Nagoya – Construction of a theme park based on animation films by director Hayao Miyazaki started Tuesday in Aichi Prefecture, with the first attractions set to open in the fall of 2022.
Built by the Aichi Prefectural Government in collaboration with Studio Ghibli Inc., Ghibli Park will re-create settings and scenes from such Miyazaki films as “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Spirited Away” and “Howl’s Moving Castle.”
The park’s five areas will be built on land totaling some 7.1 hectares within the 200-hectare former site of the 2005 World Expo held in Nagakute, Aichi Prefecture.
The prefectural government aims to open three of the five areas in late 2022, and the other two by the end of March 2024.
— 大村秀章 (@ohmura_hideaki) July 28, 2020
The expo park already hosts the attraction “Satsuki and Mei’s House,” which was modeled on the home of the lead characters in the 1988 film “My Neighbor Totoro.” The house will be retained in the new theme park.
At a groundbreaking ceremony, Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura said, “The 2005 Expo’s theme of ‘love’ has also been portrayed in Studio Ghibli’s films consistently, so we can inherit that philosophy. We aim to make the facility a world-class park and hope many people will visit here.”
The theme park’s construction will cost ¥34 billion ($323 million). The prefecture estimates the park will draw around 1.8 million visitors a year, bringing annual economic benefits of ¥48 billion after all five areas open.