By Bruce Rutledge
A Studio Ghibli theme park is slated to open in early 2020 in Aichi Prefecture. The park will bring to life the world depicted in the hit anime My Neighbor Totoro.
Studio Ghibli Producer Toshio Suzuki and Aichi Prefectural Governor Hideaki Oomura announced the plans for the park on May 31.
Studio Ghibli has produced some of the world’s most cherished anime films, including Spirited Away, Ponyo and Princess Mononoke. The theme park will be in the Aichi Expo Park, near Nagoya. Aichi Expo is a natural setting for a Ghibli park because it is already home to a life-size replica of Mei and Satsuki’s house featured in the movie.
My Neighbor Totoro was released in 1988 in Japan. It tells the story of two sisters who live in a country home and are waiting for their mother to recover from an illness. They befriend a massive, friendly creature known as Totoro while out playing.
The studio says no trees will be felled to make the park. Also, the park will not have any rides. No matter. The park is likely to be a mecca for Totoro fans worldwide.
The studio also operates a popular museum in Tokyo.