The Ghibli Museum was the key highlight of our trip. The museum features the works of Miyazaki Hayao’s Studio Ghibli, one of Japan’s most famous animation studios. This is the guy behind My Neigbour Totoro so the museum was a must-see in my books. But getting tickets was a pain. The museum does not sell tickets at its door. Tickets must be purchased in advance for a specific day as there is a limit to the number of visitors each day. If you are in Japan, you can only pick up tickets at Lawsons convenience stores. And if you’re from outside Japan, only JTB outlets in selected countries sell them. JTB Singapore is unfortunately not one of them. I was so desperate for tickets that I was prepared to fly to Hong Kong to get them. My dad thought I was nuts. In the end, thank goodness for the bro-in-law who lives in Melbourne. He got us our tics and had them mailed over.
Was it worth all the effort? You betcha! The museum features permanent exhibits such as the animator’s studio with the rough drafts and storyboards as well as very cool exhibits involving strobe lights. And right on the rooftop is the giant robot from Laputa: Castle in the Sky. While the museum itself was totally delightful, it was the short film Mr Dough and the Egg Princess that took our breath away. The short film is part of a series of animations that Miyazaki produces and screens exclusively at the museum. No photograpy is allowed inside the museum so you will have to visit to experience the magic yourself. But here are some shots from around the museum – little touches that make the Ghibli museum a gem to visit for Miyazaki fans.
Within Mitaka Inokashira Park.
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.
A Community Bus is in operation from Mitaka Station to the Museum.
(Fare: one-way 200 yen / round trip 300 yen – 1/2 price for children under 12 years old) (South Exit / Bus stop #9)
Opening hours: 1000hrs – 1800hrs
** JTB Singapore can help get tickets to the Ghibli Museum but this is provided you book packages with them. I wouldn’t recommend depending on a Lawsons store for tics unless you know where the nearest Lawsons is located. We walked around Shinjuku and Shibuya without spotting a single store.