Hayao Miyazaki, whose film "Spirited Away" won the 2002 Oscar for best animated film and is often described as a Japanese version of Walt Disney, designed this museum to engage the imagination and to invite exploration. In that it succeeds, with a whimsical design that includes nooks and crannies, spiral staircases, a rooftop garden, and a playroom with a giant stuffed Cat Bus children can climb on, taken from Miyazaki's "My Neighbor Totoro." Other diversions include a reproduction of his studio, an exhibition of pre-animation techniques like the zoetrope, and a theater that shows a 10-minute animated feature made just for the museum. That being said, it's not easy visiting this museum. For one thing, tickets have to be purchased in advance (either through Lawson convenience stores in Japan from ticket kiosks that are only in Japanese, or through JTB offices abroad) and they are for a specific date and time. In addition, the museum is on the outskirts of Tokyo. That won't deter anime (Japanese animation) fans, however, who might as well also see the free Suginami Animation Museum on the way, located about a 15-minute walk from Ogikubo Station on the same line (see www.sam.or.jp/flier.htm for a map and details).