Japan's Ghibli Park attraction has developed from a surreal dream into reality, and it looks even more adorable than we could have hoped for. Studio Ghibli first announced its concept for a theme park based on the worlds of its animated films back in 2018, and its finally opening on 1 November.
After several delays, most obviously due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Studio Ghibli theme park has announced ticket sales, and it's given us our first glimpse of the park's central attraction, Ghibli's Big Warehouse, which features scenes and characters from fan favourites such as My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and The Wind Rises (if you're inspired to create your own characters, see our guide to character design).
Until now we'd seen concept illustrations for the project that Studio Ghibli released early last year. Now we've got a glimpse of the real thing, with photos from Ghibli Park, which is located in the city of Nagoya in Aichi prefecture. The Ghibli's Big Warehouse section features shops, exhibits and cafes themed around some of the Studio Ghibli's most famous films. Visitors will be able to enter scenes with the masked spirit Kaonashi and witch and bathhouse proprietor Yubaba from Spirited Away.
Ghibli's Big Warehouse will also include Cinema Orion, a 170-seat cine that will show 10 animated short films previously only shown at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo, and there will be an exhibit of Studio Ghibli film posters from around the world. Two other areas of the park will open in November: Youth Hill and Dondoko Forest. Valley of Witches and Mononoke Village are due to be added at a later date.
Each part of Ghibli Park will have its own admission tickets, which will go on sale on the 10th of every month via a lottery system that's currently only open to residents of Japan. Adult tickets cost 2,000 yen ($14 / £12) for weekdays.
Studio Ghibli has had a huge influence on animation and beyond the world over. We've even seen one creative design reimagine famous logos as Studio Ghibli characters. The Ghibli Park looks set to be a treat for fans of the studio big and small, and from the initial images at least, it looks like they've given it the attention to detail that it deserves.