For foreign travelers, tickets to the Ghibli Museum are like the golden tickets in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – nearly impossible to get. There are lots of websites that list ways to get the tickets, but in practice, none of these methods work. However, there are now two good ways to get tickets: one easy and reliable, and one geeky and very difficult. We’ll introduce both here.
First, Why Is It So Hard to Get Ghibli Museum Tickets?!
The Ghibli Museum is a small place that is very popular with Japanese and international visitors. Most Japanese buy their tickets at kiosks in Japanese convenience stores or online from the company that operates those ticket kiosks. This requires both Japanese ability and a Japanese cell phone to make the purchase.
Furthermore, the tickets go on sale 30 days in advance and sell out very quickly. Finally, the ticket purchaser must actually be present in the group that visits the museum. This is to prevent resale of tickets by third-party vendors. For most foreign tourists, these conditions make it impossible to buy tickets themselves.
Sunrise Tours Ghibli Museum & Ghibli Film Appreciation Bus Tour
Sunrise Tours, a large and reputable Japanese travel company, offers an 8.5-hour tour that that includes a 75-minute visit to the interesting Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum in Koganei and a 150-minute visit to the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka. The tour also includes lunch and full bus transport starting and ending in Shinjuku (Tokyo).
The price is Y22,000 for those 12 years and up, Y20,400 for those between 4 and 11, and free for those under 3. You can book the tour online from Sunrise Tours. You can also purchase the tour from JTB USA.
A Geeky Way to Buy Ghibli Museum Tickets
Some tech-savvy people have figured out a way to buy Ghibli Museum tickets without Japanese ability, a Japanese cellphone or physical presence in Japan. Please keep in mind that we have not tested this method ourselves and we are not condoning it. We merely presenting it here for informational purposes. Okay, here’s the method. Here’s some useful commentary on the method.
And here’s a new site that MAY offer an easier way. If anyone has success (or failure) with this method, please email us via the contact form with your experience.
- Inokashira-koen Park and Ghibli Museum
- Ghibli Museum is located to the west of Shinjuku district if you want to stay nearby
Tokyo Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Tokyo guide
- Check Tokyo accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Tokyo
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online for collection on arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda airports. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare airline flight prices and timings for the best Japan flight deals. Check my guides to arriving at Narita Airport and at Haneda Airport.
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's why it's worth it
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Tokyo much easier - here's how
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