When I first heard about Ghibli Park, I had trouble imagining what it would be like. It didn’t exactly feel fitting to go a classic Disney route, with long lines to ride on a Catbus themed roller coaster (a la Totoro), or a Ponyo-themed water ride, etc. I was delighted to hear that Ghibli Park is actually just that, a park. The idea is to evoke the various movies’atmospheres in a way that blends and balances with the park’s natural landscapes. It looks like there are still plenty of wonders to explore, the centerpiece being a big warehouse full of exhibits and lifesize models of movie characters and sets. Check out this recent write-up published by The Guardian.
Set in a little over seven hectares of green parkland in Aichi prefecture, about 250km west of Tokyo, Ghibli Park has no rollercoasters or other rides. Its aim, instead, is to immerse visitors in the worlds created by the studio’s co-founder and director, Hayao Miyazaki.
“There were some theme park plans with rides and attractions brought to Studio Ghibli, but they didn’t feel like they were a fit with the Ghibli way,” says a spokesperson for Ghibli Park. “Ghibli Park is a park, not an amusement park … the whole idea was to … harmonise with and improve the existing park and its nature.”
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