Studio Ghibli’s Theme Park is Finally Opening Up in November

Studio Ghibli’s Theme Park is Finally Opening Up in November
Image: Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli is one of the most beloved animation studios around, and their whimsical, resonant worlds are often worth revisiting every now and again just to feel something. For years, we’ve wondered what it would be like to have a theme park based around the studio’s various films, and later this year we’ll finally get our wish.

Announced way back in 2017, Japan’s Studio Ghibli theme park will finally open to the public on November 1. The park will have five lands overall, but a staggered opening, so the first to be unveiled is naturally themed around our favourite neighbour Totoro. According to Variety, locals in the area have learned that one future area is based on Princess Mononoke, with another being split between Kiki’s Delivery Service and Howl’s Moving Castle. Those two lands are expected to release sometime in 2023, while the currently unrevealed final two lands are expected for March 2024.

While Ghibli’s theme park will have rides, there won’t be large scale roller coasters like you’d find in other parks. The studio has complete creative control for their park, and the goal is for it to be nature friendly. Longtime director (and semi-retired) Hayao Miyazaki insisted that no trees be cut down and construction was planned around existing clearings. The aim is to be both an immersive experience and one that aligns with the environmentally-friendly themes of his films. Back in 2020, former Ghibli president Toshio Suzuki joked about how Miyazaki being a “meddlesome old man…not the type to look on supportively from a distance. He starts in right away with ‘do this’ and ‘don’t do that’.”

For those who live in Japan, the park is being built within the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park, near Nagoya in central Japan. By train, it’s about three hours from downtown Tokyo to Nagoya Station, and then potentially another hour long ride from the station to the park proper. Ticket prices haven’t been revealed yet, but at least you know when you can try and schedule your vacation around the park, if you think feel safe going.

[via /Film]