Studio Ghibli stands as one of Japan’s most popular animation houses, but the company has other projects up its sleeves. The studio, which is known for films like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, is about to create a place where anime fans can come and enjoy all things Ghibli. Not long ago, Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki made a stunning announcement in Nagoya with governor Hideaki Omura. The city will house the first Studio Ghibli park, and the massive area is set to open to the public by 2020.
According to Suzuki and Omura, Studio Ghibli will open its ‘Ghibli Park’ within Aichi’s Expo Park. The prefecture will collaborate with Studio Ghibli to bring the quiet theme park to life, and it hopes to open in 2020 before Tokyo’s Summer Olympics get underway.
The park is expected to recreate worlds born from Studio Ghibli films, but My Neighbor Totoro will be the main focus. And, in true Hayao Miyazaki fashion, the park will be done with the environment in mind. Both the studio and Aichi government have said the park will be created without any environmental hazards. No trees will be cut down to provide room for any future attractions for instance. The park will also have plenty of room to deal with. Reports say that Ghibli Park will cover a 200-hectare area or 20,000 acre lot. That's just 10,000 acres like than Disney World in Orlando.
Studio Ghibli fans will already be familiar with Expo Park in part. The area already houses a small exhibit based on My Neighbor Totoro. The park has a replica of Satsuki and Mei’s House on its property. The tourist attraction was debuted back in 2005 for the World’s Fair.
For Ghibli Park, there are no plans as of yet to create any rides; Instead, the theme park aims to be a faithful recreation of one of Studio Ghibli’s most famous films. Rumors suggest face characters will appear in the park, so fans will get to meet their very own Totoro and squeal over its cuteness. The prefecture says it hopes the theme park will become a tourist attraction for both foreign and domestic visitors. The province will fund the park’s construction along with help from Studio Ghibli.
Until the park is finished, fans of Studio Ghibli can still get a taste of the company’s whimsical nature in Tokyo. The studio has a Ghibli Museum in Mitaka where fans can visit interactive exhibits based on Studio Ghibli movies and watch short films.