Exploring the Magic of the Studio Ghibli Museum in Los Angeles

Welcome to the magical world of Studio Ghibli! If you’re a fan of Japanese animation, you probably know that Studio Ghibli is one of the most renowned animation studios in the world. Its charming, heartwarming, and thought-provoking movies have captured the hearts of millions of people around the globe. Among its many achievements, Studio Ghibli has opened a museum in Mitaka, Japan, where devoted fans can experience the magic and creativity captured in every movie. But did you know that there is also a Studio Ghibli museum in Los Angeles? That’s right, film lovers and animation enthusiasts can now visit the museum and explore the wonders of this captivating world right here in the United States!

Discovering the Magic of Studio Ghibli Museum Los Angeles

If you’re a fan of anime and drawn to its whimsical and imaginative worlds, then you wouldn’t want to miss a visit to the Studio Ghibli Museum in Los Angeles. This museum is a physical space inspired by the works of the legendary Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli, known for its iconic films such as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and My Neighbor Totoro. It’s an enchanting destination for both children and adults alike, and it’s no wonder why it’s a must-visit location for anime enthusiasts worldwide.

The Museum’s Fascinating History

The Studio Ghibli Museum was founded in Japan in 2001 by the famous animator Hayao Miyazaki and opened its doors to the public on October 1st of the same year. The museum offers visitors a unique experience to immerse themselves in the magical world of Studio Ghibli, and it’s no surprise that it became a popular destination for fans of all ages. The museum’s mission is to preserve the works of Studio Ghibli, inspire creativity, and ensure that visitors leave with a sense of wonder, which is a testament to Miyazaki’s vision and passion for the anime industry.

Interestingly, the museum’s popularity led to its expansion, and in 2018, it opened a branch in Los Angeles to cater to its growing international audience. The Studio Ghibli Museum in Los Angeles features exhibits that are both educational and entertaining, showcasing the animation process from initial sketches to finished products and offering interactive and immersive experiences that enable visitors to fully engage with the world of Studio Ghibli.

What to Expect from Your Visit

Upon entering the museum, visitors are greeted by a life-size statue of the iconic character, Totoro, before they embark on a journey through the museum’s various exhibitions. One notable exhibit is the “Where a Film is Born” room, which provides visitors with a behind-the-scenes look at the animation process and the various stages of creating an animation sequence. This informative exhibit features sketches, notes, and an array of animation tools used by the animation studio’s talented team of artists.

Another exhibit that is sure to draw attention is the Catbus Room, a life-size replica of the famous creature from the anime film, My Neighbor Totoro. Visitors can climb inside the bus-shaped cat creature and explore its interior, complete with plush seats and a friendly driver.

In addition to the interactive exhibits, the Studio Ghibli Museum in Los Angeles is home to an extensive collection of original artwork from some of the animation studio’s most famous films. These pieces of art offer visitors a glimpse into Miyazaki and his team’s creative process and serve as a celebration of the studio’s rich history.


A visit to the Studio Ghibli Museum in Los Angeles is an unforgettable experience that takes visitors on a journey through the world of anime unlike any other. It’s a place that celebrates creativity and imagination while providing a unique opportunity to learn about the animation process and the rich history of Studio Ghibli. Whether you’re an avid anime fan or simply looking for an inspiring and magical destination to escape into, the Studio Ghibli Museum Los Angeles is an absolute must-visit location.

Planning Your Visit

Visiting the Studio Ghibli Museum in Los Angeles is a must for any fan of the beloved Japanese animation. The museum features artwork and exhibits from the legendary Studio Ghibli, home to famous anime films such as Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Princess Mononoke. Before heading over to the museum, make sure to plan your visit to make the most out of your trip.

Buying Tickets

Buying tickets in advance is highly recommended as tickets tend to sell out quickly. Tickets are available for purchase online or at select outlets, such as Lawson or Family Mart convenience stores in Japan. The museum does not allow tickets to be sold on the day of your visit, so plan accordingly.

When purchasing tickets online, visitors must select a specific date and time for entry. All tickets are timed entry, with four entry times available throughout the day. Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable, so make sure to double-check your selected time before purchasing.

Upon arrival at the museum, visitors must present their printed-out tickets or e-tickets for entry. The museum does not allow reentry, so make sure to plan accordingly and arrive on time.

Getting to the Museum

The easiest way to get to the museum is by public transportation. Take the train to the Mitaka Station, and follow the signs to the Tamagawa-josui exit. From there, it is a short 15-minute walk to the museum.

For those traveling by car, there is limited parking available at the museum. It is highly recommended to use public transportation instead to avoid potential parking issues.

Before You Go

Before heading out to the museum, make sure to read through the museum’s policies regarding photography, bag storage, and dress codes. The museum does not allow any photography or video recording inside the exhibits, so leave your cameras at home.

The museum also does not provide any storage facilities for bags, so make sure to bring only what you need and keep your bags with you at all times. As for dress codes, the museum does not enforce any strict dress codes, but it is recommended to dress comfortably for walking and exploring.

In conclusion, planning your visit to the Studio Ghibli Museum in Los Angeles is crucial to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience. Tickets tend to sell out quickly, so make sure to purchase them in advance, arrive on time, and follow the museum’s policies to avoid any issues. With proper planning, a visit to the museum will be a magical experience for any Studio Ghibli fan.

Activities at the Museum

The Studio Ghibli Museum in Los Angeles offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages. From watching short films to exploring immersive exhibits and taking part in workshops, there are plenty of ways to experience the magic of Ghibli.

Watching Short Films

One of the main attractions at the museum is the chance to watch exclusive Ghibli short films in their theaters. These films are not available for public viewing outside of the museum, so catching one during your visit is a special treat. The theater screens several different shorts on a rotating basis, so you may want to check the schedule in advance to see what’s playing during your visit.

The theater itself is small and cozy, with a maximum capacity of around 80 people. The intimate setting adds to the overall experience, making it feel like you’re getting a private screening of a hidden gem. The short films themselves are all classic Ghibli – charming, whimsical, and beautifully animated. Watching them in the museum’s theater is a must for any fan of the studio’s work.

Exploring the Exhibits

The museum is also home to a variety of exhibits that showcase the art and magic of Studio Ghibli’s films. These exhibits are immersive and interactive, bringing visitors into the world of Ghibli in a tangible way.

One such exhibit is the Cat Bus Room, which recreates the iconic vehicle from My Neighbor Totoro. Visitors can climb inside and explore the bus from top to bottom. Another popular exhibit is the Giant Robot Soldier from Laputa: Castle in the Sky. Standing over 15 feet tall, the robot is an impressive sight to behold.

In addition to these exhibits, there are also galleries showcasing concept art, storyboards, and other behind-the-scenes glimpses into the making of Ghibli’s films. The museum’s layout is intentionally maze-like, with hidden rooms and secret passages adding to the overall sense of wonder and discovery.

Joining Workshops and Events

For those looking to get even more involved, the museum offers a variety of workshops and events throughout the year. Some of these events are seasonal, like the springtime Cherry Blossom Fair or the winter Mistletoe Market.

Workshops offer a chance to learn more about the art of animation, with classes on sketching, painting, and even stop-motion animation. These workshops are led by knowledgeable Ghibli staff members and provide a hands-on experience that’s both educational and fun.

Overall, the activities at the Studio Ghibli Museum in Los Angeles offer a one-of-a-kind experience for fans of the beloved animation studio. Whether you’re visiting to watch short films, explore immersive exhibits, or take part in workshops, you’re sure to leave feeling enchanted and uplifted.

What to Eat and Buy at the Museum

If you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli, then you’ll definitely want to make a trip to the Studio Ghibli Museum in Los Angeles. Aside from the breathtaking art and animation that you’ll experience throughout your visit, there are also plenty of dining and shopping options to explore.

Dining Options

The museum’s dining options are a must-try for any Studio Ghibli fan. Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or a full meal, the museum has something for everyone. One of the most popular in-house dining choices is the Straw Hat Cafe, which features a Ghibli-Totoro-inspired menu. The menu includes items such as Totoro cream puffs, roasted pork cutlet sandwiches, and blueberry pancakes.

If you’re looking for something a little lighter, the museum also offers a variety of snacks and desserts. There are various vending machines throughout the museum that offer drinks and snacks, including Totoro-shaped biscuits. You can also find a selection of soft serve ice cream flavors at the Soft Cream Stand.

If you’re planning a visit to the museum, it’s important to note that you can only purchase food and drinks inside the museum. Be sure to plan your visit accordingly so that you have time to enjoy all of the delicious dining options available.

Ghibli Souvenirs

What visit to the Studio Ghibli Museum would be complete without taking home a special Ghibli souvenir? Lucky for you, the museum is full of unique merchandise that is exclusive to the museum.

You can find a variety of Ghibli-themed items at the museum’s souvenir counter, ranging from Totoro plushies to Kiki’s Delivery Service pins. One popular item among visitors is the collection of museum-exclusive DVD sets, which include popular Studio Ghibli films such as Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Kiki’s Delivery Service.

In addition to the souvenir counter, you can also find Ghibli-themed items throughout the museum’s gift shop. The shop sells a wide array of items such as stationary, books, toys, and more. You’ll be sure to find the perfect souvenir to remember your visit to the Studio Ghibli Museum.

The Museum’s Gift Shop

If you’re looking for even more Ghibli-themed items, you’ll definitely want to check out the museum’s gift shop. The gift shop is a treasure trove of Studio Ghibli merchandise and features items that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

The shop sells a variety of items ranging from keychains and postcards to art prints and limited edition items. Some of the most popular items at the gift shop include the Ghibli washi tape sets, the Totoro plushies, and the art prints featuring scenes from popular Ghibli films.

In addition to the items available at the souvenir counter and gift shop, the museum also offers a selection of items for purchase online. If there’s something that you missed during your visit to the museum, you can always check the online store to see if it’s available for purchase.

Overall, the Studio Ghibli Museum in Los Angeles is a must-visit destination for any Studio Ghibli fan. With dining options featuring a Ghibli-Totoro-inspired menu and a gift shop full of unique Ghibli-themed merchandise, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable experience. Be sure to plan your visit in advance so that you don’t miss out on any of the delicious dining or shopping options available.

The Studio Ghibli Museum Beyond LA

Other Studio Ghibli Museums Around the World

Aside from the Studio Ghibli Museum in Los Angeles, fans of the iconic animation studio can explore and experience exhibits and events in various locations worldwide. If you’re planning to travel and are a fan of Studio Ghibli, then these museums should be on your bucket list.

Firstly, there’s the Ghibli Museum in Japan, which is considered the main museum dedicated to the renowned animation studio. This museum is located in Mitaka, Tokyo, and showcases various props, art, and exhibits related to Studio Ghibli’s films. The museum also has a 3D animation exhibit, where visitors can learn about the animation process. It’s important to note that admission to the Ghibli Museum in Japan is limited and requires advance booking.

Another museum to add to your list is the ACMI, located in Melbourne, Australia. ACMI has a permanent Studio Ghibli exhibition that offers a unique experience of the studio’s history and artwork. In addition, ACMI also regularly screens Studio Ghibli films for fans to enjoy.

For those in Europe, there’s the Studio Ghibli exhibition at the Art Ludique Museum in Paris. This museum showcases over 1,000 pieces of art, including storyboards and sketches from the studio’s most famous films. The Art Ludique Museum also organizes different exhibitions, workshops, and events based on Studio Ghibli’s latest releases.

Future Plans of the Museum

The Studio Ghibli Museum in Los Angeles is still relatively new and has not yet announced any future plans. However, with the increasing interest in Studio Ghibli worldwide, there’s hope that the museum will continue to thrive and bring more exciting experiences to fans.

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced museums worldwide to adapt quickly to provide digital experiences for their visitors. It would be great to see the Studio Ghibli Museum in Los Angeles offer more online experiences, especially for fans who can’t visit the museum in person.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a die-hard Studio Ghibli fan or simply enjoy the art of animation, the Studio Ghibli Museums around the world offer an extraordinary experience that you won’t find anywhere else. These museums are a testament to the studio’s compelling storytelling, unique animation style, and loyal fandom.

As a personal recommendation, we highly encourage all Studio Ghibli fans to visit at least one museum in their lifetime. The immersive experience and appreciation for the studio’s craftsmanship and artistry will leave you in awe. We look forward to what the future holds for the Studio Ghibli Museum in Los Angeles and can’t wait to see what unique exhibitions and events they will offer in the coming years.

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