Field Work on a Wheelchair at The Ghibli Museum, Mitaka and Inokashira Park

I am YOSAKU in charge of the outskirts of Tokyo. I visited The Ghibli museum, Mitaka and Inokashira Park at the beginning of September.

JR Mitaka Station

Gathered at JR Mitaka Station. Taking the South exit and turning to the left, you can find the elevator to the ground level.

South exit elevator of JR Mitaka station

Getting off the elevator and then you can find bus stop #9.

Bus stop #9

A community bus is equipped with a slope which can be folded and a wheelchair user can get on the bus by the slope.

The slope equipped with the bus for wheelchair users

Getting on the bus with an adorable outlook and a 5-minute ride to the Museum.

Community bus

The Ghibli Museum, Mitaka

Showing the reserved ticket to a person in charge and entering the gate.

The Front Gate of the Ghibli Museum, Mitaka

A part of the building is covered by plants: a view from an approach to the main entrance of the museum. What kind of a world could be waiting for you? Photography is not allowed inside the building.

The Ghibli Museum, Mitaka

You can use a lifting platform from the entrance to the first basement floor and an elevator from the first basement floor to the second floor. Multi-purpose rest rooms are available on each floor. Baby buggies are also available. The inside of the building is like a maze. Please have fun wandering around the building. I asked Yukorin about how she found the exhibits accessible for wheelchair users and I heard that she could not get on the Cat Bus Room, the new exhibit, which was reproduced in 3 dimensions. It seems impossible for wheelchair users to get on it because the passage of the Cat Bus Room is too narrow. I also heard that she could not take enough of her own time for shopping at MAMMA AIUTO, Museum shop. The shop is almost always crowded and wheelchair users are suggested to go to the shop at less crowded times. The roof top garden where you can take a photo is accessible only by stairs. You can find the robot soldier which seems to be the real scale in the roof top garden and the back of the robot looks like this:

Robot soldier in the roof top garden

I enjoyed as much as possible within a prescribed time limit and took a commemorative photo in front of Totoro reception.

Totoro reception

A Short Message from Yukorin

In the Ghibli Museum, you can find Ghibli’s characters and creatures everywhere. For example, I found their pictures in the stained glass windows. I love its adorable atmosphere.

There are multipurpose restrooms with lovely interior design on every floor excluding its roof garden. At the Saturn Theater, one of the staff members ushered me to the rearmost row. That was the most impressive accessibility service for me. In most cases, there are wheelchair spaces in the front rows at movie theaters. My neck gets tired as I watch a movie with my face upward in a front row. Meanwhile, I found it comfortable to watch the short film from the rearmost and highest row of the theater.

However, this museum is not so large that some of the inside routes are narrow. Wheelchair users might find it hard to walk around when the museum is crowded with visitors. There are many small children among the visitors. Wheelchair users have to take caution not to bump into them. Moreover, the whole area including its gardens is like a maze. The inside routes are complexly connected with the garden walkways. I didn’t know especially which walkways was wheelchair accessible. Besides, I felt sorry that I could not go up to the roof garden by the elevator. I wanted to see the statue of the robot from “Castle in the Sky” there.

But I enjoyed many of the exhibitions. On the whole, I think that wheelchair users have a great time at the museum. The staff members are very kind. If you are a Ghibli fan or you like a lovely atmosphere, I recommend you to visit the Ghibli Museum regardless of whether you are a wheelchair user or not.

Inokashira Park

On the way back to home, we walked through Inokashira Park and reached JR Kichijoji station without problem.

Let me touch on Inokashira Park briefly here.

Inokashira Park is located near Kichijoji Station. On the west of Inokashira Park, there is a sports park which is next to the Ghibli Museum I just visited. There are parks on the north made up mainly of Shizen Buka-en Gardens and Inokashira Pond. There is also a park to the east spreading widely to Inokashira-Koen station.

Inokashira Pond is the source of Kanda water supply which was the first service of water for Edo (later called Tokyo), providing drinking water until an improved water supply was completed in the Meiji era (1868-1912). On the west of Inokashira Park, there is the Tamagawa water supply also serving Edo.


There are a lot of shops and places to rest in the park and you can get on boats in the pond. The pond is surrounded by trees which are mostly cherry trees and the Park is crowded with cherry blossom admirers in spring.

Most access routes from the station to the Park entrances are stairs and it is inconvenient for wheelchair users. However, entrances in the north are slopes and wheelchair users can get in the Park by using them. There is also a ramp alongside the stairs of the outdoor stage in the middle of the Park and wheelchair users can get in the Park using the ramp.For details, please refer to the guide map of the official web site.

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