Studio Ghibli, the popular anime studio, has announced that the Studio Ghibli Park in Aichi Prefecture, Japan will open later this year. The park, which will have five different themed areas, will feature attractions based on fan favourites such as Kiki’s Delivery Service and Spirited Away.
Work on the Studio Ghibli Park, located within the former site of the 2005 World Expo, Aichi Earth Expo Memorial Park in Nagakute City, Aichi Prefecture, has proceeded according to schedule, despite the global pandemic, with the first phase expected to open this autumn.
Themed lands inspired by classic films
Three of the attraction’s five themed lands, Ghibli’s Giant Warehouse, Dondoko Forest and Springtime of Life Hill, will launch as part of the initial opening, with the other two areas, Princess Mononoke Village and Witch Valley, following in March 2024.
Following a ground breaking ceremony in summer 2020, construction was paused temporarily as a result of COVID-19 but resumed soon after. The project will cost ¥34 billion ($323 million) and is expected to bring in around 1.8 million visitors each year, with estimated annual economic benefits of ¥48 billion ($455 million).
Of the first three areas to open, Springtime of Life Hill will be themed to the film Howl’s Moving Castle. Meanwhile, Ghibli’s Giant Warehouse will be home to an exhibition room, a video exhibition room, playing areas, shops and cafes and will feature The Air Destroyer Goliath from Castle in the Sky.
Visitors to Dondoko Forest will discover a full replica of Satsuki and Mei’s house from My Neighbor Totoro, originally made for the World Expo. This area will celebrate the rural landscape from the film, with walking tours and paths planned.
As well as giving an update on the theme park, Studio Ghibli also announced that production is underway on iconic director Hayao Miyazaki’s new animated film. Miyazaki, who celebrated his 81st birthday last week, is working on the production of the new movie, called How Do You Live?
Last year, Studio Ghibli also announced that the new park will include a life-size Howl’s Moving Castle, releasing concept art of the attraction, which will be part of the Witch Valley area, inspired by Kiki’s Delivery Service and Howl’s Moving Castle.