If the idea of being in the beautifully rich universe of a Studio Ghibli film sounds like your idea of heaven, you’re about to be in luck — well, in a few years at least. It’s been announced by the Japanese government that the world of Oscar-winning animator Hayao Miyazaki will be turned into a theme park set to open in 2022.
Studio Ghibli has also made public a basic concept for the park, which will be built in central Japan, near Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture. The park will feature rides based on Miyazaki’s most popular films, and the images look stunning. Miyazaki is the cofounder of Studio Ghibli, the studio known for films like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke.
It’s going to be a huge park — the size of the plot is 200 hectare, which is close to 500 acres. It will be on the site of the 2005 World’s Fair. For fans of Studio Ghibli’s films, the attractions will be instantly recognizable.
There will be a main gate styled after the 19th-century structures from Howl’s Moving Castle, as well as a Princess Mononoke Village. There will also be an area called Witch Valley, featuring rides and attractions based off of Howl’s Moving Castle and Kiki’s Delivery Service. Other areas include a recreation of Whisper of the Heart’s antique shop and a Big Ghibli Warehouse, which will feature Ghibli-themed play areas, exhibits, and theaters.
This all sounds amazing, and it’s making us want to spend the rest of the day queueing up Miyazaki films. Animation fans were saddened in 2014 when the director announced he would be retiring. But last year, he announced that he would be making one final film that would be released in 2019 or 2020. The film will also be for a very sweet reason. “Miyazaki is making the new film for his grandson,” producer Toshio Suzuki said on Japanese television program Nichiyobi Bijitsukan. “It’s his way of saying, ‘Grandpa is moving on to the next world, but he’s leaving behind this film.’”