Ghibli Things to Do in Tokyo

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Director Hayao Miyazaki’s iconic Studio Ghibli movies are well-loved in Japan and around the world. There is no better place to experience Studio Ghibli charm and Ghibli-esque activities than in Tokyo. Tokyo has a number of unmissable Ghibli-themed things to do including visiting the world’s only Ghibli Museum, shopping for Ghibli gifts and souvenirs, and visiting locations that inspired Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s creative process. Be sure to include these Ghibli Tokyo activities on your next Japan itinerary! 

Curious about Studio Ghibli? Before your visit, watch some of their best and most popular movies including My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, and Princess Mononoke. This will make your Ghibli Tokyo experience even more special. 

Here is my ultimate list of Ghibli things to do in Tokyo! 

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1. Visit the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka

The number one to-do item for any list of Ghibli Tokyo activities is to visit the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, western Tokyo. This museum is the holy grail for any Ghibli fan in Tokyo for a number of reasons. The museum shows exclusive mini-films created by Studio Ghibli that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. It has a number of incredible exhibits that highlight the joys of animation and special rotating exhibits that showcase anything from the colors used in the movies to special behind-the-scene artworks and prints. The museum building itself is also awe-inspiring, with easter eggs hidden all over the place like little black soot sprites hiding in the walls, beautiful Ghibli-themed stained glass windows, and more. 

Although you’re not allowed to take photos inside the museum, the giant Laputa guard robot on the museum rooftop is a perfect photo opportunity for visitors. Ghibli fans shouldn’t miss the bookstore and souvenir store inside the museum as well, which sell some books and Ghibli souvenirs not available elsewhere. 

Tickets are available online for the Mitaka Ghibli Museum through their official website. Note the tickets go on sale at 10:00am on the 10th of every month for the following month and they can sell out FAST! 

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To this day it’s still difficult to purchase Studio Ghibli Museum tickets due to high demand. If you’ve missed your chance buying tickets directly from the museum, consider joining a Ghibli Tokyo tour that combines the museum visit along with a few other Ghibli-esque locations in Tokyo that I discuss further down my list! Here are a few top-rated tours:

Check out my guide to the Ghibli museum and for buying tickets at a Lawson Loppi machine (if you’re already in Japan).

2. Shop at Donguri no Mori or Donguri Republic (Studio Ghibli) stores

Tokyo has a number of Studio Ghibli stores, called Donguri no Mori or Donguri Republic (donguri is acorn in Japanese). Here, you can step into the world of Hayao Miyazaki and buy souvenirs like plushies, notebooks, stickers, handkerchiefs, keychains, socks, kitchenware and coin purses of your favorite Ghibli characters. In addition to the gift shop at the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, these stores are the hands-down best place to buy Ghibli souvenirs in Tokyo. 

Check out the Donguri Republic Instagram page and official website to get an idea for the variety of Ghibli goods that can be purchased here. Because the Donguri stores don’t all sell the same products, it’s worth visiting as many as possible to expand your Ghibli souvenir collection! Ghibli fans in Tokyo can visit these Studio Ghibli stores in the Tokyo Skytree Mall, Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City Mall, and Tokyo Station’s Character Street. 

Donguri no Mori stores can also be found around Japan including in Kamakura, Kyoto, Osaka, and Kawagoe

Visiting the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo Japan. How to get there, get tickets, and tips on visiting Studio Ghibli! Totoro greeting at the entrance

3. Go for a walk in the Totoro Forest

The Sayama Hills west of Tokyo were a source of inspiration for Studio Ghibli’s well-loved movie My Neighbor Totoro.  In order to preserve the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the region, the Totoro no Furusato Foundation was developed through crowdsourcing including support from Hayao Miyazaki himself. Today, the hills are lined with a number of Totoro trails, marked with cute, Ghibli-esque signage. It’s a perfect place for Ghibli fans to try forest-bathing (and even spot a Totoro!) near Tokyo and escape the bustle of the city. 

In addition to the trails and signage, visitors can take photos with Ghibli statues and visit the Kurosuke (soot spirit) house – an old building similar to Mei and Satsuki’s house where they found soot spirits in the Totoro movie. Entry to the house is 500 yen per person. 

Here are the coordinates to Totoro trail one on Google Maps. 

More about the Totoro Fund can be found on their official website here

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4. Buy Ghibli manga and books at a Tokyo bookstore

Studio Ghibli movies been translated from the screen to manga books! Visit a bookstore like Tsutaya and Kinokuniya in Tokyo to pick up some Ghibli manga and other Ghibli-themed books. These manga (pictured below) are a great way to re-live the movies, and are also a perfect gift for Japanese language learners. 

In addition to Ghibli manga, popular Studio Ghibli books include art books (like the Art of Howl’s Moving Castle and the Art of Spirited Away) which show original drawings from when the anime were developed. 

Others include anthologies like Hayao Miyazaki, which showcases the director’s creative process and includes sketches of his early works. 

Visiting the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo Japan. How to get there, get tickets, and tips on visiting Studio Ghibli! Totoro greeting at the entrance

5. Eat at Hiroshige's Cream Puff Factory

Hiroshige’s Cream Puff Factory sells adorable and Instagrammable Totoro-shaped cream puffs. They look amazing but trust me, they taste incredible too! The store is run by a relative of Hayao Miyazaki and sells official, Ghibli-licensed treats. Check out their official website for updates (and latest flavors) here

Tokyo is home to two locations of Hiroshige’s Totoro-shaped cream puffs. One is located in Setagaya (near the maneki-neko beckoning cat shrine, one of my weird and unique things to do in Tokyo) and the other in Kichijoji. The Setagaya location is a full cafe where you can sit inside an enjoy your Totoro cream puffs. The Kichijoji location is take-out only. 

Tip: A limited number of cream puffs are sold each day. Get to the stores as early as possible, especially on the weekends, to make sure you can get the number and the types of cream puffs you want to try! 

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Tip: For a perfect trip to the Studio Ghibli museum, you can start at Kichijoji Station and purchase some Hiroshige Ghibli-themed cream puffs. Walk to nearby Inokashira Park, which is located between Kichijoji and the Studio Ghibli museum. Here you can find a picnic table to enjoy your cream puffs in the outdoors before heading in to the Tokyo Ghibli museum! 

6. Admire the Ghibli Clock Face in Shiodome, Tokyo

This Studio Ghibli-themed clock in Shiodome, central Tokyo is also a must-see Ghibli attraction in Tokyo. This steampunk clock was designed by Hayao Miyazaki and showcases many layers of intricate design. 

Be sure to visit at the top of the hour if possible to listen to an adorable Ghibli-esque tune and see the clock come to life! 

7. Shop at the Ghibli GBL shop

Did you know that Studio Ghibli has a second chain of gift shops, in addition to Donguri Republic? GBL is a more adult-themed Ghibli souvenir shop, which draws from Porco Rosso’s travel, aviation, and adventure themes. 

The souvenirs sold here are a bit more high-end and less cute-sy than Donguri Republic and perfect for Ghibli fans looking for a classy, adult gift. It’s especially perfect for fans of the Porco Rosso and Laputa Castle in the Sky retro and pirate aesthetic. 

The main GBL shop in Tokyo is located at Miyashita Park in Shibuya. Additional pop-up locations are available as well – check out the main GBL website for more information. 

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8. Day-Trip to the Enoshima Coastline

Enoshima is a wonderful day-trip destination from Tokyo that has Ghibli fans and photographers both reaching for their cameras. Enoshima (and the Kamakura coastline) is home to the Enoden, or Enoshima electric tram. The Enoden is picturesque on its own but with the ocean in the background, it looks like something out of a movie. Not only are the train lines scenic, many of the historic train stations the line uses are also very quaint and worth a stop. 

Ghibli fans can ride the Endoen and reminisce about Chihiro’s tram ride across the water in the movie Spirited Away. Other Ghibli movies like From Up on Poppy Hill and Only Yesterday also include train and tram rides as part of the scene-setting and to showcase character developments. Visitors can snag a one-day Enoden pass for a hop-on, hop-off experience. 

9. Shop Ghibli figurines in Akihabara

Studio Ghibli fans in Tokyo shouldn’t miss a visit to Akihabara, the anime and electronics hub of Tokyo. Akihabara is home to a number of stores catering to anime and pop culture fans, so there’s no shortage of Studio Ghibli-themed souvenirs here! 

Some shops in Akihabara are known for their collectible figurines, which are a unique Studio Ghibli gift and can become a cherished treasure. The best store to visit for one-of-a-kind Ghibli figurines (and plushies) is Akihabara Kotobukiya

10. Find Discount Ghibli goods at Don Quijote and Village Vanguard

If you’re looking for discount Studio Ghibli souvenirs in Tokyo, be sure to check out places like Don Quijote and Village Vanguard. Both shops have character and anime goods sections, and you’re guaranteed to find some nice Ghibli goods here on the cheaper side! 

The best Village Vanguard shop in Tokyo is located in the Shimokitazawa neighborhood west of Shinjuku, and the best Don Quijote in Tokyo is in Shibuya. 

11. Climb the hill from Whisper of the Heart

Many locations throughout Japan were supposedly a source of inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki when he was making his films. One of these locations confirmed to be in a Studio Ghibli movie is in western Tokyo in the Seiseki Sakuragaoka neighborhood. It’s the exact setting for the movie Whisper of the Heart

Ghibli fans visiting this neighborhood go to Irohazaka Slope which overlooks the surrounding city and is especially nostalgic at night. Kotohira Shrine near the slope is also featured in the Whisper of the Heart movie. 

12. Get Spirited Away at Hotel Gajoen

Visit the traditional (and a little bit whimsical) Japanese hotel Hotel Gajoen to transport yourself to the Spirited Away onsen village. This hotel is located in Meguro, a popular neighborhood in southwest Tokyo. 

Visitors can visit many aspects of the hotel including its spacious garden with scenic waterfalls and koi ponds, their many high-end on-site restaurants, and the Hyakudan Kaidan point of interest. The Hyakudan Kaidan is a historic section of Hotel Gajoen that looks straight out of the Spirited Away bathhouse with its old wooden interiors and decorated walls and sliding doors. 

If you’re interested in staying at Hotel Gajoen for the full Ghibli-themed Tokyo experience, check the latest availability and prices here

Hotel Gajoen is one of three stops on this Studio Ghibli tour of Tokyo which includes tickets to the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo. 

13. Visit the Edo Tokyo Open Air Museum

The animators at Studio Ghibli also drew inspiration from the buildings at the Edo Tokyo Open Air Museum.  This museum showcases traditional Japanese architecture and homes that will make visitors feel like they’ve stepped back in time (and into a Studio Ghibli movie!) Elements that movie fans might recognize include the onsen town where Chihiro’s parents turn into pigs in Spirited Away, and the village homes visited by Mei and Satsuki in My Neighbor Totoro. 

Even the caterpillar mascot for this outdoor museum in Tokyo was designed by Hayao Miyazaki.

The Edo Tokyo Open Air Museum is located conveniently near to the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka. You can visit both in one day! Read more about entry and visiting hours on their official website here

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14. Dine at Kichijoji Petit Mura and Cat Cafe

Step into a parallel Studio Ghibli universe at Kichijoji’s Petit Mura! As Ghibli fans of a Whisper of the Heart, The Cat Returns, and even Arrietty would appreciate, cats play an important role in many of Miyazaki’s films. Petit Mura is a conglomerate of whimsical buildings including a cat cafe, tea house, gift shop, and gallery that are deserving of a spot on this Tokyo Ghibli-themed activities list. 

Although not officially affiliated with Studio Ghibli, its proximity to the Ghibli Museum and its overall fairytale vibes make it a great place to visit for Ghibli fans in Tokyo. 

15. Day-Trip to Yokohama's Up on Poppy Hill

From Up on Poppy Hill is a Studio Ghibli movie directed by the son of Hayao Miyazaki. The movie setting is based on a 1960’s version of the Yamate neighborhood of Yokohama, a perfect day-trip destination from Tokyo

This hilly neighborhood overlooks one of the Yokohama harbors, and is still lined with a number of decade-old buildings. Points of interest include Daikanzaka Hill (which is supposedly THE Poppy Hill), the Miyazaki Florist at the base of the hill, and the Harbor View Park Observatory

16. Pilgrimage to the actual Studio Ghibli studio

Studio Ghibli’s physical animation studio is located in a quiet, residential neighborhood not far from the Ghibli Museum. It is not open to the public but can be admired from the outside. Die-hard Ghibli fans can see the exterior of this building where the magic happens and where the Oscar-winning movies are developed. Visitors here often feel moved just being in the presence of such greatness. Not to mention the building is a little whimsical too! 

When making the pilgrimage to the Studio Ghibli studio please be quiet and respectful, and remember this is a workplace and residential area, not a tourist destination. The location of the studio is here

17. Check out the latest Ghibli-themed Tokyo events on Ghibli's official website

Studio Ghibli’s official website is updated frequently with events around Tokyo and Japan that are sure to delight Studio Ghibli fans. 

Pop-up Studio Ghibli events are not uncommon: In 2023 Ghibli had a pop-up exhibit showcasing their animation designs in Tennozu Isle, in south Tokyo, and at the time of writing a museum in Nagoya will be showcasing Ghibli animation art. 

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18. Visit Studio Ghibli Park in Nagoya

Ok, ok – the last item on my list of Ghibli-themed things to do in Tokyo is actually not in Tokyo. But seriously, I can’t leave Ghibli Park off this list! 

The official Studio Ghibli theme park opened in Nagoya in 2023 but it is still notoriously difficult to score tickets for. 

Check out Ghibli Park’s official website for more information here

Are You Prepared For Your Trip To Japan?

Be sure to check out my Japan home page for Japan travel information, insider tips, reading list, and must-haves for traveling to Japan!

  • Book Your Flights – To find the cheapest flights, flexibility is key. I use both Google Flights for their low fare calendar, and Skiplagged, which uses airfare loopholes to get the lowest prices. For a trip to Japan, check flights to both Tokyo airports (Haneda, Narita) and to Osaka (Kansai). 
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  • Book Local Excursions – Don’t miss out on world-class experiences, like Teamlab Planets or Tokyo Disneyland, by booking tickets online now. Check GetYourGuide and Klook for fun experiences all around Japan. 
  • Stay Connected: Order a pocket WiFi for airport pickup if you’re traveling with family or with a large group. Solo traveling to Japan? Order a SIM card just for you. 
  • Buy Travel Insurance – It’s better to protect yourself from mishaps when traveling. Get a quote from World Nomads to see how much it’ll cost to get you covered! 
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