Ghibli theme park scheduled to open on former Aichi expo site in 2020s

Kyodo

Aichi Prefecture said Thursday it will build a theme park based on an anime by director Hayao Miyazaki with the aim of opening it in the early 2020s.

In collaboration with Studio Ghibli Inc., based in the western Tokyo suburb of Koganei, the tentatively named “Ghibli Park” will be built to restage situations and landscapes portrayed in Miyazaki’s 1988 film “My Neighbor Totoro,” Gov. Hideaki Omura said at a news conference.

The theme park is to be built on the premises of Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park, the site of the 2005 world expo.

Omura said Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki agreed to the plan at a meeting Wednesday, saying the prefecture and Studio Ghibli will hammer out the details, including the size and who will run it, and solicit other companies to join the project.

“Studio Ghibli’s films have love toward living creatures and Earth, which fits the concept of the expo,” Omura said. “I would like to pass down this idea to future generations.”

The 200-hectare commemorative park, also known as Moricoro Park, hosted the 2005 World Expo in Nagakute, Aichi Prefecture. Under the plan, playgrounds and other parts of the park will be used to host Ghibli Park to avoid felling trees, according to the governor.

The park, which attracted some 1.6 million visitors in fiscal 2016, already hosts the attraction Satsuki and Mei’s House, which was modeled after the house belonging to the lead characters in the film “My Neighbor Totoro.”