I can’t watch a Studio Ghibli movie without desperately wanting to hop on the next flight to Japan, so when I found out about the Ghibli Museum, set up by Hayao Miyazaki himself, I almost had to be held down.
Miyazaki is the master of Japanese anime and his films are as interwoven into Japanese culture as much as national culture and identity are interwoven into them. If you haven’t heard about Oscar-winning Spirited Away, or childhood-favourite My Neighbour Totoro then get yourself down to your local rental store pronto!
What to expect
I think it’s safe to say, any museum that’s been set up on principles such as these is not going to disappoint:
‘those seeking enjoyment can enjoy, those seeking to ponder can ponder, and those seeking to feel can feel’
‘small children are treated as if they were grown-ups’
‘the building must be put together as if it were a film’
An amazing, adventurous day out for children and adults alike, the museum building is straight out of a Ghibli film, the interactive displays and sets are enchanting and the rooftop installation awe-inspiring.
How to get there
Mitaka is 20 minutes on the JR Chuo Line from Shinjuku Station, free with the Japan Rail Pass. From Mitaka Station the museum is a 20 minute walk, or look out for the Ghibli decorated shuttle bus!
The museum is hugely popular and you must buy tickets in advance. See here for a list of ticket agents in your country.