Fans craving the interactive exhibition will now have even more time to enjoy the Japanese studio’s exploration of food through its notable feature films.
spirited away
Credit: Courtesy of Studio Ghibli

A popular exhibit inspired by the foods of Studio Ghibli films is extending its run until November, at the urging of fans who are hungry for more.

The Japanese animation studio best known for its slate of anime feature films including Kiki's Delivery Service, Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle opened the doors of its now widely popular Ghibli Museum in the city of Mitaka back in 2001. Since then, it has offered guests and fans of the studio’s critically lauded and award-winning productions an intimate and inside look at its most popular (and memorable) stories and characters. That includes The Central Hall, a towering tribute to director Hayao Miyazaki and the architecture that often appears in his films, the organically-sourced Straw Hat Cafe, as well as five immersive rooms that imaginatively move you through the stages of animation.

The museum also hosts special exhibitions, like that of the currently running and now extended “Delicious! Animating Memorable Meals.” Created and curated by Studio Ghibli co-founder Goro Miyazaki, the show opened in May of 2017 to celebrate a common, yet signature aspect of Ghibli storytelling: food. From friendships to adventures to romance, the Japanese studio has used our favorite things to munch on as a way to both connect its characters and its audience to one another, as well as increase dramatic effect. An extension of this, “Delicious! Animating Memorable Meals,” is a series of interactive and visual installations that show “how food can be drawn to appear even more delectable than the real thing.”

The exhibit’s five different rooms address how and why meals hold significant personal and narrative importance. One room, called “Scenes of Food,” pulls from memorable food moments in Ghibli films and recreates them using art panels. While there, you can learn “how to draw images that linger” and even observe and investigate your own motions of eating through the use of readily available chopsticks. In another room, museum visitors can find two life-size (and certainly familiar) dining scenes. Using bento lunch boxes and breakfast food replicas, the museum has created a walkable model of Satsuki and Mei's kitchen in My Neighbor Totoro, while the Tiger Moth airship’s mess hall and kitchen from Castle in the Sky have been reconstructed for you to explore.

“Scenes of casual meals are infused with tremendous storytelling importance,” the museum explains on its website. “Drawing food is drawing the culture and history of living that provides the (story’s) background.”

Tickets to the food-inspired exhibition must be booked in advance, with a selected date and time. The cost is $8.90 for adults, between $3 and $7 for school-aged ticket holders, and around $1 for those between 4-year-old and elementary school age.