Matt is a recovering anime geek and I am a fake one. We both love Miyazaki films. Anime became a part of my life when I was 8 years old, living in Japan with my family, and the only kids’ shows on TV were An Pan Man and Dragonball. My 4-year-old brother and I would watch and learn random Japanese phrases. When I met Matt, he was President of the Anime Club at his university. “What a dork,” I thought. And then the memories of my summer in Japan came flooding back, as well as the realization that Tonari no Totoro, one of my favorite films, is anime. The horror! I slowly gave in to the part of myself that likes some anime and in 2003 I went to the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo for the first time (read my story on that here). Matt had gone in 2002. When we finally went to Japan together in February, we went back to the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo together. Fun stuff! Except that adults still can’t play on the neko bus and you aren’t allowed to take pictures inside. I did my best.
Not the Neko Bus, but it does Spirit You Away!
Buying tickets for the museum can be tricky. At any Lawson location you can purchase them through ticket machines. Very confusing, even with some language ability. Your best bet is to bring someone who reads the language or ask a kind shop worker for help.
This website has step by step guidelines:
The only extra step not included in the guide is that you are asked to enter your name in hiragana on the screen following the last one they show. If you know hiragana, just enter your name as best you can (romaji was not an option) and take it to the counter. If you don’t know hiragana, ask a kind shop worker for help.
Tickets are 1000 yen and you have to choose an entrance time (10:00, 12:00, 14:00, or 16:00) and then you can stay as long as you want to. The bus directly to the museum runs from Mitaka station on the Chuo Line very regularly. One way tickets: 200 yen. Round trip: 300 yen.