OWL Magazine Korea

Ghibli Museum (Mitaka Forest) in Tokyo, Mitaka

In the western outskirts of Tokyo, approximately an hour away from the city center, you can discover the enchanting Ghibli Museum in Mitaka. This museum showcases exhibits on Ghibli Studio’s works, behind-the-scenes stories of their creations, and pays tribute to the renowned artist Hayao Miyazaki.

As the Ghibli Museum operates on a reservation-only basis, it is crucial to book tickets in advance before your visit. Fortunately, our group had pre-booked tickets online, allowing us to visit and enter at our scheduled time.

Located in the Outskirts of Tokyo, Away from the Bustle of the City

Situated approximately an hour away from Tokyo’s city center, the Ghibli Museum blends seamlessly with nature and harmony, creating a perfect match for the concept of Ghibli works. The nearby “Inokashira Park” adds to the natural and harmonious setting, making it a delightful escape from urban life.

We started our journey from Akihabara and, with a transfer at Ochanomizu Station onto an express train, we reached Mitaka faster than expected. The train ride took about 30 minutes, allowing us to cover the distance swiftly.

No Photography Allowed Inside the Ghibli Museum

Finally, we could step into the much-anticipated interior of the Ghibli Museum. However, one disappointment was the restriction on photography inside the museum. While external photography was permitted, capturing moments inside was not allowed. This limitation seemed to be in place, possibly due to the restricted number of people allowed in at once, encouraging a more efficient viewing experience.

However, there is an exception when you reach the rooftop, where you can freely take photos. Here, you can find characters like the statue of Laputa from “Castle in the Sky,” attracting a crowd of photo enthusiasts.

Animation Theater on the Basement 1 Floor

The Ghibli Museum offers various content for enjoyment throughout its premises. On the basement 1 floor, an animation theater awaits visitors. Upon purchasing an admission ticket, you can watch one short film. The featured film changes monthly, and information on the screening schedule is available on the official website.

Fortunately, we could enjoy a film as soon as we entered. The approximately 12-minute film, almost silent in nature, was easily understandable even for those unfamiliar with Japanese.

Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio on the 2nd Floor

Ascending to the second floor, we encountered an exhibition of Hayao Miyazaki’s studio. This space represents where Miyazaki brought his animated masterpieces to life, showcasing the meticulous process behind globally beloved works.

Gift Shop – Not as Extensive as Expected

Upon completing the tour, we naturally gravitated toward the gift shop. However, the gift shop was not as extensive as anticipated, leaving room for disappointment. The variety of Ghibli-related products and museum souvenirs was limited, and the store’s size was relatively small. Despite the slightly higher prices, we managed to find a unique jigsaw puzzle and frame that seemed exclusive to the Ghibli Museum.

The jigsaw puzzle consisted of 352 pieces, priced around 2,000 yen, and the frame was priced at 3,000 yen. While it exceeded 5,000 yen in total, there was no duty-free benefit.

Café Near the Ghibli Museum

After concluding the museum visit, a café with a distinctive Ghibli atmosphere awaits outside. While not overly spacious, it was adorned in a fairy-tale-like ambiance, attracting a crowd. The café offered simple food items and beverages like coffee.

For those who appreciate Ghibli Studio’s works, a visit to the Ghibli Museum is a must on a Tokyo trip, marking it as a significant destination.

Ghibli Museum Information:

  • Address: 1 Chome-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-0013, Japan
  • Phone: +81 570-055-777
  • Website: Ghibli Museum
  • Operating Hours: 10:00 – 18:00
  • Closed: Every Tuesday