Ghibli Museum

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Ghibli Museum
Established October 1, 2001
Location 1-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka
Tokyo 181-0013

Ghibli Museum (三鷹の森ジブリ美術館 Mitaka no Mori Jiburi Bijutsukan?, Mitaka Forest Ghibli Museum) is a museum showcasing the work of the Japanese animation studio Studio Ghibli. It is located in Inokashira Park in Mitaka, a western city of Tokyo, Japan. The museum combines features of a children's museum, technology museum, and a fine arts museum, and is dedicated to the art and technique of animation.


Planning for the museum began in 1998. Construction started in March 2000, and the museum officially opened October 1, 2001.[1] Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki designed the museum himself, using drawn storyboards similar to the ones he creates for his films. The design was influenced by European architecture, such as the hilltop village of Calcata in Italy. Miyazaki's aim was to make the building itself part of the exhibit,[2] and for the museum to be an uplifting and relaxing experience "that makes you feel more enriched when you leave than when you entered".[3]


Permanent exhibitions[edit]

On the bottom floor is an exhibit room showing the history and science of animation, including a three-dimensional zoetrope named "Bouncing Totoro", with models of characters from My Neighbor Totoro (1988).[4] On the first floor is a mock-up of an animation studio. Another exhibit demonstrates the process of creating an animated film, with sketches, storyboarding, keyframing, cleanup, coloring and background painting.

Special exhibitions[edit]

In addition to Ghibli-oriented exhibitions, the museum hosts an area showcasing work from other studios.

Date Exhibit
2001–2002 Spirited Away
2002–2004 Castle in the Sky and Imaginary Flying Machines
2003–2004 Works by the Russian animator Yuri Norstein
2004–2005 Pixar Animation Studios
2005–2006 Heidi, Girl of the Alps
2006–2007 Aardman Studios, primarily focused on their work on Wallace and Gromit.
2007–2008 Goldilocks and The Three Bears (3びきのくま Sanbiki no kuma?), based on a picture book version by Leo Tolstoy.

Panda! Go, Panda!, one of Miyazaki's and Isao Takahata's early, pre-Ghibli films from 1972.[5]

2008–2009 Petit Louvre[6]
2009–2010 Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea[7]
2010–2011 Ghibli Forest Movies — Welcome to Saturn Theater[8]
2011–2012 The View from the Cat Bus[9][10]
2012–2013 The Gift of Illustrations ― A Source of Popular Culture[11][12]
2013–2014 The Lens at Work in The Ghibli Forest[13][14]

Short films[edit]

The Ghibli Museum shows several short films exclusive to the Ghibli museum. The Saturn Theater has windows where automated shades lower and open before and after each showing of its short films. This is because Hayao Miyazaki designed the theater with small children in mind, who could possibly be scared of the closed in theater.[15] The museum shows one of the following Ghibli short-films in the Saturn Theatre:[16]

Each guest to the museum is only permitted to watch the short film once during a single visit.

Other features[edit]

Tri Hawks[edit]

Tri Hawks, opened on February 6, 2002, is a reading room and bookstore.[17]

Mamma Aiuto[edit]

Mamma Aiuto, on the top of the Ghibli Museum, is the souvenir gift shop named after the band of sky pirates in the movie Porco Rosso.[18] Among other items, it sells classic and non-Japanese animation movies under the eponymous Ghibli Museum Library label.

Straw Hat Café[edit]

The Straw Hat Café is the Ghibli Museum's only sit-down restaurant. It was created with the help of a housewife who is a mother of four; Miyazaki wanted the café's food to be "a kind of home cooking". [19]

Catbus Room[edit]

There is a playroom for children age 12 and below with a giant Catbus toy to play in.

Rooftop Garden[edit]

On the museum's roof is a garden with a life-size statue of a robot from the final episode of Lupin III Part II and Castle in the Sky.[3] The Robot Soldier was made by the artist Kunio Shachimaru. The statue is made from bronze and took a year to create.

The keystone from the movie Castle in the Sky can be found here. The keystone, bearing an inscription in Old Persian cuneiform, is a replica of the control room stone found in the floating castle, Laputa, in the movie Castle in the Sky.[20]


  1. ^ Miyazaki, Hayao; Isao Takahata (2009). Starting Point 1979–1996. Viz Media. pp. 446–447. ISBN 978-1-4215-0594-7. 
  2. ^ Isao Takahata, Goro Miyazaki (2005). 宮崎駿とジブリ美術館 (Hayao Miyazaki and Ghibli Museum) (DVD). Japan: BVHE Japan. 
  3. ^ a b This is the Kind of Museum I Want to Make!
  4. ^ Miyazaki & Kitazawa 2006, p. 54.
  5. ^ (Japanese) The official site of Ghibli Museum, Mitaka in Japan Exhibition information
  6. ^ 企画展示『小さなルーヴル美術館』展 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
  7. ^ 企画展示『崖の上のポニョ展』 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2009-05-27. 
  8. ^ 企画展示『ジブリの森のえいが展―土星座へようこそ―』 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2010-05-11. 
  9. ^ "The View from the Cat Bus". Retrieved 2011-12-11. 
  10. ^ 企画展示『ねこバスから見た風景展』. (in Japanese). Retrieved 2011-12-11. 
  11. ^ ""The Gift of Illustrations ― A Source of Popular Culture" Exhibition". Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  12. ^ "新企画展示『挿絵が僕らにくれたもの』展". Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  13. ^ ""The Lens at Work in The Ghibli Forest". Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  14. ^ "新企画展示のお知らせ 「ジブリの森のレンズ展」". Retrieved 2013-06-21. 
  15. ^ Miyazaki & Kitazawa 2006, pp. 192–193.
  16. ^ 映像展示室 土星座 (in Japanese). Retrieved January 7, 2010. 
  17. ^ Miyazaki & Kitazawa 2006, pp. 146, 266.
  18. ^ Miyazaki & Kitazawa 2006, p. 267.
  19. ^ Miyazaki & Kitazawa 2006, p. 201.
  20. ^ Miyazaki & Kitazawa 2006, pp. 123.
  • Miyazaki, Hayao; Kitazawa, Satoko (2006). Ghibli Museum, Mitaka Catalog, Newly Revised and Enlarged Edition. The Tokuma Memorial Cultural Foundation for Animation. ASIN B005VKJA4G. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°41′46.44″N 139°34′13.55″E / 35.6962333°N 139.5704306°E / 35.6962333; 139.5704306