(CNN) — Fans of “My Neighbor Totoro”, “Kiki’s Delivery Service” and other films from the legendary Studio Ghibli will be able to add another destination to their travel bucket list later this year.
Opening November 1 in Japan, Ghibli Park will be a feverish theme park dream for anyone who has ever seen the studio’s beautiful and often surreal animated films and wanted to step into the worlds they build.
The Ghibli canon is heavy on themes of nature, friendship, strong female characters, flying machines, fate and courage. Their aesthetic is naturalism and steampunk, sprinkled with its own proprietary formula of magical realism.
Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse will house artifacts and exhibits from several of the studio’s films.
Until recently, instead of flowing, news of the mythical Ghibli Park trickled down, in small, speculative doses, teased in Japanese publications. It was unclear what impact the pandemic had on its start date and what visitors would find when it opens.
This is what we know
Three of the five planned areas will be ready when they open in November. Chief among these is Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, an indoor facility that houses artifacts and exhibits from movies, including the Robot Soldier from “Castle in the Sky,” the Catbus from “Totoro,” and another recreation from “The Secret World of Arrietty.” .”
On the right, a recreation of the antique shop in the park from Whisper of the Heart.
A second area, ‘Hill of Youth’, contains the antique shop from ‘Whisper of the Heart’ and another recreation from ‘The Cat Returns’. And the third is Dondoko Forest with a full recreation of Satsuki and Mei’s home from “My Neighbor Totoro” and a Totoro-themed playground.
One of two areas that will open later (“after 2023,” the park’s press service said) is Mononoke Village, referring to “Princess Mononoke” and her adventure among great forest animal gods. An artistic rendering shows children playing the demon god.
The other is the Valley of Witches, which will contain some parts of the trippy “Howl’s Moving Castle”, and the sweeter “Kiki’s Delivery Service”, about a serious and hard-working young witch. The artist’s drawing shows a ride in a teacup decorated with Kiki’s cat Jiji.
If you’re going to Ghibli Park, don’t expect a Catbus roller coaster, Kiki’s broomstick “Avatar”-esque adventure, or a Ponyo Under the Sea ride. “Take a walk, feel the breeze and discover the wonders,” the park site offers as an alternative.
Think immersion and ask for imagination instead of fireworks and thrilling sensations.
The Valley of Witches area with recreation of ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ and ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’.
How to visit?
You have to buy separate tickets for each attraction you want to visit.
The most expensive of the three is Ghibli’s Large Warehouse. Tickets cost ¥2,000 ($15) for adults and ¥1,000 ($7.50) for children on weekdays. On weekends and holidays, that price is ¥2,500 ($19) for adults and ¥1,250 ($9) for children.
Mononoke Village will evoke a world with large forest animal gods.
The park is open on weekdays (except during major school holidays) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on public holidays and weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Tuesdays unless Tuesday is a public holiday.
Currently, the Ghibli Park website and ticket page are in Japanese only.
while you are waiting
This article has been updated.
Top photo: A recreation of Satsuki and Mei’s house from ‘My Neighbor Totoro’. ⓒ Studio Ghibli