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Visiting the Great Masters of Japanese Animation

An Invitation to an 'Otaku' Tour

Osamu Tezuka - known as the "God of Manga". Shotaro Ishinomori - called the "King of Manga". Hayao Miyazaki - the animation director of Studio Ghibli. You can trace the footsteps of the three great masters of Japanese animation & comics at these spots.

Ghibli Museum, Mitaka

Studio Ghibli enjoys worldwide popularity for "Spirited Away", which won an Academy Award, "Howl's Moving Castle", "My Neighbor Totoro" and numerous other works. At Ghibli Museum, Mitaka, you will feel as if you have stepped into the very world of these works. Director Hayao Miyazaki's ideas and images of "an ideal museum" are reflected throughout the museum. In addition to the permanent exhibition that provides some insight into the process of how animation is created origin of Ghibli works, there are also special exhibitions that introduce animation from different angles. After you have watched the original short animation films that can only be seen here, why not have a meal in the adjoining cafe, and enjoy shopping at the museum's store that offers lots of original museum goods. Reservations must be made in advance for admission. Please be sure to purchase reservation tickets before your visit. For reservations from overseas, you can find the necessary information on their official homepage.

Place: (Inside the Nishi-en, or the West Garden of Inokashira Park), 1-1-83, Shimorenjaku, Mitaka City, Tokyo 181-0013
Tel: 0570-055777
Business hours: 10:00-18:00 (Prior reservations required. For more details, see http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/ticket_info.html.)
Closed: Tuesdays and occasional maintenance periods.
Admission fee:1,000 yen per adult (including university & college students), 700 yen per junior or senior high school student, 400 yen per elementary school pupil, 100 yen per child (4 years or older), free for children under 4 years old.

Access:About 15 minutes' walk from the South Exit (Minami-guchi) of Mitaka Station.
Or, about 5 minutes' ride on the community bus (fares charged) from the South Exit (Minami-guchi) of Mitaka Station.
Mitaka Station is approx. 20 minutes from Shinjuku Station on the JR Chuo Line (Rapid Service).

Osamu Tezuka Memorial Hall in Takarazuka City

Osamu Tezuka spent his youth in Takarazuka City. With the goal of widely diffusing and passing down the great accomplishments of Tezuka to future generations, Takarazuka City founded this Memorial Hall built on the theme of 'love of nature and the preciousness of life' in 1994. At the entrance, there stands a monument of "The Phoenix", his life's work. Inside the Memorial Hall, a page from Tezuka's works is reproduced, and valuable materials are on display. There is also a Hi-Vision Theater where you can watch original anime films, and areas where you can read manga and experience producing anime. You will be able to see, touch and feel the world of Osamu Tezuka.

Place:7-65, Mukogawa-cho, Takarazuka City, Hyogo Prefecture 665-0844
Tel: 0797-81-2970
Business Hours: 9:30-17:00 (enter before 16:30)
Closed: Wednesdays (Please note the following exceptions: open on Wednesdays that fall on National Holidays, and also open on all Wednesdays throughout August). Also closed December 29th - 31st, and February 21st to the end of the month.
Admission fee: 500 yen per adult, 300 yen per junior or senior high school student, 100 yen per child

Access:About 5 minutes' walk from Takarazuka Minamiguchi Station on the Hankyu Dentetsu Line.
Or, about 8 minutes' walk from Takarazuka Station on the JR and Hankyu Dentetsu Lines.

Ishinomaki Mangattan Museum

Shotaro Ishinomori (1938-1998) who, together with Osamu Tezuka, produced many heroes such as "Cyborg 009" and "Kamen Rider", is a crucial part of Japanese manga history. Located in his birthplace, the Ishinomaki Mangattan Museum exhibits Ishinomori's works as a manga artist and displays the many characters that he created. Here, you can look at the original scripts for the hit works, and browse through the variety of original goods sold in the museum shop.

Place:2-7, Nakase, Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, 986-0823
Tel: 0225-96-5055
Business hours: 9:00-18:00 (until 17:00 from December to February)
Closed: Third Tuesday of each month (March - November), every Tuesday (December - February)
Admission fee (only charged for the permanent exhibition and the movie hall): 800 yen per adult, 500 yen per junior or senior high school student, 200 yen per elementary school pupil.

Access:About 5 minutes by taxi from Ishinomaki Station.
Ishinomaki Station is approx. 1 hour from Sendai Station on the JR Sengoku Line (Rapid Service).
Sendai Station is approx.1 hour and 40 minutes from JR Tokyo Station on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line.

*Photo (C) Museo d'Arte Ghibli

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