Japan’s iconic Studio Ghibli animation house has joined forces with local partners to build its first theme park.
Together with the government of Aichi Prefecture and the Chunichi Shimbun newspaper, the company will develop a park within Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park. The venue, not far from Nagoya in central Japan, was a world’s fair held for 185 days in 2005 that attracted nearly 22 million visitors to its 460-acre site.
Details were announced Friday by Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki, Aichi governor Hideaki Omura and Chunichi CEO Uichiro Oshima at a press conference in Tokyo. The park is scheduled to open in the fall of 2022, with additional attractions opening a year later. The construction budget was not announced.
Ghibli will handle the creative side of the project. Five-themed areas are foreseen, based on Hayao Miyazaki’s “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Princess Mononoke,” as well as other Ghibli films.
Miyazaki, who is currently working on a new feature, “is really worried about the Ghibli park,” Suzuki jokingly told reporters. “He can’t leave anything up to other people. He’s a meddlesome old man.” Miyazaki’s only son Goro Miyazaki “is working hard (on the park project), but (Miyazaki) is not the type to look on supportively from a distance,” Suzuki continued. “He starts in right away with ‘do this’ and ‘don’t do that’.”
Earlier this month it was confirmed that Ghibli’s “Spirited Away” is to get a theatrical release in China, on June 21, 18 years after it opened in Japan and elsewhere.