Japan’s long-in-the-works Studio Ghibli theme park is now planning a grand opening for fall 2022, /Film reports. The amusement park was first announced back in 2017, and a report from The Japan Times in 2018 said organizers behind the theme park were targeting an opening sometime in 2020. Development delays and the coronavirus pandemic have now pushed the park’s opening to fall 2022. Construction has been underway and was stopped for two weeks in April amid the pandemic. Studio Ghibli president Kiyofumi Nakajima is reported to be attending a July 28 groundbreaking event as construction continues.
The Studio Ghibli theme park is being built in the Aichi Prefecture near Nagoya, where Japan hosted the 2005 World’s Fair. The exact location is Aichi Expo Commemorative Park. According to Aichi Prefecture Governor Hideaki Omura, the park is on track to open to the public in fall 2022. The park is being split into five different worlds, each based on one or several Studio Ghibli titles.
According to /Film’s report: “Three areas are currently under construction: The Hill of Youth area, inspired by ‘Whisper of the Heart’ and ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’; the Giant Warehouse area, based on “Spirited Away”; and the Dondoko Forest that takes its inspiration from ‘My Neighbor Totoro.’ The two areas that have yet to start construction are Mononoke Village, based on ‘Princess Mononoke,’ and Witch Valley, which is inspired by ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’ and ‘Howl’s Moving Castle.’ Development on these areas is expected to start in 2021.”
First look concept images for the Studio Ghibli theme park debuted in April 2018 to much fanfare from cinephiles. The upcoming theme park is the latest milestone in the resurgence of Studio Ghibli. Not only is Hayao Miyazaki back at work on his first feature film since “The Wind Rises” (the hand drawn animated film still has three years left of production), but the studio’s first CGI animated effort “Earwig and the Witch” is set for a U.S. release in winter 2021. The film was named an official selection of the 2020 Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. Furthermore, all films in the Studio Ghibli filmography are streaming on HBO Max, the first time the titles have ever streamed in the U.S.
Head over to /Film film for more exciting new details about the Studio Ghibli theme park.