Go behind the scenes of the studio that created films like "Spirited Away."

By Andrea Romano
Updated June 01, 2020
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Take a rare look inside one of the most fantastical places in Japan.

Much like many other museums around the world, the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan, has had to reluctantly close its doors in the wake of coronavirus. Other museums around the globe have easily opted for virtual tours or social media to keep people engaged, but this animation studio is famous for being particularly secretive — even before the pandemic.

According to Hypebae, the museum is now offering virtual tours, which is a major departure for the venue’s former stance on not allowing visitors to take pictures or video while inside the museum.

Now, parts of the Studio Ghibli Museum are easily accessed on YouTube, where you can watch a handful of videos that take you on the journey through one of the most whimsical animation studios in the world.

Studio Ghibli was founded by Hayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki, Isao Takahata, and Yasuyoshi Tokuma in 1985. It’s well known for its lush animation style as well as its many award-winning films such as "Spirited Away," "Howl’s Moving Castle," "My Neighbor Totoro," "Kiki’s Delivery Service," and "Princess Mononoke," among others. Many people outside of Japan are most familiar with films headed up by Hayao Miyazaki. "Spirited Away," in particular, won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film in 2003. Totoro from "My Neighbor Totoro" is famous for being the studio’s mascot and is seen in the studio’s logo design.

The four videos available on the museum’s YouTube channel include a tour of the museum’s Straw Hat Café; two “video journals” that take a look at the museum’s colorful entryway, stained glass doors, exterior, and hallways; and a tour of one of its rooms, entitled “Where a Film is Born.”

For more information or to take a video tour, visit the Studio Ghibli Museum YouTube channel.