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There are lots of anime fans all over the world, and Japan does promote the industry to boost tourism.

However, I am unaware of any animation studios that allow visitors. I'm sure a lot of visitors would like to peek inside and see what it is like - perhaps not the working areas, but the general surrounds & going-ons.

I have noticed one tour group doing such a trip - but for the traveller who goes without a guide group - are there any options?

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It's not necessarily animation, but there's a studio park in Kyoto themed like the old dramas you can find on TV, it's also the set where some of them are filmed. You can change to wooden slippers and kimono on entrance and you can find random sword fights happening by walking around. – Quill Jan 26 at 19:05
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I was there with my college Japanese class a few years ago and we got a tour of a Production IG studio. Everyone was super nice and it wasn't touristy. We also got some random swag (manga, phone cases, pins, glasses cloths, phone charms, etc.).

Our professor did all of the planning, so I'm not really sure how you go about getting that set up unfortunately. Still something to look into though.

Side note, I think it might have also been around a bunch of sake breweries that had some cool tours (and samples).

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Studio Ghibli museum

The Studio Ghibli museum in Tokyo is open to public tour, for me and probably for other regions too, you have to book three months in advance to purchase tickets.

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I am sorry, but the 3 months story is not universally valid. I've been there (July 2009) and I bought the tickets 2 days in advance. – Federico Jan 26 at 16:10
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Tickets become available 3 months beforehand, but depending on when you visit you may have more or less luck booking in closer to the date. – ConMan Jan 27 at 4:34

Kyoto animation has a shop just below one of its working areas. You don't even have to make an appointment to visit it! It used to offer a dedicated tour which allowed visitors to look at animators paint transparent plastic film but it was sadly discontinued. The store has items related its characters and even a detailed booklet on how they make animated movies.

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If you go to the Studio Ghibli Museum you can see a couple of films that Hayao Miyazaki made exclusively for the museum itself. He also sometimes stops by and is a gentle and well spoken man. My friend met him once when he was vacationing there with his wife, so if I ever get the chance I would love to go there myself! ♥

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