Studio Ghibli is one of the world’s most popular animation and animation studios. For most it is the foundation for making Japanese movies and although, you may have never heard of Studio Ghibli, I am pretty sure you will know at least one of their movies. Studio ghibli has been called the Disney of Japan and the movie ‘Spirited Away’ is the first animated film ever to win an Oscar and still remains to this day, the only non-English animated film to receive the award Oscar.
Because of its uniqueness, Ghibli has become an iconic film industry all over the world and that’s why we will tell all Ghibli lovers, where to find the best 5 points for the trip in Tokyo.
- GHIBLI TOTORO CREAM PUFFS
Shirohige’s Ice Cream Shop in Setagaya is a bakery that should not be overlooked by any Ghibli fan. The bakery specializes in Totoro shaped cakes, almost making you feel guilty for wanting to eat them. And the best part, what few Ghibli fans know about, is the bakery managed by sister in law of Miyazaki Hayao!
Totoro ice cream cakes have many different flavors, and can be recognized by the iconic device that the totoro ice cream cake is wearing. However, keep in mind that the flavors vary with the season, so when you come back there will always be new flavors to choose from, making this place interesting every time! There are about 8 standard flavors and additional rotary version flavor flavors.
Example of taste:
Chocolate – Green hat
Banana Caramel – Yellow hat
Strawberry – Red flowers
Green tea – Green leaf hat
Peaches – Orange hats
Dua – Brown leaves
Cream cakes can be bought on the move or eaten in a bakery, this is definitely recommended, because cute Studio Ghibli decorations are available throughout the bakery. Cake shops can become crowded, so I recommend visiting during off-peak hours (not during lunch or ‘tea’) or booking in advance.
If your party doesn’t like ice cream cakes, the bakery also offers some Italian dishes, reasonable prices and good quality.
Other things Ghibli:
If you are looking for more Totoro items, the store also offers Totoro Cookie gift boxes that cost between 500-2800 yen.
-Cost of the Totoro Cream Puffs: Prices range from -4 400-450 per ‘Totoro’ (don’t you like to say this?)
-How to get there: Follow Odakyu Road to the Setagaya-Daita stop. The shop is located just outside the station.
-Address: 〒155-0033 Tōkyō-to, Setagaya-ku, Daita, 5 Chome−３−1
-Open time: 10:30 to 19:00
2. DONGURI GARDEN – GHIBLI SHOP IN TOKYO
When in Tokyo, the odds are you’ll find some Ghibli-inspired items while browsing through souvenir shops. However, if you are a fastidious Ghibli fan, you may not want to leave your shopping needs to have a chance to find them. So, in this section, I’ll tell you about some of the stores dedicated to the Ghibli fantasy world! Donguri Garden in particular.
Donguri Garden – Donguri Kyowa Koku
One of the most famous Ghibli store chains is the Donguri garden, which is dedicated to selling Ghibli goods. You can find these small gems all over Japan (total 37), but since this article only talks about Tokyo, we will focus on Tokyo.
There are a lot of items to choose from and I’m sure the Ghibli fans will really leave with an empty wallet, because who wouldn’t want a Ghibli Bento with matching chopsticks, Totoro linen and a whole bunch of stuffed animals from their favorite Ghibli characters.
Address Donguri Garden:
Ikebukuro: Sunshine City Alpa Basement Level 1, Higashi Ikebukuro 3-1, Toshima-ku,
Marunouchi: First Avenue Tokyo Station Level B1, Marunouchi 1-9-1, Chiyoda
Odaiba: Venus Fort Family Level 1, -3-15, Aomi, Koutou-ku
Tachikawa: LUMINE Tachikawa,Level 7, Akebono-cho 2-1-1, Tachikawa-shi
Tokyo Skytree Town: Solamachi Level 2, Oshiage 1-1-2, Sumida-ku
Opening hours: 10:00-20:00
With all these different shops, I am sure you will find a Ghibli Store close to your whereabouts when in Tokyo.
3. STUDIO GHIBLI CORPORATE OFFICE & EDO-TOKYO OPEN AIR ARCHITECTURAL MUSEUM
In western Tokyo, you can find Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum. This museum houses historic buildings from the Tokyo area during the old Meiji period (1868-1912). Some examples of buildings on display areas are old farm houses, bathrooms, shops, police boxes and old trains. It is a very interesting museum for everyone, Ghibli fans or not.
But what makes this museum so special for Studio Ghibli fans?
Ghibli president, Hayao Miyazaki, is known to be a big fan of this museum and is often inspired by this museum. He even designed the museum logo!
Spirited Away’s main inspiration, won an Oscar, is said to be the museum. Keep an eye on the iconic bathroom, a stationery store inspired by the boiler room and the train from the movie!
Also, for the true ghibli fanatics…
When visiting the Open Air Museum, be sure to also check out the Studio Ghibli Corporate Office as well in the area. The office is located less than 3 km away from the Museum. You can walk to the office in 40 minutes or take the JR Chuo Line to Higashi-Koganei and from there walk 600 meter.
Don’t forget it is an office and therefore can only be viewed from the outside…
Studio Ghibli Corporate Office:
Address: 1-4-25 Kajino-cho, Koganei, Tokyo 〒184-0002
How to get there: 5-10 minute walk from Higashi-Koganei Station on the Chuo Line.
Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum:
Address: 3-7-1 Sakuracho, Koganei, Tokyo 184-0005, Japan
How to get there: From Shinjuku, take the JR Chuo Line to Musashi-Koganei Station and walk 15-30 minutes.
Opening hours: 9:30-17:30, closed mondays
Entrance fee: 400 yen
4. GHIBLI CLOCK
To show the impact of Ghibli on Japanese culture, you may want to visit the giant Ghibli clock in the Shiodome area. This Steam-Victoria-style watch produced by Hayao Miyazaki combines the daily lives of many people who pass this art work every day when they go to work.
The watch is located at the Nippon TV tower in Shiodome district in Tokyo and is inspired by the 2004 Ghibli film: Howl’s moving castle.
The watch weighs over 20 tons and is made of copper and steel, 12 meters high and 18 meters wide and therefore very impressive to see. However, a couple of times a day the quirkiness of this clock strikes a whole new level when it starts animating different aspects of the clock, like blacksmiths, teapots, bells etc.
The clock works from Monday to Friday at noon, 15:00, 18:00 and 20:00 with extra programs on weekends at 10:00. The show starts 4 minutes before the clock ticks, so be sure to be on time.
How to get there: Take the Asakusa or Ginza subway line or the JR Yamanote or Tokaido Line and get off at Shimbashi station. Exit to the Caretta Shiodome or Hamarikyu Gardens and you will find the TV tower just outside the exit.
Address: Nittele Tower (Nippon Television), 1 Chome-6-1 Higashishinbashi, Tokyo
5. GHIBLI MUSEUM
The studio’s Ghibli was designed by Hayao Miyazaki himself and is a spiritual paradise for all Ghibli fans. The museum’s exterior is designed in Miyazaki’s unique style and there are famous figures found throughout the park, such as ‘Cat bus from Totoro’ or Giant Robot from ‘Castle in the sky’ . The museum will not be completed without a giant Totoro.
The exhibition and exhibition museum includes Ghibli’s history as well as animation techniques and a small theater will feature small films dedicated to Studio Ghibli Museum. There is also a huge garden that will make you feel as if you are walking in one of Miyazaki’s masterpieces.
How to get tickets
Tickets must be purchased in advance and must be purchased in a specific date and time. Be aware that tickets sell out quickly, so buy tickets on time. You can buy tickets at Lawson supermarket (you can get some help, because it is only in Japanese) or buy from travel kiosks.
Address: 1-1-83 Shimo-Renjaku, Tokyo, Japan
How to get there: JR Chuo to Mitaka and follow signs to the park. You can also buy tickets for a minibus that will take you from Mitaka to Musuem
Opening hours: 10:00 – 18:00, closed on Tuesday
Entrance ticket: 1000 yen