Japan Day 13 (Part 1): Tsujiki Fish Market, Ghibli Museum 三鷹の森ジブリ美術館
Halloween in Tokyo. Wow! When we realized that we’d be spending Halloween in Tokyo, we did some research online, and came to the conclusion that Japan doesn’t really celebrate halloween. Man were we wrong. Somehow our search must have been outdated, but if there is one thing that Tokyo has down to a science, it is Halloween. How could a nation of cos players not love a holiday designed to dressup like your favourite character?
Day thirteen in Japan was jammed packed with some of our best memories. I decided to try and dress up a bit, and wore my Tony Tony Chopper hat, in the spirit of Halloween!
We started the day off at the Tsukiji Fish Market 築地市場. We took the metro to Tsukiji station and wandered towards the market and into the madness.
Next, it was time for the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka!!! Mitaka is just outside Tokyo, and I think it took about 30 minutes by JR train to arrive at the closest station to the museum. We were staying at Asakusabashi, so we were able to take the Chou Line directly to Mitaka station without a single train switch. If you are coming from elsewhere in Tokyo, as long as you can get to Shinjuku Station, there is a direct Chou Line train to Mitaka.
On the train to Mitaka, a little old lady asked to take my photo with her (I was dressed as Tony Tony Chopper). She knew all about North American Halloween, and told her friend about why I was dressed up!
From Mitaka station, it is a short and pretty walk to the museum! There are plenty of signs pointing out the direction, but if you feel unsure at all, just make sure you follow the little river, and you can’t miss it!
Before coming to Japan we purchased tickets to the Ghibli Museum. I’ve heard that it is pretty difficult to obtain tickets to the Ghibli Museum, and that foreigners are only allowed to purchase tickets through a delegated agency outside Japan. Three months prior to our visit I purchased our tickets through http://www.jtb.ca/ (the Canadian delegate). If you’d like to find your country’s delegated agency, go to this link http://www.jtbgmt.com/eng/ghibli/TicketSystem.html. On July 1st (tickets for October were released for sale three months prior to October) I requested that the agency purchase us two Ghibili tickets for the end of October. When you purchased the tickets, you are required to choose your top three choices of dates to visit the museum. We had no problem obtaining our first choice given that we booked so far ahead. It was a simple process, you fill out a form online, and the agency then calls you to confirm your details and tell you if your request is possible. The agency then mails you the tickets, and you guard them with your life!
(As a side note: the agency did submit both of our names incorrectly when purchasing the tickets, but this did not prove to be a problem when we visited the museum).
If you are purchasing tickets within Japan, I’ve heard that convenience stores do sell the tickets, but the number available is very limited.
The Ghibli Museum was certainly a highlight of our visit to Tokyo! We took a lot of photos outside the building, on the grounds. The museum screens one exclusive film per month, that you are only able to see at the museum. The Ghibli website offers a list of the films being shown each month on a rotation. There was an amazing exhibit of moving image machines and sketches by Hayao Miyazaki, but photography inside the museum is prohibited, so you better go see it yourself!
There are a few pictures we took outside on the grounds of the museum: