Fan of My Neighbor Totoro and Hayao Miyazaki’s anime? Want to visit Totoro and board the Catbus during your next trip to Tokyo? Find out how to visit the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo and where to buy tickets in your home country!
What is the Ghibli Museum?
Hayao Miyazaki is one of the master of Japanese animations, with well known movies such as Spirited Away, Howi’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, The Wind Rises, and of course, everyone’s favourite, My Neighbor Totoro.
Ghibli Musuem is a magical exhibitions dedicated for Hayao Miyazaki’s animations. Located in Mitaka, Tokyo, it is only about 20 mins from Shinjuku. The museum is named after Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli, and combines a children’s museum, technology museum, and a fine arts museum, into a magnificent display of Miyazaki’s works and creations.
Buying Tickets for Ghibli Museum
Due to its popularity, the toughest part of visiting the Ghibli Museum is probably getting tickets, especially during peak seasons (Summer or Cherry Blossom seasons).
The ticket itself is also a collector’s item as it feature film strip from Studio Ghibli’s animations!
Below are the price as of December 2016. It is 1,000 yen for Adult/University students, 700yen for high school students, 400yen for primary school students, and 100yen for child.
There are two ways to get tickets:
1. Buying in your home country (Recommended)
Ghibli Museum allocates tickets JTB Group sells tickets for oversea visitors and this is probably the easiest way to get the tickets! The tickets go on sale 3 months in advance (for example, September tickets will be on sale in June).
On top of the ticket price translated to your home currency, the JTB office usually charges an additional transaction fee ($5 in Canada). However it is definitely worth to pay in order to secure the tickets!
Also good thing is that the oversea tickets only has specific date but not the time, so you can visit anytime you want!
Link to find your local JTB office: http://www.jtbgmt.com/eng/ghibli/TicketSystem.html#Regions
2. Buying through Lawson in Japan
So what happen if you cannot buy Ghibli Museum tickets through JTB? Don’t worry, there is one more way, that is buying through Lawson’s online ticket system. (Lawson is a large convenience store chain in Japan)
Lawson tickets go on sale from the tenth of each month for the following month (for example, tickets for July 1 through July 31 go on sale on June 10). Tickets are good only for the specified date and time of entry.
Here is the link to Lawson’s ticket system: https://l-tike.com/st1/ghibli-en/
Getting to Ghibli Museum
Ghibli Museum is located in Mitaka, closest to the Kichijoji or Mitaka Station on the JR Chuo line. You can board the Chuo line from Shinjuku or Akibahara Station in Central Tokyo, which will take around 20 mins from Shinjuku.
After arriving to the Mitaka station, you can either go along the Tamagawa Josui “Waterworks” and walk about 15 mins to arrive at the museum. Alternatively, you can board the ride a short trip on the bus which leaves Mitaka station every 10 mins. The fare is 320 yen for round trip
Instead of Mitaka, you can also to go visit Kichijoji after visiting the Ghibli Museum. It is about 20 mins walk through the Inokashira Park. In Kichijoji you can try the famous fried premium beef meatball from Satou!
What is inside Ghibli Museum
After arriving at the Ghibli Museum, you will find a modern architecture covered by plants, which is modeled after Miyizaki’s animations.
Totoro will greet you at the entrance!
The Black Soots Susuwatari from My Neighbor Totoro is right there too! This museum is full of amazing details from the animations. You should not miss any corner of the museum!
Inside the museum, it is broken down into 6 different exhibits (note that photography is not allowed inside the museum):
- The Space of Wonder – ceiling with fresco painting with Kiki on her broom and other characters hidden inside!
- Central Hall – maze of futuristic stairways and glass dome that will transport you into the world of Miyazaki’s strange buildings
- A boy’s room – Room showing original art work and the production process of Studio Ghibli’s animations
- Saturn Theater – you can watch an original Studio Ghilbi short animation that is only shown in the Ghibli Museum! Check here for the latest screening schedule
- Tri Hawks Reading room – Ghibli Museum’s book shop containing lots of art collection
- CatBus – This is probably the children’s favourite part of the museum, as they can board and play around the CatBus from My Neighbor Totoro! For the adults, unfortunately they cannot board the CatBus as it is too small!
Ghibli museum also has an area for special exhibitions, and until May 2017 they have a giant Catbus exhibit that even the adults can board!
In the terrace of the museum, you can find a serene five-meter-tall Robot Soldier from Laputa Castle in the Sky!
There is also the Ghibli Museum Cafe, where you can find themed food served on Totoro plates and inspired by other animations! Beware that the lineup for the cafe is usually very long, so it will be good to visit early!
Finally there is an official Ghibli Museum gift shop Mamma Aiuto, where you can buy everything from notepads, puzzles, pens, to large Totoros!
Hope this post assist in your visit to find Totoro in Tokyo! In the mean time check out my Instagram – Mizzmok for more lifestyle ideas!