Nagakute, Japan, Oct 12 (EFE).- Studio Ghibli has launched its highly-anticipated theme park in Japan with a soft opening for invited guests.
Located in the city of Nagakute within the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park, the theme park seeks to immortalize the works of the famous Japanese animation film studio.
“I believe that Ghibli’s works express love for nature… We decided to undertake this idea together to give a message for the future,” governor of Aichi Prefecture Hideaki Omura said during the event, calling Ghibli’s films “one of the greatest exponents of the modern culture of Japan.”
The event attended by journalists and diplomatic representatives was led by Omura and Goro Miyazaki, one of the studio’s co-founders and son of legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki.
“One of the reasons for creating Ghibli Park was Hayao Miyazaki’s retirement from feature films. Since he was not going to create more films, we thought of doing something to leave a testimony of his works. Reflecting many of them, we wanted them not to fall into oblivion,” Goro explained.
Goro announced the park will open its doors to the public on November 1, five years after coming to an agreement with Aichi Prefecture.
To enter the park, a ticket must be booked in advance. It is currently limited to residents of the Asian country but reservations from abroad are expected to open in 2023.
The park features a Ghibli department store, restaurants, an exhibition hall, and a projection room, as well as a children’s area.
The theme park is divided into five Ghibli-inspired sections. Only three of them will be open, while the other two are expected to be ready in the coming years.
In Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse section, visitors will be able to watch scenes from films such as the Oscar-winning Spirited Away, Ponyo, Porco Rosso, and When Marnie Was There, among many others.
The second section, called the Hill of Youth, is inspired by Howl’s Moving Castle and has a building similar to the one in the movie.
The Dondoko Forest section is based on Hayao’s masterpiece My Neighbor Totoro. It features a real-life version of the characters Satsuki and Mei’s house
The other two sections, Mononoke’s Village, and Valley of Witches, will be dedicated to movies revolving around magic such as Nicky the witch’s Apprentice. EFE