Tokyo’s Wonderful World of Ghibli

A couple of friends from Australia came to Tokyo recently. They were so excited for their trip and spent weeks planning where they wanted to eat and what they wanted to see and do. Near the top of their list was visiting an enchanting place in Mitaka by the name of Ghibli Museum! Continue reading “Tokyo’s Wonderful World of Ghibli”

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7 Cool Museums to Visit on a Rainy Day in Tokyo

Tsuyu, the rainy season, is here. Unlike a lot of people, I really enjoy June. I love being able to wear my rain boots. I love the glossy neon lights reflected in puddles all over the streets. And of course, I love that it brings the hydrangeas and turns the whole city into a kaleidoscope of colours. Continue reading “7 Cool Museums to Visit on a Rainy Day in Tokyo”

Edo-Tokyo Architectural Museum

In my last post, I talked about the thing I loved best about New York – the buildings and architecture. I swear, it was a complete coincidence that I went to the Edo-Tokyo Architectural Museum on the weekend! My mum was visiting, and I decided to take her there since I’d been wanting to go for a while and I knew she’d enjoy it, too.

I’d first seen the open-air museum back in April when I visited Koganei Park to see the cherry blossoms there. It was closed at the time, but I took a peek through the fence and it seemed very cool! I put it on the “to-do” list, which is where it stayed until this past weekend!

The museum is an open-air village full of buildings collected from around Tokyo (old Edo city). They’re all buildings that are thought to be valuable for one reason or another and were relocated here to help preserve them. There’s about 30 buildings, originally used both privately and publicly, over a huge 7 hectare area. To see every building definitely takes a whole day! Keep in mind, in true Japanese style, you have to take your shoes off every time you enter a house – so you can’t just waltz in and out of each building as you like!

Edo Tokyo Architecture Museum

Walking down the main street “Shitamachi-naka” (downtown) was almost like travelling back in time (except for the bitumen road!). There are lots of different businesses, like a stationery store, soy sauce store, and makeup store, as well as public buildings like the giant public bath and a very old bar! Everything is so well reconstructed and restored that you can really get a feel of how these places were in their heyday!

 

There are also quite a few residential houses from across Tokyo. Most of these houses belonged to the “upper class”, or at least important people, and therefore look pretty nice! There used to be a massive divide between the upper and lower classes of Japan. I’m sure the poor farmers did it tough, while the wealthy lived it up in places like this!

 

Until December 14 (2014), there’s a special exhibit in the main entrance building featuring work from Studio Ghibli. I didn’t realise it was on actually, but the Ghibli movies are my favourite Japanese animation flicks, so I was pretty happy! I’ve been to the actual Studio Ghibli museum which is in nearby Mitaka, but the paintings, sketches and miniature models on display here were amazing. The detail the artists are able to produce is incredible! If you get the chance, I highly recommend you go! (Although don’t be like me and go on a long weekend – it was too crowded!)

 

Wondering how to get to this awesome place?? (click on the top left box on the map for more detail)

Visit the English webpage for more information >> http://www.tatemonoen.jp/english/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

This post is in response to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge. This week’s theme is “inside. 

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I recently went to Niigata prefecture which is on the west coast of Japan. In February, the sleepy town of Tokamachi is transformed into a buzzing snow festival, with snow sculptures built and showcased all around the area.

One of the sculptures was based on the Studio Ghibli movie, My Neighbor Totoro (originally released in 1988). This movie is arguably the most famous and most loved of the Ghibli films and everyone knows the characters: Totoro, the cat bus, Satsuki and Mei.

Seeing the snow sculpture from afar was impressive in itself. But, as I got closer, my attention was drawn to a massive hole under the cat bus. At first, I thought it was a tunnel to lead to the other side. I soon realised it was in fact a sculpture inside another sculpture! Very clever and impressive!

Totoro snow sculpture

Totoro snow sculpture Totoro snow sculpture