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7 Spots in Japan That Inspired Ghibli Films

What do eight-armed bathhouse workers, whiskered shuttle buses, and curious fish have in common? They’re just some of the beloved characters pulled from the creative mind of quixotic animation legend Hayao Miyazaki. Often compared to Walt Disney for his enormous influence on animated films, Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli has enchanted the world with over three decades’ worth of iconic imagery and fantastic tales composed of equal parts cute and quirk. Fans in Japan often head to the Ghibli Museum in the west Tokyo suburb of Mitaka, but there are plenty of other ways to get your Ghibli fix. Travel to one of the sites below to explore the birthplaces of some of Miyazaki’s most iconic scenes and stories.

7 Spots in Japan That Inspired Ghibli Films


  • Tomonoura

  • Shima Onsen

  • Dogo Onsen

  • Yakushima

  • Shirakami Sanchi

  • Yamate Italian Mountain Garden

  • Totoro's Forest