|Jeremy's Totoro impersonation is spot on.|
Oh how stupid past me was. I'm yet to see a film made by the studio that I don't like, and their movies have introduced me to other Japanese animated masterpieces - for instance, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, a science fiction romance film about a girl who, well, you can imagine. But back to Ghibli: on our visit to Japan we took a day to go out to the Tokyo suburbs and visit the Museum dedicated to the film company. It was marvellous. The building itself is pure Miyazaki, as much an exhibit as its contents, and along with interactive displays has several rooms that seem to be faithful recreations of where the director writes and draws. Stacks of books, ashtrays filled with cigarette butts, hundreds of coloured pens, and photographs of location inspirations. These came from all over the world, but mostly from Europe - France, Belgium and Germany in particular - which makes a lot of sense when you watch his films.
He's also fascinated by nature and flowers, and there were many books about gardening and different types of trees and plants, all of which seeps into the beautiful watercolours of characters that are pinned all over the walls of the museum. As part of the museum expirence we also watched a short film made by the studio in a beautiful cinema, the tickets for which were different strips of film from a classic Ghibli moment. Mine was from Ponyo and it's pictured below. The museum is surrounded by a beautiful park where we took some photos, and since it was the suburbs there was still snow over a lot of the ground. I was wearing a crop top (pretty stupid of me given the weather), and some trousers I got from Collect Point in Harajuku. They have braces, which seem to be a big deal in Tokyo.
After we'd seen everything - including the cutest babies in the world climbing all over a replica Catbus from Totoro - we went to the shop and spent a good chunk of holiday pocket money on souvenirs. Jeremy got some excellent cookies, and I got a notebook covered with a picture from Kiki's Delivery Service, my favourite Ghibli film.
If you want to go to the Museum you have to book your tickets in advance from their website - you can't buy tickets on the door, which is a slight hassle - but totally worth it.