It’s the perfect time to visit Kyoto, Japan, as Ghibli Park opened less than an hour away from the city last November 1st. The new Park features some of your favorite animated scenes and characters from Studio Ghibli films.
During an event a few days before the park’s official opening, Studio Ghibli Co. chairman and president Koji Hoshino said that the start of the park has a significant meaning for them that surpasses almost three years of the pandemic.
Overall, the final design for Ghibli Park encompassed some 17.5 acres and was split into five distinct areas. Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, the park’s centerpiece, is a huge indoor “town” with streets, displays, and reproductions of Studio Ghibli’s “Totoro” and “The Catbus from Outer Space” sets. The Ghibli Museum’s theater shows special short films to visitors of the new park and Tokyo’s Ghibli Museum.
There are also two restaurants, a souvenir shop, a vintage shopping district with lanes, and a play area for children. The “Hill of Youth” antique shop from “Whisper of the Heart” and “The Cat Returns” is the second tourist attraction. The park can be seen in its entirety from this vantage point.
The third and newest section of the park is the Dondoko Forest, which is themed after the anime film “My Neighbor Totoro.” Both the bouncy house and a Totoro-themed playground can be found there.
Valley of Witches will feature elements from “Howl’s Moving Castle,” about a young milliner who accidentally gets caught up in a war, and “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” about an earnest and hardworking young witch.
According to the director and son of Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Goro Miyazaki, the park was conceived with the local community in mind. Miyazaki’s original intention for the site was to be a park, not a typical theme park with rides and attractions. He desires that the people of Aichi share his passion for their gardens, as he believes parks are primarily for the local community.
Check out their official website for ticket and booking information.