31st August 2016
Last weekend Harajuku was host to a huge two day dance contest and exhibition.
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8th July 2016
One of Japan’s most beloved modern cultural exports is the work of animation house Studio Ghibli.
They are responsible for classic films such as Princess Mononoke (my personal favourite), My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away. As part of the studio’s 30th anniversary, a retrospective is currently being held in Roppongi Hills, in their observation deck museum 52 floors above Tokyo. Today I tagged along with friend and fellow photographer Irwin Wong and his wife Asuka, to check out the exhibition, trawl through the gift shop and test the menu of the pop up Ghibli cafe.
I had a bamboo and charcoal burger inspired by the little soot sprites which play in the attic of the family house in My Neighbour Totoro. All the food was similarly colourful, with bright red tomato rice and sky blue parfaits. The full menu is here and will expand over the course of the exhibition.
The exhibition itself features a huge collection of Ghibli memorabilia, including movie posters, initial sketches, animatics, cells and storyboards from their films. There is also a section on an upcoming French co-production called The Red Turtle. Just before the cafe is a giant cat bus (again from Totoro), which you can climb inside and take your photo with. Most impressive, perhaps, is the huge model airship, complete with moving oars and sound effects, hung from the ceiling in a section devoted to director Miyazaki’s love of all things aviation. If you’re a Ghibli fan, or if you’ve never seen the view from the top of Roppongi Hills, the exhibition is well worth a visit. It runs from now until the 11th of September.