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Exploring "Cool Japan" in Tokyo

Ghibli Museum, Mitaka

photo Cat bus (© Museo d'Arte Ghibli)

Do you like animated films? Many fans of Japanese popular culture love animation. Among Japan's numerous animated films, the world famous Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Howl's Moving Castle were all made by director Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki and his associates created the Ghibli Museum, Mitaka to share the pleasure of animated films with the world.

This place is a bit different from other museums. This is the kind of museum Miyazaki wanted to make: "A museum that is interesting and which relaxes the soul, a museum where much can be discovered, a museum based on a clear and consistent philosophy, a museum where those seeking enjoyment can enjoy, those seeking to ponder can ponder, and those seeking to feel can feel, a museum that makes you feel more enriched when you leave than when you entered!"

photo Visitors are greeted by Totoro (© Museo d'Arte Ghibli)

After passing through the forest in Inokashira Park and being greeted by Totoro, you arrive at a building with two stories and a basement. After opening the door, you step into a room filled from the ceiling to the walls and windows with stained glass and pictures featuring characters from Ghibli films and cute animals. You have stepped into the fantastic world of Ghibli animated films. On the first floor, visitors can see an exhibition on how an animated film is made. You will come to understand the creative process involved in making such a film, including the frustrations and struggles.

photo Robot soldier (© Museo d'Arte Ghibli) photo Saturn Theater (© Museo d'Arte Ghibli)

Waiting on the second floor is the big Cat bus, a character from My Neighbor Totoro. Children under 13 can touch and even ride in the Cat bus. On the roof is a giant statue of a robot soldier that will impress you (the Laputa Robot from Laputa Castle in the Sky ). In the basement is a small movie theater where you can see original short films from Studio Ghibli that are not shown anywhere else. Do you know how movies are shown on screens? In this theater you can see a cinema projectionist playing the film on a large projector in the glass-walled projection room.

By coming to this museum, people who already like animated films will like them even more, and those who do not will be compelled to do so.

How to get there

Ghibli Museum, Mitaka
The Ghibli Museum, Mitaka is a 5 minute bus ride from Mitaka Station on the JR Chuo Line


Ghibli Museum, Mitaka
Straw Hat Café
There are many interestingly named foods and drinks here, including the Sunset Cream Soda and the Breaded Pork Cutlet Sandwich for the Hungry Stomach.


Museum Shop "MAMMA AIUTO!"
As you may know, this refers to the pirates with planes in Porco Rosso , as "mamma aiuto" in Italian means, "Help me, Mama." Character goods from many Ghibli films and original museum products can be found here, and it's great fun looking for goods featuring your favorite characters.

Important Note

The Ghibli Museum, Mitaka operates on a reservation-only basis. Please see this website for details of how to obtain tickets: