A Studio Ghibli Theme Park Is Opening In Japan In 2022
You could argue that very few movies or TV shows quite celebrate nature quite like the legendary Anime films to come out of Studio Ghibli. It's almost impossible not to be inspired to go to Japan after watching a film so nourishingly animated as Totoro or Spirited Away, and likewise, once you visit the Land of the Rising Sun and travel into the countryside, it's easy to get an idea of the incredible, lush beauty that lent its beauty to the films.
Fans of the films then will be happy to know that despite a tumultuous few years in which they went on a much-publicised hiatus from making films, legendary animation studio Studio Ghibli the ultimate celebration of this relationship, and it's set to open in 2022 to enthrall a new generation of Anime fans, movie buffs, and those who simply want to experience all the magic that Japanese storytelling and spiritualism has to offer.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the park won't open anywhere near the Studio's current museum, but rather will make use of the lush countryside that surrounds the city of Nagoya — roughly a two-hour TGV ride from Tokyo. More specifiically, it'll be located within Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park in Nagakute City on Nagoya's eastern outskirts.
Word of the park first emerged about a year ago, when Ghibli released the first illustrations of they hoped will form the park. A tribute to the awe-inspiring nature that inspires so many of the studio's projects, founder Hiyao Miyazaki insisted that not a single tree be cut down to bring the park to life, and Ghibli has every intention of making that directive a reality.
The park likely won't feature any roller coasters or big rides, but will instead seek to capture the whimsy and magic of its films while remaining in harmony with, and celebrating, existing nature.
It'll eventually encompass five themed areas, each paying tribute to Ghibli's most iconic projects. Opening in fall 2022 will be areas paying tribute to Youth Hill, partly based on Howl's Moving Castle; Dondoko Forest, based on My Neighbor Totoro; and a Great Ghibli Warehouse. A Mononoke Village, based on Princess Mononoke, and a Valley of the Witch area, themed on both Kiki's Delivery Service and Howl's Moving Castle, will open a year later.
Many of Ghibli's films, in particular those put together by Miyazaki like Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle and My Neighbour Totoro, have transcended the Anime genre, and now have genuine cult status among mainstream movie fans. Thousands of tourists flock to the Studio's Tokyo-based museum every year, and an equal number were dismayed to hear that the Studio was going on hiatus in 2014.
Thankfully, Ghibli has now been revived, and will release its first major film in over 5 years (directed by the aforementioned Miyazaki, who came out of retirement for the project) in the lead-up to next year's 2020 Tokyo Olympics.