peek through the fantastical world of ghibli park and its newly unveiled areas in japan

peek through the fantastical world of ghibli park and its newly unveiled areas in japan

Ghibli Park unveils new attractions

 

In November 2022, Studio Ghibli fans received a pleasant surprise – the inauguration of a theme park dedicated to the animated movies from the beloved studio. Situated near Nagoya, Japan, the park immerses visitors in the fantastical worlds depicted in the films. Unlike traditional amusement parks with rides, this one focuses on allowing guests to truly immerse themselves in the atmospheric charm of Ghibli’s creations.

 

After successfully completing its first phase and unveiling three areas, the park has now announced the opening of Ghibli Park Phase 2. The expansion welcomes visitors to explore the newly unveiled attractions – the Mononoke Village and the Valley of Witches.

peek through the fantastical world of ghibli park and its newly unveiled areas in japan
the Mononoke Village | all images courtesy of Ghibli Park (head image: the Witch Valley | image via @ghibliparkjp)

 

 

introducing the Mononoke Village and the Valley of Witches

 

As mentioned above, Ghibli Park (find more here) does not have any major attractions or rides. It is a place where you can discover secrets while walking on your own feet and through familiar forests, roads and buildings. The Mononoke Village brings to life the Japanese-style Satoyama landscape straight out of the enchanting 1997 film, Princess Mononoke. This section of the theme park showcases the iconic Irontown (Tataraba), transformed into a hands-on center where visitors can immerse themselves in the local cuisine and learn how to make Gohei-mochi. The Mononoke Village also boasts impressive sculptures of the Okkoto-Nushi and the Tatari-Gami demon characters. Despite their initially intimidating appearances, the works double as playful slides, extending a warm welcome to young visitors.

 

The inspiration for the Valley of Witches comes from the picturesque settings featured in Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) and Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989). Within this area, visitors can look forward to exploring reproductions of iconic locations like Kiki’s house, the bakery, and the hat shop from Howl’s Moving Castle. To ensure an authentic ambiance, the buildings are constructed using traditional European architectural styles. To achieve this, the park’s designers have sought out wood materials and construction techniques specific to the regions where the movies are set. However, due to the scarcity of certain European tree varieties like oak and chestnut in the Japanese market, the park had to source the required trees from forests across Japan.

peek through the fantastical world of ghibli park and its newly unveiled areas in japan
the Witch Valley

 

the first phase of the ghibli park

 

The first phase of the park unveiled three distinct areas: Ghibli’s Great Warehouse, Youth Hill, and Dondoko Forest. Inside the Grand Warehouse, visitors can explore a town filled with all things Ghibli. The area features gallery exhibits, kid’s playrooms, a film room, café, and gift shops, providing a pleasant experience for visitors of all ages. Perhaps the most interesting part is the interactive exhibits, where guests can step into famous film scenes and become their favorite Studio Ghibli characters. There are 14 scenes from 13 films, including the mysterious sea railway train from Spirited Away that invites visitors to sit right next to No Face, just like Chihiro.

 

The Youth Hill consists of the Earth Shop and Rotary Square, which are one of the stages of the story of Whisper of the Heart, the Cat Office that appeared in The Cat Returns, and the Elevator Tower that anyone can use which is based on the science fiction world view of the end of the 19th century, represented by Castle in the Sky and Howl’s Moving Castle. For young guests, the Dondoko playground introduces them to the world of My Neighbor Totoro. There, they can explore a reproduction of Satsuki and Mei’s House and play in a vibrant playground with a large Totoro sculpture.

peek through the fantastical world of ghibli park and its newly unveiled areas in japan
Satsuki and Mei’s house from My Neighbor Totoro

peek through the fantastical world of ghibli park and its newly unveiled areas in japan
the Earth Shop

peek through the fantastical world of ghibli park and its newly unveiled areas in japan
the Dondokodo playground

ghibli-studio-theme-park-japan-designboom-full

a large Totoro sculpture adorns the Dondokodo playground | image via @ghibliparkjp

peek through the fantastical world of ghibli park and its newly unveiled areas in japan
the Elevator Tower

peek through the fantastical world of ghibli park and its newly unveiled areas in japan
visitors can sit right next to No Face in the interactive exhibits of Ghibli’s Great Warehouse

peek through the fantastical world of ghibli park and its newly unveiled areas in japan
Yubaba from Spirited Away at Ghibli’s Great Warehouse

 

 

project info: 

 

name: Ghibli Park
location: Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park (Moricoro Park), Japan

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