A couple of weeks ago I went to the Ghibli Museum with the CIEE students, and I've been meaning to write about it for a while, but I've gotten totally swamped with school and fun outings.
In any case, the Ghibli Museum is located in Mitaka, Japan. That's a bit far from Morishita, where I'm staying. So I called up my friend Ellie, who lives somewhere off the Shinjuku-sen, to come to Morishita so we could figure out where to go together. I've grown accustomed to using Tokyo Metro, and not the JR Line (above ground train), so I figured it would be good to have a wing man.
Luckily for us, it turned out that the subway line turned straight into the JR Chuo line, which would take us to Kichijoji, where we would be meeting with the other CIEE students.
At Kichijoji, Ellie and I were in for a surprise. There was a depato, or department store inside the station. What surprised me the most? A Little Eataly, complete with fresh gelato. I got creme brulee, and it was delicious. I've only been to the Eataly in New York City, so I was completely stunned to see it in a station no less.
From there we walked to the museum. The museum itself was fascinating. A whimsical combination of film and art, it showed both how animators worked, as well as animation in general. There were many exhibits that played with viewpoint and perspective and magnification, and it was very interesting.
We also got to watch a short Ghibli original film. It was called "Hoshi wo Katta Hi" or the Day I Bought a Star. It had some odes to Spirited Away and other Ghibli productions in it as it was directed by Hayao Miyazaki, and what I especially enjoyed were the allusions to Jack and the Beanstalk. A boy who gets lost from home is taken in by a woman by Ninya, who allows him to work for board. He trades a cart full of turnips to a strange frog and a mole for a mysterious seed. He plants the seed in soil, and to his astonishment, the seed grows into a miniature planet with its own ecosystem. He then releases the star into the universe so that with time, it will grow into its own planet and sustain life. The music and animation were both heart-wrenchingly beautiful.
Unfortunately, photos weren't allowed inside the museum, so I took some outside!