You'll find fewer fans more ecstatic than when it was announced that an official Studio Ghibli theme park was opening in Japan than those of the celebrated animation studio. Recently, the park's five planned areas that explore the worlds of several Studio Ghibli films were revealed, and as you can see below, the concept artwork is enough to be excited about.
The park's planning and opening is a collaborative effort between the Aichi Prefectural and Studio Ghibli, and on May 31 a joint press conference was held in which further details and concept regarding the park's zones, as well as the official park logo were revealed.
The "Hill of Youth Area" has park guests board an elevator inspired by the steampunk architecture in "Howl's Moving Castle" to enter the park, where they will be greeted by a replica of the antique shop Chikuya (Earth Emporium) from "Whisper of the Heart," selling a variety of Studio Ghibli-related goods.
The "Ghibli Big Warehouse Area" will feature shops and cafes, an exhibition room, video display room, and is rumored to also have a Cat Bus building as well.
The "Dondoko Forest Area" is centered around a pre-existing recreation of Mei and Satsuki's house from "My Neighbor Totoro," with walking trails said to be inspired by the idea of exploring the Japanese countryside during the Showa Era.
A definite crowd-pleaser, the "Mononoke Village Area" is modeled after "Princess Mononoke's" Irontown and Emishi Village, where guests can get hands-on experience of traditional charcoal grilling in a Japanese mountain village.
The "Valley of the Witches Area" will feature shops, restaurants, and rest areas recreated from the wasteland of "Howl's Moving Castle" and Okino house and gardens from "Kiki's Delivery Service."
Last but not least was the unveiling of the park's official logo, designed together by legendary director Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki (whose amazing art display in Tokyo featured a giant talking Yubaba head from "Spirited Away"). As the park's name is "Ghibli Park", Miyazaki designed the first word "Ghibli" (ジブリ) and Suzuki handled the "Park" (パーク). As you can see, the logo's design captures the fantastical and living nature elements found in many of Studio Ghibli's films.
The first three areas (Hill of Youth, Big Warehouse, Dondoko Forest) are scheduled to be built starting in 2020 and opened in 2022, with construction of the Mononoke Village and Valley of the Witches starting in 2021 and opening in 2023.
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