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The rarely updated blog of Joel Dixon

Viewing blogs tagged Meguro

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Meguro (Tokyo) and Studio Ghibli Museum, Japan - 2015

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 12/04/2015 11:26:03

We had been staying in Meguro for three nights mainly due to the convenience of being close to a Yamanote loop station (and because the rest of Tokyo was either booked out or crazy expensive). On our final morning in Meguro we decided to have a quick walk around so we could see what was around town - we found lots of cherry blossoms and a very cute temple.

Cherry River
I'm not sure if you've noticed - but it was cherry blossom season while I was in Japan

Baby Jesus
Look at all the tiny baby Buddha's

No less than 2 people (it was 3) recommended that I visit the Studio Ghibli Museum during our Japanese holiday. I wasn't that much of a Studio Ghibli fan, but that's not because I didn't like the movies - but mainly because I had never seen any of them. After the third insistence that we visit the museum I put it on the list, and also added "watch Studio Ghibli movies".

Buying the movies was easy - actually watching them while also trying to plan the trip was a little more difficult. We ended up watching most of them, particularly enjoying Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro and Porco Rosso. I was also told that I would need to book the tickets from Australia and that they sell out fast, so about two months before we left I looked into exactly how to do that. Sure enough - they were sold out - for the whole three-week period that we were in Japan.

There's only a certain number of tickets available to foreigners, so luckily I was able to go through a Japanese travel website to purchase the tickets (they basically go to the local Lawson's convenience store and buy the tickets that are available locally). Those three people were spot on the money - because the museum was a great experience.

House Mouth
Totoro staring at all the children he is about to eat

So again, this was a bit of a children's experience. Kids were everywhere making noise, getting in the way and just generally ensuring I never procreate. With that said, it was still a great time starting with an animated short feature that is only available to watch at the museum's Saturn theatre - House Hunting (written and directed by Miyazaki). It was only 12 minutes long, but Pao and I both enjoyed it immensely - especially as there were a lot of scenes that were quite Japan specific.

The highlight of the visit was easily the three-dimensional zoetrope of characters from My Neighbour Totoro, using multiple clay models being spun in a circle with strobe lighting to simulate animation. Thankfully children are small, as even though the exhibit was consistently busy I was able to see above the kids and watch the memorising movement.

Again - I couldn't take a photo in the museum, but here's an example of the zoetrope (clearly someone didn't care about the rules)

Pao with her favourite robot from Ghibli films - I have no idea how we managed to take this photo without 50 children in it

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