Monday, 29 October 2012

Ghibli Museum 三鷹の森ジブリ美術館

Sorry there wasn't any updates for the past few days cause I was on a Company Trip to Kuala Lumpur with my bosses and colleagues and needless to say, when an MPV car full of ladies gathers, it's time for some serious shopping!!  We had a good 3 days 2 nights worth of food and goodies but that's not what I want to tell you today.

Today, let me be your tour guide to none other than the GHIBLI MUSEUM!! Yes, another awesome treat for both you and me!!! <3  If you have no idea what Ghibli is, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GO WIKI IT  AND THEN BUY THE MOVIES TO WATCH (cause it would be illegal for me to ask you to download it =P).  It won an Oscar in 2002 for the Best Animated Feature and mind you, it's the ONLY film made outside from the so call "English Speaking" world to have done so.  So no, it's not 'cartoon'.  Not just 'another anime'.  It's a very recognized awesome Studio that makes awesome movies (seventeen of them to be exact from 1986).

Well, enough rage.  :D


Actually, before you "go", you have to purchase tickets first (>.>) and they don't sell it at the Museum itself because you have to pre-book your tickets like for Tokyo Sky Tree (preferably) and you can book it Internationally or locally (in Japan).

This is the official site of Ghibli Museum and you just have to click on the marked sign and they will tell you step by step on how to get their tickets and of course, how to go there <3

#1  Ghibli Museum's Website

So for me, I got it 'locally', which mean I got my tickets from a convenience store in Japan known as Lawson.  Entrance ticket as of now is ¥1,000, equivalent to roughly RM 40.00 (maybe slightly lesser, depending on the currency exchange rate).  Sounds expensive but for a ticket to go to somewhere so awesome and plus the fact that it's in Japan, ¥1,000 is actually considered superbly reasonably priced.  One meal can easily exceed this amount.

#2  Ghibli Museum tickets from Lawson!

Can you believe that it came with a beautiful envelope and also a map/guide to show you how to go?  How can you not love Japanese people?  They are just so thoughtful!!  And me and Godbrother was squealing like mad when we got the tickets.  Can cry.  Cause cause, we actually booked the tickets pretty last minute and we were convinced that we won't be able to get any slots to go BUT, lady luck is on our side <3

It's not that near to Tokyo but everything in Japan is made easy!  Just hop onto the railway to Mitaka Station and here we are!

#3  Oh Yeah~  Oh Yeah~  I am HERE!  Well, THERE!  

This is the entrance to the Museum <3  This was one of the two days in my Japan trip where it rained cause we were affected slightly by a Typhoon that was passing by so it's quite chilly but it did make the place look even more magical because the sky was slightly gloomy and it was drizzling here and there.  All is good!

#4  Ticketing Booth

Before you go in, you have to get your ticket validated by Totoro!!  Just kidding, it's just a display of the Gigantic Totoro (perhaps the life size version o.o) but it's still fun to pretend to try to talk to it and ask its permission to let me enter the museum =P

The place is designed in such a way that before you reach the real entrance, you will walk pass by the Museum's awesome architecture.  According to Wikipedia, Miyazaki Hayao designed this Museum himself and it is heavily influenced by both his films and also European architecture.  So lets take a short walk across this weird yet bizarre place.

#5  Outdoor View

#6  Outdoor View

#7  Outdoor View

Yeah I know, so GREEN.

#8  Main Entrance

This is the MAIN entrance and the glass is fully decorated with glass paint with scenes or characters of every other movies from Ghibli.  Not even the door but each and every window is nearly painted with scenes from each movies including the Ookami from Princess Mononoke, the witch doctor from Spirited Away, Sophie from Howls Moving Castle and many more!!


The tour sort of ends here. 

 Because we are not allowed to take pictures inside.

I AM SORRY that I couldn't take any pictures for all of you but I will just try to make it as short as possible how it looks like inside alright, so bear with me ;_;

After this door, you will enter the receptionist area but the Dome (yes there's a dome at the center of the ceiling)  is a widely painted blue sky with Totoro and other characters from Ghibli running around happily and chasing each other in a never ending circle.

Then,  you walk down a plight of stairs where the windows surrounding you is painted with the same painting technique mentioned above and when you are at ground floor, there are few 'rooms' where you can enter.  One of it is the mechanical room where they show you how are the movies made using what technique or mechanics and it's so beautifully done.

#9  The glass painting that I was talking about!  
This picture is fully owned by Collider , not mine! :D

Then, there's also a spiral staircase.  A really, really narrow spiral staircase in the middle of nowhere and you are encourage to try walking up that stairs without falling >D.

There's also one lift situated in the middle of the room and it looks like those from the 1800 time.  It's funny to note how everyone rushes to take that lift even if it functions the same as every other lift in the world and does not transport you elsewhere except going up and down.

Okay, one special feature about this museum is they will show you a 15 minutes film.  And this film is only available in the Museum.  If you've never visited the museum, you have most likely not heard of it because it's an in house thing.  Every visitor gets the privilege to watch this film once and the title of the film is Mr Dough and the Egg Princess.

#10  Mr Dough and Egg Princess

It's a very cute film and I am not going to spoil it for you and though it's only 15 minutes, its really an authentic Ghibli work cause it's just so weird and bizarre and mind blowing but superbly nice to watch.

There is then the work station where they recreate their very own work station of the original Ghibli groups and you will be amazed on how much effort they put in for one single movie.  It's simply crazy because everything is drawn using hand on paper or on transparency paper.  NOT digital.  Which means, every single movement is redrawn from head to toe - frame by frame.  Not digitally copied or reusing part of the picture.  This also mean there's simply no room for error.  It's the same from the sketches till the colouring is done.  Can you imagine how much work is that?  I don't want to imagine that >.>  But thank you Ghibli for your awesome job!

Third floor is the souvenir floor and I manage to get a picture from another blogger, Comics212!

#11  Ghibli Souvenirs!

And below are the three loots that my Godbrother got from the Museum (photo credits to him of course <3).  The first two are the Ohmu's from Nausicaa and the third is the very Castle from Howls Moving Castle!  100% Pewter.  Awesome?? No, its not.  Because it's VERY awesome.   Pft.

#12  Blue and Red Eyes

#14  Howls Moving Castle

#15  Surprise!  It can be taken out part by part lol

They are a beauty, aren't they?

Annnnnd that's the end of the tour inside.  Let's go to outside then :D  We are not allowed to take pictures inside the Museum so we practically violated the exterior of the Museum.

# 16  ICE CREAM, from Ghibli.  How can you not eat one! D:

#17  Look at the Pig on the Menu Board and Miyazaki Hayao himself (picture from Wikipedia by Thomas Schulz).  

The Ghibli group loves to depict themselves as pigs for some reason and the most piggy person would be Miyazaki Hayao because there are not only pictures but miniature statues of him as a pig like the one above!  

#18  More scenery of the Museum, photobombed by me.

#19  More photobomb :D

#20  This is the external spiral stairs.  Climb this up and you will exit to..

#21  Robot Soldier from Laputa or Castle in the Sky!  SEE HOW BIG IT IS?

#22  Ancient Hand Pump Well which still works lol

#23 Sewer Cover which smiles at you :<

#24  Weird looking chairs :D

#25  Spot the Hidden Totoro!

#26  Looks so magical ;_;

#27  Hidden soots at the one of the walls that you might just walk pass by them unnoticed!

#28  Annnd, time to go back.

QQ  SO sad ;_;  Even though it drizzled that day, I would say it was the perfect day to go because it just adds up all the right atmosphere for visiting such a wonderful place (for me) but all things have to come to an end be it good or bad.  So after this, we went for dinner and ended our night by  roaming Akihabara again.

More tales coming soon <3  I hope you enjoy this place as much as I do but if you don't, there's always *hint* DisneySea to look forward to =P

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Tokyo Sky Tree 東京スカイツリー

I've had pretty interesting question asked by the people around me such as "If I am visiting Japan, should I go to Kyoto or Tokyo?"

Well the reason for this question being asked is because AirAsia flies to either Kansai Airport in Osaka, or Haneda (Narita) Airport in Tokyo.

I have only been to Japan twice and I am far from being an expert on Japan's tourism knowledge but from personal experience, I would say Tokyo because the main attractions are there, at least for me.  Kyoto I would say is more for people who enjoys sightseeing or visiting historical places.  I am not saying that I do not enjoy sightseeing but I just find myself more attracted to Tokyo because there are endless places that you can go to! 

Like for this trip, there would be separate posts about the specific places that I've been to so that you can judge for yourself!

#1  Taken at the very same spot, around 4 p.m. and around 9 p.m.  Sunset in Tokyo during winter is around 5.30 p.m. and sunrise is about 5.30 a.m. :D

As you can see, first post this time would be my visit to Sky Tree (東京スカイツリー) !  It's a very newly opened attraction and is the second tallest tower in the world standing at 634.0 metre in its full height and the tower is open to the public ever since May this year!  Well when it first open, everyone's so excited about it be it the locals or the tourist that the tickets to enter the tower is full for the entire first 2 months!  Even up till August, it would be best if you pre-book the tickets if you want to enter the tower.

Even we pre-book the tickets because you'll never know when the tickets will be sold out!  So for those of you who are interested in going, please be informed that there are actually 2 types of tickets that you can buy.  One is for the 350 metre view or if you want more, you can purchase the more expensive ticket and it takes you up all the way to 450 metre.

Lets begin the tour with me!!

#2 Yada yada, I can't help but request a picture of this cause it says SKY TREE! =P

#3  Random spot outside Tokyo Solamachi.  Tokyo Solamachi is the shopping mall for Tokyo Sky Tree :D

#4  The Tokyo Sky Tree Ticket Booth!  This is for those who didn't book their tickets beforehand and you should have seen the queue that day!  Too bad I don't have a picture of that.  I feel very bad to just point my camera at the crowd of people and snap random photoes of them :<

#5  How the tickets looks like <3

After getting your tickets, you have to go out of the Ticket Booth to go to the dedicated entrance.  I think there are around 6 entrances for people who comes at different time.  Oh this works like movie tickets, they have multiple time slot per day so if the morning tickets are sold out, you could try for the evening ones.  Prices does not differ for different time slot :D  And there are no time limit after you enter in case you are wondering about this.

Yosh! You don't just walk up to 350 metre or 450 metre!  You obviously have to take the lift and there are Sky Tree officers controlling each  lift so that they can limit the amount of people that can enter the lift at one time.  Plus, they will push the open, close and floor button for you so all you have to do is stand there and wait for your turn, walk in and ta-da!  You are at 350 metre or 450 metre! <3

#6 Sky Tree Officers Uniform <3 (Including the shoes)

#7  What's this?

Lol, take a wild guess what's this.  Lights?  Ceilings?  Well you are partially right.  This is actually the interior design of the lift and the lights illuminates as it the lift moves!!  It could be really bright or it will black out completely and then light up again!  It's just superbly pretty.  Once you enter the lift and it starts moving, everyone whips their camera or cellphones out to take pictures of the interior design of a lift because it's just so pretty and just one short fact:  Every lift has a different interior design =P

#8  The sight that greeted us.  I will give you 10 seconds to enlarge the picture just so you can look at it more.  Looks like a freaking wallpaper right?











HOW WAS IT?  DID IT TOOK YOUR BREATH AWAY?  It certainly did with mine! I honestly fell in love with that place immediately.  Like. fell.  in.  love.

#9  That orange blob is actually the Tokyo Tower!

#10  Okay, this pictures is actually very special.  You see the drawing of mountains and sea and this particular glass pane?  It actually shows the past and the present of this exact place.  The drawing is how this place use to look like and the view you are looking at right now is how they have developed Japan into.  Japanese people are amazing right?  Well look at picture #11 and #12 below, it's the bigger and clearly version of the two <3



#13  They even provide interactive screens to show the visitors the process of this whole area developing from mountains and rivers to what it is today.  Well, the view is still the most important thing of course <3

#14 More view of the sunset.  That's MOUNT FUJI  by the way <3

#15  They even have specially decorated Halloween Glass Pane!  Some of them even says Tokyo Sky Tree <3

Okay, all the above picture are taken at 350 metre.  The below pictures are taken at 450 metre.



 #18  Me and my two most beloved person on the Earth.  Going there with them is more than a dream come true.  It's way beyond that and I just don't know how to describe it in words.

 #19  Lastly, they even put up a special show for us visitors!  For a short period of time, certain words will appear on the glass pane and then disappear and change to other words.  Don't worry, just so you don't miss out anything, I actually took a video of it!  Watch it, it's only 30 seconds lol, I am sure it's worth your time <3  (If possible watch it in HD :D  Cause it's recorded in Full HD hehehe)

Well other than pictures taken by me, below are 5 really wonderful pictures taken by my Godbrother which paints to you the view from Sky Tree in a totally different angle and perspective <3

#20  See how he manage to capture the beauty of the lift?

#21  View from 450 metre 


#23  I personally like this Panorama picture a lot.  You must must must view this picture in a bigger size!  It's just so amazing.

#24  When we were leavin we spotted this really cute and artistic wall so I couldn't resist and requested a picture of me with it =P

Well that's it folks!  I hope Tokyo Sky Tree mesmerizes you as much as it mesmerized me and if you are in Tokyo, you now know a must go destination!

I will be posting other places that I've visited so far in Japan this time and they are all pretty interesting places I would say so stay tune for more surprises!