TÖKYÖ — Only a few more days remain to view the Edo-Tökyö Open Air Architectural Museum’s special exhibition of unique buildings and structures that appeared in Studio Ghibli animation films. Since opening last July, the exhibit, “Studio Ghibli: Architecture in Animation,” has drawn tens of thousands of visitors. It was to have closed in mid-December, but was extended until mid-March.

According to the museum, more than 300,000 people have visited the facility since the exhibition opened, up from an average of 230,000 each year.

A miniature of the Kusakabe family home, where sisters Satsuki and Mei live with their parents, is included in the “My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro)” section.

Another highlight is the eye-catching 3-meter-high towering Aburaya bathhouse featured in “Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi),”which is presented in a 3-D model.

The exhibit also includes some 400 items related to 21 Studio Ghibli films, from “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no Tani no Naushika),” to its latest production, “When Marnie Was There (Omoide no Marnie),” including background art, concept art and other production material for the buildings in the virtual worlds of Ghibli animation.

Drawings by director Hayao Miyazaki are also on display.

Tomoyo Yoshida, a 22-year-old university student from Sapporo, said she was most impressed with seeing the Aburaya bathhouse owned by the witch Yubaba.

“I was able to see the back side of the buildings you cannot see in the films. I enjoyed (watching them) while imagining as if the movie characters were inside,” Yoshida said.

The exhibition runs through March 15 and is open daily except Monday. Museum admission is 400 yen, but is free for children through elementary school age. Discounts are available to senior citizens and other types of students. — by Kenta Koyanagi


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