After visiting Hiroshima, we desperately needed a happy jump-start type day to bounce back. Luckily, we had purchased tickets to the Studio Ghibli Museum in Tokyo and took the Shinkansen there two days ago.
Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation studio founded by the famous director Hayao Miyazaki and has produced absolutely wonderful animation for decades. You may be familiar with their most famous works, My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service, as well as newer classics like Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, the latter winning an Academy Award. I have recently been on a kick to see these films and am happy to report I finished my last one on the ride into Tokyo in preparation for our visit.
The museum is located on the outskirts of western Tokyo in a small district named Mitaka. We took a local train out there and arrived early…our advance tickets were for 2:00 PM and we had a few hours to kill. The day was turning into a nice sunny one, so we walked around the park surrounding the Ghibli museum and visited some surrounding shops. It sure doesn’t feel like Tokyo there; it has quite the village feel. Once we were allowed entry, we spent a few hours touring the museum. It’s not laid out like a typical museum, with a set path or anything like that; it’s designed like a big house and people are encouraged to open doors, drawers, and check corners for small hidden gems. There are hand-crank animation kits, fantastic displays of film dioramas and fully working motion picture cameras as well as a life-size Catbus. On the roof, there is a giant robot from one of Miyazaki’s earlier films and a sizable garden. It was a truly wonderful experience and one of the best museums I’ve been to!
Afterwards, we took the train back into Tokyo proper and did some light shopping/browsing in the Shinjuku district. Nikki has been craving sushi, so we visited the basement floor of a large mall that we’d read had a good selection. It was an overwhelming floor of fresh foods and delicacies. If you’ve ever been to Eatzi’s in Dallas, it was like that, only about 15x bigger, and more varied. It was amazing and many tastes were had.
We settled in for the long ride home and took a rest day yesterday. With Thanksgiving on the doorstep, we looked for some turkey but were unsuccessful, as it’s hard to come by here. We made some brief calls early this morning to family and friends wishing them a happy holiday, and wish the same to all of you. We hope your Thanksgiving was a wonderful one!!