October 4, 2008


Our goal for our first day in Japan was all about Ghibli. First we hit the MOT: Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo for an exhibit featuring animation layout from studio Ghibli.

I was stunned by the sheer volume of layout artwork that was on display. Room after room filled with drawings of characters and environments from anime like NausicaƤ (Akiko's favorite), Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro and many more. Wow.

Then it was back on the train to Mitaka for the Ghibli Museum. After getting off the train we decided to walk instead of taking the museum bus. On the way we were stopped by Secret Service type dudes and joined a group of people lined up along the sidewalk waiting for something. Out rolls a motorcade and on my first day in this country, I got waved at by the EMPEROR and EMPRESS OF JAPAN! How's that for stumbling into something major?

The Ghibli Museum was simply magical. Lots of fun.

The safe, clean and efficient train system of Japan is something to marvel at, but traveling through Tokyo during rush hour is an experience all its own.

Can you spot the tourist?

There he is, Mr round-eye taking pictures of poor commuters just trying to get home from work.
I'm a true american and need my 2 foot bubble around me at all times, free of any physical contact. So you can imagine being pushed, prodded and jabbed by complete strangers in an enclosed space as not being my comfort zone. I just hope what was brushing my inner thigh was someone's purse. Good thing I'm not claustrophobic too.

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