Of course, there is already a Studio Ghibli Museum in Japan, which opened back in 2001. However, the studio is planning a huge expansion for this latest adventure. The plans show a 200-hectare site which will be built in Nagoya City, in Aichi prefecture, said Governor Hideaki Omura on Thursday at a press conference.
The report states that Aichi Prefecture’s EXPO Park will be transformed into Ghibli Park by 2020, with executives from the studio outlining their plans at a press conference held on May 31st. The park will be based on the popular film My Neighbour Totoro, embodying the movie’s theme of “respecting and embracing nature”. The studio’s feature films are loved by many and critically-acclaimed.
The park will be located near Nagakute City, which east of the prefecture’s capital of Nagoya. The area is noted for its greenery, which makes it a perfect spot for the proposed first amusement to open: an area dedicated to the adorable animated movie My Neighbour Totoro.
In a previous statement from the studio, co-founder Hayao Miyazaki had originally wished for there to be a technology free park for children to be built, but it seems, according to a report by Vice, that the developers will “take great pains not to disturb Aichi EXPO Park’s existing plant and animal life.”
Co-founder of Studio Ghibli and producer Toshio Suzuki who was also at the announcement said the attraction will be “set in the world of Totoro”. There will not be any amusement park rides.
“Construction will be planned around existing clearings to avoid falling trees,” Governor Omura said.
Ghibli fans around the world reacted to the news of the upcoming park. “Wow literally reading [about] a Studio Ghibli theme park and I started crying! Not joking. This makes me so happy,” wrote a US fan on Twitter. Notably, there was much excitement from adult Ghibli fans who spoke about wanting to take their children with them to the attraction. “I think our kids might be able to handle the trip by 2020,” Charles Tran said to his wife on Facebook.
The theme part is purported to open in 2020, which is the same year that Miyazaki’s latest feature, Boro the Caterpillar, is slated for release. The animator came out of retirement to work on the project, which began its life as a CGI animated short for the Ghibli Museum.