Studio Ghibli and Aichi Prefecture have now contracted the Kajima Corporation to construct the upcoming Ghibli Park. Their contrtact is worth 10,657,900,000 yen, and they announced that construction for the project will finally begin this July 2020. This will be for the first three areas of the theme park, which are slated to open in Fall 2022. They also don’t anticipate any COVID-19-related delays for the theme park’s construction.
Meanwhile, has begun streaming an aerial video on the theme park’s concept designs, as well as a look at the construction sites.
According to the prefecture’s announcement, the theme park itself will be having five different areas. These areas include:
- Youth Hill: Will feature themes and architecture from Howl’s Moving Castle and Whisper of the Heart.
- Great Ghibli Warehouse: Will include an indoor heated pool, a video room, a children’s playground, and exhibition spaces.
- Mononoke Village: As the name suggests, Princess Mononoke inspires this area, and it will include statues of several creatures from the Hayao Miyazaki movie. This includes Tatari-gami and Okkoto-nushi.
- The Valley of the Witch: Will include areas inspired by Howl’s Moving Castle and Kiki’s Delivery Service.
- Dondoko Forest: Will have My Neighbor Totoro-inspired nature themes, as well as the replica of Satsuki and Mei’s House.
Originally, both Ghibli and Aichi Prefecture planned to open the theme park on 2020. But now, they revealed that they’re gonna be pushing its opening a bit further, on 2022. They will be opening this “Ghibli Park” within a 200-hectare area called Expo Park. It will be recreating Totoro’s forest home, as well as adding a recreation of the antique shop from Whisper of the Heart inside the park. They will open the Great Ghibli Warehouse, Youth Hill, and Dondoko Forest first in 2022. As for the other two areas, they plan to open them a year later, in Fall 2023.
For its construction, Ghibli doesn’t want to cut down trees, or damage the environment of the Expo Park through the many methods of construction. This means that they want to create an environmentally-friendly park, as expected of the nature-loving Hayao Miyazaki. “Studio Ghibli’s films have love toward living creatures and Earth, which fits the concept of the expo,” Oomura said. “I would like to pass down this idea to future generations.”
Found in Nagakute, Aichi Prefecture, Expo Park was the site of the 2005 World Expo. It already contains a replica of Satsuki and Mei’s House from My Neighbor Totoro, which Ghibli unveiled back in 2005 for that event. The studio actually held exhibitions in that house as well.
The park is actually a collaboration between Studio Ghibli and the Aichi Prefecture government. Both parties will be funding the operations for the park, as they aim to attract both local Japanese and foreign tourists alike.
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source: Nagoya TV