Visiting Amazing Real-life places in My Neighbor Totoro
My Neighbor Totoro is one of the iconic Japanese animated movies not only in Japan but equally in the whole world. It is a work of art from Studio Ghibli which has also produced other amazing films such as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, The Red Turtle and many more. To this day, My Neighbor Totoro remains one of the most iconic animations. Some Studio Ghibli movies inspired the creation of a Museum. It is located in Mitaka, suburban Tokyo. The museum is home to many attractions and exhibitions. Equally, most studio ghibli movie settings are inspired by real-life locations. In this article, you will discover and maybe in a near future, plan a trip to these amazing real-life places in My Neighbor Totoro. They include
The Kusakabe’s house
Totoro bus stop
A theme park
The Kusakabe House is the home to Satsuki, Mei and their parents Tatsuo and Yasuko. In real-life, the house was built for the 2005 World’s Fair in Moricoro Park and designed by Goro Miyazaki, son of director Hayao Miyazaki. The house was so successful that they decided to leave it even after the exhibition. The park is massive, but there’s an information booth at the entrance where you can get a map. The park, apart from the house it contains, also has several spots which are real-life places in My Neighbor Totoro
The outer side of the house is made up of wood tiles and painted white and the roof tiles are painted red at the front of the house, and blue/grey on the back tiles. White beams support parts of the roof and at the front of the house, white beams are supported by the side of the house and create a sort of gateway to the garden. The windows have thick, white panes; the ones on the front of the house are large and rectangular, whereas the others are mainly small and circular. You are allowed to take pictures but just outside, unfortunately.
The outer front of the house has the bus stop sign from Totoro, exactly as in the anime.
Other inspired real-life places in My Neighbor Totoro
Kosugi no Osugi (Totoro tree)
It has a structure identical to that of Totoro. The tree’s height is around 20m and has a circumference of 6.3m. The tree is around a 30-minute drive from Shinjo Station. Due to its resemblance with Totoro, the spot is one of the most popular real-life places in My Neighbor Totoro
The Ghibli Museum is probably the most popular of the real-life places in My Neighbor Totoro for Studio Ghibli production lovers. Not only can you meet Totoro but there are also short animations and movies at the museum, which is the main reason why most fans visit this place. The museum is about a 15-minute walk from Mitaka Station in Tokyo.
The bus stop
It is a real-life location in My Neighbor Totoro. When Satsuki carries a “tired” Mei on her back, they arrive at the bus stop and meet Totoro. Satsuki gives him her umbrella. Near the bus stop you find a kitsune shrine to worship Inari. It is also one of the most popular real-life places in My Neighbor Totoro since it was a mythic place from the show.
Close to Kusakabe’s house, there is the Ghibli theme park. The 200-hectare park is made up of several areas, including a “Princess Monoke” area and a “witch valley”. Visit the park and discover some amazing real-life places in My Neighbor Totoro.
The Totoro Forest
If you are a fan of Studio Ghibli’s movies and the beauty of Japanese nature, the Totoro no Mori or Totoro Forest in Saitama will be a destination you won’t miss. The forest is a gem hidden in the mountain area of Saitama. The Totoro Forest is believed to be the location inspiration and model behind the forest where Satsuki and Mei met Totoro.
The Catbus aka Neko no basu (in the movie) is a fictional and transporting animal bus-looking character in My Neighbor Totoro anime. It is a large, twelve-legged cat with a hollow body that serves as a bus, with windows and seats covered with fur, and a large bushy tail. Catch a glimpse of the real-life Catbus at Totoro Pass in Fukagawa, Hokkaido.
How to Buy Tickets
You can purchase tickets on the same day at the place. However, due to the popularity of Satsuki and Mei’s house and the limited capacity, you run the risk that if you wait to buy the tickets the same day at the box office, there will no longer be availability for that day. That’s why the official website always recommends buying tickets in advance. There are two ways to book your Satsuki and Mei’s house tickets in advance:
The online booking service Voyagin is the easiest way for foreign tourists to book tickets for the house. You can buy last-minute tickets and pre-order tickets with guarantee months in advance. It costs some handling fees to book them, but to secure your tickets, it is highly recommended to make a reservation as soon as possible.
Boo-Woo Tickets (Online)
At a ticket booking service, Boo-Woo Tickets, the tickets for the house go on sale at 10:00 a.m. from the 10th of each month for the following month.
From Nagoya Central Station, take the Higashiyama Line to Fujigaoka and from there take the Linimo to Ai-Chikyuhaku-Kinen-Koen Station. The entire ride costs 650 yen and takes about 40 minutes. Once in the park, you can take a free bus, but this bus doesn’t pass very frequently (every half hour or so) and it’s very slow, so you can also walk. The way is signposted at all times and takes about 15 minutes.