April comes with warmer weather. In a tropical country like Indonesia, we’re entering the dry season. Meanwhile, in subtropical countries, spring begins to come and flower buds begin to appear one by one. The weather was getting warmer and people were starting to get outside more often. What activities do you like when we can start to move more freely?
I usually like to visit new places or try something new. Sometimes I also like to visit the museum once in a while. One of the most interesting museums I’ve ever visited is the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan. For fans of the Ghibli movies, I highly recommend stopping by here if you get the chance. Because I guarantee that you can experience the fantasy world in the Ghibli film directly there.
Not Just a Museum
Instead of using the general concept of a museum, Ghibli Museum prefers a concept of a recreation area for its visitors. Starting from the bus that will take you to the museum, the bus is also ‘dressed’ with a minimalist Ghibli theme. Who knows you might see one or two Susuwatari in it. Once you arrive at the museum, you will find a ticket booth with Totoro on staff. Yes, you haven’t even entered yet, you’ll meet one of the characters in the Ghibli movies. Interesting right.
The museum building itself is not big but the architectural style is very unique and has the characteristics of a Ghibli fantasy world-style building. And once inside, you will be blown away by the interior. Photographing the inside of the Museum and Cafe is not allowed so I can’t show it. But you can see one or two photos of the interior on the official website of the Ghibli Museum. What I definitely remember is that the children looked very happy to play in the museum, they laughed and ran here and there. Because the main purpose of the museum is to make visitors interact with the surrounding environment.
Apart from its antique interior, of course, a museum is not complete without a display of works of art. There are many types of animation that you can see. One of them is a large zoetrope machine which when played will rotate and the image looks moving. So not only can you find out about various types of traditional animation, but you can also enjoy the beauty of each type of animation.
There are various stairs that you can climb, one of the stairs that interests me is the spiral staircase. Even though it’s small, it’s a lot of fun to climb it. On the top floor, there are several rooms such as the reading room where you read recommended books at the time, ride the cat bus from the Totoro movie (for children up to 12 years old), and see an exhibition of animation sketches in a room that looks like a small animation studio. Not only that, there are surprises waiting for you on the roof of the museum. You will meet a giant robot from the movie Castle in the Sky of the same size as seen in the animation.
Once Is Not Enough
Yes, visiting the Ghibli Museum is not enough just once because along with the entrance ticket, you will also receive a ticket to watch a short animation in the mini cinema. Until now I still keep the ticket and use it as a bookmark. The schedule of animations that are specially displayed in this museum changes every month. If you want to know more about the schedule, you can see it on the website. The animation that was shown when I went there was “Koro’s Big Day Out”.
In the reading room of the Ghibli Museum, they also issue a magazine about recommended books every month. So you can read it when you visit again. Reading a book is indeed a fun way to stay for a long time in one place.
Special Food Menu
Lastly, don’t forget to try the food at the Ghibli Museum’s Cafe. Here you can try a variety of original menus, from main dishes to desserts. Since the cafe isn’t that big, you may have to queue. But I suggest giving it a try because they use organic ingredients and cooked the food in a traditional oven. They also serve seasonal menus that you can taste depending on the season.
There is also a stand selling ice cream outside the Cafe. Because queuing to enter the Cafe is quite time-consuming, we decided to buy ice cream as a snack. Since I like to try unique flavors, I bought chili ice cream. It looked delicious with its orange color and red specks of chili powder. Once I ate it, it was not surprising that it tastes spicy even though it feels cold (my tongue is confused when eating it). For those who don’t like spicy, don’t worry because they also serve normal ice cream flavors.
Comparison with Local Museums
Indeed, the Ghibli Museum cannot fully be compared with other museums which hold many priceless historical items. But I think local museums can adopt one or two things from what the Ghibli Museum has implemented. For example, such as offering events or activities that can be enjoyed seasonally. Because it is not uncommon for museums to be seen as boring places, adding something interactive can make visitors more interested and comfortable.
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