View from the rooftop. Inokashira Park behind Ghibli Museum
If you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli/ Hayao Miyazaki movies, you have to visit Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan. Take the train going to Mitaka on the JR Chuo line. I stayed in Ginza and took an hour to get there. When you get to Mitaka, go to the South exit and follow the signs outside the train station, go downstairs, make a right to get to the Mitaka Community Bus Station.
Follow the signs that say "South Exit" or "Ghibli Museum" and it will lead you outside the Mitaka station. Go down the stairs and make a right to get to the Totoro bus stop where you take a 10-15minute Cat bus ride to the museum
You’ll see a Totoro bus stop sign. You can either buy bus tickets near the bus stop for 300yen roundtrip or use a PASMO/Suica card. The Neko/Cat bus operates in 10-20-minute intervals from 7:20am to 8pm. The museum is open from 10am to 6pm and is closed on most Tuesdays. Purchase your museum vouchers in advance as they only allow a certain number of people each day. You can purchase Ghibli museum tickets from JTB (http://www.jtbusa.com/en/other/o-ghibli.asp) for about $19 (ticket price + service charge). Or you can buy tickets at a Loppi machine in Lawson, convenience store in Japan. For instructions on how to use the Loppi machine, go to http://www.lawson.co.jp/ghibli/museum/ticket/english.html. The ticket costs 1000yen/adult.
Just follow the signs
When you find the Cat bus stop, you're at the right place. Just wait for the yellow Cat bus...you won't miss it!
You can use a PASMO/Suica card or a bus ticket to get on the Neko/Cat bus. It operates from 7am to 8pm in 10-20minute intervals.
Inside the Neko bus
It’s a small place but you could be there for hours. Everything in that place is detailed and you’ll be surprised as to what you might see if you take your time to look around.
Ghibli Museum gate
We got there at 9am and the museum doesn't open 'til 10am so I just took pictures
Group pic at Totoro's Reception
This is on the side of Totoro's Reception
The entrance where you can exchange your voucher for tickets
The museum has two souvenir shops: Ghibli Museum Shop and Mamma Aiuto. Ghibli Museum Shop has books, posters and printed materials. Mamma Aiuto has everything – hoodies, shirts, washcloths, tableware, DVD’s, CD’s, figurines, toys, keychains, magnets, framed movie cells, cookies, candies and other souvenirs. They didn’t have a lot of Ponyo souvenirs but they have a lot of Totoro stuff.
Mamma Aiuto souvenir shop
Souvenirs and Ghibli goodies!!!
All that walking and shopping is bound to make you hungry. The Straw Hat Cafe is open from 11am to 6:30pm. They have sandwich, rice dish, soup, desserts from 420-1200yen served on Ghibli plates, bowls and cups. The cafe gets packed from noon onwards and the wait could be about an hour or so. If you’re really hungry and don’t want to wait, to the left of the cafe is a small window where you can get hotdogs and ice cream.
Straw Hat Cafe entrance
If you can't wait an hour to eat at Straw Hat Cafe, there's a hotdog and ice cream shop right next to the cafe.
Straw Hat Cafe
Straw Hat Cafe menu
My lunch: Free-range pork over rice and beans + milk tea
Coffee with the Straw Hat logo
straw hat cafe chocolate parfait
I went home with bags and bags of souvenirs and treats. Books, coffee mug, toys, etc.