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The secret diary of Ghibli Museum: A rare glimpse into the museum, virtually

The secret diary of Ghibli Museum: A rare glimpse into the museum, virtually

Fans of Studio Ghibli shouldn’t miss out on this exclusive virtual tour of the Ghibli Museum (三鷹の森ジブリ美術館 Mitaka no mori Jiburi Bijutsukan) in Mitaka, Tokyo. While the museum is temporarily closed, the friendly staff over at the museum have started their own YouTube channel for keen visitors all around the world to visit the Ghibli Museum in the comfort of their own homes.


(Image credit: Kristin Lee)


The world of Studio Ghibli was conceived by co-founders Miyazaki Hayao (宮崎 駿), Takahata Isao (高畑 勲), and Suzuki Toshio (鈴木 敏夫). Animated films like "My Neighbour Totoro" (となりのトトロ Tonari no Totoro), "Spirited Away" (千と千尋の神隠し Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi), "Howl’s Moving Castle" (ハウルの動く城 Hauru no Ugoku Shiro), and "Princess Mononoke" (もののけ姫 Mononoke-hime) have captivated audiences of all ages. To showcase the behind-the-scenes, works, and exclusive short films of the animation studio, the Ghibli Museum was opened in October 2001 and has since welcomed visitors from Japan and the rest of the world.


For those of us who have visited the venerable Ghibli Museum, we know that the museum has a strict ticketing system and even stricter no-photography and no-videography policies—which makes the idea of a video journal of the museum so much more exhilarating.


Uploaded weekly, here are some videos that you can find on their YouTube channel: 



As seen above, their first video entry welcomes visitors to the Ghibli Museum itself. The video takes visitors through the exterior and entrance of the museum. Upon “entering”, visitors will notice some of their favorite Ghibli characters on the mural walls. This is where visitors would exchange their reservation coupons for the museum tickets when the museum is operating normally.



The second video features one of the museum’s permanent exhibitions entitled “Where a Film is Born”, where visitors can get a glimpse of what goes behind the scenes in the first few stages of developing an animated film.



In another video entry, visitors are given the rare opportunity to see how the museum looks like behind closed doors at night.



In the most recent upload (just within the hour at the time of writing), the cute Straw Hat Cafe is featured—this is where visitors would typically relax after visiting the exhibits.


The virtual fun doesn’t stop there. Studio Ghibli has also released wallpapers that are free to download if you’re thinking of spicing up your virtual backgrounds for web meetings and conferences amidst this pandemic.


Do you recognize these scenes? (Image credit: Studio Ghibli)


While it is definitely a bummer to not be able to physically visit the museum during these hard times, we can’t wait for more video entries and downloadable content to be uploaded in the upcoming weeks!


For folks who wish to visit the museum once things have settled down, the museum is located in Inokashira Park of Mitaka City in western Tokyo and tickets have to be reserved in advance (strictly no at-the-door purchases allowed). Meanwhile, whether it’s through the museum’s video entries shared on YouTube or through the films available for streaming on Netflix, let’s enjoy the magical world of Ghibli together from a safe distance in 2020.


Header image credit: YouTube / Museo d'Arte Ghibli


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