If you are an artist, especially an illustrator or animator, you definitely must visit the Studio Ghibli Museum. It was one of my favorite experiences during my trip. I was not prepared for how much I would love the experience, and I’m glad I wasn’t. They have a strict no photography/video policy inside the museum for good reason. Inside is an experience that should not be ruined by 2D representations. There is so much to see and feel! Well, for the most part… I am sad I could not climb around in the Catbus, but it was just as fun (and a whole lot less embarrassing) to see it from a distance… being enjoyed by others… (ugly crying). You are allowed to take photos of the museum from the outside, so I am able to share them with you!
My Venture in the Rain
I had to take the train from Fujimidai Station to Mitaka Station and decided early on that I’d walk to the museum from Mitaka St. instead of taking a bus. I love walking and I made sure I did a lot while in Japan in order to absorb all it’s surroundings whenever possible. Unfortunately, it started to rain right as I began to walk past the buses and onward towards the museum (about 1 mile away). Seconds later it became rather torrential. All I had was my tiny, fold-away Tangled parasol to protect me; my shoes and legs were getting soaked. So it wasn’t the best day to be out and about, but the rain did make the museum a bit more misty, alive, and magical.
How I Got My Ticket
I was very lucky in my quest to get my ticket; I could have easily ended up ticket-less and crying! Getting a ticket is a bit tricky for foreigners but no way impossible. With me being a US citizen I would have had to head into NYC and visit the JTB Reservation Center to get mine before I went to Japan. However, I am rather stubborn sometimes, and was going to risk just using my basic reading skills to try and buy a ticket myself through the Loppi (HA!). Really glad it wasn’t left up to that stupid decision to get tickets in the end .
I planned my trip so that I would be back in Tokyo on June 1st, and I would buy my ticket then for the 17th. Now this is where the luck comes in. I reserved my Tokyo apartment in February and the owner asked me what I had planned to do while I was there. I mentioned the museum and he offered to get the tickets for me. Initially I didn’t want to be a bother and declined. He later messaged me in May insisting that he buy them as they sell out quickly, and so I finally agreed. When I arrived at the apartment in June he gave me the ticket and I gave him ¥1000! I was so happy! (Do refrain from directly asking your host to do this favor for you, let the offer come from them.) I think about how accommodating, kind and awesome my host was and will be forever grateful for that!
Souvenirs and Lasting Impressions
I tried to avoid the little Studio Ghibli shop they had inside the museum as best as I could. I made the conscious decision to only bring a small amount of cash with me so I didn’t go completely bananas and buy a giant Totoro, thus needing a second plane ticket… or something to that extent. Well, I eventually caved and found a giant cabinet of drawers all filled with lapel pins. (Nooo! My weakness!) So I scrounged up all my yen and narrowed it down to these four adorable pins. It was ok, I didn’t really need to eat lunch. Pins! I think my favorite is the little No-Face, he’s the perfect mix of spooky and cuteness that I love. I’m glad I did decide to visit the store!
I hope I never forget the extraordinary experience I had at the Studio Ghibli Museum. Being able to create stories, characters, and whole worlds in the mind and bring them out into reality is really a wonderful gift. It’s one of my favorite things about being human! I’m glad I was able enter into the Ghibli universe and I am really look forward to visiting again! Maybe next time with family or friends!