When we heard there was a Studio Ghibli Museum in Tokyo we decided we had to go. Tickets go on sale the 10th of every month and sell out fast, but we managed to get some thanks to my mom and Candace staying with the girls so I could make a quick trip to Lawson to get our tickets, and to the man working there who helped me with the machine that was entirely in Japanese. Apparently you can book online, but I didn’t want to risk that not working since we only had one shot at it before we moved.
We had the last time slot and it was plenty of time, although if it hadn’t been closing (and we hadn’t been hungry) we might have waited out the line in the gift shop and taken S to play in the Catbus one more time, since she had a blast climbing all over it and then sitting inside it with soot gremlins in her lap and a huge grin on her face.
One of the downsides to the museum is that you can’t take photos inside. I wish I could have captured S’s joy at the Catbus. But other than that I can see why Miyazaki doesn’t want photos inside, since it takes away from the wonder. There truly is a sense of wonder as you wander through the rooms and find all sorts of nooks and crannies with little details among the gorgeous wood trimmings.
You also get to see a short film that only plays at the museum and changes every so often. That was S’s first movie and she loved it and wouldn’t stop talking about it or the Catbus. I was afraid she’d be too young for most of the museum but she really enjoyed it and so did we. There’s no question it’s worth the price (only about $10/adult), and even the trip across Tokyo (though trains cost more than our tickets…).
Here are a few photos of the interior of the museum.
This was probably one of our favorite things in Tokyo and all of Japan. It would be enjoyable even if you aren’t a Ghibli fan, especially if you love animation in general.
I will say, though, that most of the lesser-known Ghibli films are lesser known for a reason. But we love Ponyo, Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, and The Wind Rises. And even when the storyline falls flat in some of the other movies, the animation is always beautiful and enjoyable (and if you want to cry, watch Grave of the Fireflies).