Friday, 15 November 2013

Meanwhile in Japan - Totoro and the Ghibli Museum

Meanwhile in Japan...





I've met my neighbour Totoro at the Bus stop in Ikebukuro the other day, and he recommended me to go to the Ghibli Museum Mitaka. He's cool like that, Totoro is.







If you always wanted to know how a perfect fairytale Europe looks like, you should visit Japan. Why? The Ghibli Museum Mitaka is designed with Europe as inspiration (as in many of Miazaki's films), made by a creative mastermind and embodies so many things the fascinating worlds of studio Ghibli stand for. 


Just like Alice in Wonderland you are invited to get lost in the wonderland of animation, art, stories and nature. There are no strict rules on how to venture through the museum, as there isn't one way to look at the marvels inside. There are no time limits (apart from the times of the mini-films) and you can roam the area to your heart's content once you've entered.

Why hello Totoro!


Once inside you will find yourself embraced by a real wonderland of all sorts. Animation techniques and lenses are explained, original sketches and illustrations from Mister Miyazaki are displayed, cute and elegant pieces of art are all across the area. Part Museum, part European house, part play zone, part exploration, part movie theatre, part magical is the Ghibli Museum.

Look closer and you will see the museum's crest


 

Even if you are not an adamant Anime fan, you will still come to enjoy your journey out to elegant Mitaka. If you are one with a love for detail, a soft spot for fairytale and animation, a day out there will be a real experience for you. I always take a whole day off, just so I can take all the sights and details in. Don't rush yourself, there is often much more to see, once you dare to look twice.

And indeed, this cat will remind you maybe of Kiki's delivery service and was just sitting on a tab near the outside restaurant.

If you dare to stop and wonder, you will start to see your surroundings with the eyes of a young explorer again.







Guess what this could be?
A house?
An UFO?
A piece of art?
It's a water fountain for drinking water to stop your thirst during your day out.
These and many other delicate little pices of art,
that are reminiscent of Miazaki's breath and style,
can be found all across the museum.

IF YOU WANT TO GO:

You will need to make a reservation BEFORE going to the Ghibli Museum. Some travel agencies offer help with booking, which might be helpful if you are only there for a week, as you might not be able to get places at short notice. The Ghibli museum is a very popular place to go, so book on the first to avoid disappointment. If you are in Japan for a longer time, you should try and reserve tickets on the first of the month. You can reserve the tickets at LAWSON convenience stores so maybe ask the attendants if they can help you if can't read Japanese.

You are also not allowed to take pictures inside the building, only outside, what explains my choice of pictures.





Dare to look twice, take your time and explore, while finding back to your inner child.
No matter how old you are, it's not too late to believe in fairytales.

The museum's webpage is HERE if you are interested.

 Love
x
Cat