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Studio Ghibli theme park in Hayao Miyazaki evokes excitement and awe

Studio Ghibli theme park in Hayao Miyazaki evokes excitement and awe

Ghibli Park will open its doors on November 1

It’s here at last: the extraordinary visual theme park from legendary Japanese animation house Ghibli. The studio announced its plans for the attraction five years ago, and legions of Ghibli fans around the world have been eagerly awaiting its opening. It will be November 1, when Japan will welcome international tourists again.

We were able to catch a glimpse of Park Ghibli, which is located several hours southwest of Tokyo. This is what you need to know.

Don’t expect horseback riding or human-sized characters to take pictures. See the exclusive 494-acre park to see Hayao MiyazakiCo-founder of the studio, 81, is a tribute to his legacy as an innovative creator and animator. (The idea came up in 2017 after that Miyazaki He made what appeared to be his final retirement announcement, even though he’s already working again).

Seeing the 494-acre park is unique to Hayao Miyazaki's vision
Seeing the 494-acre park is unique to Hayao Miyazaki’s vision

The result is believed to be Japan’s first “hybrid garden,” built around an existing public space to minimize damage to the environment. Conscious of sustainability, its creators sourced all possible materials locally. The main attraction, the Ghibli Department Store, has been converted into an indoor pool attached to an indoor skating rink.

Just like in the Ghibli movies, you can’t help but appreciate the nature around you. It is designed to make you feel like you are living in the real Ghibli world, rather than visiting a fantasy. The result: a sensory load that is at the same time peaceful.

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The park will eventually consist of five areas, three of which will be ready next month. The Ghibli Department Store is an in-house showcase that recreates 14 collections of Ghibli classics. In Dondoko Forest, visitors will find the home of Satsuki and Mei from My Totoro. The Hill of Youth features Nishi’s Antique Shop whisper of the heart Cat . office cat back.

Next fall, Mononoke Village, based on Prince Mononoke. And in the spring of 2024, the Valley of the Witches will be presented based on Howl’s Moving Castle s Kiki: Home deliveries.

The meticulous attention to detail is remarkable. At every turn, you will be amazed by the little gems, especially at the Great Ghibli Warehouse.

Groups of soot goblins, or Makkuro kurosuke, hidden in the corners. Individual contracts signed by those whose names were stolen by Yubaba, or Granny, before Chihiro entered the spirit world in kidnapped. Totoro sleeper hidden in a corner of the children’s play area. Realistic expressions of raccoon dogs Boom Boko. Nuts stacked along the Dondoko Forest trail. A fully functional gas stove at Nishi’s Antique Shop. Water drops the size of your hand when you see the world through Ariette’s eyes.

Time and time again, they leave you thinking: Did they really think about that?

Fans know that the kitchen in the Ghibli movies is a lot like its own.

A gallery at the Ghibli Department Store celebrates the famous Ghibli foods: kiki pie, bacon and eggs at kiki. Howl’s Moving Castlefood stall kidnapped Where Chihiro’s parents eat, Spaghetti Bolognese Chihiro Porco Rosso And much more.

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It also takes you inside the painstaking animation process needed to create the food and cooking scenes, along with life-size replicas of some of those scenes. (This is a temporary exhibit, although we hope the park organizers will consider making it a permanent installation.)

Get ready to leave hungry.

There is a distinct aesthetic of simplicity and nostalgia for the garden that makes you feel the beauty of Ghibli. An antique candy shop sells sweets that are now hard to find in Tokyo. Old school “gacha-gacha” vending machines contain toys in capsules. Candy stand serves bottled milk with a cupcake.

All this is very appropriate, given the aversion to Miyazaki To use computers, smartphones, or computer-generated animations.

While you’ll definitely want to capture it on your phone, take a moment to enjoy life as you imagine it. Miyazaki.

How do you plan the trip?

Ghibli Park is located within the Aichi Expo 2005 Memorial Park in Aichi Prefecture. Accessible by public transportation from Tokyo, it can be visited as a day trip from the city.

The park, suitable for all ages, receives about 5,000 visitors per day. Tickets are sold on their website through a raffle on the 10th of each month for each of the three regions. Prices range from $3.50 to $9 for children and $7 to $17 for adults.

Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to cover a lot of ground. A bus can take you to Dondoko Forest, but the ride there is scenic and relaxing. bring water and something to snack on; Currently there is only a small cafeteria and vending machines are rare.

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Posters, exhibit descriptions, and directions are written almost entirely in Japanese, which presents a challenge for non-Japanese speakers.

Source: The Washington Post

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