Monday, August 3, 2020

Explore the Hayao Miyazaki-Designed Ghibli Museum in a Virtual Tour

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Kaylah Vargas
I've been critically reviewing fandoms and geek culture for eight years. After spending four years of college focusing on literary analysis, I now apply that passion to my hobbies and love for the geekdom.

Studio Ghibli and the works by Hayao Miyazaki aren’t exactly easily accessible here in the United States, since they originate in Japan and are more popularized and celebrated there. Nonetheless, they have become a staple for both anime and animation lovers across the board.

Finding a glimmer of good in these hard times 2020 and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we can find some solace that these times allow us virtual access to so many otherwise exclusive spaces.

Ghibli Museum, screenshot from Youtube video

Ghibli’s catalog has been recently added to HBO Max which now allows people to refuel their love of the films as well as allows new fans to join in on the awe-inspiring fandom. But that isn’t the only good news for Ghibli lovers.

The Ghibli Museum is giving the internet a rare look inside its exclusive doors with a virtual tour hosted on its YouTube channel. Photography of the Museum has previously been prohibited, and the only way to catch a glance was with a ticket.

Normally you would have to find yourself in Tokyo, Japan, in order to tour the Studio Ghibli museum in Mitaka. The museum currently has been closed indefinitely in response to government restrictions to the coronavirus pandemic. However they decided to give the world the option to virtually explore the amazing collection they have. The Studio Ghibli team opened a new YouTube channel to give a free, yeah you read that right, free virtual tour of the museum.

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They chose to give us a tour with a series of videos that run around a minute long each. The Ghibli Museum channel spotlights a different exhibit or feature of the museum allowing us to focus on each space. You get to view the fantastical mural in the “Space of Wonder” room, which includes paintings of the Catbus and Kiki, to the exterior recreations of the houses from My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service. Gorgeous stained glass windows (with designs of the forest creatures from Totoro) light up the rooms they are featured in. The museum features a permanent exhibit: “Where a Film is Born” which is filled with an array of props, models, books, as well as artwork from films like Castle in the Sky and The Wind Rises. And although we can not get a taste, there’s also a tiny glance at the Straw Hat café that offers Ghibli-themed snacks.

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Enjoy this viewing into the world of Studio Ghibli without ever having to leave your home. Let us know what you think in the comments.

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