Most exciting day of my life.
Studio Ghibli Museum Day!!!
But before we get onto that we started our day exploring Shinjuku further. We went to the Government Met building to see the view over Tokyo. After we went to see Kumano Shrine further up the road where there were two ladies adorned in traditional clothing. We got our stamp books inscribed by a gentleman who had a pet tortoise next to him!
Next we walked through ‘Piss Alley’ and despite its name, is a beautiful passageway with a collection of small bars, yakitori grills and food stalls. It feels like stepping back into ‘Old Japan’ and is definitely worth a visit.
And then… it was time!!!
When we were planning to visit Japan, visiting the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka was number 1 on our list of things to see. We booked it through Viator and met our guide at the Shinjuku Keio Plaza Hotel. There are rules around visiting the museum and unfortunately not being a Japanese citizen, we could not visit the museum until after 4.30pm so we didn’t get as long in the museum as I would have hoped but still, it was an absolutely wonderful dream to visit. The museum itself is designed in the style of the studio’s films, and the level of imagination was phenomenal. From a large cat playroom, and a life-sized robot from ‘Castle in the Sky’, to the beautiful hand painted stain glass windows depicting scenes from the films, you are in for a visual treat. Taking photos inside the actual museum is not allowed, which actually only added to its charm since there wasn’t the usual hoard of selfie/photo takers – everyone was taking it in and having fun around the maze of rooms and enjoying being in the moment. You are able to get photos outside which you can see below. We had a beer and a cake at the Straw Hat Café, I had heard there was a special Valley of the Wind beer bottle which we managed to get thanks to an incredibly lovely waitress and it now takes pride of place in our kitchen. The programme is definitely worth buying too as there are photos of the museum in there and also a beautiful hand drawn map which we had framed for our lounge wall.
We headed back on the bus to the station (which is the cat bus from My Neighbour Totoro!) with our Ghibli goods and gratitude that we were able to see such a wonderful place.