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“A must if you like Ghibli”
Review of Ghibli Museum

Ghibli Museum
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$54.86*
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
Vigo, Spain
Level Contributor
65 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“A must if you like Ghibli”
Reviewed June 16, 2013

If you like the works of Ghibli studios you should come and visit it.

Everything in the museum is evocating Miyazaki's work. You also can watch an exclusive short film created for the musem. Also, the exhibition with stroboscopic lights is simply amazing.

Sadly, all the explanations are just in japanese. Because of that, you seem to be missing a part of the museum. Also, the shop seems to be incredibly crowded independently the time that you visit it.

After going out taste a coffe in the straw hat cafe, they also have artworks there.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jimjazz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“must see for fans but a bit overated”
Reviewed June 9, 2013

The place is unique but since I am not a fan and is there because hubby is die hard fan. Places to explore is not sufficient for adult. A bit overrated from a non fan perspective but good experience for children because they get to play with to toro cat bus while adults can't even touch it. It is ashamed that no photos are allowed. To toro merchandise is a bit pricey. Ticket can only be obtained in Lawson outlet and must be bought a few days earlier.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank janicelcl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cyberjaya, Malaysia
Level Contributor
68 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Everything is a MASTERPIECE in Ghibli Museum...even the museum itself!”
Reviewed May 30, 2013

This is my second time in Ghibli Museum (last visited in 2009) and I determined to come back here again and again. There's always not enough time. Am disappointed reading other non-positive reviews here for Ghibli Museum. But I gotta say, after my experience bringing a friend who has less (probably zero) interest in animation, I have to agree that even the greatest creation couldn't bring out the inner child in everyone.

Yes, you don't have to be a child to appreciate this. Even my parents in their mid 50s have watched and enjoyed most of Hayao Miyazaki's creation, even the Grave of the Fireflies (Kleenex recommended). If there are TWO movies that I recommend of watching BEFORE going to Ghibli museum, it would be My Neighbor Totoro and Castle in the Sky. Or maybe Porco Rosso for extra info on the Mamma Aiuto shop. The building, the bus and some of the exhibits are based on these two movies, although there are a lot more from others as well.

Every nook and cranny of this museum tells a specific story from the movies he created - the tap, the floor, the ceiling...everything! Gives you the (extra) chill seeing the giant Laputan robot stood majestically next to vined-covered building. For awhile, you feel like in Laputa. You'll definitely get the story after watching the movie, Castle in the Sky which is one of Miyazaki's earlier animation in the 60s.

After some geeky time in the exhibits, why not grab some fluffy ice-cream cone for the kids and a beer for the big guy for a delicious break? The indoor restaurant will take some time to enter as there will be some queue to enter, but if you have the time, what the heck..

Ghibli tickets cannot be purchased at the entrance but there are a FEW ways to purchase them. I have tried two different methods of purchase (* below) successfully.

1. JTB office (only for selected countries like USA, Australia, Hong Kong)
2. Get a Japanese friend/hotel concierge to purchase
3. If you're in Japan for a longer visit, purchase at LAWSON store at least two weeks in advance. Be a 'brave' traveler and ask the cashier person to help you since the Loppi machine is operated in Japanese. Tell them these two keywords "Ghibli (Japanese pronounced it as Jee-boo-ree) and Hayao Miyazaki, and they'll get you right away.*
4. Or last but effective method is to purchase via Bridge Japan http://www.bridge.jpn.com/services/tickets (an online shopping agent) and get them delivered to your hotel/hostel that you'll be staying. Have tried this with them and it worked beautifully!*

Just like to movie, this place celebrates the child-like glee, to appreciate and respect the surrounding nature (with the complements of Inokashira Park) and so many more. I wish some parents would pass on these wonderful legacy to their kids. Won't you give your inner-child imagination a chance?

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank rozerozeroze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marietta, Georgia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Explore the wonderful world of Miyazaki”
Reviewed May 29, 2013

Hayao Miyazaki is one of the world's best animated film directors, and this museum truly lets one view and explore his imaginative mind beyond what you can find in his films. The last time I had visited Japan, 5 years ago, I wanted to pay a visit to the museum, but was unable to due to scheduling conflicts. So this time around I made sure that I made it there.
I did some research ahead of time, for I had heard from a friend that getting tickets was not all that easy. You cannot actually buy tickets at the museum itself. Instead you have to go across the street to the Lawson's, and buy your tickets there. However, the machine which you can purchase the tickets from does not have an English option. So unless you can read Japanese this is not a viable source for you to buy your tickets. I got my tickets from the Japan Travel Bureau (JTB) ahead of time before my trip, and they were very easy to work with and got the tickets to me rather quickly. When I say tickets though I really mean a ticket voucher, for whether you buy at Lawson's or order ahead time, you are not getting the real passes for entry. Instead you will trade these in for your real tickets once you arrive at the museum.
It's not to hard to get to the museum from Tokyo. You just take the JR Chuo line to Mitaka, and from there you can hop the number 2 bus to the museum. The bus is pretty easy to spot, since they usually are mustard colored and covered with silhouettes of Miyazaki styled characters. After going through a couple of checkpoints, and getting your real ticket (which is a 3 framed recycled film real strip from any one of Miyazaki's movies. These are souvenirs in themselves for if you hold them up to the light you see what scene from which movie the strips of film are from) you are released into the museum itself. From here, as it says in the brochure you are handed upon entering, there is no clear path of which you are to follow around the museum. You are free to wander and find your own way through all of the wonderful rooms, artwork, and exhibits the magical world has to offer.
Take note though that it really doesn't matter on what day that you go, for you can except rather reasonable sized crowd, but this does not spoil the experience. The day I went it was sold out, and it did not hamper my time there. Also note that you cannot take pictures inside the museum, and only are you allowed to snap shots of the building's exterior and of the giant sculpture of the robot from "Castle in the Sky" that resides with the museum's rooftop garden. I did learn from experience as well that they take the no food or drink policy very seriously. I forgot that rule for a brief moment while taking a rest on bench for a minute, when I by impulse took a swig of water. I then received a pretty scary death stare from one of the employees who kept her eyes on me for several minutes, as if I had just touched the Mona Lisa with bare hands.
The museum itself is stunning. All of the windows are stained glass that depict creatures and characters from Miyazaki's films. The exhibits are wonderful and show the true magic of movies and storytelling beyond just Miyazaki. However, do note that the museum is mostly in Japanese and not in English, so don't get your hopes up on being able to read anything beyond the words gift shop and cafe. Since I am a Miyazaki fan and love his work so much, the museum was a fantastic experience that made made me feel as if I were living in one of his films. So if you're not a Miyazaki fan you might not experience the same effect. That being said though, my dad was with me and he has only seen "Howl's Moving Castle", but he still was able to truly enjoy the museum and did feel a sort of spell overtake him as well. There is also a short film that plays in the theatre on the main floor about every 20 minutes. Since this film is also completely in Japanese with no English subtitles I was a little wary upon going to see it, for I feared I would not understand a lick of it. But I though what the heck, at least I get to see another part of the museum, and saw it anyways. I was glad I saw the film though, for you don't need to understand Japanese to understand the film for there is not much speaking in it. I highly recommend seeing the film for just those 20 minutes truly show the wonderful magic beyond Miyazaki's film style and storytelling skills.
As far as food goes you have a couple of options, but not too much. There is the Straw Hat Cafe combined as part of the museum, but it is a little hard to get into. Instead I opted for the ice cream and hot dog stand next to the cafe, where you can get nice bowl of roast pork and rice with a special Miyazaki cold brew for a pretty reasonable price. Getting a seat though is harder than getting the food, so if you see an open table - grab it. If all else fails you can just go back to train station afterwards and grab a sandwich from the Elizabeth II connivence store.
Now on the cherry on top of the ice cream that is one's experience at the Ghibli Museum, the Gift shop. It gets pretty crowded in there, so you either have to float along see what's for sale or you have be a shark and go for it if you are truly looking to buy something. There are many official Studio Ghibli items and souvenirs for sale, and the prices are affordable. Grab a plush of Totoro for your kids, or post card to say been there, but do not miss out on the large sewing cabinet full of pins that you will pass while in line to check out. There is something for everybody.
Overall, the museum is a great place for Miyazaki and non-Miyazaki fans to tap into their creative side, and get lost in a world of wonder and magic that Hayao's films bring to audiences across the globe. Also this a great place for kids as there is giant play room with the beloved Cat Bus from "My Neighbor Totoro" amongst the mystical spells that they will experience upon their visit as well.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Colton H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Add this to your itinerary now”
Reviewed May 29, 2013

We have been to the museum 5 times, each time we have visited Japan. I must admit the last couple of times were mainly to visit the gift shop as you will find Ghibli merchandise exclusive to the museum, but every time there is always something new to see whether it's the rotating exhibition or short films in it's theatre (albeit they are only in Japanese). This is a must for any fan and you will not be disappointed, but be warned that there are allocated tickets for each day and they sell out so make sure you buy your ticket before you leave your country (JTB). There is a "catbus" from Mitaka station (not expensive, 200 yen one way or 300 for roundtrip I think) or you can take a leisurely 10-15 minute stroll. The streets of Mitaka are really quite lovely and there are Ghibli signposts to guide you along the way.

The museum is getting popular each year and I have observed the growing number of people each time I have visited, so if you want to avoid this, I would get in when it opens and try to visit on a weekday. You will see encounter families and school groups nonetheless, but just take your time and enjoy. There is a food onsite, but the cafe is popular and there is always a waiting line. I have never eaten there as I always go back to Mitaka station and eat around the area.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank leenooc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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