4 Jun – It was announced about two years ago that a Studio Ghibli theme park is set to open in Japan, since then the park has slowly been taking shape.
Originally set to open in 2020, the opening date was pushed back last year to 2022. Understandable, since it is no small undertaking to bring the animation company's many iconic films to life for fans to enjoy.
The latest update confirmed that, at the moment, there are five areas planned for the theme park.
Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki, Aichi governor Hideaki Omura and Chunichi CEO Uichiro Oshima announced so during a recent press conference in Tokyo, according to Variety.
However, only three will open in fall 2022. The remaining two will follow suit a year later in 2023.
The three areas that will open first are Youth Hill (based on "Howl's Moving Castle"), Dondoko Forest (based on "My Neighbor Totoro"), and a Great Ghibli Warehouse – which, a report from NHK last year revealed, will feature Ghibli themed play areas and exhibition areas as well as small cinemas.
The next year, the other two areas that will open are A Mononoke Village (based on "Princess Mononoke"), and a Valley of the Witch area, based on both "Howl's Moving Castle" and "Kiki's Delivery Service".
Several concept arts released last year gave a rough idea of how the park will look like once finished.
The Studio Ghibli theme park, made in cooperation with the government of Aichi Prefecture and the Chunichi Shimbun newspaper, will occupy 200 hectares in Aichi's Nagakute City.
It will be located within Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park, where a recreation of Mei and Satsuki's house from "My Neighbor Totoro" already stands. The house was built specifically for the Expo 14 years ago.
The admission prices have yet to be set as the three partner companies are still in discussion regarding these.