If you are a fan of Hayao Miyazaki or of any Studio Ghibli's production, you should definitely visit the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo. For one, Miyazaki himself designed the building, and there you can let your inner kid out as it is built like an easy going maze ^.^ That, and the official tag line is "Let's lose our way together."
First thing first though - you'll have to come prepared. This is not one of those museums where you can just show up, buy a ticket and get in. It doesn't work that way. Apparently the museum is really popular, so they limit a number of visitors to a certain time on a certain day. I don't know how things work if you're outside of the Japan and wants to visit, but inside Japan, you can only purchase tickets at Lawson stores. If you reserved your ticket online, you'll have to pay for it within 2 days of reservation at your local Lawson or you'll loose the reservation. That was what happened to us, because we didn't know better. Also, photography is not allow anywhere inside the building. Once outside, then you can film or take photos.
Also, if you're planning to eat at the museum restaurant, you should reserve your ticket at an earlier time block. Our entry time block was 2PM, and stopping by the museum restaurant wanting a snack, we were shocked to find a whole waiting room full of people. And that was 2PM, folks. Then again, we were only looking for snacks and settled for the hotdog and ice cream stand next to the restaurant, which more or less calmed our snack bugs ^.^
Check out the kitty faucet knob at the sink outside the restaurant!
The museum has some really intimate displays of artwork. I'm not talking about the blown up framed stuff that you can't even come within 2 feet of before alarms will sound, but rather hundreds and thousands of original colored/pencil sketches and drawings just pinned up on the walls, completely open and unprotected. You can just walk around to take a quick look, take a closer look, touch them, flip them, whatever. My first thought upon seeing this was, "Eeeek...people are going to damage these drawings! And what if somebody takes something?" After all, these are original work that made Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli famous! But I was quickly reassured, if not amazed, by the restraint and general respect people have for the exhibition as a whole. There were albums left out, and people looked through that. There were boxes here and there with signs telling kids to open up and look inside. But other than that, no one, not even a rowdy little kid, touched anything they weren't supposed to.
This is the spiral staircase leading up to the garden on the roof.
In front of the spiral staircase is a fun water fountain ^.^
View of the exit from the roof.
View of the entrance from the roof.
Aside from a pretty garden, the main attraction on the roof was this steel robot, supposedly life size, from the movie Laputa - Castle in the Sky.
As you can see, the robot is huge and people only stood to his crotch ^.^
Follow this path to go further into the rooftop garden.
The view outside the restaurant.
View of the spiral staircase up to the roof (upper middle) from the exit.
View of the museum restaurant (the marzipan colored building) from the exit.
The spiral staircase to the roof and the giant robot from the exit gate.