Friday, January 8, 2016

Ghibli Museum in Mitaka

Ghibli Museum. Such a magical place filled with hidden treasures. If you grew up watching movies from Studio Ghibli and is a fan of its creator Miyazaki Hayao then this place is not unheard to you. I grew up watching a lot of his amazing works during my childhood and some of my personal favourites are My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle and Arrietty. Visiting the museum was a dream come true for me and I was soooo happy wandering around the museum like a little child who was traveling back in time to her childhood life filled with nostalgic memories! I can't quite explain my feelings of visiting the museum in words but my very first visit has been one of the most memorable experience in my life. I only wish to go back and visit again for the 2nd, 3rd or maybe even 4th time in the future. 

The magical bus journey. I felt like an 8 year old kid who was riding the bus for the very time, looking and admiring all the details and pictorial ads on the bus was already enough to immerse me into the world of Ghibli. I was so excited and I couldn't wait to arrive at the museum and see all the unexpected and wonderful things there that awaits for me. o(≧∇≦o)

Every little detail at the museum including the plants and trees that surround the museum, the signs, the wooden stairs, the exterior design of the building, artwork on doors and windows is filled with meanings and exhibit different concept and themes from the movies. The museum is like a magical fantasy house. Every place you go to, there are hidden things to be discovered and new things to be found. Photography inside the museum was strictly not allowed and the only places you could take pictures of is outside of the museum. As Miyazaki Hayao wanted to build a museum where visitors are not focused in viewing the museum through a camera lense. It is a museum where one should actually experience and feel by using their own senses with their eyes and I really like that concept. Because sometimes when we are too busy taking pictures of everything and looking at things through a camera lense, we often miss certain details and the ability to see things in a different angel/perspective that would give us a total different feeling. That is also why I wish to visit the museum again so that I can fully use my senses to experience it and discover things that I have missed and did not see during my first visit. 

This part of the museum with the water fountain reminded me of something that Satsuki and Mei from My Neighbour Totoro would use and the cat on top of the water tap reminded me of Jiji from Kiki's Delivery Service

Straw Hat Cafe! It was a really busy day on the day when I visited the museum. Apparently it was a national holiday that day in Japan and there were SO MANY children at the museum. My friend and I decided to wait in line to eat at the cafe as soon as we arrived at the museum. We got there about close to 11am and so glad that we queued in line early because the wait for a table to eat inside the cafe was about an hour long. My friend got a bit hungry so she went to buy a hot dog to eat at another food place they had close to the cafe while I stayed in line. And while waiting a waiter came out from the cafe to hand out menus to customers so we could know what to order as soon we get in. Apparently the waiter thought I was Japanese so he gave me a Japanese menu, lol.

And then I got a bit hungry waiting too cuz I didn't really have anything for breakfast that day so when my friend came back from buying her hot dog, I asked her to wait in line for me so I could get a hot dog myself. When I came back, my friend told me the waiter came out again and gave her an English and Chinese menu. Omg, thank goodness he did because I cannot read Japanese to know what was on the menu. XD 

The place to buy hot dog and ice cream located on the other side from the Straw Hat Cafe.

So back in line waiting, there was this Japanese girl waiting in front of me who had the CUTEST Totoro backpack ever. It was so soft and fluffy I wanted touch it but I did not want her to think I was some crazy creeper, lol. 

Finally got in the cafe and time to eat! I got a coffee, strawberry shortcake and a parfait. Yum! Cake and ice cream are two things I cannot resist. =P 

This is a film strip that they give you when you enter the museum. It is a free gift that serve as a ticket for the museum. Each one is different as my friend got one that is different from mine. I was hoping to get one that has a scene from one of the movies (as I have seen some online before) but instead I got this random one which doesn't really have anything related to the museum or the movies at all. I was quite disappointed! =( Also there is a theatre inside the museum called Saturn Theatre that shows a mini short movie that is exclusive to the museum only. 

On the upper level at the rooftop garden is where the famous guardian soldier from the movie Laputa/Castle in the Sky. Just a little personal note but Laputa/Castle in the Sky was actually one of the very first Studio Ghibli movies I have watched and coincidentally it was also released on the same year that I was born. So yes, the movie is as old as me! lol. I wasn't really satisfied with my picture and how I looked and you can barely see my face due to the far distance to capture the whole guardian soldier statue. I only had like maybe 30 seconds to take a picture because there were sooooo many people at the museum and everyone wants a photo and you dare not to hold up the line by having a 5 minute photo shoot to get the best picture. (-____-")

I covered up my face because I look so pale and ghostly in the pictures. I blame it on the rain and super gloomy dark lighting. No matter how I try to fix it, my face was just blurry and washed out to begin with and therefore I look like a ghost. I'd rather not scare you off and not want to come back to my blog ever again, lol. I only hope to take better pictures during my next visit to the museum again on a sunny day so my face doesn't look so washed out and ghostly. 

And that marks the end of my journey on my very first visit to the Ghibli Museum. I wish it wasn't raining all day that day or else it would have been perfect to take pictures. How I wish I could go back and visit the museum again and maybe next time not on a busy day with so many people. 

How to get to the Ghibli Museum:

1. From Shinjuku station, take the JR Chuo line and get off at Mitaka station.
2. Take the south exit from Mitaka station and board on the special community bus that says Ghibli Museum, Mitaka and it will drop you off directly at the museum.
3. Alternatively you can also walk to the museum from Mitaka station (which is about a 15 minutes walk) and you will see signs with Totoro and 三鷹の森ジブリ美術館 which will point you in which direction to go and are very easy to spot and follow. 

Official Website:

How to get buy tickets: Tickets to the museum cannot be purchased at the museum and must be reserved in advance. In Japan tickets can be purchased at any Lawson convenience store using a Loppi machine. Tutorial on how to do so here. Buying tickets outside of Japan is also available through ticket purchasing services such as JTB or Bridge Japan. The museum is open everyday from 10am-6pm and is closed every Tuesday and tickets are sold in a quarterly-time slot 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm entrance time. Adult ticket is about 1,000 yen ($10 CAD). 

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