Ghibli Museum offers rare glimpse inside via virtual tours

For many it’s a first chance to see within the famously secretive animation studio’s museum where photography is banned and tickets are scarce.

6 May 2020


Studio Ghibli’s museum in Mitaka, Tokyo releases tickets for the month ahead and they often sell out within hours. When you arrive, there’s a long queue outside the beautiful building designed by Miyazaki himself, and you can’t take any photos inside, but it’s worth all this for what lies within. From the Totoro zoetrope to the life-size Catbus interior, and the abundance of models and sketches exploring the animation house’s intricate process – including a room dedicated to how it depicts food – it’s heaven for any Ghibli fan.

Until recently, it’s been a treat exclusive to those able to make the trip, but as the museum is currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, it has gradually been allowing the rest of the world inside via video tours.

There are four films so far, filmed by staff. The first focuses on the entrance, so-called the Cake House. Here you can see the detailed wall murals and stained glass windows depicting characters from the films. The second reveals the treasure-filled animation studio recreation, where sketches, paintings, tools and ephemera fill every nook and cranny. The third explores the museum at night, showing the Ghibli-themed stained glass windows and lights in all their glory, and the fourth shows inside the Straw Hat cafe.

While it’s no replacement for actually visiting the museum, there is one huge advantage to a virtual tour – the lack of crowds. Enjoy!

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Jenny Brewer

Jenny oversees our editorial output across work, news and features. She was previously It’s Nice That's news editor. Get in touch with any big creative stories, tips, pitches, news and opinions, or questions about all things editorial.

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