Dear Food Diary:
I fell in love with My Neighbor Totoro the first time I saw it back in the 90’s. It’s charm and cuteness overload have captured the hearts of millions, specially those in Asia.
I’m watching it as I’m typing right now, they have dubbed versions, but the original in Japanese is definitely the way to go.
With just one film, it has grown into a merchandising machine over the past 20+ years. Here in Japan, you can literally find Totoro everything, from chopsticks to bibs. Naturally Ghibli Museum, Mitaka aka Totoro “land” was on my must list for this trip.
About an 1.5 hr away from Akihabara Station, it took 2 trains, a bus and some confusion along the way. Thankfully, the locals wer there to help. From the moment I entered, it was like getting lost in a story book. An animated fantasy of Tororo land…
It took quite a bit of planning since they don’t sell tickets at the door. Advanced tickets are only sold at the local Lawson convenient store, which seemed easy enough, until I got to the store and the most important parts were in Japanese! Thankfully the girl at Lawson happen to speak Chinese and helped me fill out my name (in Japanese) and her number (I don’t have one in Japan).
My ticket was more than 2 weeks in advance, so you might want to get them before coming.
They limit the amount of visitors per day. And no photos inside the building. I guess for those cute Totoro effects, the different animations and artist studio, you’ll have go see for yourself.
The menu wasn’t unique per se, but they suggest fresh ingredients and farm to table. I ordered their version of my beloved Katsu Curry. Rice and grains with a sweeter more tomato tasting curry. Fried pork cutlet. Nothing out of this world, but it did the job and I was hungry. Plus, the plate was super adorable.
There’s a giant cat bus for kids to jump on, no fair! I would of loved to be on that giant plush, it occupied a whole room! Again, no photos allowed.
And this cute keychain! Love the ramen bowl, Totoro and my favorite taiyaki.
Ghibli Museum is highly recommended for Totoro and animation fans. A perfect day to spend away from the city, in a sweet fantasy land.
To get tickets and for more information
Saw this girl by the train station, thought she jumped out of the animated films… too cute right?