Some of you who visit Japan might be a “Ghibli Movie” Fan. Ghibli Movies are animation movies made by Hayao Miyazaki’s “Studio Ghibli”. Many of you must have heard of “Spirited Away”, “My Neighbor Totoro” or “Princess Mononoke”. I, as a Japanese, sort of grown up with Ghibli Movie Today I will introduce few places that you definitely should visit if you are a Ghibli movie fan.
1. Ghibli Museum, Mitaka
One of the most famous spot for Ghibli Fans. The museum is located in Mitaka, outside of central Tokyo, which are surrounded by lots of trees and forests, just like as scenes in Ghibli Movies.
The museum itself is designed like a building that pictured in the movies.
Plenty of exhibits are there, both permanent and seasonal. Exhibits are like reproduction of animators’ room and original pictures. Ghibli museum is one of few places to reveal the backside of making animations.
You can also meet famous characters such as life-sized robot from “Castle in the Sky”.
A huge Totoro welcomes you!
You can also meet to the Cat Bus in the museum! If you are with kids, kids can enter in the Cat Bus and play.
A cafe is located inside the museum, and you can enjoy cute Ghibli Movie inspired menus there. Called “Cafe Mugiwaraboushi (means straw hat)”. They serve both hot and cold meals, snacks and desserts. Cafe is mostly crowded, better to expect long waiting line.
Shopping at a museum shop “MAMMA AIUTO!” is also fun.
You MUST buy advanced tickets to enter the museum.
For details, refer to their website: http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/en/ticket-information/
Ghibli Museum Mitaka
Address: 1-1-83 Simorenjaku, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo
Take JR Chuo Line to Mitaka Station. It’s approx. 20min from Shinjuku station.
Then walk approx. 15min or take a community bus. Look official website for details.
2. How about a little break with Totoro-shaped cream puff?
Take a 30min travel by community bus, or by taxi, you can find the cutest cream puff ever near Setagaya. The place is called “Shirohige’s Cream Puff Factory” (白髭（しろひげ）のシュークリーム工房 ).
“Shirohige’s Cream Puff Factory” is officially proved by Ghibli as the production of Totoro cream puff. Cream inside has 3-4 kinds, flavors depending on which season you visit. If you visit in summer, you can have matcha cream version.
There are also a cafe space upstairs, perfect for taking a rest for a while.
3. Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
Located in Koganei, east side of Tokyo, there is a open air museum to show historical architectures. It takes approx. 30 min by Chuo line from Shinjuku.
The architecture there is told to be the model of buildings appear in “Spirited Away”.
This is “Kodakara-Yu”, a historical public bath.
Model of the place where boiler geezer “Kama-Jii” is working.
There are approx. 30 historical buildings reserved as exhibition.
Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum
Address: 3-7-1 Sakuramachi, Koganei-shi, Tokyo (Inside Koganei Park)
Take JR Chuo Line to Musashi Koganei Station. It’s approx. 30min from Shinjuku station. Then take the bus for Mitaka Station at platform No.4 near the north exit of Musashi-Koganei Station. Then get off at Edo-Tokyo Tatemono-en mae and walk for 3 min.
Please refer to website for the latest information.
4. Survenir shopping experience surrounded by Ghibli Characters!
Do you know “Donguri Republic”?
The store has tremendous variety of Ghibli character goods. You can get dolls, stationaries, figures, kitchen supplies, post cards, etc.
There are few shops in Tokyo. If you are coming from Mitaka, Koganei area, the store in Tokyo station is easy to access. Take the train Chuo-line and get off at Tokyo station. There is a shopping mall underground on Yaesu side of Tokyo station. For other shops, refer to their website.
How about a one day trip to Ghibli world?