Museo De Ghibli is in Mitaka about a 40 minute train ride from Tokyo then a 10 minute bus ride. Georgia was finally starting to understand where we were going when we boarded the "cat" bus to Ghibli.
Near main entrance to the museum is a faux ticket office with a life sized, huge, Totoro inside. When she saw Totoro Georgia dragged me by the hand closer and started looking a little upset. She was quite overwhelmed. She dragged me around the ticket office looking for a way in. She really wanted to go to Totoro. Imagine if you're two years old and you're confronted with your favourite creature in the world? We eventually managed to manoeuvre Georgia back to the real entrance and we went in.
We have very few photos from inside. No photography is allowed inside the museum. I recalled not being able to take photos of the cat bus last time we were here but forgot that it was the entire inside of the museum. Oh well. Today the museum was very busy. Hundreds of kids and frazzled parents roaming around. Every exhibit has a crowd, especially the interactive exhibits. There seems to be more foreign visitors wandering around than last time we were here and they probably wish they had kids or were kids to really participate. Unlike big theme parks there are no rides or big thing here at Ghibli. It is about the art of making movies for kids and they childlike joy that can be had playing with some of the interactive exhibits.
There are rooms that re-create Miyazaki's home and office, rooms that have the hand drawn artwork for the movies and models of characters. Georgia is a little too young for some of these so after some of animated interactive exhibits we went straight up to the Cat Bus.
From the Cat Bus you can get outside on the roof and pose for photos with the iron giant from Laputa: Castle in the Sky. Not much to see up there otherwise.
Only one thing left to do after the movie and that was to visit the gift shop. The seriously crowded gift shop. If you've ever seen people being pushed on to Tokyo trains during peak hour the gift shop was like that. We did manage to drift around the shop once and let the crowd eddy past whenever we stopped to look at some trinket or another. We managed to find a little Mae doll ( My Neighbour Totoro) for Georgia because whenever we said we were going to Tokyo to see Totoro Georgia would say "And Mae". We picked up a number of plush dolls and toys for Georgia to choose and she picked out a "little Totoro", the small white Totoro, and a Kuru plush doll. She clasped both of them to her chest and was reluctant to let them go (Note from a month down the track. The Mae doll, Kuru and little Totoro and still favourites - they all go to bed with Georgia every day).
Then it was all aboard the cat bus and back to Mitaka station. While we were on the bus a guy was having a conversation on his phone. I could see that the bus driver was annoyed and the driver kept turning around as the guy kept speaking. Eventually the driver got on the PA and told the guy to shut up and put his phone away. I wish they'd do that in Australia.
In Australia tickets to Museo De Ghibli can be purchased through the JTB and the tickets are not expensive. You can buy tickets in Japan but only from ATMs in Lawson Stations. You can not buy a ticket at the gate. They limit the number of visitors per day so you're better off pre-booking a ticket before you leave. International tickets allow you to enter the museum at any time during the day you've booked. Tickets purchased in Japan at a Lawson have to be booked for an entry time too. Allow at least 2 hours to see the museum. The gift shop gets very crowded. Very.