Fans of Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli, which produced the films Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and Howl’s Moving Castle, can see the filmmaker’s animated fantasylands brought to life and uncover the secrets behind the movies at the Studio Ghibli Museum in Tokyo.
An admission ticket for the Studio Ghibli Museum—which must be purchased in advance—includes full access to the museum’s two exhibition floors, designed to imitate an animated set. On the first floor, explore the vast collection of art and animation, and learn about the history and culture of animation. Next, check out the special exhibitions and films on the second floor, which feature the work of Miyazaki and other celebrated animated films, such as Toy Story and Wallace and Gromit.
It’s possible to explore the museum on a guided or self-guided tour, but a popular choice is to combine it with other Ghibli-related attractions such as Hotel Gajoen Tokyo and Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architecture Museum.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Tickets are not sold at the museum and must be purchased well in advance.
- Plan at least two hours to take in the museum’s exhibitions.
- The museum has a cafe, rooftop garden, children's play area, and gift shop full of Ghibli merchandise and handmade crafts.
- The museum is accessible for wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The Studio Ghibli Museum is located in Mitaka, around 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) west of downtown Tokyo. The closest subway station is Mitaka on the JR Chuo Line; from there, walk (15 minutes), or catch a bus or taxi to the museum (about a 5-minute journey). Or, get off at Kichijoji station for a 20-minute walk along Inokashira Park.
When to Get There
The museum is open daily, except Tuesday, year-round. With all visits booked in advance, you won’t find yourself having to queue for tickets, but the museum is popular, and tickets can sell out weeks in advance.
Ghibli sights in Tokyo
The quirky animations produced by Studio Ghibli have left their mark all around Tokyo. After visiting the Studio Ghibli Museum and the Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum (which inspired the architecture for Miyazaki's film Spirited Away), head to the Nippon TV headquarters in Shiodome, where a gigantic Ghibli Clock (created by artist Kunio Shachimaru to Hayao Miyazaki’s design) hangs right over the entrance. Another fun destination is Shirohige Cream Puff Factory in Shimokitazawa, where all the baked goods (including the popular Totoro cream puffs) are Ghibli themed and approved by the studio.