Media get sneak peek of Ghibli Park

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A structure modeled after the Totoro character is seen in Ghibli Park.

NAGAKUTE, Aichi (Jiji Press) — Ghibli Park, a new theme park in central Japan that recreates the world of animated movies produced by Studio Ghibli Inc., was unveiled to the media on Oct. 12, ahead of its opening on Nov. 1.

Located at the 2005 World Exposition commemorative park in the city of Nagakute, Aichi Prefecture, Ghibli Park consists of five areas. Initially, three of the areas will open, including those featuring “Mimi wo Sumaseba” (“Whisper of the Heart”) and “Tonari no Totoro” (“My Neighbor Totoro”). The remaining two areas are scheduled to start accepting visitors in the next fiscal year.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A view of Ghibli Park with the elevator tower based on “Castle in the Sky” in the foreground in Nagakute, Aichi, as seen on Oct. 20.

The Aichi prefectural government spent some ¥34 billion to build Ghibli Park on a 7.1-hectare site at the commemorative park, which was the main venue of the 2005 World Expo, aiming to continue the ideals of the nature-themed event.

A new company set up jointly by the Tokyo-based anime studio and Chunichi Shimbun Co., a newspaper publisher based in Nagoya, will carry out the planning and management of the theme park.

Once the theme park is fully opened, the number of visitors is expected to total approximately 1.8 million annually, with economic effects seen coming to some ¥48 billion per year.

The mainstay “Ghibli no Daisoko” (Ghibli’s large warehouse) area has a theater showing short anime films and facilities enabling visitors to experience famous scenes from Ghibli movies.

Yomiuri Shimbun file photos
Two types of cat bus are seen in the Cat Bus Room in Ghibli Park, Aichi, on Oct.12.

An antique shop that appears in Mimi wo Sumaseba is reproduced in the “Seishun no Oka” (hill of youth) area. The “Dondoko Mori” (dondoko forest) area has five-meter-high wooden playground equipment modeled on Totoro.

Tickets for each area of Ghibli Park are available for purchase by reservation for a specific day and entry time. A Ghibli no Daisoko ticket for adults sells for ¥2,000 for weekdays and ¥2,500 for weekends and holidays. Tickets for the two other areas are priced at ¥1,000 each for adults for any day of the week.