Nekobasu (Cat bus) - sooo cute! And somewhat creepy looking
The Ghibli Museum is located just outside of Tokyo in Mitaka. Depending on where you are, it can take a while on the trains to get there but they aren't terribly crowded so they ride is quite comfortable.
Getting the tickets, however, is a different story. If you plan on going to the Ghibli Museum, it's a good idea to book your tickets way in advance. Here's a link to how to buy tickets. We managed to get a friend to book us tickets in Japan but we had to go to a very specific convenience store (Lawson's) to print out and pay for our tickets. It was all a little confusing especially given all the instructions were in Japanese and we needed a Japanese name and phone number. But with much perseverance and a little help from the store clerk, we managed to get our tickets printed out.
Included with the ticket is a free mini screening of some of Ghibli's productions. The one we watched was about Nekobasu and Mei and their little adventure in the sky! It was sooo cute and funny! It was all in Japanese but I think it's very understandable just by watching the interactions between characters. Definite highlight of the museum!
As described by the official Ghibli Museum website, "when you walk along Kichijoji Avenue, in the shade of the tall green trees of Mitaka's Inokashira Park, you come upon a colorful building. Standing in front of a sign that says "Ghibli Museum, Mitaka", a very large Totoro welcomes you at the entrance." For more information on what the museum offers, check out their welcome page.
Lots of stairs everywhere... It was kinda scary climbing up them!
Cute little Japanese girl concentrating on climbing the stairs!
A cute group of friends posing with the statue!
Walking through the garden up above the museum which we got to by climbing the spiral staircase.
Inside the museum
Inside the museum was bright and spacious and for some reason, it reminded me of Disney's Cinderella and the mansion she lived in. With all the windows and bright sunlight shining through, it actually got quite warm inside despite the cool weather outside.
Within the museums, there are rooms that are dedicated to certain things such as the room that showcases how the animations were made.
The shop inside was packed! But you can buy all sorts of cute souvenirs and soft toys. It's always fun to have a little soot ball! They're my favourite character in Ghibli's productions!
The Ghibli museum wasn't quite what I expected but it was one of those things I'm glad I did while in Japan. Oh, the memories of my high school days it brings back.