Studio Ghibli Park set to open in Aichi Prefecture in early 2020

The Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan has been a destination for Studio Ghibli fans around the world since it opened in 2001, and now they have something more exciting to look forward to.

It has just announced that Aichi Prefecture’s EXPO Park will become “Ghibli Park” in early 2020, right before Tokyo’s Summer Olympics get underway.

On May 31, Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki and Aichi prefectural governor Hideaki Oomura held a conference where they revealed details on the upcoming park.

The area was the site of the 2005 World EXPO, the World’s Fair that held for 185 days between March 25 and September 25 in 2005 in Nagakute City, just east of the prefecture’s capital Nagoya. The EXPO gave visitors a chance to experience cutting-edge technologies, new social systems and future lifestyles that could have provided solutions to the many serious issues facing the world. The cost of the Expo was estimated at 340 billion yen ($3.3 billion). While most of the facilities added for the World EXPO have since been removed from the site, there still is a water park, swimming pool, ice skating rink, and a giant Ferris wheel.

The park sprawls over 200 hectares of land, and is rich with natural greenery much like classic Ghibli film My Neighbor Totoro.

One of the main EXPO 2005 attractions was Satsuki and Mei’s house, a life-sized recreation of the home of the girls from My Neighbor Totoro. The home was not just a recreated film set, but a glimpse into Japanese home life in the mid to late 50’s. Visitors could explore the house, complete with a book-lined study, classic living room, old fire-heated bathtub and even the well in backyard. This will serve as the centerpiece of the park, allowing visitors to touch, open and navigate everything possible.

The prefecture will fund the park’s construction along with help from Studio Ghibli in hopes it will become a tourist attraction for both foreign and domestic visitors alike. There are no plans to have rides.

Meanwhile, Ghibli mastermind Hayao Miyazaki will be coming out of his retirement once again to begin working on his last project (he swears this time) this fall, hoping to finish the movie before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo as well.

(via Natalie)

  • Comments

    • Bubi.

      this sounds boring as hell to be honest. but it’ll be cute and kept in spectacular condition no doubt.

    • Thomas

      “There are no plans to have rides.”

    • hasawa

      Still waiting for Nintendo park tbh…

    • WhySoLonely

      So rather than an amusement park it’ll be more like a big open-air exhibition?

      They should just save themselves the trouble and stay put.

      • Basically. It definitely won’t be a Disney-esque production.

        • Hannah Flower

          Well that’s good isn’t it. Because Ghibli is CERTAINLY not Disney – that would be disgusting. I’m glad their doing it in their own original way don’t you think?

          • What they are doing is definitely more in tune with Studio Ghibli’s mood and ethos.

    • WorldGN18

      I love this!! but I hope they reconsider the rides part, they gotta make an amusement park amusing! xD

    • PigeonPop

      If the park can really deliver in the architectural department, that’s all that is necessary for success. Tokyo Disneyland + DisneySea and USJ are literally the only rides-and-spectacle-based theme parks in Japan that are truly successful. The rest, including even Fuji-Q Highland actually draw less people (and profit) than Huis Ten Bosch. Legoland Japan being a huge flop is also something that’s been widely discussed the past few weeks there.