Ghibli Museum (三鷹の森ジブリ美術館)

After watching a number of movies by Studio Ghibli, I was curious about the Ghibli Museum and thus asked my Japanese colleagues about it. As they haven’t been there themselves, several of them decided to make this a group outing….haha… (if nobody had initiated this topic, they wouldn’t have thought of going)

Entrance to the Ghibli Museum is strictly by advance purchase of a reserved ticket which specifies the appointed date of the reservation. Tickets for each month up to three months ahead will be sold from the 1st of every month (check the details on the Ghibli Museum website).

If you have difficulty in getting tickets to the Ghibli Museum, JTB can help you with the ticket reservations or suggest a 1-day tour package.

Official Ghibli Museum website

We bought our reserved tickets from one of the LAWSON convenience stores in Japan. You really need to ensure that you buy the tickets on the 1st of the month cos they sell out fast!

There are only 4 entrance timings daily as part of the crowd control measures enforced by the museum.

You will need to arrive at the museum within 30mins from the appointed time, otherwise if you miss the timeslot given, you will not be allowed admission to the museum.

Signpost providing directions to the Ghibli Museum. 可愛いね!

Entrance to the museum.

When you purchase your museum ticket, you are given a paper ticket/voucher to be exchanged for the admission ticket (filmstrip ticket) which is only given upon entrance to the museum.

Each admission ticket contains part of a filmstrip from one of the Ghibli movies – how cool is that?!

You aren’t allowed to take any photos inside the museum, thus the only pictures you can take are of the exterior of the museum and the rooftop.


Ticket booth with Totoro as the ticket collector… (note: this is mock-up of a ticket booth)

Spiral staircase (shaped like a birdcage) leading up to the rooftop.

Another view of the spiral staircase and the rooftop.


You can find the robot from Laputa: Castle In The Sky (天空の城ラピュタ) on the rooftop of the museum.

One of the cubes from Laputa: Castle In The Sky (天空の城ラピュタ).

まっくろくろすけ (makkurokurosuke) – a.k.a. Soot balls. If you are a Ghibli fan, you should know what they are!  とても可愛いね!

You can find the entire place decorated with items related to the various Ghibli films.

Souvenir items from the Mamma Auito gift shop

I bought a set of bookmarks which were made using filmstrips from the various Studio Ghibli movies. However, you won’t know which frames you will get as they are wrapped in brown paper and you can’t peek to see what’s contained inside. This can be a little annoying especially if it’s not from your favourite scene in the movie.

Bookmarks made from filmstrips from Spirited Away (千と千尋の神隠し).

Bookmarks made from filmstrips from Kiki’s Delivery Service (魔女の宅急便).


The storyboards from the Ghibli movies which were on display in the museum were quite interesting to look at.

I think the best display in the museum was the zoetrope. It was so magical to watch the Ghibli character figurines come to life! Too bad they didn’t allow photography or videography inside the museum. However, I can find some videos of this on Youtube – not sure how they managed to secretly film it cos the staff on duty do watch you and stop you if you attempt to use your camera.

Since then, Pixar has borrowed the concept from Ghibli and has created a similar zoetrope but instead featuring the Toy Story characters and you can see this at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Overall, worth a visit if you are familiar with Studio Ghibli’s works and it is also a good place to kill time on a rainy day.

Categories: Anime / Games, Japan, Travel | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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