Updates From the Ghibli Theme Park Due to Open This November in Aichi

Chubu Entertainment Ghibli 2022.02.08
Just as planned, Ghibli Park is anticipating a partial open this year, without any delays!

Image Source: Fashion Press / ©Studio Ghibli

Back in the summer of 2019, Ghibli fans worldwide (including the Japankuru team) were overjoyed at the news of a brand new Ghibli theme park, complete with five different themed areas, all constructed to welcome you right into the world of Ghibli's animation. Many who had previously visited the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka were particularly excited, after seeing what Studio Ghibli could do in the compact space of a small museum in Tokyo. With a whole park being built from scratch, the possibilities seemed endless! Of course, just a few months after they broke ground on the new park, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Japan. For many people, all thoughts of visiting a new theme park went out the window for a little while, and besides, with the pandemic causing all kinds of trouble for construction projects, it was easy to think that material costs or personal shortages might cause some delays for this new destination.

Fortunately, despite the pandemic, it looks like they've really been getting down to business over there in the Aichi Earth Expo Memorial Park, and their original planned pre-opening in late 2022 is actually still on the table!

Image Source: Fashion Press / ©Studio Ghibli

According to a recent press event at the site of the new Ghibli Park - the first one since construction commenced - progress is being made despite any COVID difficulties they might be facing. Just as they announced back in the summer of 2019, their current plans will have Ghibli Park partially open on November 1st, letting visitors access the "Youth Hill Area", "Ghibli Grand Warehouse Area", and "Dondoko Forest Area" around the park. Fans of My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky, Whisper of the Heart, The Cat Returns, and The Secret World of Arietty should be pleased, as each of those films has influenced these first three areas.

Image Source: Fashion Press / ©Studio Ghibli

Visitors will find exhibits, playgrounds, theaters, open grassy spaces, and more. Windows will look into the world of Laputa from Castle in the Sky, along with airships "flying" through the air above the heads of the crowd, along with the house that Mei and Satsuki lived in, from My Neighbor Totoro (which had already been built in the park before Ghibli Park was planned).

Image Source: Fashion Press / ©Studio Ghibli

The rest of the Ghibli Park construction seems to be proceeding on schedule, as well, since this January press event maintained a final full opening date for the park of sometime in 2023. For the final grand opening, visitors will be allowed into all five areas of the park, including the "Mononoke's Village Area", and the "Witch Valley Area," which are inspired by Princess Mononoke and a combination of Kiki's Delivery Service plus Howl's Moving Castle, respectively.

Image Source: Fashion Press / ©Studio Ghibli

The last two areas of the park will have very different kinds of scenery, with the Mononoke Village built to look like the old villages once found dotted around the wooded areas of Japan, while the Witch Valley will be reminiscent of the old-fashioned European-style towns found in both Kiki's Delivery Service and Howl's Moving Castle. Of course, none of that can compare to the planned giant reproduction of the actual moving castle once controlled by Calcifer!

Image Source: Fashion Press / ©Studio Ghibli

Real photos from the construction site show us that the finished product may not look exactly like the lush concept illustrations provided to the public back in 2019. But if the Ghibli Museum is anything to go by, even if the level of detail can't quite compare to a beautiful watercolor painting, Ghibli Park is bound to be an amazing place to visit for fans of Studio Ghibli, and full of easter eggs just waiting to be found. After catching a glimpse of what's to come, we can't wait to see what Ghibli Park looks like when it finally opens this fall and next year.


For more info and updates from Japan, check Japankuru for new articles, and don't forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!
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