Can't Wait for the Ghibli Theme Park Opening in 2022? Neither Can We!!

Chubu Culture Ghibli 2019.06.10
For everyone craving details on the park, opening in 2022.
Image Source: Fashion Press
Diehard Studio Ghibli fans will know that there's a Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo. Diehard fans who have spent any time in Tokyo will almost certainly have been there, as well! The museum is a must-see for those who grew up watching Totoro, those who fell in love with the beautiful animation of Spirited Away later in life, and Japanese animation fans at large. And with the museum offering a fun behind-the-scenes look at how the studio does its work, along with amazing ambiance and great limited-time videos and exhibitions, it's tons of fun to visit.

But... don't we all wish there were a little more? That we could explore the worlds created by Studio Ghibli ourselves, and wander around the huge, lush, animated spaces?

Well, it's a dream come true! This theme park is tentatively named "Ghibli Park", and it's slated to open in 2022! It's just a few short years away, so let's take a look at some of the information that's been coming out in Japanese recently, about the park.
According to reports from The Asahi Shinbun, Studio Ghibli and Aichi Prefecture signed a contract on May 31 to establish the theme park in the Aichi Earth Expo Memorial Park, in Nagakute City, Aichi. A partial opening is expected in 2022, with things heading into full swing some time in 2023.

At this major press conference, Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki revealed the park's logo as well, a design jointly created by himself and beloved Ghibli director/producer Hayao Miyazaki. He announced that they were "working hard to create something that will make people from in and outside of Japan happy."
Image Source: Fashion Press

Five Areas with Different Fantastic Themes

According to the current plan, Ghibli Park will be divided into five major areas, with each one themed after different Studio Ghibli works. Those areas are the "Youth Hill Area", "Ghibli Grand Warehouse Area", "Dondoko Forest Area", "Mononoke's Village Area", and the "Witch Valley Area." The first three areas are due to open in the fall of 2022, while the other two will open later, in 2023.

The Ghibli Warehouse space is currently being built in what was previously an indoor swimming pool, making it a big part of the park that's unaffected by the weather. Exhibition spaces of various kinds, theaters, and indoor playgrounds are being built, so visitors can enjoy this part of the park rain or shine.
  • Image Source: Fashion Press

    The Youth Hill, located on the north side of the park, will include construction based on the fantastical elements seen in the animation style of movies like Howl's Moving Castle, including a main gate.

    Also in this area will be a full-sized recreation of the antique shop "Chikyuya" seen in the Ghibli film Whisper of the Heart!

  • Image Source: Fashion Press

    Dondoko Forest is themed after My Neighbor Totoro! Much of it will be a lush green forest, making it feel like you're really in the movie, and you might see a living Totoro if you just venture a little further in. Alongside the green space will be a recreation of Satsuki and Mei's house, although it looks like the insides of the house will serve more pratical park-related functions, and be a little less perfectly reproduced.

  • Image Source: Fashion Press

    As you might have guessed, Mononoke's Village will indeed be based on the scenery seen in Princess Mononoke (hopefully no enormous wild boar will rush in and poison our arms, though). The whole area will be set up for experiential activities, so who knows what kind of fun Ghibli experiences you'll get to have here? We're certainly looking forward to learning more!

  • Image Source: Fashion Press

    The Witch Valley will of course be influenced by everyone's favorite Ghibli witch, Kiki! Buildings based off of those scene in Kiki's Delivery Service will be found around the area. The Wizard Howl wouldn't want Kiki having all the fun, though, so a recreation of his moving castle is also perched in the grass here. Unfortunately, it won't be an actually moving castle, but it's pretty impressive even when it's stuck in one place! (Maybe they'll even create a room inside with the same amazing clutter as Howl's bedroom; wouldn't that be a sight to see?) 

    The Witch Valley will be a good place to take a break, since there will be places to eat and rest your tired feet here as well.

Image Source: Fashion Press
So, are you so full of excitement you're ready to burst? We sure are! The year 2022 will be here soon enough, but waiting just those few short years seems unbearable right now, after hearing all about what they're building out there in Aichi.

In the mean time, we'll just have to wait until they release more exciting information about the work-in-progress! If you're an animation lover in Japan right now, though, it might be a bit hard to extend a vacation by 3 years or so. You can always go to the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, or maybe head to a cool exhibition on the animation of Pixar, going on right now!


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