Like stepping into a Ghibli anime in real life.

While Japan is known for being home to some of the world’s best powder snow, it doesn’t often snow in Tokyo. So when temperatures dipped below zero (32 degrees Fahrenheit) on 6 January, and the white stuff began floating down from the heavens, people around the capital braved the freezing weather conditions to step outside and watch the urban landscape transform into a magical winter wonderland.

Nowhere was it more magical than at Studio Ghibli’s Ghibli Museum, in Tokyo’s western city of Mitaka, where the feather-light snowflakes began to fall just after midday.

The real magic took place up on the rooftop of the museum, where the giant Laputian robot from the 1986 anime film, Laputa: Castle in the Sky resides. The benevolent robot exudes a mysterious aura of quiet solitude at any time of the year, but on this day, as the snow began to accumulate on its cold, broad shoulders, the robot looked more magnificent than ever before, surrounded by the icy landscape.

Despite the cold surroundings, there’s a warmth to the robot and the way it looks over the garden. It’s almost as if the giant guardian will begin moving about, as it does in the film, and start tending to the frosty leaves as soon as we turn our backs on it.

That may well have happened, because staff say they closed off the rooftop to visitors due to the dangers posed by the slippery, icy surface.

▼ Who knows what this robot gets up to when human visitors aren’t around?

By nightfall, more snow had accumulated around the grounds of the museum, and staff were outside shovelling snow to create a safe path for visitors.

▼ It’s not often you get to see the Ghibli Museum looking like this.

People online were enamoured by the video and photos shared by the Ghibli Museum, saying:

“How magical! I’d love to visit the Ghibli Museum on a snowy day!”
“The snow makes it look like the Laputian robot is lost in the world of Nausicaä.”
“There’s something forlorn about this that touches my heart.”
“It feels like the robot soldier’s about to come to life.”
“This makes me want to visit the museum again this year!”

The images of the snowy museum really do remind us of its beauty, and they also remind us of how long it’s been since our last visit, due to the pandemic.

Here’s hoping that worldwide donations help the museum stay afloat during these difficult times so we can all visit the robot and its rooftop garden again, once the country reopens its borders to international tourists.

Source: Twitter/@GhibliML via Hachima Kikou
Top image: Twitter/@GhibliML
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