Won't You Be My Neighbor Totoro?
August 3, 2020 6:15 AM   Subscribe

Studio Ghibli, the beloved animation film studio, is opening a theme park near Nagoya, Japan in Fall 2022. Not to be confused with the existing Ghibli Museum, the park will feature five lands including Springtime of Life Hill (Howl's Moving Castle), Dondoko Forest Area (My Neighbor Totoro), Ghibli Large Warehouse Area (with a dining area inspired by Spirited Away), Mononok's Village Area, and Witches' Valley Area (Kiki's Delivery Service).
posted by adrianhon (35 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
i will be there in fall 2020 if it kills me goddamnit
posted by lazaruslong at 6:48 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


It sounds delightful but it's hilarious that a studio with a pronounced criticism of modern society would end up opening a theme park.

still going to the hog buffet tho
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:53 AM on August 3 [6 favorites]


Catbus is cute and all, but what I really want is to climb around on a big ol' Ohm carapace and walk among its spindly gnarly Ohm-legs and peer out from its glassy Ohm-dome eyes. Can there be an Nausicaä play area? They could call it the Ohmusement Park
posted by oulipian at 6:53 AM on August 3 [24 favorites]


People keep trying to make Nagoya happen. It’s not going to happen. Lego tried, but from what I’ve heard, their amusement park wasn’t really a draw pre-corona. Maybe Ghibli will fare better?
posted by Ghidorah at 7:14 AM on August 3 [7 favorites]


I'm super excited about this. My husband and I are former Aichi residents and he lived close to the Seto Expo 2005 site where they are building the park. We're usually there pretty frequently to visit friends, so this is as much as we could ask for. My kid screens a different Ghibli movie every birthday and is going to love this.

The description sounds pretty chill - maybe more of the Tokyo Disney sea immersive views experience, but without the rides. Based on the difficulty of getting at ticket to the Ghibli Museum I have hope for this place.

(Also, please do not Kick the Nagoya. The Nagoya skip already hurts.)
posted by Alison at 7:38 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


If I could spend an afternoon wandering around the alleys, shops and gardens of Kiki's Koriko, I think I could be happy.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:39 AM on August 3 [3 favorites]


Especially if they have a seaplane harbor.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:42 AM on August 3 [5 favorites]


Parents will be asked to don giant hog costumes on entering the food court. They cannot be removed until exiting the theme park.
posted by gwint at 7:43 AM on August 3 [27 favorites]


Is there somewhere I can go to have both my arms torn off my body by an incredibly powerful bowshot?
posted by selfnoise at 7:44 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


This is the first time in my life that I've actually wanted to go to a themepark.

Provided it's wheelchair accessible, since there's no way I could walk around that.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:44 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


lazuruslong: i will be there in fall 2020 if it kills me goddamnit

I mean it's gonna be popular but I don't think you need to line up two years early
posted by adrianhon at 8:20 AM on August 3 [13 favorites]


This could be really cool. But I'm kind of surprised by the renderings. Those are super old-school hand-drawn illustrations that look downright quaint—especially for a project that's proposed to be finished in two years. I wonder if they're doing that on purpose?

The renderings feel like a park from the 1960s or something.
posted by SoberHighland at 8:45 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


I mean it's gonna be popular but I don't think you need to line up two years early

haha oops yeah true my bad on that typo

in other news since the Ghibli studio is now on HBO Max I have taken it upon myself to try and convince my non-anime loving friends to give it a shot. In doing so, I have had some success. The fun part is learning FOR THE FIRST TIME that they really got some crazy A-list celebs to do the English dubs. I had no idea. Christian Bale as Howl? Huh.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:17 AM on August 3 [7 favorites]


Later, when the theme park is abandoned and crumbling, spirits will visit it at night to bathe and carouse.
posted by cyanistes at 9:23 AM on August 3 [19 favorites]


I am as cynical as they come but if I see a hopeful-looking tween on a broomstick trying to levitate I will stand there chanting GO GO KI KI GO GO KI KI like a complete dumbass
posted by phooky at 9:25 AM on August 3 [7 favorites]


FUCCCCKKKKK YES
posted by Going To Maine at 9:29 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


Ghibli Large Warehouse Area (with a dining area inspired by Spirited Away)

We saw what happened to Chihiro's parents, you won't fool us!
posted by sukeban at 9:32 AM on August 3 [9 favorites]


No Grave of the Fireflies area? The kiosks would always be out of food, although street carts would sell cold despair.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:37 AM on August 3 [10 favorites]


People keep trying to make Nagoya happen.
The World Expo 2005 campus was by far the coolest of the three world's fairs I've attended.

One of the other most memorable parts of that trip was Studio Ghibli, so I for one am stoked to visit this.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:47 AM on August 3


Really want a Castle in the Sky section, the flyer buggies would be an amazing roller coaster.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:32 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


I hope I can fly to Japan again some day. I’ll add this to my long list of things to visit there. The only thing it’s missing is a pop-pop boat ride over prehistoric fish a la Ponyo.
posted by mai at 11:01 AM on August 3 [3 favorites]


No Grave of the Fireflies area?

It would not be the worst thing if they put a field on a hilltop with a view over the city and arranged some artificial fireflies in it. Real ones too seasons etc permitting.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 12:31 PM on August 3 [3 favorites]


I noted its more about creating walkable settings and shopping and a lack of rides. Is that common for Japanese theme parks?
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:01 PM on August 3


I guess this will be more in the vein of Huis Ten Bosch than Tokyo Disneyland.
posted by sukeban at 1:30 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


sukeban - That's just what I was thinking. I didn't see mention of rollercoasters, or any kind of rides at all. It'll be a place to walk around and take in the atmosphere.

Lego tried, but from what I’ve heard, their amusement park wasn’t really a draw pre-corona. Maybe Ghibli will fare better?

I looked into taking my family the Lego park, but it's ridiculously expensive. Plus relatively small and of course--it being Japan--crowded. Disneyland and USJ are definitely crowded, but they're large parks. Looks like this will also be large. And it's Ghibli, practically the unofficial religion of the Japanese people, so I imagine this will be a huge success, even without rides.
posted by zardoz at 3:59 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


The fun part is learning FOR THE FIRST TIME that they really got some crazy A-list celebs to do the English dubs. I had no idea. Christian Bale as Howl? Huh.

Christian Bale specifically lobbied for a role in the dub of Ghibli's next movie after Spirited Away.
posted by Merus at 4:11 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


It'll be a place to walk around and take in the atmosphere.

This is the vibe of the Ghibli museum as well -and, arguably, of most of the Miyazaki movies themselves- so I can’t say I’m too surprised.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:38 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


Nagoya has the best castle and a ridiculous amount of good + unique food (fried everything, ogura toast, hitsumabushi). Plus a surprisingly robust and distinct traditional music tradition! I don’t get the hate at all.
posted by No-sword at 6:59 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


I had not heard of hitsumabushi until just this moment, now I can think of little else. That sounds amazing!
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:05 PM on August 3


No-sword, not any actual hate, it just seems like every once in a while, there's some plan to open something that will finally get people to go to Nagoya, and it never seems to happen. I get it, it's a pretty large city, a regional hub, but when people think, hey, let's go somewhere, Nagoya just seems pretty far down the list. I've been, for a very short visit, and didn't dislike the place, but I can think, off the top of my head, of twenty other places I'd rather go.

They do have the best tebasaki though. Easily the best deep fried chicken wing I've ever had, but even those have spread throughout Japan, and you can get them all over.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:16 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


> If I could spend an afternoon wandering around the alleys, shops and gardens of Kiki's Koriko, I think I could be happy.

to cross the streams with townscaper...
Come Build Your Own Empty Town - "Townscaper buildings also bear a striking resemblance to the work of the Japanese Studio Ghibli, which Stalberg lists as another source of inspiration. The studio's movie Kiki's Delivery Service, by Hayao Miyazaki, also takes design cues from Stockholm."
posted by kliuless at 10:21 PM on August 3


Hey let's go
Hey let's go
I'm happy as can be
Let's go walking you and me
Ready set come on let's go

This makes me so happy
posted by Kitchen Witch at 12:16 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


personally I think it is great to not have rides at the Ghibli park.

i have trouble articulating this thing about the movies, but here goes: for me, they range the gamut from Low Stakes Happy Times to High Stakes and / or Holy Shit This Is Really Dark.

For example:
Low Stakes Happy Times: Totoro, Kiki
Medium: Spirited Away, Howl
High Stakes / Dark : Mononoke, Fireflies

I know this is an imperfect characterization but there's such variability here that it helps me understand them more.

Anyways, when it comes to the low stakes / medium stakes stuff, the genuine pleasure I derive from this films is less plot-related and more atmospheric. I just like to let me brain marinate in that world, away from the anxiety of my usual brain-space. I guess the German word Gemütlichkeit comes pretty close to what I am trying to convey here.

So the idea of just wandering around a Ghibli park, soaking in the atmosphere and soft pastel wonderment...sounds like heaven to me.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:14 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I agree, I would rather the experience be one akin to what you'd have at a beautiful botanical garden rather than a full on theme park with rides.
posted by Kitchen Witch at 8:14 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


It does sound like it will do better than "Canadian World" in Hokkaido. I think I'm still more excited to go to the Studio Ghibli museum, but I certainly would try to visit this if I were in Japan.
posted by jb at 8:17 AM on August 4


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