Final Japan Trip Part 2 – Tokyo and Studio Ghibli

December 29, 2009

Leaving Nikko, I took the private train line back to Tokyo

It was Seven in the morning and the sunshine on the empty seats was gorgeous. I had the entire carriage to myself, so having no Ipod (it died) and a world of space, I walked up and down the aisles and played around switching the movable seats from back to front. Maybe thats why the bloke who got on in Momoyama got straight off :) I miss having that effect on people – It was useful.

I got off in Asakusa and because I only had the private subway line map I took it all the way out to Mitaka, I followed the signs, took a CATBUS (squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee) to the museum. I took a pee break in a starbucks and  had a coffee.

Up on the walls were these stupid, gash holiday posters. “I wish I was already home.” “I wish Kids didn’t remember what I said.” That kind of shitriddendrivel. Regardless of how trite they are I still cried when I read the one saying “I wish I was already home”. I did. Now I am home. Get back to me in regards to how I feel about that –  I’m a bit busy staving off the implosive-head-mess of reentry. Give me a  month, eh?

And there it was, the museum – the one I’d been dying to see for about 3 years or actually since I watched Spiritied Away in University or actually – maybe when I Watched Laputa Castle in the Sky when I was three. Regardless – I could not believe I was finally here. I went through the tiny little reception area, exchanged my Lawson recipet for a tiny piece of film cell – what serves as a ticket at Studio Ghibli (AWESOME!).

The whole museum is designed to look like a giant old Victorian house. The various rooms house the exhibits, but exhibits isnt really the right word. You have to really explore the museum – really get lost in it. From the central hall a series of ever tinier door frames lead you off to one part of the house.

A huge glass elevator takes you up to the upper floors, the highest is reached by a cast metal staircase which spirals across the mural ceiling. My favorite part was looking at the “studio” – literally designing tables littered with the debris of creativity. Huge glass jars full of pencil stubs. Overflowing Ashtrays,  photos,  sketchbooks you are never told it’s ok to flip through – you just have to do it. Take the initiative of a child a hoke through. There were bookshelves, in English, in German – picture books. In between the books I  found an old photograph of a little girl who looked spookily like this little witch. On the back was written “My Aunt, Kiki, aged 6 years.” MAGIC! How genius is this place!? Opening a dressing-up-box, I found an old Noh mask which looked just like No Face from spirited away. It was, of course, buried under clothes, toys and other children’s things.

Lastly, making my way up on to the roof, I finally met someone I’d wanted to meet since I was three:

The Robot from Laputa Castle in the Sky. He was nice :)

I can’t believe I did it. I can’t believe I went to Japan, I did everything I wanted to do and I made it all happen. Sometimes it was a bit hairy, a bit overly drunken, a bit lonely and I was at times exhausted, over confident and foolish. A lot of the time though, I was blessed with friends, great co workers and wonderful students and an oppertunity which really was fantastic.

As 2009 draws to a close I can’t help but feel satisfied with my time there and give myself a reluctant nudge of congratulations. Before , thats is, I get back to increasingly important business of banging my head against a wall and yelling:


Love Mizi

P.S – Look I got my hands on my book, finally!


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