5 Things You Should Know Before You Go To Ghibli Museum In Mitaka, Tokyo

Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo is a very popular sight among its movie fans! Here is some useful information to know before you plan on going there!

Ghibli is a world famous Japanese animation studio which has created My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, etc. The movie director Hayao Miyazaki of Ghibli established the museum in 2001 in Mitaka, Tokyo.

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Mr. Miyazaki didn’t want to make the museum into an inventory of Ghibli’s films and its history.

Instead, he created the museum with the hope that all the visitors who come to the museum uses their senses to feel the atmosphere of Ghibli movies. He believes that the experience in the museum will remain with you as a heart-warming, unforgettable experience!

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Ghibli Museum is crowded...ALWAYS! Visitors are not only from Japan, but abroad. Ticket booking is very hard, so let us tell you how to get ticket(s) and 5 things you need to know before going.

1) Ticket Booking Starts 3 Months Before You Plan To Go

Visiting Ghibli Museum is by advance reservation only. There are no walk-up tickets available for this museum. In other words, your entry will run smoothly without being in a long line or encountering any problems. Here are the rules to get tickets to Ghibli Museum:

  • Again, it is by advance reservation ONLY.

  • Ticket(s) for each month up to three months ahead will be sold beginning on the 1st of every month.

  • Entry time is divided in 4’s and they are 10:00-, 12:00-, 14:00-, or 16:00-.

  • Ticket reservations from outside Japan are available at designated local travel agencies.

  1. Is probably the most confusing thing. For example, if you want to get a reservation on 14 May, you can book from 1 February. Of course, better sooner than later! When you decide to visit the museum, run to the local agency and book your ticket! The three-month-advance policy applies to only visitors from the overseas. If you reserve from within Japan, it is available in Lawson (convenience store chain) one month in advance (Tickets go on sale for the next month on the 10th of the previous month).

Please refer your designated travel agency to the link below. If your country is not on the list, send an email to the agency for tickets.


Entry time is set, but there is no time limit once you’ve entered the museum. Once you are in, you can spend as much as you want until closing time.

2) Use the Ticketing Machine At Lawson!

Once you reserve your ticket within Japan, the next thing is to get an actual ticket at the nearest Lawson! See the link below how to use Lawson’s ticketing machine called Loppi.

You won’t have a hard time finding a Lawson anywhere in Japan. There is a Lawson very close to the museum as well. Even if you couldn’t get ticket(s) for the museum before departuring your home country, try Loppi! There is a slim chance, but you may be able to find one.

Weekends are their busiest times just like any other popular facilities in Japan, so try sometime on a weekday if you try this last-minute reservation!

3) When Is A Good Time, Then?

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I know you have a question right now...when is a good time to visit? Well, let us say...10:00 on weekdays!

Mitaka City is the suburbs in Tokyo, so your destination (Ghibli Museum) area is where many people are from but most of them are going to the central Tokyo in weekdays. On the other hand, the area gets very busy on weekends. The last entry time (16:00) on Sundays are easier than other times on weekends, but we recommend against visiting on weekends altogether.

During the summer vacation time (July-August) is another busy time in the museum. Golden Week (the end of April to early May) and Silver Week (Mid September, depending on the calender), both consecutive holidays, are the same.

4) Mugiwara (Straw Hat) Cafe Has a Kawaii Food Menu!

Mugiwara (Straw Hat) Cafe has very unique menus available! The presentation is very cute and makes you feel like you are in the movies!

Photo credit: WilsonB via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

The cafe is very popular, though. Expected waiting time may be over an hour. The cafe oepens at 11:00, so earlier is better.

5) Their Short Film Is Oh So Enjoyable!

In Ghibli Museum, you can enjoy their short films in the basement floor. They are only available at the museum!

The films change every month. The schedule is on the link below:


Tip: If you Couldn’t Get Your Ticket...

Tried so hard to get ticket(s) but no luck? How about visiting Donguri Republic instead? Donguri Republic is Ghibli’s official souvenir shop. The one in Sunshine City Shopping Mall in Ikebukuro, Tokyo is the largest (Donguri Republic is available in other locations too). Ghibli fans will love the atmosphere for sure!

If you are interested and want to see more about Donguri Republic, please see this article "Get some Ghibli goods in Donguri Republic at Ikebukuro!".

It is a bit complicated to get a reservation, but it is definitely worth it! Feel Ghibli’s atmosphere and philosophy in person and enjoy the Ghibli Universe at Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo! Your experience at the museum will enrich your heart...

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Written by Nekko

I recently got married and I’m currently living in Tokyo. I will write about cheap shopping, and tips about fashion and lifestyle.