The Studio Ghibli creations have wowed fans all over the world now for decades. Characters ranging from Totoro, the Catbus, Ponyo, Howl, Porco Rosso, Chihiro, and the many, many others have been part of our imaginations for quite a while. Right now the biggest attraction for fans of the anime studio can see the Studio Ghibli Museum Exhibit in Tokyo that does bring in lots of sightseers every year. But also comes with numerous rules for adults not being able to take part in the exhibit and other cautions.
Hopefully, That will change.
Plans have circled around for a few years now. The idea of a dedicated theme park to run around and have a good time in, outside of a museum environment, has tanalized anime and Ghibli fans since then. And while the park isn’t scheduled to open until sometime in the early 2020’s, we all got one step closer with the idea when the first Concept Art to what the new land will have in store.
The location for the new attraction is in Nagakute City, Aichi Prefecture near Nagoya, Japan. Already the group behind it have some impressive ideas The entrance to the park will be a recreation of Howl’s Moving Castle.
This will also lead to a full-scale recreation of Chikyuya antique shop from the Movie Whispers of The Heart. And it is being reported that the house from My Neighbor Totoro as well as Kiki’s House from Kiki’s Delivery Service will be available for guest to visit and stay at while visiting the park.
And while not specifically mentioned, the word “Catbus” appear in the concept art. Make sense really. If you are building a theme park and need to move people around or are looking for a ride for the visitors to the park, why wouldn’t you go with Ghibli’s most famous mode of transportation? The rail system they seem to have around the park looks like an awfully tempting place for a cat themes people transporter.
Hmmmm. Maybe they are ahead of the game on this one. Also in the plans seems to be a themed area based on Princess Mononoke. The Feudal era film that stormed the world back in the day will play setting too many different ideas including planned tea house and rides based on the corrupted creatures from the movie.
Looking over the concept art, I see what appears to be a large replica of the “Spirited Away” Bathhouse off in the corner of the park. I can only guess what they have in mind for that, but why not right? I don’t know what kind of attractions they are planning for that area but with the story of the movie, I see a lot of ideas to get crowds inside the gates. Hopefully, the guests won’t turn into pigs or have their names magically taken away from them. Having the guided tours guided by No-Face would be part of the charm!
And of course, a lot of these Ideas may be influenced by that Mickey Mouse operation going on out East in Chiba. One wonders if they were be playing “Country Road” at some of the attractions. After All, the world isn’t that small a place so why not?
While this attraction might miss out on the Olympics of 2020 (that hopefully won’t recreate the finale from Akira) it seems like this will gather a lot of attention, not just from the Otaku and Anime Fans of the world, but someday, anyone wanting a vacation in Japan.