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Fans of Totoro, Ponyo, and all things Studio Ghibli are sure to love the expansive Ghibli Museum in Mitaka City, Tokyo. Officially known as the Mitaka Forest Ghibli Museum, this museum is dedicated to and operated by the world famous Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli. Designed by famed Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki himself, this interactive museum features various exhibitions, exclusive movies, and a first-hand look at the process and designs behind some of their most iconic movies. There are also temporary exhibits and rotating exhibits to coincide with Ghibli Film releases or other special events.
Ever since Studio Ghibli’s first film, Laputa: Castle in the Sky in 1986, the studio has produced numerous films loved around the world. Some classics include: My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Ponyo, Grave of the Fireflies, and Princess Mononoke. The Ghibli Museum features five permanent exhibition rooms and another room dedicated to limited-time exhibits. Each room is dedicated to telling the story of Studio Ghibli and their many popular films. There are early sketches and drafts next to wonderful recreations of locations from Ghibli films. In fact, there's a giant Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro) waiting to greet you at the museum's entrance. Be sure to take a photo with your Japan tour group before heading inside. Other exhibits showcase the individual steps of how the animated films are made, including the sketches, story-boarding, and coloring steps to create these heartwarming films. Just note, you cannot take photos while inside the museum in order to protect the exhibits.
The special exhibitions feature both Ghibli’s own productions as well as works from other studios. In the past, Spirited Away and Castle in the Sky were among some of the Ghibli-original special exhibits. Special exhibitions from other studios that were featured in the Ghibli Museum include Pixar Animation Studios, Goldilocks and The Three Bears based on Leo Tolstoy’s picture book, and the Nutcracker and the Mouse King.
One of the other highlights of the Ghibli Museum is the chance to see one of its short films shown exclusively at the Ghibli Museum, at its small 80 theater only seating 80 people. Although most of these short films are only available in Japanese, the mesmerizing animation itself may be enough to take some time out of your visit to watch the exclusive short film.
Before you take off, make sure to visit the library, art collection room, and gift shop to purchase small collectibles and art works to remember tour trip by. These original goods make great gifts for your Ghibli-loving family and friends.
Tickets to the Ghibli Museum are known to be rather difficult to obtain, especially for those overseas. Guarantee your chance to visit and fulfill your childhood dreams by joining one of our small group Anime Tours for your next trip to Japan. You can also opt for a custom Japan tour to explore the highlights of Japan in addition to the Ghibli Museum for an unrivaled luxury vacation experience.
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