Studio Ghibli Museum – A Complete Guide
Tokyo's Ghibli Museum is a portal into the wonderful world of Hayao Miyazaki's much-loved animation studio. We've got all the info you need to get there and discover it all.
Opened in 2001, the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo’s western district of Mitake has since become one of the city’s best-loved attractions. The brainchild of Hayao Miyazaki, the studio’s founder, the museum is designed as a portal into the world of Ghibli; a fun, whimsical and ever-surprising adventure like no other. The museum is also a memorial to the achievements of the studio and a medium through which to share its unique philosophy.
Come with us for a rundown of everything you need to know about the Ghibli Museum, including how to get your hands on the all important tickets.
Ghibli Museum Overview
Roughly equidistant from Mitake and Kichijoji stations, the Ghibli Museum is situated within the beautifully verdant Inokashira Park, an appropriately serene location for a museum of this kind.
Both the exterior and interior of the museum were personally designed by Hayao Miyazaki, something that becomes abundantly clear upon entering the museum’s grounds. The architecture is unique, with rounded stone, stained glass and surprises around every corner. Find characters from the studio’s films everywhere, most prominently the guardian robots from Castle in the Sky in the rooftop garden.
Inside, each room is uniquely decorated to reflect the famed Ghibli aesthetic. On the first floor, some history, with a walkthrough of the studio from its humble beginnings to the present and an introduction to the animation techniques it so adeptly employs. There is also the opportunity to watch exclusive animations in the museum’s in-house screening room. The second floor plays host to special temporary exhibitions.
Note that, understandably, photography within the museum is prohibited to keep the magic from escaping.
The Ghibli Museum’s special exhibitions are one of its best features. The exhibitions are typically related to a different aspect of the studio’s work, a particular film or animation technique. On occasion, exhibitions will also take a look at non-Ghibli animation, which in the past has included a focus on Wallace and Gromit and Pixar.
The most recent exhibition, marking the 15th anniversary of the museum’s opening, is entitled “All Aboard! The Cat Bus to the Ghibli Forest” and will run until May 2017.
Take a look here for news regarding upcoming exhibitions at the museum.
In addition to the museum’s exhibitions, there are a number of extra facilities you should check out during your time there.
The Straw Hat Cafe
The Straw Hat Cafe is where visitors can pick up some refreshments whilst at the museum. Hot and cold drinks, snacks and desserts are all available from the simple but good quality menu. All ingredients are selected from organic farms and are always fresh. Be sure to check out the chef’s special pork cutlet sandwich and strawberry shortcake.
Tri Hawks, a pun on Mitake (meaning ‘three hawks’), is the museum’s specially designed reading room. Find here books for children and adults selected by Hayao Miyazaki himself and a quiet environment in which to read them.
Mama Aituo is the Ghibli Museum’s shop. Always a big hit with the Ghibli mega-fans, the shop stocks a wide array of exclusive merchandise including art, DVDs, toys and stationary.
Ghibli Museum Tickets
|Over 19 years||1,000 yen|
|13-18 years||700 yen|
|7-12 years||400 yen|
|4-6 years||100 yen|
|Under 4 years||Free|
Be aware, tickets are not available at the museum itself. Tickets must be bought in advance for a particular day and time slot. It is possible to buy tickets before your arrival in Japan or indeed when you get here, though keep in mind that tickets sell out quickly and resale prices can be astronomical.
Ticket are sold online via Lawson Ticket and Ghibli Museum partners. Below find the relevant links for different countries and regions.
Tickets are sold at every Lawson convenience store in Japan via their automated Loppi ticket machines. Find here detailed instructions on how to use Loppi to buy tickets. If this fails, in-store staff will always be happy to assist you in your purchase.
Tickets usually sell out very quickly so it is recommeded you plan ahead and buy your tickets as early as possible.
10:00 – 18:00
Admission Time Slots
When purchasing your tickets you will be asked to choose from one of the following time-slots:
10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00 (ensure you arrive in advance of your time slot)
Every Tuesday (except the first Tuesday of January) and over the New Year Holiday period (usually Dec 29th to Jan 3rd or 4th ).
Museum hours and event dates are subject to change, check the museum calendar for updates.
Map & Access
Take the JR Chuo Line to Mitaka Station. From Shinjuku the journey takes around 20 minutes and costs 220 yen. Take the South Exit and follow the Tamagawa Josui “Waterworks” to the museum.
Alternatively, head to Kichijoji Station from which the museum is a 20-minute walk through Inokashira Park away.
A free shuttle bus runs from Mitaka Station to the Ghibli Museum at regular intervals. Take a look at the timetable below.
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