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“Charming, for Ghibli Fans”
Review of Ghibli Museum

Ghibli Museum
Book In Advance
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$55.21*
and up
Tokyo Studio Ghibli Museum Afternoon Tour
Ranked #1 of 32 things to do in Mitaka
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The brainchild of award-winning Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki, this museum includes a theater showing film excerpts, a whimsical children's play zone, a rooftop garden, and exhibits related to his movies, including Spirited Away.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Penang Island, Malaysia
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Charming, for Ghibli Fans”
Reviewed October 24, 2012

The Ghibli Museum is a charming place, though if you're not a fan of the movies or interested in animation, it might be a little dull. Getting tickets is a bit of a hassle as you can't just walk in and gain entry, but if you're a fan, it's quite worth the effort of buying it online or going to a Lawson's to get it beforehand.

THE PROS
- Delightful displays
- The exclusive short film screening
- A fun little souvenir upon entry

There are several rooms made up to look like an animation studio of sorts in a house, and they feature different aspects of the animation process - from the pre-production storyboards to the ink-and-paint section. The displays are delightful to look at, and they had copies of full storyboards of several Ghibli movies in one of the rooms, which you could pick up and flip through.
There's a room on the ground floor dedicated to demonstration of the theory of animation - it has a number of animation displays/machines, such as zoetropes. It's particularly fun for children or for anyone fascinated by the animation process.
Entry to the museum gives you the chance to watch one Ghibli short film in their screening room, the Saturn Theatre. The shorts are exclusive to the museum and have not (to my knowledge) been screened anywhere else nor put into distribution.

Upon entry you also get a delightful little souvenir in the form of three animation cells from a random Ghibli film. I thought this was a particularly nice touch.


THE CONS
- Lack of English signboards
- The crowded rooms

I must admit that as a fan of the Studio Ghibli movies, I was predisposed to like it. But even so, the lack of English in the museum does hamper enjoyment a little bit. The shorts screened have no subtitles and the displays have no English labels. The latter was a problem for me when I walked into the new exhibition room they had, which (at the time) featured lots of illustrations from old European fairytales, with accompanying signboards - all in Japanese. My Japanese friend who came with me explained that the exhibit was meant to explain some of Miyazaki's inspirations. That would have been a great deal more interesting if I had been able to do more than stare at the pictures.

Also, though the entry time is staggered, you can take your own sweet time to wander around the musuem and this means that people do hang around some of the rooms a long time. The rooms aren't large, so it gets pretty crowded and uncomfortable at some parts.

You're not allowed to take photos within the museum, which is sad but totally makes sense given that it can get crowded even without photo-taking.

Visited June 2012
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2 Thank yuinc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“A must visit for Miyazaki fans”
Reviewed October 23, 2012

We bought our tickets in Toronto before we went to Tokyo, the museum was easy to get to from subway, then by a local bus. We were not allowed to take pictures indoors, which was a shame but understandable. The drawings and items on display was fascinating to look at, our daughter absolutely loved climbing up and down the cat bus. The museum also offered a short animation film, which was fun to watch, however it did not have subtitles. We did not eat at the cafe because it was very very busy, the landscaping and sculptures in the museum garden was also delightful -we just wished it wasn't so hot! (it was 33 degrees when we visited).

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank PYPF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derby, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Great value for money”
Reviewed October 22, 2012

You need to book in advance as tickets are limited. Tickets go on sale 3 months in advance. I booked mine through my bus ltd website, they were around £10 each.
The museum is very easy to get to with a special bus running regularly from JR Mitaka station. It is best to get there for opening as it did get really busy and the museum is quite small inside. You get to walk around freely and also there is a short movie on that you get to watch.
I did think it would be for younger children but to be honest it is suitable for any age whether a fan or not. We spent a couple of hours looking around and found it fascinating. The museum really is unique and it has an outdoor area where you can sit and relax.
There is a gift shop but this was quite expensive.
I went with my daughter who is 19 and she loved it. It really is worth a visit and great value for money. You can't take photos indoors.

Visited August 2012
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1 Thank GELLIOTT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Good for those who are fans”
Reviewed October 21, 2012

HOW TO BOOK: In order to visit the museum as a foreigner, you will need to book ahead before you leave the country through a special booking place (just do a web search for it, and it'll come up). I booked through JTB in Australia via email, and my tickets were sent to me. However, you can get specific tickets from vending machines in Lawsons when you are inside the country with a window of time you can enter - however the machines are in Japanese, so you might need some help if you are unfamiliar with the language.

GETTING THERE: It is a little way out of Tokyo (40 mins). There's a bus you can take directly there, but the walk isn't that bad (15-20 mins) and well signed with little Totoro signs. They have luggage storage and lockers on site (we had all our bags with us that day!)

THE MUSEUM: There's not set way to look around, they want you to feel like a child enjoying going from place to place. There's some rooms showing how the animations are made, and a theatre with a 20 minute show which was cute. I wish I was a kid so I could have played in the giant cat bus. Funnily enough, the gift shop was the most packed out place and squeezing room only.

OVERALL: Nice to do the trip there, but those who aren't into the films probably wouldn't understand the appeal. There are some lovely parks around the place so you could make a day of it, if you're in need of some green time.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Lauren C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malaysia
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Pilgrimage (but more) for every Ghibli Studio and Miyazaki fan”
Reviewed October 19, 2012

You wonder why there's no photos? (because no cameras allowed inside), and why the hassle to get tickets (only at Lawson's Loppi machines - no English). Why in 2hour slots?.

I guess its a necessary pilgrimage for every Miyazaki fan, so you either heard or him, loved his works (at least some of it), or you will wonder why you went through the trouble. for the tickets, find a Lawson with less crowd and helpful english speaking worker (surprisingly most foreign workers at Lawson speak better English) because you need their help to find you the options and print the tickets.

Set in picturesque part of Mitaka, The special yellow cat bus brings you through the prettiest route to the studio museum. the bus picks you up at stop No.6 which is at the far end of the range of stops outside the train station. There is a coin operated ticket machine that gives you a round trip ticket discount instead of using the normal bus prepaid cards.

It is not large, but immaculately built to every detail of the storylines in his movies. Stepping in and looking around is a awe inspiring moment itself for fans. The display of original sketches, storyboards, equipment which you can learn the painstaking process of animation. All 4 floors and the 12minute movie can be completed in the 2hour slot before they come with the bell and politely move everyone out for the next group. But you'd wish you had more time to go through every one of those original prints, sketches, storyboards.

The cafe reminds you of Mrs Osono's bakery (KiKi's Delivery Service), with the stairs leading to KiKi's room. food is so-so, but beautifully and thoughtfully presented. For example, the straws they use for your drinks are actual real straws.

The merchandise store has some unique items, like Porco Rosso's model red Savoia S-21 (but at Y900,000???), the cookie sets; but the common items like stuffed toys, tote bags, post cards are all available for the same price (and some larger range) at the outlet at Tokyo Skytree.

The garden and public park around the museum is also a great place to spend some time. Walk along the streets to take it all in.

And if you brought along a stroller, which they made you park at their storage when you enter, remember to pick it up, especially you chose the 4oclock slot which is the last one for the day. Because you exit from the park exit, we walked all the way to the bus stop before realizing we forgot the stroller.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank kitsan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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