Photo Credit: jennifer Broun Conor@Flickr.com
The story follows the adventure of Satsuki and her younger sister, Mei, as they encounter a wonderful magical woodland creature, Totoro. The story takes place in 1950s Japan and a nostalgic piece invoking imagery of a simpler time.
Most Ghibli fans are aware of the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, but even if you are familiar with the films, you may not know about this place. Located in Aichi prefecture is a house modeled after Satsuki and Mei’s Totoro house in the animated film, “My Neighbor Totoro”! This isn’t just a place you stop by and snap a few quick pictures of, but actively explore and experience. It is a setting straight out of one of Studio Ghibli’s most popular films.
The building and property itself is pretty amazing. If you’ve ever seen the film you will instantly recognize the building. The construction was over seen by Goro Miyazaki and remains true to the movie. The attention to detail is simply amazing. Although taking pictures maybe controlled visitors are encouraged to explore the house. This of course includes opening drawers, cupboards and finding hidden places.
Stepping into the home fees less like a tourist attraction and more like someone’s actual home. It is fully furnished and includes everything from Mei’s slipper, Satsuki’s desk, to even the occasional acorn.
The rooms in the house are all accurate to the movie too. The bathtubs, the fathers study, and even the attic featured in one of the early scenes. You’d almost expect to hear Mei and Satsuki’s playing.
The attention to detail is truly astonishing, from the aged wood to the rotting beams, this house is perfectly accurate to the film. The atmosphere takes you away and it is easy to really imagine the world that Ghibli created. This is a definite spot for any Ghibli fan.
Similar to the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, it is important to buy your tickets ahead of time and the tours run roughly 45 minutes. If you get the chance to visit this place make sure to take the time to check everything and really appreciate the excellent execution of this real life representation of Satsuki and Mei’s Totoro house.
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Satsuki and Mei’s Totoro House – My Neighbor Totoro
Address: 1533-1 Ibaragabasama, Nagakute, Aichi prefecture
Access: Take Linimo from Fujigaoka station to Aichikyuhaku-Kinen-Koen station
Hours: 9:30am ~ 4:00pm
*Close on Mondays
500 JPY (adults)
250 JPY (children)
Website: Satsuki and Mei’s Totoro House