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.
- 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.
- 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.
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