Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro is an all-time classic, both of Japanese animation and things so adorable, they make grown adults act like little kids again. Case in point: At the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan—part of the seemingly never-ending sprawl of noodle shops and anonymous apartment buildings that is the greater Tokyo area—there’s a life-size stuffed animal replica of Totoro’s famous Catbus:
“Life-size” if you’re four years old, anyway, as the whole thing only stretches about 10 or 15 feet nose to tail. (Note: I’ve been to the Ghibli Museum, but it was six years ago now, so apologies if the math is a little off.) Therefore, only children under the age of 12 are allowed inside the big plushy bus, where they can pretend to be safely on their way home after getting lost in the countryside trying to visit their sick mom in the hospital:
Adults, meanwhile, are stuck doing boring things like reading placards explaining the process of traditional animation. (All can enjoy the gift shop.)
But now children at heart as well as literal children are screaming “kawaiii” as Kotaku reports that, as part of upcoming renovations, the museum plans to build a bigger, better Catbus large enough to accommodate all ages as part of a new exhibit, “Ride the Catbus to the Ghibli Woods,” celebrating the museum’s 15th anniversary. The exhibit will open on July 16; the museum will be closed until then.
If you live abroad and will be visiting Japan any time after July 16, information on purchasing tickets for the Ghibli Museum can be found here. If you live in Japan, just go to Family Mart. You can do anything at Family Mart.