For Ghibli fans, the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo could be considered a holy Mecca of sorts,  a place to make a pilgrimage to. The museum offers delightful entertainment filled with creative fun, which we guess is something you would expect from Ghibli, and it’s bound to be a hugely enjoyable place to visit, even if you’re not a die-hard Ghibli fan.

And one of the attractions at the museum has to be its gift shop, full of original Ghibli goods that can only be purchased there. In fact, we think that the shop alone could be reason enough to visit the museum, and we’ve even brought to you a previous article featuring 10 cools items from the shop that we thoroughly recommend. And now, we have another special item to share with you, also from the museum shop, that one of our Japanese reporters Yoshio found absolutely fascinating. It’s the Ghibli Museum original “Minituart”, a detailed miniature replica of the museum, and we just had to see for ourselves how exact a replica it was!

An actual completed Minituart kit was displayed in a showcase near the museum shop entrance, and Yoshio says it immediately caught his eye. It shows the entire museum as a 1/250 replica, and we promptly got our hands on one, as we were dying to check out the details!

▼Here’s the Ghibli Museum “Minituart” diorama, available in its completed form for a hefty 82,000 yen (US$689.95)!P1130878

▼It’s a papercraft model, so it’s actually very lightweight. P1130849

▼The area marked with the red circle is the museum entrance, where a good-sized crowd lines up each day to get in.jiburi-1

▼The actual museum is surrounded by more trees than are shown in the miniature model.P1130831

▼The sign on the bottom reads “GHIBLI MUSEUM, MITAKA Since 2001”. It’s the museum’s 15th anniversary this year! P1130867

▼The shadow of the robot giant on the roof looks really neat! It’s a detail that gives the scene a realistic appearance. P1130862

▼If you approach what looks like the entrance on the left, you’ll see that there’s a fake “Totoro ticket counter”. Many people take pictures there at the actual museum, and the fake counter has become one of the attractions. The real entrance to the museum, though, is located on the right-hand side.P1130834

▼In addition to the giant robot, you can also see circled in red below, the rock that was at the center of Laputa with Laputa writing engraved on it, both from the well-loved classic Ghibli film Castle in the Skyjiburi-2

▼You can climb up a flight of winding stairs all the way to the top of the tower like structure seen on the right in the picture below.P1130838

▼In the front right here, you can see the Straw Hat Cafe. They have some awesome looking original items on their menu, but our reporter says he’s never been in the actual cafe, because there’s always such a long line to get in.P1130860

▼Looking at the replica makes us want to shrink in size and live inside it.P1130864

▼The small triangular roof in the middle here is a well with a hand-operated pump. The well at the museum actually works and you can pump up real groundwater. P1130871

▼The brilliant coloring of the museum is also reproduced.P1130874

▼The vivid colors really do make the museum look like something from the world of fantasy!P1130876

Now, we have some pictures in even more close-up and also comparisons with the real museum as well for your enjoyment!

▼Here’s the fake Totoro ticket counter in the replica. You can even see Totoro in miniature! _MG_5402 (1)

▼And here you can see the counter from a slightly different angle._MG_5476

▼And here are some photos of the Totoro counter at the actual museum for comparison. What do you think?P1130671-1

▼See Totoro behind the counter!P1130726

▼Yup, Totoro certainly has a presence. The sign at the windows indicates the way to the “real ticket counter”. P1130730

▼Even dogs were having their pictures taken when we were there!P1130729

▼You can also take a virtual walk around the museum on Google Street View.

▼Here’s another close-up of one section of the replica._MG_5464

▼The picture above shows the area circled in red below in detail.jiburi-3

▼Here’s a look from the back.P1130883

▼This is the replica, again seen from the back … _MG_5467

▼… and this is the actual museum. Now, we think that’s quite an accurate recreation!P1130754-2

▼Here’s the replica in up close, from another angle …_MG_5468

▼… and again, this is what it looks like in reality. We were impressed with the details, especially how faithfully the red door is reproduced. P1130685

▼And this section in the replica ….

▼ … appears like this in real life. Unfortunately, we couldn’t capture all the details due to the wall and high trees.P1130683

▼Here’s another part of the replica …_MG_5474

▼… which looks like this in reality. There were some towels hung out on the veranda when we took the pictures. P1130679

▼And seen from the above, here’s the miniature …_MG_5478

▼… and this is what the area looks like on Google Maps. The actual museum is surrounded by much thicker woods.スクリーンショット 2015-02-05 22.16.43

▼Back to some more pictures of the replica. Here, again, there’s an amazing amount of detail, as seen in the logs that are actually used in the winter as fire wood for the stove in the Straw Hat Cafe. You can even sometimes see the museum staff chopping the wood on site.  _MG_5485

▼Here’s the well with the hand-operated pump._MG_5487

▼This is the roof of the Straw Hat Cafe …  _MG_5488

▼… and an overall view of the cafe. The miniature tables and chairs look adorable!_MG_5463

▼The museum’s famous giant robot looks awesome too, reproduced in accurate detail._MG_5494

▼This is the real entrance (not the fake one manned by Totoro) in the miniature replica._MG_5437

▼This is where the long line forms each day for visitors to enter the museum. _MG_5442

▼And this is the entrance to the actual museum.P1130715

▼Here’s the bright red clock that was also reproduced in the replica.P1130738

▼Here, we see the section in the replica with the tower …_MG_5446

▼… and this is what it looks like in reality. The actual outer wall is covered in heavy vegetation, so we can’t see the colors under it. P1130739

▼As for the exit area, here it is in the replica …_MG_5459

▼… and this is what it actually looks like for real. Hmm … the color of the little hut on the left seems a bit different, but we think it looks lovely both in reality and in the model as well!P1130696

So, those are all the pictures we have for now, and a big thank you to you readers who took the time to look through all of them! And if you feel 82,000 yen for the completed Minituart set is a bit steep, they also have a build-it-yourself kit that costs 20,000 yen ($168.28), which we admit is still not inexpensive, but much more affordable. You may want to keep in mind, however, that the staff at the museum shop told us that it may take someone without any prior papercraft experience a whole month to build. We guess we’ll leave the choice up to you!

▼We’ll leave you with a slide show of our pictures. We hope enjoy seeing them in HD!

Original article by: Yoshio
Photos © RocketNews24