Obon vacation part 6: 借りぐらしのアリエッティ @ The MOT

At the beginning of August I went to see the new Studio Ghibli film, 借りぐらしのアリエッティ (Karigurashi no Arrietty, or The Borrower Arrietty).  It was instantly up there in my top three Ghibli movies (along with Totoro and Kiki).  I felt like I had entered a magical world and, even though the movie was entirely in Japanese, it was very easy to understand.

My mum alerted me to the fact that there was an Arrietty exhibition on at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, and we made it part of our Sumida River walk to stop by there.

Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo

The museum is probably closest to Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station, but we got there by foot (with the aid of a little cell phone GPS).

The exhibition is on until October 3rd, and costs 1,200 Yen to enter.  I love going to art galleries, but rarely pay to see an exhibition, and I was a bit worried that this one might be a little dull for my mum, who hasn’t seen the movie and doesn’t know much about Ghibli films. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised by what we saw that day.

Karigurashi no Arrietty exhibition

Karigurashi no Arrietty is based on the English novel The Borrowers, and is a story about little people who live under the floorboards and ‘borrow’ things from humans. I was expecting an exhibition of drawings and sketches from the movie.  Well, we did see drawings and sketches at the end of the exhibition, but the main part of the exhibition was nothing like I expected at all…

We actually entered Arrietty’s house!  The whole house and some of the garden had been recreated in giant size, so we felt like we were Arrietty-sized.  It was wonderful.  Just like the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, it was a place where adults and children could play and be amazed. There was no strict order to the exhibition, and you could duck in and out of little holes and peep through windows for as long as you wanted. It was very crowded, but if you waited for the crowds to pass by it wasn’t so bad.

And, seriously, it was beautiful.  I wish I could have taken photos inside the exhibition but of course I couldn’t. However, I did buy some postcards and take pictures of them…

Arrietty postcard

This one, above, is Arrietty’s bedroom, which I was particularly taken with.  This one, below, is her father’s workshop:

Arrietty postcard

The attention to detail was just astonishing – I’ve never seen anything quite like it!

If you have an interest in Ghibli films and can get to Tokyo before October 3rd I highly recommend this exhibition – you won’t be disappointed!

Arrietty postcard

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2 thoughts on “Obon vacation part 6: 借りぐらしのアリエッティ @ The MOT

  1. Sounds like a great exhibition! I don’t think we’ll make it there though. I wonder if it will go to any other museums or if that’s it.


  2. I’d love to go to that I have already made my mind up about Arrietty that I’m going to love it I’m more excited about this one than I was about Ponyo don’t know why :S If I had the money to visit the museum and the exhibition I’d leave right away but sadly I can’t unless I get a big loan 😉 hehe. 🙂


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