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7 Montreal Spots To Visit If You Dream Of Living In A Studio Ghibli Film

Or just wish you could visit the new Ghibli Park. ⛩️

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
​Japanese Pavilion at the Montreal Botanical Garden. Right, A customer in line at Tsujiri Restaurant.

Japanese Pavilion at the Montreal Botanical Garden. Right, A customer in line at Tsujiri Restaurant.

Ghibli Park opened in Japan at the start of November, attracting fans of the animation studio in droves. If you don't plan to book an international flight and visit the theme park any time soon, you could always rewatch your favourite Studio Ghibli flick or discover the parts of Montreal that capture the films' charm before it gets too cold. Here are a few options:

Tsujiri

Matcha rare cheesecake from Tsujiri. Right, Siberia cake from "The Wind Rises."

Matcha rare cheesecake from Tsujiri. Right, Siberia cake from "The Wind Rises."

@tsujiri_montreal | Instagram, Studio Ghibli still.

Where: 1418, rue Crescent

Reason to visit: This downtown Japanese eatery specialises in matcha-infused sweets, like cakes and soft serve. Powdered green tea is at the heart of Tsujiri's traditional treats, including soba noodles and poke bowls. The resto interior features exposed wood tables and black walls, so you can savour your gourmet meal in style and capture the richness of Japanese-inspired food that's featured in most Ghibli films.

Website

Westmount Conservatory

\u200bWestmount Conservatory. Right, Scene from "Howl's Moving Castle."

Westmount Conservatory. Right, Scene from "Howl's Moving Castle."

@villewestmountcity | Instagram, Studio Ghibli still.

Where: 4624, rue Sherbrooke Ouest

Reason to visit: The Westmount Conservatory has panel-windowed walls and sloped roofs straight out of a fairytale, or rather, an anime. The inside is decked out with tropical gardens worthy of Madame Suliman's greenhouse, or even Nausicaa's plant haven. Entry is free and you can take in the fresh air from one of the benches or simply admire the fountains.

Website

Japanese Pavilion

\u200bKoi carp in the Japanese Garden of Montreal's Botanical Garden. Right, Ponyo rides fish underwater.

Koi carp in the Japanese Garden of Montreal's Botanical Garden. Right, Ponyo rides fish underwater.

Wikimedia, Studio Ghibli still.

Where: Montreal Botanical Garden, 4101, rue Sherbrooke Est

Reason to visit: Nothing beats the Botanical Garden when looking for peace and quiet in the heart of Montreal's concrete jungle. The Japanese Pavilion is especially restful with its waterfall and pools of water filled with koi fish. The space reflects traditional Japanese landscaping and looks magical with lanterns, or without. It's also filled with iconic trees, like cherry blossoms, lotus ("Buddha’s flower") and different kinds of pine trees, so no matter what time of year you visit, there's always something to enjoy.

Website

Jarry Park

\u200bSomeone sits on a willow tree branch in Jarry Park. Right, Totoro and friends sit on a branch over water.

Someone sits on a willow tree branch in Jarry Park. Right, Totoro and friends sit on a branch over water.

@sofsilva.mtl | Instagram, Studio Ghibli still.

Where: 205, rue Gary-Carter

Reason to visit: You don't have to climb a tree to fully enjoy Jarry Park, but there are some ideal branches for it. The Rosemont green space is a perfect place to find a secluded alcove by the central lake. If you see rocks leading from the main path into a reeded area, walk through to claim a private picnic spot. When the weather gets frosty, the park offers rentals so you can skate on the lake.

Website

Tour de Lévis

\u200bPeople on top of Montreal's Tour de L\u00e9vis. Right, Backdrop in "Castle in the Sky."

People on top of Montreal's Tour de Lévis. Right, Backdrop in "Castle in the Sky."

Courtesy of Parc Jean-Drapeau, Studio Ghibli still.

Where: 221, chem. du Tour de l'isle

Reason to visit: That mysterious tower visible among the trees on Île Sainte-Hélène looks straight out of Ghibli's "Castle in the Sky," just without the robot guards or floating abilities. The Tour de Lévis is a lookout that's open to the public when not under construction. You can hike up to it, even when closed, for an exceptional view of the Montreal skyline and Jacques Cartier Bridge.

Website

Jardins des Floralies

\u200bA secluded part of \u00cele Notre-Dame overlooking the river near the Jamaican Pavilion. Right, A still from "The Secret World of Arietty."

A secluded part of Île Notre-Dame overlooking the river near the Jamaican Pavilion. Right, A still from "Porco Rosso."

@sofsilva.mtl | Instagram, Studio Ghibli still.

Where: 55, chem. des Floralies

Reason to visit: In the heart of Île Notre-Dame, the Jardins des Floralies could be mistaken for Madame Gina’s Private Flower Garden. Surrounded by lagoons and interspersed with decaying monuments, it's the perfect spot to commune with nature. You can explore the space by bike or on foot. Pets are allowed and there are plenty of seating options if you want to read a book or have a picnic.

Website

Mount Royal Lookout

\u200bRaccoons on Mount Royal. Right, Raccoons in "Pom Poko."

Raccoons on Mount Royal. Right, Raccoons in "Pom Poko."

@alafia.gad | Instagram, Studio Ghibli still.

Where: Kondiaronk Belvedere, 1196, voie Camillien-Houde

Reason to visit: The lookout from Mount Royal has incomparable views of the city… and its raccoon population. If you loved the goofy hijinks of the critters in "Pom Poko," you can get a real-life display on your next tour of the Kondiaronk Belvedere. Of course, no matter how hungry they look (and act), you're not allowed to feed the raccoons. The city published a recent reminder that breaking that rule could cost you at least $300 in fines.

Website

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