Spring in Japan - Studio Ghibli and Disney Animation Fest!

While we were visiting Japan, it was really important to visit the Studio Ghibli Museum! C and I are both Ghibli fans and we were itching to step inside the Miyazaki designed museum. We even named one of our cats after Chibi Totoro. We pre-purchased our tickets while we were still in Australia, and had to set the date at that time. Luckily, despite all of the constant cold and rain, we were spoiled with some beautiful sunshine and fairly warm weather. As we arrived at the train station where the museum is located, I glimpsed my first cherry blossoms!
We walked along the canal, taking in the floating petals and sunshine, and eventually arrived at the museum. There is a strict no photos inside rule, so I can't show you what it looks like, but it was wonderful! The entire building is made for children's curiosity, so there are many nooks and crannies to explore, and little surprises around every corner. We received a piece of film for our ticket entry to the theatrette, and mine was a frame from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind!
We lined up to see the short film that was showing, which was "Koro's Big Day Out". It was so adorable, and even though we didn't understand much of the dialogue, it was touching and sweet and we definitely caught the message of the film :) The best part though, was the projectionist. He was around 100 years old, and operating an old style projector to show us the film. C thanked him for his work on our way out, he was a little surprised but proffered a super-respectful 90º bow and a little salute on our way out :)
There was a room with an amazing a 3D zoetrope - the name escapes me, but basically like a zoetrope, but instead of images, it was set up with actual physical models of the caracters, which rotated at speed, with a series of flashing lights creating a strobe effect and completing the illusion that the cat bus was running around before our very eyes. It was quite magical.
After exploring the museum, we ventured to the roof the visit the Giant Robot. There were lots of little kids having their pictures taken with him, it was so cute. Some big kids had their photos taken too. We ate in the cafe and I had a magical drink that changed from blue to pink before out very eyes!

Since we've been to Euro Disney (Paris), Disneyland (California) and Disney World (Florida), we decided we should head to Disneyland in Tokyo. It's always a fun day where you can act like a kid, get excited about everything and enjoy the escapism of Walt's park.
I have to say, I wasn't sure what to expect with the Japanese take on Disney. But we were both pleasantly surprised. The Japanese love doing things really well, and this is no exception. They have a strong nostalgia for old school Disney, so a lot of the park is focussed on Mickey Mouse and the original Disney characters. The attention to detail is great, and I think it's a very close second favourite to Disneyland in California.
The only thing I didn't enjoy was the queues! Usually at Disney, the queue is made fun in some way, but in Tokyo, they just had regular queues which were really, really long. Like 2-3 hours long. A minor complaint though, really. I was just cold and it makes me complain ;) Oh, and I missed out on Space Mountain, because no way was I standing in the cold for 3 whole hours. We had a ball and were lucky enough to snag a seat in the Blue Bayou with NO waiting, and a good table. Yesss! The important things at Disney were achieved.
Since there were long lines, we visited some attractions that we've not bothered with before. We had a really fun time being silly and watching a Francis Ford Coppola/George Lucas/Michael Jackson train wreck of a 3d film. I had to demonstrate after the film the way that the 3D was working at ruining our eyesight, which C found utterly hilarious.

Are you familiar with Studio Ghibli films? I noticed a lot of fans when I posted the pictures on Instagram. What's your favourite Ghibli film? I think I've seen most of them, and of course I love My Neigbour Totoro, but I'm also fond of Kiki's Delivery Service and Spirited Away. Oh and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Grave of The Fireflies was the first movie that ever made me cry. I had such a good track record up until that point. Damn cartoons.


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