There are no tickets sold at the Studio Ghibli Museum.
You must purchase tickets in advance which you will learn from this article. And all are legit ways.
If living overseas
1. Lawson’s Official Website
Price: 1,000 JPY
This is the recommended and the smartest way of buying Ghibli tickets in advance for people living overseas (even for people already in Japan), particularly if you want to avoid third-party sellers charging tickets at higher cost.
The caveat is that tickets on Lawson’s website only go on sale every 10th of each month starting at 10 a.m. (Japan time; GMT +9) and will sell out pretty quickly during the day.
You really need to be on your computer at exactly 10 a.m. and be quick to book those tickets. This was where I purchased our tickets from.
What you need:
- Credit card
- Passport number
- Phone number and email
- Intended address in Japan
To give you an idea, I set an alarm at 9:40 a.m. on that month’s 10th day, sat in front of my computer and waited until 10 a.m. to buy our tickets to visit the museum the following month.
The ticket price is 1,000 yen each and only accept credit card as payment method.
Here’s the tricky part:
Even though the website says you can buy up to 6 tickets in one booking occasion, the system did not permit me to buy two tickets at the same time.
I ended up booking a ticket for myself first with a 2 p.m. slot, and by the time I was booking my husband’s ticket, the 2 p.m. slot was already sold out. I had to pick the 4 p.m. slot for him.
Luckily, the museum staff allowed both of us to enter the museum at 2 p.m. even though we have a different time slot. From what I noticed while I was navigating the website, the 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. sell out very quickly. By noon that day, tickets on the website were all sold out!
This is why you need to book your tickets as soon as the tickets go on sale on the website and be on your computer at exactly 10 a.m.
A booking confirmation will be sent to your email. Inside that email is the link to login to Lawson’s website.
You will need to enter the email address, the exact phone number, and 4-character password you entered during the booking process. So be sure to write all that info down at the time of booking. Upon logging in, you will be redirected to a screen with your ticket that has a barcode.
You must print this ticket as the staff will scan it at the museum entrance and your ticket will be exchanged for an official ticket. The official ticket has a real 35mm film print framers in it that were used in theaters.
2. JTB Office Overseas
JTB is the largest travel agency in Japan. They have offices in over 35 countries, but not all of them sell tickets to Studio Ghibli Museum.
People in the following countries are in luck: Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Australia, and New Zealand.
If you are living in these countries, book your tickets by searching for your country’s respective JTB website through this link.
An important reminder though:
JTB releases 200 tickets per day for all overseas offices which means that they too sell out quite quickly.
In addition, tickets must be purchased every 1st of the month up to 3 months prior to your Ghibli Museum visit (i.e. Tickets for March go on sale on December 1st).
All you have to do is visit the website of your respective JTB office to book or call them.
If you’re living in a country not listed, check if there’s a JTB in your country by typing this keyword on Google:
“JTB [your country] Ghibli Museum ticket” Without quotes and brackets.
If there is, contact them first. However, if you are getting negative results, you just have to stick with booking your ticket through Lawson’s website or read through other options below.
The package tour is called Studio Ghibli Museum Appreciation Bus Tour.
This is the most expensive but guaranteed way to visit the Studio Ghibli at the last minute if all else fail.
The price starts at 130 USD per person, but it includes a side tour of Edo Tokyo Open Air Museum (or Jindai-ji Temple or Takahata Fudoson Temple if visiting on a Monday), a buffet lunch at Hotel Gajoen in Tokyo, bus for transportation, and an English-speaking tour guide.
The tour guide though will not go with you inside the Ghibli Museum. So you are free to explore the museum by yourself.
For pricing and instant booking:
Reviews from tourists who have availed this package swear by being a unique way to experience Tokyo with Ghibli Museum as a side trip.
Price: Starts at 63 USD
Voyagin is the only legit travel agency that sells Last Minute Ghibli Museum tickets.
If for some reason you missed the 10th day of the month or didn’t really plan for it and just decided to go last minute, your best bet would be getting it from them.
The price also includes ticket delivery to your hotel in Japan. However, it is 6x more expensive than the ticket’s original price, at about 62 USD per person, but the ease of booking is guaranteed.
5. Hotel Concierge
Price: Ask your hotel
If you’re staying at a hotel, contact your hotel concierge and ask if they can buy your tickets in advance and they will (usually) buy it for you.
Many hotels in Japan have done this favor for their customers while they have not arrived in Japan yet. They get the tickets from a Lawson Loppi Machine just as you would normally, but they’ll charge 5-10% on top of the ticket price.
It’s still cheaper than buying tickets last minute. (Sorry for Airbnb users.)
If you’re already in Japan
6. Lawson’s Loppi Machine
Price: 1,000 JPY
If you’re already in Japan or staying in Japan for a longer period of time, this is another recommended option. Lawson is a convenience store that you can find on nearly every corner of Japan. There are some Lawson stores that don’t have Loppi Machines, usually, these are special Lawson stores like Natural Lawson (maroon signs) and Lawson 100 (green signs). So you need to find a regular Lawson store, which has a blue exterior.
One thing to remember when buying tickets from a Lawson Loppi Machine is that it doesn’t have to be purchased on the 10th of the month. You can buy it at any time or day and the earliest dates that will be available to you is the month after (i.e. Tickets for May will be available on Loppi Machines in April).
7. Ask a friend who lives in Japan
If you have a friend who lives in Japan, ask that friend to buy the Studio Ghibli ticket for you from Loppi Machine. The ticket price is only 1,000 yen, which is the original price of Studio Ghibli Museum ticket. I have done this as a favor for a friend who was visiting Japan. I bought the ticket a month before his visit. All I needed was his full name and his desired date and time of visit.
Read our Ghibli Museum full guide and review here.