The Ghibli Clock: Miyazaki timed perfection

Are you a Ghibli fan? Have you tried to get tickets to the museum in Mitaka? I’ve heard it can be difficult. Well, if you can’t get into it, there is something else you can do. There is a magnificent Hayao Miyazaki-designed clock in Shinbashi. Make sure it is on your list of things to see in Tokyo! It is one of the best pieces of public art in the city.

What is the Ghibli Clock?

It has an official name, “Nittele Oodokei” (Nippon Television’s Big Clock). Of course, Miyazaki designed it, but Kunio Shachimaru built it. He is the guy who also created the Ghibli Museum’s Robot Soldier.

The clock is ten meters high and eighteen 18 meters wide. It took six years to complete. The monster weighs 28 tons. Ghibli-inspired details fill it.

What is the clock like?

Have you seen a Miyazaki movie? My favorites are My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery service. Well, as fans know, his works are filled with detail. His Nippon Television clock is no exception.

It might be impossible to spot everything on your first visit. You might, but only after spending a long time at it. It is filled with so much detail. You might think it looks similar to Miyazaki’s 2004 Howl’s Moving Castle.

Many people have said that, but Miyazaki has never confirmed it. But between you and me, I think it did! Anyway, the clock was created at about the same time as the movie. Both have a Steampunk vibe.

There are two things I love about the clock. One is the gun turret on the right with its short, stubby barrels. The other is the claws.

The claws the clock stands on are like the ones that move Howl’s castle. Maybe they came from a dragon and are nearly as tall as a person. They are armored, of course.

The castle (let’s call it that) has many rooms. In each is a machine. They come together to make the clock move. And you can see some characters in them.

Does the clock work?

The clock comes to life four times a day during the week at 12 PM, 3 PM, 6 PM, and 8 PM. On weekends, there is an extra show at 10 AM. Just make sure you turn up early so you don’t miss anything!

Where is Miyazaki’s clock?

It is on the second floor of the Nittele (i.e., Nippon Television) Tower. You can get to it from Shinbashi Station. See it on Google Maps.

Photo tip

The area has many skyscrapers. They will cast many shadows. Yes, my photos have a few in them! That means I will probably retake these one day.

To avoid those, check where the sun will be before you go. You can use an online tool like SunCalc to do that. I only thought of that when I got home!

Photo spots near the clock

Wrapping up

Tokyo brims with treasures. And Miyazaki’s clock is another, filled with creativity and imagination. For Ghibli fans or those seeking some Tokyo magic, visit this whimsical masterpiece. It’ll give you an unforgettable journey into the master’s fantastical world. Be sure to add this hidden gem in bustling Shinbashi to your itinerary. It is timed perfection.

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