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09 Jan 2019

Studio Ghibli theme park moves towards 2022 opening
BY Andy Knaggs

The Studio Ghibli theme park will replicate popular scenes from the studio's animated movies

The Studio Ghibli theme park will replicate popular scenes from the studio's animated movies
photo: Studio Ghibli

New details and designs have been revealed about a proposed Studio Ghibli theme park, which was first announced in 2017 and is now set to open in Japan in 2022.

The park will showcase five special zones drawn from the iconic anime movies produced by the studio and its legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki, and will be situated across a 200 hectare site in Nagakute City, Aichi Prefecture, which was previously used for the 2005 World Expo.

This site already features a replica of Mei and Satsuki’s house from the Studio Ghibli film My Neighbor Totoro, and the surrounding land will replicate Totoro’s rural hometown from the film. This zone will be called the “Dondoko Forest Area” at the theme park.

Further zones include the “Youth Hill Area”, featuring a giant steampunk elevator inspired by Howl’s Moving Castle and a full-sized replica of the Chikyuya antique shop from Whisper of the Heart; the “Ghibli Large Warehouse Area”, which will have an exhibition room, video exhibition room, playing areas, shops and cafes; “Mononoke’s Village Area”, which is dedicated to Princess Mononoke, with a rural Japanese landscape where visitors can learn about traditional charcoal grilling; and the “Witches Valley Area”, inspired in look and feel by Kiki’s Delivery Service and Howl’s Moving Castle, and with restaurants and rest areas included.

It is reported that designs and financial details are still being finalised according to the Aichi Prefectural Government, and that construction will begin in 2020 with the first zones ready to open by autumn 2022, and all five zones open in 2023.

A Studio Ghibli museum already exists in Tokyo, housing artwork and merchandise from the animation studio.



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