Studio Ghibli is the name of a pretty famous Japanese animation studio based out of Toyko, Japan, run by directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and producer Toshio Suzuki. Most of the films put out since the studio was built (in 1985) were written and directed by Miyazaki but all three play a hand in the overall films. There is a huge Ghibli Museum in Japan but if you want to go you’d better plan ahead because ticket reservations will have you wait about a year until it’s your turn to go in. These guys are kind of a big deal.
The guys at Studio Ghibli have been known to lend out some of their life-sized film recreations to other countries who host the mini Ghibli Museum exhibit in their country for a few months. This time, Studio Ghibli has lent their work to Seoul, so Studio Ghibli is here! For those fans of Miyazaki who live here in Korea, this is not hot-off-the-press-news as it’s been here since September, but for those of you around the world who are also fans but haven’t had the exhibit come to your city yet, this article is for you.
I’ll include how to get to the exhibit later but for now let’s let the photos tell the rest of this story. Let us begin with one of my favourites, the movie made after a book by the name of Howl’s Moving Castle.
Next, we walk into the world of Princess Mononoke where forest gods battle man’s desire for consumption.
Next let’s visit everyone’s favourite neighbour, Totoro! Let’s go!
From one enchanted forest to another, we now wander into a spirit town in another dimension where a young girl by the name of Chihiro gets lost and must work her way back to her parents.
There were other life-sized recreations from other movies such as Pom Poko, Porco Rosso and Laputa: Castle in the Sky, but they didn’t make the cut. Some photos didn’t turn out as we weren’t even supposed to take pictures so when we did, we tried not to use the flash as to remain discreet. See what I do for you, Dear Readers? I break rules for you! That’s real love.
Here are the stats on how to get there if you’re in Korea:
*The exhibit is inside the Yongsan I’Park Mall on the 6th floor. The mall can be accessed by getting off at Yongsan station (Jungang line and line 1).
*Leave through exit 3 and head right. You’ll see a set of glass doors and an escalator. Take that escalator and you’re in the I’Park mall.
*Admission is 15,000 won for adults and the hours are 11am-8pm. The exhibit hosts suggest you need an hour to walk through the recreated scenes, so last admission is at 7pm.
*It’s open now until March 1st, 2015.
It didn’t take that long for us to walk through because we went on a long weekend Saturday and also after it had already been open about a month. My only complaint is that I wish there was more and perhaps some characters from the underwater story of Ponyo. Regardless of my greedy wishes, it was a truly enchanting walk through the worlds of Studio Ghibli creations and I know I’m lucky to have had a chance to see any of it without waiting a year and budgeting a trip back to Japan. I hope Studio Ghibli comes to your city next!