When we decided to go to Japan, the first thought wasn’t “when?”, “how much?” or “where?” but “We have to go to the Ghibli Museum!”. Even if the Akihabara district was a let down, the Ghibli museum ended up going beyond our expectations.
As much I’d love to write about the experience, one of the highlights of the experience is the feeling of childlike exploration you get going through the disorganized museum. If you do want to go, I recommend doing as little research as possible. We made our way through the entire place twice, gawking at the smallest details.
If you do want to go to the museum, you’ll need to make reservations ahead of time – up to 3 months. When you show up, you’ll exchange your voucher for a real ticket, granting you access. The ticket itself is a cell from a Ghibli movie – mine was Ponyo eating ramen!
To keep the experience personal, no pictures are allowed inside. The only pictures spots are the roof, where a giant Robot Soldier stands, and the outside cafe. The cafe had one of the best beers we’d tried, as well as some delicious ice cream.
In terms of souvenirs, there aren’t many places that I’ll fork over cash at. The gift shop to the museum features many unique items only available there. I ended up with two shirts, some cookies, a CD, a canvas bag, some movie cells, a museum guidebook, a map, and even more.
Going to the Ghibli museum as an adult felt like going to Disney as a kid. We left on a cloud and floated back to our hotel. The next day we planned to take it easy – exploring Ginza and taking in a kabuki show.