Studio Ghibli Set To Open Up Official Theme Park In Japan

The fantastical and charming universes created by Studio Ghibli, the renowned animation studio behind such fan favorites as My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and Princess Mononoke, have long seem perfectly suited for being transformed into an actual theme park. Fans have pushed for the idea so much that fan artists have created elaborate hypothetical designs of an actual park, combining all the worlds of the film. Fans won't have to dream much longer, it seems, as the Chunichi Shinbun is now reporting that an official theme park called "Ghibli Park" will open in Japan's Aichi prefecture in the "early 2020's".

A joint announcement was made by Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki and Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura, and it was revealed that the Ghibli Park will open within the current Expo Park (sometimes called Moricoro Park) located in Nagakute city. The park, which hosted the 2005 World's Fair (EXPO 2005), has one existing Ghibli-themed attraction that remains from that event. Inside the appropriately lush and foresty area of seasonal flowers and trees is a life-size recreation of Satsuki and Mei’s house from My Neighbor Totoro, so it seems the park will have a head start on recreating the world of Totoro (which appears to be the main focus of the park at this time)--we can only hope many more will follow!

Some type of Cat Bus will be a must

Source: Grape Japan

Moricoro Park (officially called Love the Earth Memorial Park), boasts 460 acres of preserved forest scenery. Given the park's history as a place to admire nature, and Hayao Miyazaki's passion for protecting the environment, this is likely not to be a full-blown raucous theme park, but one that lets visitors calmly explore the quaint universes of the film while incorporating the surrounding scenery peacefully. The announcement states that while park maintenance and upgrades will be made, no trees will be cut down to accommodate them and environmental hazards will be avoided. While recreating the world of My Neighbor Totoro is the only announced project so far, with such a large area to cover, we imagine some attention will be given to other films as well.

No further details have been released, but the goal is for the park to open in the early 2020's.

Until further details are revealed, we can at least be content with the natural surroundings for a Studio Ghibli park being very appropriate!

Source:
Chunichi Shinbun / Aichi-Now / @shienna89 / @brew_huntress / @kohrista / @oshiro_m8/
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