The good thing about going home after my stint in the Bangkok hospital was being able to sort out our Chinese visas. After a bit of Googling, it seemed like a long old process but it turned out to be rather simple. More simple, almost, then getting tickets to the Ghibli Museum. It’s a good job I did go back as we’d have never known that we needed to order/reserve/pay for our Ghibli tickets long before we arrived in The Land of the Rising Sun. Take note if you’re thinking of Ghibli-ing it.
After our journey out of the city and into the suburbia of Mitaka, we followed the signs to the museum. The entry is staggered throughout the day to ensure an enjoyable experience for all. Then in you go and you get your ticket, which is an amazing start. Each ticket is three cells from a Ghibli film. Having only seen Spirited Away and Ponyo, I didn’t recongise mine – Ashley tells me it’s from Princess Mononoke, one of their most famous– although I did recongise his ticket cells from Ponyo!
The first room is full of awe-inspiring film and animation related displays; including a carousel of solid figures in slightly different positions spinning under a strobe that gives the impression of moving models, a giant robot juxtaposed with projections of moving butterflies, a house with a Ghibli film image behind each door and a model set of Miyazaki and his crew. All of the films and reels were visible as part of each exhibition, which makes you view the film as more of an art form in my opinion.
The rest of the museum is a Wonka-styled, child and big kid friendly building, which you’re encouraged to view as you wish. This includes a replica of an animation studio, a Cat Bus (there’s one that kids can clamber on but also one that adults can walk through) and a roof top garden complete with a giant robot.
It’s a very cool place, but maybe a little small for all the preparation involved in getting tickets. Having said that, perhaps this makes you appreciate what is there all the more. Like I said, I’ve only seen Ponyo and Spirited Away, and it did make me want to watch more Ghibli films, however, if you’re reading this thinking “Who’s Ghibli? What’s Ghibli? When’s Ghibli?” then maybe it’s not worth the preparation involved. On the other hand, anyone from a Ponyo and Spirited Away novice like me to an uber-Ghibli fan like Ashley is bound to enjoy the place.
Sadly there’s no photos allowed inside so this is about as good as it gets on the photo front…