We Visit My Neighbor Totoro’s House in Real Life
Satsuki and Mei’s House in Nagoya
I know many of our readers are fans of Ghibli, the famous animation studio run by the talented Hayao Miyazaki. And surely most of you know the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka but you probably don’t know this place: Satsuki and Mei’s house in the animated movie, “My Neighbor Totoro”!
Satsuki and Mei’s house (サツキとメイの家) was built for the 2005 World’s Fair 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.
Today I am taking you on an trip to Totoro’s world for some time! Will you come with me?
Main and exterior lounge
To enter the house you have to take off your shoes, as is often the case in many places in Japan. One of the first things we see is the main room, where the girls spend a lot of time in the movie, and the garden outside. In the main hall, visitors are allowed to open the different closets and drawers, which contain the girls’ and father’s clothes. This makes it very interactive and fun especially for children. In the outdoor garden you can take a photo with the hat Mei wears (although it may happen like me and if you have a big head it will be small) and play with the well.
Satsuki and Mei’s father study
One of the parts of the house that most impress and like visitors is undoubtedly the study of the girls’ father, reproduced to the millimeter. Piles of books and papers are piled up everywhere, and on the desk things are just as if his father was there working at the time. In fact, this area is so sensitive to being broken or injured, that it is one of the few areas of the house to which you are not allowed access. It can be seen from the hallway, where there is a string indicating that you cannot enter the room.
Kitchen and Bathroom
Finally to finish the visit we have the kitchen and the bathroom. The kitchen, like the main living room, is quite interactive. You can also open cabinets and drawers and see kitchen utensils, food, etc. The bathroom is simpler, as it is only the hot tub where the family goes together.
How to Buy Tickets
Tickets can be purchased on the same day at the place. However, due to the popularity of the 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 from the official website they always recommend buying the 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 the tickets for Satsuki and Mei’s house.
You can buy last-minute tickets, 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 here.
At a ticket booking service Boo-Woo Tickets, the tickets for Satsuki and Mei’s house go on sale at 10:00 a.m. from the 10th of each month for the following month. Check the availability here.
How to Get to Satsuki and Mei’s House
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.
<Satsuki and Mei’s House in Ai-chikyuhakukinen Park (サツキとメイの家) >
|Address||1533–1 Otsu Ibaragabasama, Nagakute-shi, Aichi Prefecture|
|Business Hours||10:00–16:30 (weekdays)/9:30–16:30 (weekends and holidays) *Admission until 16:00|
|Price||Adults: 520 yen; Children: 250 yen|
|Nearest station||Ai-Chikyuhaku-Kinen-Koen Station (Linimo Line)|