Complete access guide to Ghibli Museum from Tokyo and Shinjuku.

Laputan robot stands up at the roof of the museum.
Laputan robot stands up at the roof of the museum.

I visited Ghibli Museum in this past spring and I realized how popular this site is for overseas travellers. It is not very difficult to access this museum. But some of you worry about language, direction, storage and exact location to catch a bus to the museum. In this post, I use lots of picture to explain about access by train and bus.

*The information in this article is current at the time of writing.

Access to Mitaka station by JR Chuo line Rapid train and Chuo-Sobu Local train

Chuo Line Rapid (left/Orange color) / Chuo-Sobu Local (right/Yellow color)
Chuo Line Rapid (left/Orange color) / Chuo-Sobu Local (right/Yellow color)

The nearest station to Ghibli Museum is Mitaka. You can get Mitaka by JR Chuo Line Rapid train or Sobu-Chuo Line local train. Both train run almost same route and regular commute train. Train runs every 5 minutes or even less than 5 minutes. Chuo Line Rapid departs from Tokyo and skip several stations. But Sobu-Chuo Local runs between Mitaka ana Chiba. This train does not go to Tokyo and stops all stations on this route. So if you get Mitaka from Tokyo or Shinjuku, you can catch Chuo Line Rapid easily and faster.

Route of Chuo Line Rapid train (C) RailRider
Route of Chuo Line Rapid train (C) RailRider

Trip time
Tokyo – Mitaka 30 minutes (by Chuo Line Rapid)
Shinjuku – Mitaka 18 minutes (by Chuo Line Rapid), 21 minutes (by Chuo-Sobu Local)

Route of Chuo-Sobu Line Local train (C) RailRider
Route of Chuo-Sobu Line Local train (C) RailRider

Mitaka station

At Mitaka station track #5
At Mitaka station track #5

Mitaka station is not a huge terminal station, like Tokyo and Shinjuku. There are only three platforms and six tracks. Please see the map at JR East official English site.

If you take Rapid, you will arrive at track #3 or #4. If you take Local, you will arrive track #1. There are two ticket gates, main gate and small gate that is connected to shopping complex, “atre vie”. You can proceed to main ticket gate.

Mitaka station main ticket gate
Mitaka station main ticket gate

Once you get off Mitaka station, proceed to South exit.

You will see the sign of Ghible Museum.
You will see the sign of Ghible Museum.

After you exit the station building, turn left and go down to the ground level. You will see the bus stop for Ghibli Museum is located soon.

Can you see Totoro on the bus stop? You can see station building behind the bus stop.
Can you see Totoro on the bus stop? You can see station building behind the bus stop.

How to pay a fare

There are vending machine at the bus stop.

You can use coin and 1000 yen bill to purchase a ticket. Round trip fare is 300 yen. You can't use a credit card for payment.
You can use coin and 1000 yen bill to purchase a ticket. Round trip fare is 300 yen. You can’t use a credit card for payment.
The ticket is not very special. You have to slot into the box when you ride a bus. You can't keep it for souvenir.
The ticket is not very special. You have to slot into the box when you ride a bus. You can’t keep it for souvenir.

There are lots of Ghibli character on the bus. You can’t miss the bus.

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There are several bus stop between Mitaka station and museum. Don’t worry. Almost 100% passengers go to the museum. You can’t miss to get off.

Bus stop is located just a few steps away from Ghibli museum entrance.
Bus stop is located just a few steps away from Ghibli museum entrance.

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Storage

Most of you go to the museum as day trip. But some of you may go there with your baggage. I had a small suitcase. But it was very hard to find coin operated locker at Mitaka station. There are some coin lockers at the south exit. But all lockers were full. I moved to North exit and found several lockers were empty. Fortunately my suitcase is very small and could put it into the locker. But there is no large size locker. Don’t take a big suitcase.

There are lots of coin operated locker in the museum.

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But those are standard size. But you can’t store a suitcase either.

20 thoughts on “Complete access guide to Ghibli Museum from Tokyo and Shinjuku.”

  1. Hi,
    Can a Tokyo Metro 1 day Tokyo Combination Ticket (A ticket allowing unlimited rides on Tokyo Metro, Toei Subway, Toei Streetcar (Toden), Toei Bus (except for buses with fixed seats, etc.), all sections of Nippori-Toneri Liner as well as all JR lines within the Tokyo metropolitan area for one day as stated on the ticket.) Allow me to get from central Tokyo to Mitika Station, (to visit the Ghibli museum) or will I need to purchase a ticket for the JR Chuo Line? Regards
    Peter

    1. Hi Peter,

      You have to pay for Nishi-Ogikubo to Mitaka. The extra fare is just 160 yen. If you use this ticket to get Mitaka, you have to show your pass at the man gate and pay extra. When you go back from Mitaka, purchase 160 yen ticket at the vending machine to go through the gate. And when you get off the station in coverage area, show your pass and 160 yen ticket at man gate.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hello,
    Can I use my Japan Rail Pass to go from Tokyo station to Mikata on the JR Chuo line ? And if so, do I need to get my ticket at the JR ticket office in advance?
    Thank you very much,
    Cecile

  3. Dear Takeshi san

    I will stay at Sunroute Hagashi Shinjuku during my stay in Nov this year.

    I have bought the 10 am tickets to the Ghibli Museum for a Sunday. My question is how much extra time I need because I know the 20 mins travel time from Shinjuku station to Mitaka station is a guide only, with walking and looking for the right line inside the train station etc and to arrived there 20 mins before the opening time to redeem the tickets, what time I should leave from my hotel ? Would the traffic that way busy on a Sunday and is there anything else worth to do in the surrounds ? Thanks for your help.

  4. Hi Takeshi san,

    Thanks for this very useful information. We arrive in Tokyo on Sunday and go straight to Mitaka Station for the museum. We then need to travel to Nagoya on the same day. Can we get a Hikari train from Mitaka to Nagoya, or do we need to go back to Tokyo to get the Hikari train to Nagoya?
    Many thanks, Elsa and Ana

  5. Takeshiさん、
    When search via google, I can go to there from Asakusa to Kichijochi Sta. (is is ok?), but read the from web the loop bus only from Mitaka Sta.
    *used hyperdia is a bit fast than stop at Mitaka sta.
    time 14:20 from Asakusa.

    & Just need you opinion, is it enough just play 2-3 hours at Ghibli?
    Since they closed on Tuesday I need reschedule my trip (>,<).

    thank you.

  6. Hi, My family of 4 plan to visit Ghibli on July 15, 2016 as soon as it opens at 10AM (assuming we can get tickets and visit for 2 hours). Our return flight to US from Narita is at 4:10PM. What is the fastest train from Mikata to Narita? Should we change at Shinjuku or another station? We may have one carry on bag to check per person at the main train station. Unfortunately we booked the tickets using frequent flyer miles many months ago and there is no flexibility. Thx in advance for your advice

    1. Hi Bob,

      It’s very very tight schedule. The fastest way is taking Chuo line train to get Shinjuku and take Narita Express from Shinjuku to Narita.
      I think you need to get Narita around 13:00. But your choice is very limited. Please see the link to find the timetable of Narita Express.
      http://www.eki-net.com/pc/jreast-shinkansen-reservation/english/wb/common/timetable/e_nex_d/03.html

      Your choice is only 11:40. But you will spend about 20 minutes to get Shijuku from Mitaka. And you will spend 10-15 minutes to get Mitaka by bus from museum. And also you will spend 5-10 minutes whenever you change the trains and bus. You will stay in museum for less than 1 hour.

      I don’t think this plan is recommended. Even if you take one later Narita Express at 12:40, I don’t think you can stay there for 2 hours. 1.5 hours is maximum.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Hi,

    Thank you for the sharing these helpful information! Can I check, for your luggage, what size is it? Because I intend to go there with my luggage and now I am worried about the size of my luggage.

    1. Hi Yvonne,

      My suitcase was broken so I don’t remember the exact size. But it was a bit bigger than carry on size suitcase. I could not carry on the flight.
      If you intend to bring full size, it’s very hard to find the locker. Extra large size is always challenging.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/travel-tips/baggage/managing-luggage-how-to-carry-your-baggage-on-board-and-how-to-store-your-baggage-at-the-station.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Wow,

    Your link is very useful. Thanks! Tokyo Station looks formidable from the map. I hope I can find my way around.

    Great help, Takeshi san!

  9. Dear Takeshi san,

    If we have big suitcases, can we put them in lockers at Tokyo Station? Surely, a major station like that would have lockers for big baggages. We are planning a visit to Ghibli Studio on route to Nagoya from Aomori with our 7 Days JR Passes.

    Do we have to exit the Tokyo Station to deposit our luggages into the lockers there before taking the JR Chuo Line to Mitaka Station?

    Would appreciate your advice.

    Regards
    Elaine

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