Since 2002, fans from within Japan and abroad have gone to the Ghibli Museum. Captured by the details in the art, the stories, and the music of the films, fans and admirers of Studio Ghibli can’t help but get this museum checked on their list of dreams or goals accomplished. The museum, as many know, brings to life many of its famous characters from films like Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, and more. Screenings, sneak peeks, and other wonderful exhibits are shown inside the building. There are four layers to this building; the basement, the first floor, the second floor, and roof top. The museum does not allow visitors to photograph or take video recordings of any sort inside the building.
For most, it is not just a museum that visitors or fans come to enter; it is a place that makes their favorite characters and stories tangible and present in the real world. The little designs and subtle decorations like the artistic ceiling design and post clocks pay homage to the films visitors might have seen. Hayao Miyazaki, the Ghibli the film director and producer, helped design the building so it is not hard to see his involvement in the museum. There is also a special short film that is only shown at the museum. It is about 20 minutes long and is worth taking the time to watch it. You also get a unique ticket that has three cells of film from random Ghibli movie scenes. Another feature of the museum is the “ticketing counter” hosted by a life-size Totoro character at the front of the museum. Although the grinning Totoro is at the window, tickets cannot be purchased on-site.
One of the ways to get to the museum is by getting to Mitaka Station, which is the stop for Ghibli Museum visitors. The station post is also playfully marked by Totoro figure, so there is no way one can miss the stop. Once you exit the ticketing area, head towards the south exit where there are buses available. Those who want to experience a little Ghibli Studios before the museum should consider taking the Ghibli-inspired yellow bus. The Ghibli bus is not included in the cost of the museum ticket however, Ghibli fans are generally thrilled at the idea of having to ride one of these buses as a preview to their fun. It costs 320 yen for a round trip ticket, which is a discounted compared to the 210 yen for one way.
Obtaining a Ticket
For future visitors, although the tickets are quite easy to afford, the process of obtaining one is not, especially if you live outside of Japan. If you happen to live or be in Japan, you can purchase the Ghibli Museum tickets at one of the many Lawson convenient stores. However, if you have to purchase tickets outside of Japan, it will require you to go through an official third-party affiliate who requires the passport number, passport name, and exact date and times of your planned museum visit. Of course, this is something you can do if the museum has availability for you or your guests. Careful planning including checking when the museum’s general maintenance dates are scheduled will help smooth your ticket purchasing process better. Renovations and new exhibits make it particularly difficult to enter since the line of hopeful and eager visitors continue to pile up before the museum reopens. Before using your ticket, you should probably note that there is a 2-hour time limit on for the museum visitors to shop, admire, see previews, or even use the fun gadgets found in some of the rooms.