One of the most prolific and prominent animation studios of all time, Studio Ghibli is the brainchild of the famous director, Hayao Miyazaki who has produced a number of critically acclaimed animated feature films – some of which were even nominated and won Academy Awards. With thousands of fans stretched worldwide, Japan now hosts a museum dedicated to the productions of Studio Ghibli and enables such fans to commemorate the films that magnify Studio Ghibli. However, the advance reservation of tickets is mandatory for a visit to this specific museum and buying the tickets is no easy task.
Is The Studio Ghibli Museum Worth Visiting?
Located in Inokashira Park in the western city of Tokyo at Mitaka, this art museum pays homage to the art and design of animation, combining the elements of a children’s museum, technology museum and a fine arts museum. While fans will deem visiting it a necessity, others may question whether the Studio Ghibli museum is really worth a visit. Well, to say the least, this museum memorializes the true beauty of art and animation and not having it on your bucket list would be a list that is half-written. Therefore, if you are in Japan and visiting Tokyo, you should make it a requirement to take a trip down to the Studio Ghibli Museum.
What is Exhibited in the Studio Ghibli Museum?
The first floor of the museum showcases the history and science behind animation. Harboring different models of the characters from My Neighbor Totoro, the first floor is ideally a replica of Studio Ghibli’s animation studio. In a specific room titled ‘Where a Film is Born’, you are taken to witness the work that happens behind the scenes of Studio Ghibli’s greatest animations, as the museum displays the different processes and techniques used in animation, illustration and film making.
The Saturn theatre, which is a mini amphitheatre that can be found at the basement level of the museum, is one built from the design plans of Hayao Miyazaki himself. Keeping in mind of the children who’d be afraid to sit in a dark and closed space, Miyazaki optimised the design to have windows built in around the theatre which would remain open until the showing started. This theatre exhibits exclusive short films such as Koro’s Big Walk, a movie about a puppy which runs away and adventures around his town, The Day I Bought a Star, a film inspired by the art of Naohisa Inoue, The Whale Hunt, a small and lovely film about a few boys who imagine themselves hunting for a whale which turns into their friend.
Besides these displays, the museum also hosts a café, a children’s play area, a rooftop garden and a gift shop for any Studio Ghibli merchandise that you wish to take home.
When to Buy Studio Ghibli Museum Tickets
The tickets for visiting Studio Ghibli’s museum is usually hard to get, especially since they all run out of stock in about 30 to an hour of their release. Therefore, it is ideal to not wait until you visit Japan to actually purchase the tickets for going to the Studio Ghibli museum, but rather have them already booked at the time when you select your itinerary for travelling to Japan.
The tickets for the Studio Ghibli museum can only be bought for specific times, starting from 10 AM and each corresponding in 2 hour intervals, where you can only enter the museum at either 10AM, 12 PM, 2 PM or 4 PM. While the museum is open throughout the week, Tuesdays normally see it closed for visitation.
How to Buy Studio Ghibli Museum Tickets
There are about three ways that you can purchase tickets for entry access to the museum.
The first method of purchase is through an online site, namely I-tike.com by Lawson. Bear in mind that the online release of the tickets is very limited in numbers and therefore, an immediate purchase is required to reserve entry access. The regular price of the tickets is about 9.20 USD through Lawson’s website. However, if you can’t find the tickets from Lawson, you can also scour through Voyagin or Japanican for admission to the museum but the prices might vary and end up being a bit costlier.
Third Party Booking
Another way of purchase can be through travel and booking agencies residing outside of Japan. Through specifically designated offices in certain countries, you can have the ability to physically purchase a secure and avoid the mess of online purchasing. The ticket prices are also sold at their nominal values and therefore, you do not have to pay additional charges either, but let it be known even these travel agencies have limited stock on their tickets and you might not be able to get it when you want.
Loppica E-Ticket Machines
If you’ve forgotten to pre-book a ticket from before your travel to Japan, you might still have a chance to get tickets locally, although the chances of successfully getting them might be slimmer. Lawson convenience stores contain specific e-ticket machines called Loppi which will help you buy tickets at their list price. The convenience of this is that you do not have to worry about missing out from going to the Studio Ghibli Museum but you should consider buying the tickets as quickly as possible before the machine’s stock runs out as well. Note that stock will be quickly run out during weekends and holidays, so purchasing Studio Ghibli Museum tickets during weekdays is ideal.
What to Bring to The Studio Ghibli Museum
As a tourist, you are required to bring your passport for admission to the museum for the purposes of security and national law. The Japanese are rather strict about maintaining their rules so do not forget to come without it. Furthermore, make sure you have your voucher with you as well since that proves you have purchased the tickets to enter the museum. These two documents are a must when you decide to go visit the Studio Ghibli museum, but other than that, make sure you also bring a sense of curiosity and excitement to get the full-fledged learning experience that this museum offers.