Saturday, October 22, 2011

return to Ghibli

The boys have been off school this past week, and with no family travel plans, we've been hitting our favorite spots in and around Tokyo. On the Monday, it was the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka. We've been to this place -- a wonderful homage to Hayao Miyazaki and his studio's animated works -- before, but that was a couple years ago, so it was nice to return for another view of the robot on the roof (a soldier from "Laputo: Castle in the Sky," see pic below). The kids were also happy to climb on the beloved cat bus (after queuing and being briefed by staff on the rules, of course), and throw plush soot sprites at each other. And who can ever get tired of looking at the zoetrope (spinning figures illuminated by strobe light as to appear animated) featuring characters from My Neighbor Totoro.

It's easy to combine a visit to Ghibli with a day out in Kichijoji. We took the Keio Inokashira express train from Shibuya so it took no time at all -- maybe 20 minutes -- and walked down Nanaibashi shopping street, a pleasant pedestrian friendly corridor, though we did not stop in any of the cute shops or cafes but instead bounded straight into Inokashira park.
Immediately, a sign to guide us

Get that chin up over that bar! Many thanks to Russell (straw hat) for getting us the Ghibli tickets. You have to buy them in advance, which you can do at any Lawson's convenient store; you're only admitted at your appointed time -- ours was 2pm -- but can stay until closing; the cost is 1000 yen for an adult, 400 yen per child. For more ticket info, click here.

The first thing you see when you reach the museum from the park side is a giant Totoro in a glass booth.

You have to climb a spiral staircase to reach the roof. A little girl we didn't know watched my friend's kid climb while my 9-year-old posed next to another fellow museum visitor whose boyfriend probably figured, might as well take it, these kids are never gonna get out of the picture!

Taking photographs is prohibited indoors, so it's amazing I was able to snap a sharp one, seeing as it was done on the sly, and with an iPhone, no less. (See Russell's cat bus pic, below, marred by haste and bad lighting. Sorry, R!)

This here cat bus -- a second one, big enough for adults to lounge in (no soot sprites to throw around, though) is part of a special exhibit going on right now. Read more about that on the museum's own website.

All in all a grand day out.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I love Studio Ghibli!