you will see a big Totoro waiting for you! Don’t miss out taking a happy snap
- Once you’re inside the museum you will get to swap your reservation for a wonderful piece of memorabilia – a slice of a film!
- Take a deep breath of wonder as you explore the inner atrium of the museum – all of this was designed by Miyazaki himself
- One of the first exhibits you will come across is a replica of what its like to be an animator. There is so much attention to detail including character designs and paintings.
- Make sure you don’t miss out on watching an original Ghibli short film played in the cinema on level 1. The film is played every 20 minutes.
- Discover the inspiration behind many Ghibli films in the Reading Room, with portfolios of research, drawings and stories
- On the top level of the museum, you will discover the Cat Bus play area. You might have to wait for a free moment as it’s very popular with kids!
- Take the outdoor staircase upto to the rooftop where you will discover the giant Robot soldier from Laputa Castle in the Sky
- Every 6 months the Ghibli museum hosts a different exhibit – this time its the Taberu exhibit which features all the food from the Studio Ghibli films. This will make your mouth water for sure.
- Feeling hungry? Take a break at the Straw Hat Cafe where you can get cute Ghibli themed food and drinks. Be warned there can be a queue to get in!
Exclusive souvenirs from the Mamma Aiuto Gift Shop
Named after the Sky Pirates in Porco Rosso this gift shop is filled to the brim with the most amazing Ghibli treasures. Make sure you’ve put some money aside to bring home one of these special gifts. When we visited you could get:
- Teapots and teacup sets
- Jewellery – including earrings and necklaces
- Keychain plushies
- Hand towels
- Notepads and pencils
- Bento boxes
- Water bottles
All done at the museum? Sightseeing Guide to the Kichijoji and Mitaka Area
Seeing as you’ve travelled all the way out here why don’t you spend a few hours exploring the local area? Kichijoji has been voted the best neighbourhood in Tokyo 3 times in a row! Here are my recommendations:
- Inokashira Onshi Park (8 min walk from the museum)
- Renjo-ji Temple (20 min walk from the museum)
- Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum (1-hour train from the museum)
- Gessoji Temple (20 min walk from the museum)
- Cate Cafe Temari no Ouchi (17 min walk from the museum)
- Eat the best yakitori at Iseya (13 min walk from the museum)
Are you an anime lover visiting Japan?
- 10 Must Visit Places in Akihabara, Tokyo for Anime Lovers
- The Ultimate Guide to Anime Shopping in Den Den Town, Osaka
- Visiting the Attack on Titan Pop Up Cafe in Tokyo
- Step by Step Guide: How to Make a Reservation at Animate Cafe