Studio Ghibli Museum: Ultimate Ticket Guide

Studio Ghibli Museum 2019

You want to know how to get Studio Ghibli Museum Tickets?
Or you just found out they are sold out but need to get tickets no matter what?

Buying Studio Ghibli tickets online (or offline) can be tricky, but with the help of this guide you’ll be able to find tickets, even last minute.

Read on to learn about the pro’s and con’s of every different purchasing method for Ghibli tickets..

Important Tips Before Planning Your Visit

  • Your chances to get tickets are highest if you start planning where and when to get them, at least 3 months before your visit
  • Leave your Tokyo itinerary open until your museum tickets are confirmed. That way you are more flexible with regard to the date and time slot.
  • If possible, visit the museum on a weekday since weekends tend to sell out quickly and are more crowded with kids.
  • Maximize your time inside the museum by booking tickets for a time slot in the morning

General Ticket Information

Ticket Price

The original price of Ghibli tickets is just JPY 1,000 (even lower for under 18 years). However, that price only applies if you book at a Japanese convenience store without help of any intermediary service or travel agent.

You will find that most sites will charge quite a bit more than the original price. This is simply because there’s some manual service involved in providing the tickets. Note that a few purchasing options listed in this article (especially the tours) might charge the same price for adults and kids (sometimes even for children below 4 years old).

Ticket base prices (face value):
Adults: JPY 1,000
Teens (ages 13-18): JPY 700
Children (ages 7-12): JPY 400
Children (ages 4-6): JPY 100
Children (under 4 years): free (no ticket needed)

ID/Name Checks

The name of the purchaser will be printed on the tickets. When entering, it will be compared to the name on the ID of the ticket holder, in order to prevent ticket resale (at inflated prices).

Thus, it’s crucial that the name you use to purchase matches the name of you, or someone in your group. All tickets bought together have the same name on them, so everybody has to enter together with the buyer.

Yahoo Auctions used to be an option if tickets were sold out, but the introduction of ID checks turned resale tickets useless.

Time Slots

When buying a ticket, you usually have to select one of four entry times:

10:00 (enter by 10:30)
12:00 (enter by 12:30)
14:00 (enter by 14:30)
16:00 (enter by 16:30)

Make sure to be at the museum in time, or you will be refused entry.
There is no time limit, once you are inside the museum. However, it closes at 18:00, so if you enter at 16:30, you only have 1.5 hours to view the exhibits. Thus, we recommend earlier slots.

Tip: if for some reason you really can’t decide on the time and want to leave it open; JTB agency tickets don’t have a fixed time (see below for more information).

Studio Ghibli Museum Japan 2019

Photo by Wei-Te Wong used under CC

7 Ways to Get Tickets for the Studio Ghibli Museum

1. Lawson’s English Website

Booking through Lawson Tickets (aka L-tike) is the cheapest overseas option. However, the risk of missing out is higher than when booking through other outlets, which can sometimes confirm tickets up to three months in advance.

Reserving a Ghibli ticket through Lawson online can be similarly challenging as booking tickets for a very popular concert that sells out within minutes; tickets might be gone before you know it.

Note that the Japanese site might still have tickets for slots, when they are already sold out on the English site.

When to buy: Tickets go on sale every 10th of the previous month. In other words, if you want to visit the museum in May, you can buy tickets starting from April 10th.

Advantages: Cheapest method available online and in English

Disadvantages: Tends to sell out very quickly due to limited inventory of the English site

Link: Online Ghibli Tickets at Lawson (English)

2. Lawson’s Japanese Website

This is the best online option if you understand Japanese, live in Japan and have a Japanese phone number (to register a Lawson account). However, tickets tend to sell out fast on here, too.

When to buy: Tickets go on sale every 10th of the previous month. In other words, if you want to visit the museum in May, you can buy tickets starting from April 10th.

Advantages: Cheap and best availability

Disadvantages: You need to know Japanese and have an operational Japanese phone number, tend to sell out fast.

Link: Online Ghibli Tickets on Lawson (Japanese)

3. Lawson Stores in Japan (Loppi Machine)

If you are in Japan, you might be able to buy tickets at the Loppi ticket machine in any of the Lawson convenience stores. If you buy on the Loppi machine, there is no need to register an account, or pay extra fees. However, chances that tickets are already unavailable are high, especially if there’s less than 2-3 weeks (or worse, just a few days) until your planned visit.

When to buy: Tickets go on sale every 10th of the previous month. In other words, if you want to visit the museum in May, you can buy tickets starting from April 10th.

Advantages: Cheap and best availability (same as on Japanese Lawson website)

Disadvantages: You have to be present Japan; tend to sell out fast.

Link: How to purchase at Lawsons (with pictures).

4. JTB Group Travel Agencies (only in some countries)

If you live in one of the countries below, you can try purchasing tickets through one of your local JTB-affiliated travel agencies.

When to buy: Tickets are released on the 1st of every month, for up to 3 months ahead. For example, you can buy tickets for April starting January 1st, or tickets for September, staring from July 1st  .

Advantages: You can book further in advance than through other methods; tickets don’t have a fixed time slot.

Disadvantages: Each agency only has a handful of tickets for each admission date; no last minute purchases possible because tickets are shipped physically.

Countries with that option (click for more information):
Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, SpainSweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States

5. Online Travel Agencies (Voyagin, Viator)

These are still good options to buy tickets-only (without transportation or visits to other places), especially if you find tickets to be sold out or if you need tickets “last minute”.

Advantages: Cheap if you purchase before sale starts; last-minute tickets possible in some cases for extra money.

Disadvantages: Expensive if sale has already started, so you might be better off ordering from tour operators in that case (see “6.”).

Voyagin
If you preorder before sale starts (8th day of previous month), Voyagin can try to get you tickets for JPY 3,500 each. There is, however, a chance that tickets sell out before they get their hands on them.

For an additional JPY 5000, you can book with a “guarantee” (they will prioritize your order over others). They also offer last minute option for when sale has already started (JPY 8,500). All offers available here.

Viator
This Tripadvisor-owned website offers tickets incl. delivery to your hotel for JPY 4,900. However, you have to pre-order before the 5th day of the previous month.

6. Tour Operators (Viator, Klook, Get Your Guide)

First of all, booking a Ghibli Museum tour does not mean that the visit of the museum itself will be guided (you are free to roam and explore by yourself inside the museum). Depending on the details of the tour offer, it could include transportation, and/or guided activities in the neighborhood of the museum, or at other Ghibli-related locations in Tokyo.

Advantages: Usually available even last minute even if tickets are sold out; more comfortable and extensive experience.

Disadvantages: Can be quite expensive compared to the original ticket price.

Klook
For JPY 5,310 per person, you get a guided walking tour from Kichijoji station through the Inokashira Park to the Studio Ghibli Museum (approx. 30min), plus the entrance ticket for the museum.

Viator
This website (which also offers tickets only), have an “all-day” 7 hours-itinerary tour for JPY 13,500 which includes visits to the museum, various locations in Tokyo which were inspirations for the Hayao Miyazaki movies and lunch (but no pick-up from hotel).

Get Your Guide
This organizer offers two different tours:
1. Simple museum visit including transfer from your hotel (JPY 5,800)
2. Same 7 hours-itinerary tour as Viator (see above), but JPY 500 more expensive.

7. Mitaka Neighborhood Tickets

This option will be out of reach for almost anyone, but we’ll still cover it for the sake of completeness.

If you live, work or visit school in Mitaka City, Musashino, Koganei or Nishitokyo, you are eligible to purchase “Neighborhood Tickets” at the Mitaka City Tourism Association Office. If by any change you satisfy these requirements, the deal is pretty good; they can sell 50+50 tickets per day (for am and pm) at face value, from 3 months before the dates and until the last minute.

It would be futile to try to get the tickets this way, if you don’t satisfy the requirements above though. Proof in form of official documents has to be shown at the time of purchase. More information in English here.

What’s Your Experience?

Hopefully this guide helped you to see through the complexity of obtaining Ghibli museum tickets! If you have made any experiences worth spreading, or found anything lacking in this guide, let us know!