Ghibli museum: A complete guide for Studio Ghibli Fans

24 Dec 2023
12 mins read
Written by Riona lye

Have you heard of the Ghibli Museum? If you’re a fan of Miyazaki Hayao’s Studio Ghibli and their beautiful animations, you’ll definitely want to add this museum to your bucket list. Although it’s often referred to as the Totoro museum in Japan, there’s so much more to see beyond the large welcoming Totoro at the entrance.


Explore everything from Ghibli Museum tickets prices to what awaits you inside; we’ve got all the details covered for you.


So, whether you’re planning a trip to Japan or just curious about this hidden gem, keep reading to find out if the Ghibli Museum is worth your time.

Where is the Studio Ghibli Museum?

Looking for the famous “Totoro Museum in Japan”, look no further. It’s nestled in the charming city of Mitaka, which is a western suburb of Tokyo.

What to do in Ghibli museum?

Sure it may be known as the Totoro museum in Japan but there’s so much more to see and do other than the giant creature. We’ll take you through the unique spots in this blog.

PS: Keep your cameras at bay, though, as photography is strictly prohibited inside.

Find your favourite spot at the central hall

This towering open space will transport you into the magical world of Miyazaki’s films. Can you imagine a better place to spend your day?

Go behind the scenes with “Where a Film is Born”

From sketches and toys to airplane and Pteranodon models hanging from the ceilings, you can see how an idea becomes a reality.

Catch a show in the Saturn Theatre

With only 80 seats, it’s an intimate experience to watch an original animated short from Studio Ghibli that can’t be seen anywhere else. You can check the screening schedule online.

Read books at TRI HAWKS

This special room is filled with books that are recommended by both the museum and Hayao Miyazaki himself. Kids are free to browse through the books and immerse themselves in the world of Miyazaki’s imagination.

Feel the cat bus from Totoro

That adorable feline transportation is waiting on the second floor, and only elementary school children (age 12 and under) are allowed to ride it.

Enjoy four seasons with Robot Soldier

And if you’re feeling adventurous, climb up the spiral staircase to the rooftop garden. There, you’ll be greeted by a five-metre-tall Robot Soldier from “Castle in the Sky”.

Exchange your Ghibli Museum tickets at the space of wonder

Don’t make the mistake of throwing away your Ghibli Museum tickets once you enter the museum. You’ll be missing out on an exciting opportunity to exchange them for another special ticket at the Space of Wonder. You won’t just be getting an ordinary ticket, but one made of actual 35mm film pieces that were used in theatres. Imagine holding it up to the light and seeing which scene from a Ghibli film turned out to be your ticket. It’s like owning a piece of movie magic!

What to eat at Ghibli Museum?

If all that excitement has left your stomach rumbling, we’ve got just the spot for you – Straw Hat Café. Not only does this open-air café provide a relaxing atmosphere, but it’s also located in Inokashira Park, an idyllic spot for nature lovers.


The menu offers homemade breaded pork cutlets, hot dogs, and desserts that are sure to hit the sweet spot after a day of exploring. And with prices ranging from 480 yen to 800 yen for food and 120 yen to 500 yen for drinks, you won’t have to break the bank to enjoy your meal.


Plus, the changing seasons provide a new and beautiful backdrop for your meal every time you visit.

What to buy at Studio Ghibli Museum?

If you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli films, then you won’t want to miss out on a visit to the museum shop “MAMMA AIUTO!” located on the museum grounds. This unique shop not only has products featuring your favourite Ghibli characters, but it also has original museum gift items that you won’t find anywhere else.


The name of the shop is even more special as it’s named after the sky pirates in “Porco Rosso” and translates to “Mama, help me!” in Italian. The Ghibli Museum website does not provide an online catalogue or a price list for available items.


The only way to discover the available items is to visit the museum and gaze through the window displays. And who knows, you might stumble upon something extraordinary that you simply can’t resist bringing home with you.


Just be sure to set a budget beforehand so you don’t go overboard with your souvenir shopping.

How long to spend at Ghibli Museum?

If you are wondering how long to plan for your experience at Ghibli Tokyo, it largely depends on how big a fan you are.


For most visitors, 2 hours at the museum is sufficient. However, if you’re a devotee, you might want to dedicate 4-6 hours to take in all the sights and sounds, including the short film and a visit to the rooftop to see the Laputa robot. Of course, if you plan to dine at the restaurant, be prepared to wait in line or go when they open.


And don’t forget about the gift shop! Although it’s crowded, it’s worth spending some time to grab some souvenirs.

Ghibli Museum tickets

Can’t wait to visit the Studio Ghibli museum? We feel you!


But before you start planning your trip, you’ll need to get your hands on some tickets. Lucky for you, we’ve got all the details on how to snag those coveted tickets so you don’t have to hit the search button for “Ghibli museum tickets”

How much is Ghibli Museum ticket?

You might want to brace yourself for some unique ticket pricing. That’s right – your age range will determine how much you’ll be shelling out for your visit. Studio Ghibli museum tickets range between 100 yen to 1,000 yen. It’s only free for ages three and below.


Ghibli museum tickets– price by age:


  • Age 19 and above: 1,000 yen
  • Age 13 –18: 700 yen
  • Age 7 – 12: 400 yen
  • Age 4 – 6: 100 yen
  • Age 3 and under: Free
How to buy Studio Ghibli museum tickets?

First off, it’s important to note that you cannot purchase Studio Ghibli museum tickets at the museum. All admission must be made through advance reservations only. To do this, head over to the LAWSON TICKET website and purchase tickets online. They release tickets on the 10th of each month for the following month’s shows at 10 a.m. (JST).


Don’t forget that Ghibli museum tickets are only valid for the date and time slot that you’ve booked, and you’ll need to check the museum’s operating hours to ensure you’re booking at the right time.


Here is the step-by-step guide on buying the Studio Ghibli museum tickets:


  1. First, select the month you want to visit.
  2. Then choose your preferred date and entry time.
  3. Don’t forget to enter your personal details before making a payment.
  4. Make your payments via credit card.


It’s worth noting that you can only buy up to six tickets per person. On the day of your visit, make sure to bring a printout of your ‘My Page Details’ with a barcode. The person who made the booking must also present their passport at the Ghibli Museum Tokyo entry window.

What to do near Ghibli Museum?

So, you’ve made it to the Ghibli Museum – congrats! But now what to do around Ghibli museum?


Right next door is Inokashira Park, which is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic. And if you’re a self-proclaimed nerd or otaku, you absolutely must check out Nakano Broadway. It’s chock-full of all kinds of anime and manga goodies, as well as collectables and vintage toys.


But if historical architecture is more your thing, take a trip to Koganei and explore the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum. It’s a bit off the beaten path, but it’s a fascinating look into Japan’s architectural history.


And to end the day, why not wander over to nearby Kichijoji? It’s a charming neighbourhood filled with eclectic shops and cafes. Trust us, you won’t regret exploring this little gem.


The only thing that might slow you down could be your feet, especially if you plan on walking more than 20,000 steps. But don’t worry, the solution is simple: wear your comfiest walking shoes.

Where to eat near Ghibli Museum?

Don’t feel like waiting in line at the Straw Hat Café at the Totoro Museum? No problem. You’ve got options. Just be prepared to take a little stroll.

The Lawson Mitakanomori Store is only a 2-3 minute walk away.


Or, if you’re closer to Inikashira Daini Park, Ino Cinq Cafe is just a 6-minute walk away.


And if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, head over to Kundo Matsumoto Memorial and check out Cade Du Lievre, only a 7-minute walk from there.


Not enough? No worries. You can hop back or start from JR Mikata Station and explore the multitude of options there – Kuruma Mitaka, Monjayaki Restaurant, Cultiver Restaurant, Syokudo and Teishoku Restaurant… The possibilities are endless.

Getting to Studio Ghibli museum

Studio Ghibli museum address: 1-chōme-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-0013, Japan


Studio Ghibli museum opening hours: 10 am – 6 pm. Closed on Tuesday

Studio Ghibli museum from Tokyo

So, you’re in Tokyo and you want to visit the Studio Ghibli museum in Mitaka – great choice! Luckily, if you’re already in Tokyo, your journey will be much easier. Just head over to Shinjuku.

How to get to Ghibli Museum from Shinjuku? Simple!

Once you’re at Shinjuku Station, take the JR Chuo Line – you’ll be at JR Mitaka Station in approximately 20 minutes. From there, it’s just a 15-minute walk to the Totoro Museum’s south exit. If you’re not keen on walking, there’s a community bus that runs from JR Mitaka Station to the museum every 10-20 minutes while it’s open.


You can get your bus tickets from the vending machine by bus stop No.9, and adult fares start from 210 yen for a one-way trip and 320 yen for a round trip. Kids between the ages of 7 and 12 can travel for as little as 110 yen for a one-way trip and 160 yen for a round trip.

What is the difference between the Ghibli Museum and the Ghibli Park?

So, you’re planning a trip to Japan and wondering whether to visit the Ghibli Museum Tokyo or the Ghibli Park, right? It’s a tough call, honestly.


First things first, let’s talk about tickets. Many travellers have mentioned in their Ghibli Museum review how tricky it is to get their hands on passes for the Studio Ghibli Museum. On the flip side, scoring tickets to Ghibli Park seems to be a breeze, which can be a huge relief if you’ve ever wrestled with sold-out museum tickets before.


But wait, there’s more to consider! The Ghibli Park is all about those Instagrammable moments, while the museum offers a peek into the fascinating world of animation creation. So, if you’re all about props and posing with your favourite Ghibli characters, the park could be your jam. Just remember, Ghibli Museum Tokyo isn’t too keen on photography.


One more thing: the park is split into three separate areas, each needing its ticket. This could make it a bit tricky to see everything in one go.


So, if you’re the kind of person who loves behind-the-scenes details and soaking up information, the Ghibli Museum Tokyo might be your top choice. But if you want to create some magical photo memories with Totoro and friends, then the park could be your perfect spot.

Is Ghibli Museum worth going to?

So, we’ve done our homework for Ghibli Museum, sifting through all things remotely connected to Ghibli Museum review.


Just to be clear, we’re not comparing it to the Ghibli Park here – this is all about the museum.


A bunch of people have mentioned that the allure of the museum is heightened due to the scarcity of photos and the challenge of getting a ticket. Overall, most Ghibli museum review suggest that it is still a generic animation museum with similar exhibits and designs.


One thing that kept popping up in the reviews was the issue with crowds at the museum. For many, the throngs of people took away from the experience – You know, it’s tough to fully appreciate a room designed to look like Miyazaki’s studio when you’re being shuffled along in a line.


However, if you have a personal connection to Ghibli films, chances are you’ll enjoy the museum more. People tend to get really pumped about things they loved as kids, right?


Another point that came up frequently was the walk from the station to the museum. Many visitors added this information as part of the Ghibli museum review. They found this journey quite memorable. The neighbourhood is peaceful, quiet, and picturesque – a lovely contrast to the hustle and bustle of Tokyo city.

Before you go…

Now that you have read our Ghibli Museum review, you must be excited to take a trip to Tokyo and immerse yourself in all the Ghibli magic. Well, hold on just a second. Before you go all out in a battle royale for those Ghibli museum tickets, make sure you’ve got the right credit card handy for your ultimate Ghibli shopping spree. Enter Instarem amaze.


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**Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. All details are accurate at the time of publishing. Instarem has no affiliation or relationship with products or vendors mentioned.  

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