Friday, September 2, 2016

The Ghibli Expo in Roppongi ~ We go on a search for Totoro!

I may have mentioned this a time or a hundred....we love Miyazaki movies!!  So, when I heard there was going to be a limited time, special exhibit of Ghibli art we were all in!!!  I was pretty sure the place would be busy because the Japanese schools are still out for the summer, but we were going to brave the crowds anyway.  Wednesday morning I rushed the littles through their breakfasts and we walked our way to Yokosuka Chuo station where we caught the bus for Roppongi Station, about an hour and 10 minutes with two train changes and about 930 Yen for me one way. 
From Roppongi Station we walked just a few minutes down the road to Mori Tower.  It did take us a few minutes to figure out where to go once we were there.  I wasn't sure where the entrance was for the elevator to the top.  I just happened to see a sign about 15 feet down a covered path that said, "City View".  That's where we want to be!  From here we just followed the path around to a glass entranceway, then took the stairs to the elevator entrance.  Easy peasy!

Now, with tickets in hand (1800 Yen for me, 600 each for the kids) we hopped on the elevator and it whisked us to the 52nd floor to see what Ghibli has amazed us with through the last 30 years!

What.  A.  View.

Perhaps the clearest view we've ever had!

Garytt was so amazed by the view!  He just wanted to stand there and point out all the different things he saw below.  I had to drag him away so we could look at the exhibit.

So, all the articles I've read about this exhibit had tons of pictures of all the artwork inside.  There's even a Mackenzie-high Totoro statue!!!! aren't allowed to take pictures for most of the exhibit.  :(  I'm not sure how all those other people took pictures.  The first half of the exhibit was filled with art....the first section was dedicated to the new movie, "The Red Turtle", which is supposed to be released sometime this month.  There were sketches of many scenes and a lot of character sketches as well.  The next section has artwork from several of Studio Ghibli's movies...."Kiki's Delivery Service", "Princess Mononoke", "My Neighbor Totoro", "Ponyo", and several more that we haven't seen yet ("Tales from EarthSea" is now on our list to buy ~ Garytt was soooo impressed with the dragons on the posters!).  The walls of the next little section were covered with newspaper clippings and posters from all of the movies.  If we hadn't seen as many of the movies as we have, the kids would have been very disappointed.  It was fun to see them recognize certain scenes from their favorite movies.  

As we turned the corner away from the newspaper clipping section, we found ourselves faced with a giant Neko Bus (Cat Bus)!!!  Nooooo waaaayyyyy!!!!!  We queued up in line.  Well, Garytt and I did, Mackenzie was upset because the line was so long and she didn't want to wait....when I gave her the choice of going inside CatBus or taking a picture of Garytt and I going in CatBus, she opted to go in with her brother.  

Two little Havenses going in....

Two happy little Havenses looking out!

She said he was "soooooo soffffttttt"

Finally...we found a beautiful painting to take a picture with!!!

And, this is moment when she discovered....

...past all the beautiful paintings...'s a hint... even better hint... many moving machines!!!

This area is called "The Land of Vehicles"

I loved how they all look like they are flying in that crystal clear blue sky out there!!!  

It's Dola and her boys!!!!

And, then the ship....the huge...moving.....ship!!!!  We tried to find Laputa, but it was nowhere in sight....maybe just beyond one of those puffy white clouds out there...with the typhoon that just passed over Japan the day before, this was our best chance of ever finding it!!

Along the walls there was a bit of history on flight and machines.  All in Japanese, and the kids didn't give me enough time to translate any of it.  I did see the Wright Brothers on the board though.

That was the end of the exhibit.  We really enjoyed looking at the artwork.  Since everything was in Japanese, we moved through a lot faster than most other people.  I think we were there for about an hour and a half.  I would have stayed longer (Garytt too) and just walked around the observation deck to look and take pictures.  But, Her Highness was stttaaaarrrrrvvvviiiinnnnggggg ("You know, Mom, you only let me have one breakfast this morning and I usually have three").  So, we quickly took a few more pictures and then made our way back down the elevator.

We've walked around that wavy was on our infamous "It's just a short walk to see Godzilla from this hotel" trip.  It was actually several miles and the Godzilla I thought was there was something I read from an article that was posted two years before.  Oy!  

To the left of the helicopter pad is Hardy Barracks and it's Exchange building. 

This was Garytt's find.  It was his favorite building and thinks it would be amazing to live there.

Once we were back down to the ground floor we made our way to Family Mart for lunch, then we walked back to the benches surrounding Mori Tower to sit and eat our yummy delicious finds.

Such a beautiful, crisp sky!  We don't get this very often around here!

The Boy and his egg salad sandwiches.  He followed this up with a vanilla Coolish and then when we got to Yokosuka he had the 7-grain rice with plums onigiri that Mackenzie refused to eat.  It's not very visible in the picture, but the wall out in front of us had water running down it, and then the roof of the overhang here had mist constantly spraying out to keep you cool in the crazy heat.

Mackenzie had fried rice "with boring green things" onigiri.  Yes, that's the actual translation.  She followed her lunch with a chocolate Coolish.

What a great day!  We had fun seeing the progression of artist's drawings and then following along as each individual picture combined to created a few seconds of moving scene.  And, how could a trip ever be bad when it's ended with a seat on the Cat Bus?!

It was a pretty hot day...the real feel was about 99 degrees and the sun was crazy!  But, it was so clear and beautiful that we didn't complain too much.  We made it home by 3, so it was about a 6 or so hour day.  The hard part was convincing ourselves ( convincing myself, because we all know a Havens NEVER passes up a chance to play soccer) to get out of the cool apartment with its comfy chairs and run around in the heat for an hour of soccer practice.