A trip to Ghibli Museum, Mitaka, Japan


While living in Japan, I fell in love with animes by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki since my then Japanese boyfriend (promoted to husband a few years later) M, introduced me to the movie Laputa: Castle in the Sky.

When the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan opened in 2001, I was antsy. I’ve seen all the animes so it was just natural reaction. But I was working on my graduation thesis, got a new job right after graduation and relocated away, away from Tokyo, got married, had kid, blah,blah, blah.

I can’t believe it took me seven long years before going. Oh, well.

We were in Tokyo summer of last year and so we went. Tokyo’s hot and humid in the summer by the way, not that I am complaining, having lived in a more hotter place like Dubai but I guess no one can go through any hot weather without whining a bit about it. But what I love there is that there are plenty of greens, natural ones, unlike here in Dubai.

Anyway, it rained in the afternoon when we got to Mitaka so I wasn’t able to take out my camera to take a photo of the museum’s entrance. Our first stop was this robot soldier in the roof top from the movie Laputa: Castle in the Sky (Tenkou no Shiro, Laputa).

Ghibli laputa

It was a popular spot and people were taking turns posing for a photograph.


Pristine hasn’t seen the movie yet and I can’t wait to let her see it, soon. Here we are in front of the robot soldier.


There are several Ghibli-oriented exhibitions inside the museum, Pristine transformed into a little witch riding in her broom stick, taking cue from Kiki’s Delivery Service (Majou no Takkyubin) in this photo.


I think this well is from one of the scenes in the movie My Neighbor Totoro

(Totoro). It was her first time seeing a water pump and of course, she’s got to hold it.


So excited to pump it.


And silly mom of hers wasn’t able to capture the photos with the water gushing out of the pump!


Near the exit, the Totoro sits like a movie ticket attendant.


We had an amazing trip there. It was a small museum but packed with lots of eye candy if you are a Ghibli movie fan.


Pristine was smiling all the way home. I can’t wait to buy the Miyazaki Anime DVD Bundle to show to her all the wonderful animes one by one.

By the way, it was not allowed to take photos inside the museum building with a sign in Japanese, translated as: “Please refrain from taking photos or videos inside the museum building. The Ghibli museum serves as an entrance to the story world. To become the main actors of the story, don’t use the camera but instead see the world with your own eyes and physically experience the atmosphere (exhibits). It is our desire that you keep all the memories (you have here) dearly in your hearts. “

17 thoughts on “A trip to Ghibli Museum, Mitaka, Japan

    • Sometimes it’s hard to get the real context when translated into English but more or less, it meant that. I do translations at work too (among other borish things..)…


  1. Thanks for the amazing pictures. I am a HUGE fan of everything Studio Ghibli and have been dying to go to the museum. Now that I have seen your lovely pictures, I want to go even more.


    • Howl’s Moving Castle was a great anime movie we saw in a movie house! Pristine loved it so much. I like the original voice over of Howl – a Japanese movie start who’s so handsome *giggle*


    • It’s just a pity I couldn’t share what I saw inside since photos were not allowed! But it was beautiful. His original drawings used in the anime movies were on display!

      You try to watch Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away and Kiki’s Delivery Service, they are great too!


    Miyazaki is my FAVORITE director 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
    Eeeeeeeeeek! I want to own all of his movies-Two down, like….20 to go. Lol
    That is a place that I MUST see! Like you don’t even know how excited I am! Like seriously, I’m jumping up and down on the bed yelling, ‘AHHHTHEYHAVEATOTORO…OMGLOOKATTHEROBOT….EEEEEEEEEK!!!!!’
    Let’s just say you made my entire YEAR!


    • OMG Kayla, I got excited just by reading your comment! LOL
      I am happy that you like MIyazaki animes too..yes, you should start seeing it one by one. I am sure you’ll love it!


  3. I read the title and I was going to react like Kayla, but…yeah…I don’t want to yell your other ear off. 😉 Hehee! That is SO COOL! I would love to go there, Studio Ghibli puts out the best films! We have all the Miyazaki movies. The first one I saw was Spirited Away. Then I just went nuts!! I think Howl’s Moving Castle is my second favorite, then Castle in the Sky, then Porco Rosso, then…

    LOL! Kayla’s reaction was too honest! 😀


    • Miyazaki’s animes are just too addicting. We are always wishing for a new one everytime. My first Miyazaki anime was Castle in the sky…a very nice story. I didn’t even feel it was cartoon!

      BTW, did you know that the voice of Howl in the original Japanese version was that of a Japanese actor who’s very handsome. My crush when I was in the university in Japan some years, years back!


  4. I have watched only one anime by Miyazaki.. but I’ve always wanted to visit the museum. Now that I am no longer in Japan, the chance is now very slim… Thanks for sharing 🙂


    • Maybe one day, when you get to go to Japan again. I’ve put off visiting the museum when it opened in 2001, then life got in the way and it took me seven years to finally go!!

      Lesson: if you want to go to a place do it soon, do it now. hee hee


  5. I soo love the place 😀 I’ve been there twice already and planning the third, ticket is hard to get 😀 and I love the way the museum was designed. I want my house to be like that 😀


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