Ghibli Park has announced opening dates for two main areas.
As detailed on Anime News Network, Ghibli Park recently announced on its official Twitter page that the Mononoke Forest and the Wizarding Valley will be open to the public on November 1, 2023 and March 16, 2024, respectively. These areas feature attractions inspired by some of Ghibli’s popular movies, including Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Moving Castle Service, and Howl. Potential visitors, including those outside of Japan, can purchase tickets at Ghibli Park’s official website.
The Mononoke Forest features scenery and architecture inspired by the setting of the movie theater, giving visitors the feeling that they are wandering in the world of the movie. There is also a learning facility called “Tataraba”, which offers hands-on lessons on how to make Gohei Mochi, a type of rice cake that the characters in the movie eat. In contrast to the Japanese-style atmosphere of Mononoke Forest, the Wizarding Valley recreates the European atmosphere found in Kiki’s Delivery Service and Howl’s Moving Castle. The area includes activities that recreate iconic locations from these films, including Guchoki Bakery and Hat Shop, the latter of which is located inside a massive five-story replica of Howl’s famous mobile castle.
Ghibli Park is not like other theme parks
Unlike regular theme parks, Ghibli Park has no games or epic attractions. Located inside Aichi Exhibition Commemorative Park (also known as Morikoro Park) in Japan, it has a relaxed atmosphere while emphasizing an appreciation for the environment. On Ghibli Park’s website, an “introduction” section explains that visitors can “discover the secrets of walking on the [their] feet and feel the wind as you walk through the woods and roads.” Ghibli Park opens on November 1, 2022. At this time, only “Dondoko Forest,” “Hill of Youth” and Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse are available.
Reflecting the park’s environmental theme, Dondoko Forest pays tribute to Ghibli’s beloved family film, My Neighbor Totoro, containing replicas of Satsuki and Mei’s house and the surrounding forest. In contrast, the Hill of Youth features sci-fi-style architecture found in both Castle in the Sky and Howl’s Moving Castle. The area also contains architectural recreations from other films, including the antique shop from Whisper of the Heart and “The Cat’s Bureau” from The Cat Returns. Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse is a large indoor facility that houses special exhibitions, such as the redesign of the iconic Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro. The warehouse also houses the Ghibli Museum, which regularly hosts screenings of animated short films dedicated to the park.
Studio Ghibli’s extensive movie library is available on Max.
Source: Twitter, via Anime News Network