The Tokyo Game Show is nearly upon us, and Game Informer will be covering all of the games and news right from the show floor. However, we are also using our time in Japan to stray off the beaten path and check out some interesting bits of gamer culture. Our first stop: the Studio Ghibli museum, home of relics related to the famed animation studio behind Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and the game Ni No Kuni.
Unfortunately, the museum does not allow photos inside, but you can see what it offers on the museum's official site. Even so, my favorite parts couldn't be captured properly in a picture anyway, since they actually involved animation. We still grabbed some cool exterior shots, though.
You have to buy your tickets in advance, so we took care of that weeks before we even left for Japan. We showed up right as the museum opened at 10:00 AM, expecting that arriving early on a weekday would ensure a smaller crowd. We were wrong.
At least Kim found a statue of Totoro (somewhere behind that glass) while we waiting to get in.
The first thing that struck me about the museum is how it looks like a building right out of a Studio Ghibli film. You won't find any majestic columns or polished marble here, and that's intentional. Hayao Miyazaki had a clear vision for what he did and did not want the museum to be, and the final structure hits all of the right notes.
This reminded me of Castle in the Sky at first glance. A robot guardian (visible in the previous picture) only cements that impression, and it gets even stronger when you're actually up there on the roof.
This is just the stained glass on one of the entrance door. There are more panes inside featuring popular characters. I will say, though, Totoro definitely gets more than a fair share of representation as decoration around the museum.
On the next page…adventures from the roof!