This is pretty old news now, but I’Park Mall is currently hosting a Studio Ghibli exhibit featuring life-size displays of some of their best known films, and it’s preeeetty darn awesome! We went a couple weekends ago, and despite the long waits and queues of people, it was totally magical and one hundred percent worth it! ❤
I’ve still never been to the Ghibli Museum in Japan, but it’s been on my ‘to-do’ list for ages; so, visiting the exhibit at I’Park felt like a sneak peek into what the museum is (probably?) like. I’ve heard that the Ghibli Museum operates a super strict ‘no photography’ policy, and I was afraid that the Ghibli exhibit would be the same, but luckily we were allowed to snap away. Videos aren’t allowed, and some exhibits prohibited flash photography. A word of warning, though, the dim lighting in here made it super hard to get decent, non-blurry photos!
The exhibit is on the 6th floor of the massive I’Park Mall, sort of sandwiched between the bookstore and interior furnishings section. We queued up to buy our tickets (15,000 won each, definitely not cheap), and were also given two numbered tickets. Only a certain number of people are allowed into the exhibit at one time, so we ended up having to wait around for a good 40 minutes. There’s a big touch-screen information guide outside of the exhibit’s gift shop where you can check to see when you’re allowed in.
While waiting, lots of people were drawing on little stickers and slapping them all over the outer walls of the exhibit.
Most of them were Ghibli-related, though I did find a random Snorlax somebody had drawn…thinking that they were drawing Totoro?! I dunno. I couldn’t help but think to myself that if something like this was offered in the UK or US, every other sticker would probably have some sort of phallic doodle on it. Thanks for keepin’ it classy, Korea!
Some people had really made an effort! Eventually, our ticket number flashed up on the information screen, and we rushed over to the entrance!
Howl’s Moving Castle is the first display in the exhibit, and whenever I saw it, I was totally bummed that videos were prohibited, cuz the figure actually moves! It bobs up and down, creaks, and the eye stalks move in and out. So cool! It’s hard to gauge from the photograph, but it was really big, too! Nearly everything in the exhibit is life-size.
Princess Mononoke was the first Studio Ghibli film I ever saw, and it still holds a special place in my heart. This exhibit was very bright and well-lit compared with most of the others, but I think a darker atmosphere would have suited it better. There was a huge projector screen on one wall featuring a clip of the Nightwalker, and behind the screen, a fleeting glimpse of a life-size figure of the deer-shaped Forest Spirit (which I sadly didn’t get a photo of, wahhh!)
Cutie tanukis at the entrance to the Pom Poko display!
I’ve actually never seen Pom Poko before, but this display totally made me want to watch it. HOLY FLUFF I LOVE TANUKIS SO MUCH ❤
I really felt like the most concentration had been put into the Pom Poko display; whereas some of the other displays were just a painted room with a couple figures in them, this one had such a magical atmosphere.
The entrance to the Totoro display! Prior to this, we’d been moving through the exhibit preeetty quickly, but as soon as we got here, there was just a huuuge backlog of people.
Seriously, my feet got so sore standing here waiting. UGH.
Eventually, we got to this huge tree trunk with little peeking holes cut into it. Eoin didn’t even notice the holes, so I don’t know how many other people wandered on past them all unawares like! Anyway, this tree trunk was my absolute most favorite part of the exhibit…
WAHHH CUTIE LITTLE TOTOROS ❤
As if this display couldn’t have gotten any cuter, the big Totoro’s tummy rose up and down! I wanna live inside that tree trunk so bad.
The big bus stop Totoro was the reason behind the huge queues; obviously everybody wanted to get a photo in front of it! Sorry for the crappy quality of this pic, but it was super dark in here. You can’t see it, but there were rain-effect lights falling down over the background, and the room was filled with quiet music and the sound of falling rain 🎶
Porco Rosso, another Ghibli film I’ve never seen. There was also a huge model of his plane, but nobody was queuing up for photos in here 😐
The queues started up again when we got to the Spirited Away display; it was definitely easy to tell which Ghibli films are Korea’s favorites, for sure!
This No-Face display actually looks way better in the photo than it did in person, woah. There was just way too much going on to get a good perspective of it up close; it definitely looks better from a distance. I’d love to know how long it took them to put this display (or the entire exhibit, for that matter) together, cuz the bits and pieces of stuff everywhere and the attention to details are just crazy.
This life-size No-Face sitting on the train is the final display in the exhibit. Eoin actually took a few photos of me sitting next to him, but wouldn’t ya know, the one without me in it is the only one that came out in focus. Typical.
The end of the exhibit leads straight into a little gift shop, but you can buy most of the stuff here from 1300k in Hongdae! I’m pretty sure 1300k has a much larger selection, too.
That Jiji backpack… 😻
Yongsan Station. I’Park Mall entrance. The Studio Ghibli exhibit is on the 6th floor in between the bookstore and the ‘Living’ area. The exhibit is running until March 1st, 2015, so you’ve got loads of time to go check it out! ♥ Click here for the official website.