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Long awaited by fans of Studio Ghibli's anime films, the Mitaka no Mori Jiburi Bijutsukan, or Mitaka Forest Ghibli Museum (located in Tokyo's Mitaka shi, on the edge of the Kichijoji park, it can best be reached with the Chuo-Line, stations Mitaka or Kichjoji) opened it's doors in October, 2001. It features permanent and changing exhibitions on the movies and their making, a small theater and shops, as well as other small things to delight fans of all ages.

Adults pay 1000 Yen as entry fee, but one has to reserve ones tickets way in advance at a Lawson conbini, as there is no door sale due to the expected masses of visitors. One has to plan ahead to get a ticket, as they are usually sold out months before the actual date. On entry, one gets to exchange the boring Lawson ticket for a cool film cell from one of the movies (no choice possible).

The shops include a bookstore featuring all kinds of books with relevance to Ghibli works, or liked by Miyazaki, a souvenir shop packed with memorabilia and merchandise (plan at least 30 minutes for standing in line), as well as a cafeteria/restaurant.

The entry to the theatre is included in the entry fee, and they show one of three movies specially made for the museeum on any given day.

A visit is recommended to all fans of Studio Ghibli. I was delighted and am planning to go again next month.

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