Studio Ghibli plans to open new theme park near Nagoya by 2022

AFP-JIJI

The fantasy world of Oscar-winning animator Hayao Miyazaki will come to life as a theme park, set to open in central Japan in 2022, the regional government said Wednesday.

Miyazaki is the cofounder of Studio Ghibli, the nation’s premier animation studio, and is renowned internationally for works including “Princess Mononoke” and “Spirited Away.”

Studio Ghibli has released a basic concept for the vast park, which will be built by 2022 near Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture.

It will feature rides and forest trails based on the master animator’s popular fantasy films, including “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Kiki’s Delivery Service” and “Howl’s Moving Castle,” according to the Aichi government.

The park will also be dotted with the European-themed brick towers that appear frequently in Miyazaki’s works, as well as giant installations of spider- and boar-shaped spirits in imaginary landscapes that evoke Japan’s mythical and idyllic past.

The park will be built at the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park in Nagakute city, the local government said.

Its construction cost and other details were yet to be decided, an Aichi official said.

Miyazaki is among the world’s most acclaimed animators, with huge followings in Japan and abroad.

“Spirited Away” won the Oscar for best animated feature in 2003 — the first Japanese film to do so.

Studio Ghibli already operates the hugely-popular Ghibli Museum on the outskirts of Tokyo.