When I was small, like super small, back when vhs and video rentals were a thing, our local Kroger use to sell movies and rent movies and amongst all the VHS’s for sale I found “My Neighbor Totoro” and managed to talk my dad into getting it. It was the only copy, with it’s case beaten up on a lower shelf but I found it and fell in love with it, later finding Kiki’s Delivery Service, all back before Disney got the English copyrights. I loved waiting until the end of the movie for the credits to try and figure out which other movies there were and it took me a long time to find Laputa but eventually I did and eventually everything moved onto DVDs. Ghibli films have always been some of my favorites. So when I moved to Korea I was pretty intensely happy to find socks for 1,000 won (~$1) with cute pixel like art of different movies like Kiki’s Delivery Service and Howls Moving Castle. And while the field trip with my friend’s classmates was winding down one of her classmates mentioned a Ghibli shop so the three of us set off in search of it. I was looking forward to seeing official Ghibli things and I wasn’t disappointed.
There are several official Ghibli shops around Japan. The one we went to was in Kiyomizu-michi and even later while out and about we stumbled on another one along the way to Kiyomizu-dera. They’re lovely. With little gardens courtyards to walk through before you go in, all decorated with stuff they sell in the shop. The shops are amazing, anything you could ever want ghibli-esq. Want a plushy of Jiji or Totoro? Done. The baron? Done. Want a Calcifer frying pan. They’ve got that too. Washi tape, statues with calendars, picture frames, watering cans, bento boxes, rain coats, post cards, finger puppets, keychains, necklaces, ties that are subtly Ghibli with soot sprites hiding in the patterns, almost any Ghibli film you like they’ve got stuff from, though some not as much, but there should be something. I got a couple postcards and keychain with Jiji on it and that was about all I was willing to spend money on. Because the downfall to all the lovely official merchandise is that it’s expensive. So expensive. So I held back. It’s a lot of fun to check out and they had information for upcoming events, like a poster you could get for one of the movies and you could go meet the animators and get it signed somewhere in Kyoto.