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“If you like animation, please go there.”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Ghibli Museum

Ghibli Museum
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Tokyo Studio Ghibli Museum Afternoon Tour
Ranked #1 of 31 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 older children, Activities for young children
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
52 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“If you like animation, please go there.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2013

Sure, this is Studio Ghibli's museum. If you do not know anything about it, it is the Studio that brought you movies like Spirited Away, Porco Rosso and Castle in the Sky. The work of Hayao Miyazaki. Disney partnered with them and brought all their work to America basically.
That said, for sure it is highly recommended you watch at least the movies I mentioned above before going to the museum as you enjoy it much more.
But regardless, there is a lot of great stuff that relates to animation directly so if you like animation you will have a good time there.

Getting there

Well it was a good ride on the subway/train from Tokyo to Mitaka. Do not remember how long exactly but probably 45 minutes. Once you get to the station you need to go down a level (street level) and walk to the bus platforms/station on the right. You will see one on the corner, almost where a pathway/sidewalk besides a canal starts, with a ticked vending machine. You will also see Studio Ghibli's mascote/logo. Buy the ticket and wait for the bus. Or you can walk (directions on their site).

At the Museum

The place is like a big house with couple floors and also an outside area for everyone to explore. Inside, each room has something going on, something to show and their shop is also pretty cool. The main issue in certain cases is in the rooms there is virtually no English whatsoever. So yes, pretty hard if you cannot read Japanese but it does not mean it is all ruined for us foreigners. There are some pamphlets in English and after all this is about animation so a lot of things you will absorb thanks to the visual aspect.
Worth mentioning a couple things: tickets MUST be purchased in advance, ideally outside Japan. Several places sell them (google is your friend). If in Japan, only a convenience store carries them and you will need to buy there, using their ATM like machines. The ticket has a date/time for your visit.


Overall a great place and great experience, even with tons of content in Japanese only. Would definitely go back. When I went, I was there with my daughter (13) and she had a blast and told me she would come back indeed.

Visited December 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
208 reviews
103 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Very special”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2013

There are a number of bus stops outside Mitaka JR Station and the one for Ghibli Museum is left (walk down the stairs) from the South exit. You pay for the one way tickets when you get onboard but if you prefer the return tickets which give a discount, you need to buy them off the machines located at the bus stop. We arrived for the 10am timing on a Friday morning and there was already an early crowd. If you haven't visited the website, you will need to know that tickets (in advance) can be purchased at any Lawson convenience store in Japan. The museum isn't huge (4 floors) but nicely designed with several small attractions spread around the building and garden. Don't miss the iconic Robot (from Castle in the Sky) on the rooftop. The showcase working office of Hayao Miyazaki is inspiring. The short film (no dialogue) feature was nicely done. We have seen a number of Miyazaki's movies and the visit to the Museum made it very special. The whole family enjoyed it.

Visited January 2013
Thank Gary Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A Ghibli fan's dream”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2013

Anyone who's into Hayao Miyazaki films will probably have a blast here. Someone mentioned that the place is not tourist-friendly, and I'll have to respectfully disagree. The staff speak at least a bit of English and there are information pamphlets in a variety of languages. Yes, much of the text-based attractions are not translated, but that should hardly keep you from enjoying the whole visit. And yes, the museum's exclusive short films are in Japanese as well, but they are easy enough to understand. The decor is beautiful and super Ghibli-stylized, the first floor's permanent exhibit is a real treat for fans of the films, and the second floor offers a really cool peek into Miyazaki's personal studio. The third floor has a playhouse for children, a visiting exhibit, and a very cramped and very exclusively-priced gift shop, but that does not mean you'll want to walk out empty-handed. Slightly above the third floor via a set of spiral stairs is a statue of the robot from Castle in the Sky, and it's a great spot for taking photos. Lastly, there are both a restaurant and a food stand outdoors, and the restaurant will definitely have a waiting line. Two very important things to remember about the Ghibli Museum, though. Firstly, you MUST book your ticket in advance, they are not sold at the door. Secondly, it is by no means a Disney-style theme park. It is, as its name implies, a museum environment, so the experience is of a much more intimate nature, but still extremely fun and heartwarming. Needless to say, the place is full of children, and you might just feel like one during your visit from how magical the Ghibli Museum can be.

Visited January 2013
Thank Diego S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Go FIRST THING in the morning!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2013

We are fans of Ghibli Studio films, and were excited by the prospect of visiting. The details of the interiors of the museum were fantastic, as were many of the displays, especially the moving exhibits on the ground floor. The film they show is in Japanese, but it is easily understood by non-Japanese speakers alike. Many of the exhibits however, are signed only in Japanese, so we definitely missed out on some of the content there. I would recommend the Ghibli Museum to fans, and to anyone with pre-school or early primary school aged children. However, you must remember to pre-book your tickets, which are valid for a specific date only! Despite limiting the number of tickets sold, it was incredibly crowded in sections (had to sit on the floor in aisle of the cinema for instance) and had to back track repeatedly to get a look at some of the exhibits. We were literally crushed by the crowds in some areas. I would recommend arriving at opening time and getting through in the first couple of hours of the day - around lunch time and later was horrendously busy, even on a weekday. There was also a very long queue for the onsite restaurant (although you could get an icecream or a hotdog from an outside kiosk if you were hungry and didn't have an hour or more to sit in the queue!). There are a lot of stairs and narrow walkways here, so I would not recommend bringing a stroller or pram with you.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank kato_80_80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
103 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Ghibli Museum”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 8, 2013

As Ghibli fans, we were excited to visit the museum with our two year old daughter. We booked tickets for the earliest entry time available which ended up being good because within a couple hours the place was packed, and this was on a weekday! The decor was charming, as was the exclusive film we got to watch. Our daughter loved her five minute play session on the Cat Bus, though the thirty minute wait in line tried her patience to the limit. The Straw Hat Cafe had a long wait by the time we made it around to the back of the museum, so we ended up just getting hotdogs from the stand to the side. It was pretty pricy for what you got.

Overall, I don't think we'd make the trip again unless we were with older kids. It was quite a ways out from central Tokyo, and the minimal English translation in the small exhibits made them much less enjoyable for us.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank braybrigade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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