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An Early Look at Japan’s Upcoming Studio Ghibli Theme Park

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The “Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse” area of the theme park will feature indoor shops, exhibition spaces, and dining.

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The “Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse” area of the theme park will feature indoor shops, exhibition spaces, and dining.

Slated to open in 2022, the new theme park will be located just outside of Nagoya.

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Super Nintendo World isn’t the only new theme park we have on our must-visit list once Japan eventually reopens its borders. Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation film studio, has plans to open its very own theme park in 2022.

Not to be confused with the existing Ghibli Museum in Tokyo, the new theme park will be located within Aichi Earth Expo Memorial Park, the former site of the 2005 World Expo about an hour east by train from Nagoya. Japan’s fourth largest city by population, Nagoya can be reached by bullet train in roughly 1.5 hours from Tokyo. 

The Ghibli Theme Park will eventually have five areas themed around some of director and screenwriter Hayao Miyazaki’s most popular movies. When it opens in fall 2022, three themed areas will be completed, including “Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse,” “Dondoko Forest,” and the “Hill of Youth.” As seen in the rendering above, the “Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse” zone will be an indoor area with shops, exhibition spaces, and a dining section based on the 2001 film Spirited Away.

The “Dondoko Forest” part is based on the movie My Neighbor Totoro. A fully built replica of the house from the 1988 movie already exists on the site from the 2005 World Expo, and park developers are planning on using this existing landmark within the new Ghibli Park. The “Hill of Youth” area will be partially based on Howl’s Moving Castle and also include replicas of buildings from the film Whisper of the Heart.

Studio Ghibli released this rendering of what the “Hill of Youth” area will look like.

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In 2023, the park plans to add a “Mononoke Village” area—with a replica of Irontown from the movie Princess Mononoke—and a “Valley of Witches” inspired by both Kiki’s Delivery Service and Howl’s Moving Castle. There are plans to build a four- to five-story replica of Howl’s castle—that unfortunately won’t move—according to Tokyo Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper.

While there will be rides, don’t expect the massive roller coasters you’d find at other theme parks. The park doesn’t plan to remove any existing trees to build new attractions in order to reflect the natural elements found in many Studio Ghibli movies.

Tickets are not yet available to book. But while you wait, you can rewatch your favorite Studio Ghibli movies on HBO Max with a monthly subscription.

>> Next: 6 New Theme Parks and Museums for Kids Adults Will Enjoy Too

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