Ghibli Park - a theme park that recreates the magical world of Studio Ghibli - has opened within the grounds of Aichi Prefecture's Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park! Ghibli fans across the world have been waiting with bated breath for this moment ever since the project was first announced. The Ghibli Park media preview took place in October 2022, and of course we were there first in line! Enjoy our report on all the best Ghibli Park spots.
May 26. 2023
A must-see for Ghibli fans! Aichi Prefecture's latest spot "Ghibli Park" is now open to the public!
About Ghibli Park
Utilizing the site of Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park, Ghibli Park offers five areas where you can enjoy the wonderful world of Studio Ghibli works. Three of the five areas in the park, 'Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse', 'Dondoko Forest' and 'Hill of Youth' were opened during the first phase on November 1st, while 'Mononoke Village' is scheduled to open in Autumn 2023 and 'Valley of Witches' in March 2024. As there are no attractions or rides in the park, visitors are free to discover Ghibli's secrets for themselves as they walk through the winding forest roads feeling the breeze on their skin.
Enter the world of Ghibli, starting from the 'Elevator Tower'
The approximately 30-meter-high 'Elevator Tower' is conveniently located by the north gates of the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park, just in front of the local train station. This majestic tower leads visitors directly into the magical world of Ghibli, taking design notes from 'Castle in the Sky' and 'Howl's Moving Castle' for a 19th century sci-fi aesthetic.
Ghibli's Grand Warehouse
As you enter 'Ghibli's Grand Warehouse', you'll be greeted by the brightly colored tiled 'Central Stairs' and 'Giant Flying Ship'. Nestled among these is the Exhibition "Becoming Characters in Memorable Ghibli Scenes*" where you can become a character from Ghibli works. In these interactive exhibits, you will find yourself immersed in forteen famous scenes from thirteen Ghibli works. (*Special exhibitions are scheduled for a limited time only.)
Classic moments include the scene where Chihiro, the main character of 'Spirited Away', travels by train together with 'No Face' (Kaonashi), and the iconic moment when Pazu catches Sheeta falling from the sky in 'Castle in the Sky'. Enjoy snapping cool photos and experience the feelings of the characters for yourself.
Visitors can also experience the world of Studio Ghibli's works in permanent exhibitions. 'Director's Room' is a definite must-see. There, various documents floating in the air surround Yubaba from 'Spirited Away', in an amazingly surreal display.
The Ghibli experience doesn't stop there. 'Garden in the Sky' is inspired by the movie 'Castle in the Sky', and 'The House Below and The Little People's Garden' recreates the landscapes of the little people from 'Arrietty'.
In 'Screening Room Cinema Orion', visitors can view short animations produced by Studio Ghibli which were previously only available exclusively at the 'Ghibli Museum' in Mitaka City, Tokyo.
Immerse yourself in the movie 'Whisper of the Heart' at 'Hill of Youth'
'Hill of Youth' is an area where the 'World Emporium' antique shop and rotary square from 'Whisper of the Heart' are recreated, alongside The Cat Bureau from 'The Cat Returns'.
'World Emporium' is an antique shop that Shizuku Tsukishima from 'Whisper of the Heart' stumbles upon after meeting 'Moon' the cat on a train. At the three-story 'World Emporium', bicycles and jumpers used by character Seiji Amasawa are displayed at the entrance (during winter only). The interior of 'World Emporium' appears exactly true to form, and there is even a violin workshop on the first floor. Flashbacks of the famous scene where Shizuku sings 'Country Road' make for a truly heartwarming visit. The entrance is on the second floor, and there are impressive terraces on both the first and second floors from which you can take in panoramic views of the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park.
'The Cat Bureau' that appears in 'The Cat Returns' is a one-story wooden building built specifically for cats. Adults will need to bend down to look through the windows, but your efforts will be rewarded when you see Baron and Muta relaxing inside, surrounded by adorable miniature furniture and accessories!
Will you meet the elusive Totoro? Head for 'Dondoko Forest' to find out!
'Dondoko Forest' is a beautiful forest area, about a 20-minute walk from 'Ghibli's Grand Warehouse'. The natural habitat perfectly captures the atmosphere from the movie 'My Neighbor Totoro'. Inside the forest, you can find 'Satsuki and Mei's House' - the red roofed house of the main characters. Built as a pavilion for the 2005 Aichi Expo, the house will continue to stay open to the public at Ghibli Park. It perfectly captures the lifestyle of the time according to the setting in the story - the mail, the kitchen cupboards, and even the inside of the chest of drawers all look like realistic snapshots of the 1950's.
One top of the mountain, there is an approximately 5-meter-tall Totoro-shaped wooden playground for elementary school aged children and younger, called 'Dondoko-do'. The cute expression of the Totoro play structure is an adorable sight, and extra fun for little ones.
Incredible customer service for increased visitor comfort
Since there is a long distance to travel between each area of Ghibli Park, there are free shuttle buses running within the park. There is also a slope car service called 'Dondoko-go', that ferries visitors to and from the top and bottom of 'Dondoko Forest'. This useful service means people with strollers, wheelchairs or physical disabilities can reach the top of the mountain with ease.
Ghibli Park does not offer a park passport ticket that encompass all park areas. Advance reservations are required for all tickets. Currently, tickets can only be purchased in Japan, and the sales date for overseas tickets is yet to be determined. (See the official website for further details)
- Facility name: Ghibli Park
- Address: 1533-1 Ibaragamasama Otsu, Nagakute City, Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park
- Take the Aichi Rapid Transit Tobu Kyuryo Line (Linimo), then get off at 'Ai-Chikyuhaku Kinen Koen' station. The park is just outside the station.
- From Nagoya Station/Meitetsu Bus Center 4F No. 24 Bus Stop, take the bus bound for 'Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park (Ghibli Park)'
- From Chubu Centrair International Airport Terminal 1, take the bus bound for 'Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park (Ghibli Park)' via 'Fujigaoka'
This information is sourced by Fun Japan Communications Co., Ltd.
There may be business closures, changes to hours of operation,
or temporary suspension of the service of alcoholic beverages, etc.,
implemented without prior notice.
For details, please check the official websites or inquire with the
You may also like