With the Studio Ghibli theme park slated for opening next year, the Aichi prefectural government has announced that construction for the area of the park featuring My Neighbour Totoro is officially underway.
The park already has a replica of Satsuki and Mei's House from the film, but new visuals reveal further details of a giant Totoro tree and a life-sized Catbus.
Located in a small town next to Nagoya, and surrounded by a forest, the park will house an array of structures pulled from the Ghibli universe, including a recreation of the airship in Castle in the Sky, a replica of the witch’s home in Earwig and the Witch, and a dreamy brick-laid restaurant that resembles a storehouse on the park’s lakeshore.
The Ghibli no Daisōko (Giant Ghibli Warehouse), Seishun no Oka (Hill of Youth), and Dondoko Mori (Dondoko Forest) areas of the Ghibli theme park will open in autumn 2022, while the Mononoke no Sato Area (Mononoke Village, inspired by Princess Mononoke) and Majo no Tani Area (Witch Valley, inspired by Kiki's Delivery Service) will open the following year.
Speaking to Dazed last month, Goro Miyazaki said: “It’s basically a public park, where people can walk around. We’ve created spaces that bring Ghibli architecture into real-life. People will be able to go inside the architecture and touch things and smell things. Like having the feeling of going inside the world of Ghibli in some way.”
Elsewhere, the Japanese city of Mitaka is offering bespoke Ghibli merch in exchange for donations to support the Ghibli Museum, which has been struggling financially since the pandemic shut it down last year.
Check out the new theme park visuals above.