A Trip Down Memory Lane – Studio Ghibli & Miyazaki Hayao

The studio Ghibli is known for its dynamic films that portray three dimensional characters that all overcome an essential problem in their life. The films themselves are timeless portrayals of courageousness, loss, and love. Miyazaki’s films are at once, fascinating and dynamic.

The Ghibli exhibit is located in Inokashira Park in Mitaka, which is a western city of Tokyo. You can’t purchase tickets onsite – all tickets must be purchased before you get to the museum. According to the Ghibli website, you can purchase online from the JTB Group and online Lawson tickets. If you’re in Japan, any Lawson convenience store should have tickets available for purchase.

Entering the Exhibit

Your foot crosses the threshold with ease, but you pause anyway in an attempt to capture the magic all at once. The exhibit has been around since 2001, but you never got the chance to see it. Fast-forward some decades later, there you are, standing just inside the exhibit with a ton of Miyazaki movies under your belt. You can’t believe it. You’re finally here. There’s an inviting life-sized Totoro behind a bar filled with yummy looking pastries. As you enter even further, you’re wowed by the dozens of film posters covering the wall.

Because taking pictures at this point is not allowed, you are forced to live in the moment. The size of the museum is quite small, so you’re constantly aware of other visitors. Even though crowds are usually a hassle, this crowd isn’t. As a matter of fact, you surmise, this sort of experience reinforces everyone else’s positive feelings about the exhibit. In this place, everyone is a fan of Miyazaki, his films, and studio Ghibli.

Additional Information

In addition to features already mentioned, there are the floating ships, the music, and the cat bus. The ships hanging from the ceiling are a wonderful sight. The giant ship made the biggest impression on me. With faint music in the background, the presence of this ship is powerfully evocative. It looks as if it was taken right out of Laputa. The existence of this animated ship and the cat bus further excites a fan’s nostalgia.

Overall, the Ghibli exhibit is a place where all types of people get together and share in the experience of reliving old memories and admiring Miyazaki’s animation and directing skills. From my observations, pleasure is derived from the commonality found among visitors, the many pictures on the walls, and the interactive features, such as the cat bus and the giant ship. These features are an intricate part of the exhibit, as they create lasting impressions.

For specific information such as directions and ticket prices, check out japanwalkersea.com. This is a good resource for people wanting to travel extensively within Japan.


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I'm a self-proclaimed aesthete, an amateur literary critic and a history buff with a BA in Political Science and History from Wesleyan College.

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