Disney may have written the rulebook for film-themed amusement parks, but we have to say, a theme park planned for Japan might just best the new “most magical place on Earth.”
Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio best known for films like Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro, just released renderings of its new theme park slated to open in 2022 in the city of Nagakute, and it looks delightfully non-corporate. The drawings depict a lush, fantastical land filled with greenery and whimsical architecture dedicated to the studio’s oeuvre of films.
The nearly 500-acre playland will be broken into areas dedicated to specific films. There’s Princess Mononoke Village, a colorful town square based on the 2001 film Princess Mononoke; Witch Valley, which features attractions designed around Howl’s Moving Castle and Kiki’s Delivery Service; and the Totoro-Themed Dondoko Forest, where a replica of the house from My Neighbor Totoro was already built for the 2005 World’s Fair.
No telling yet what the attractions will be, but you can safely bet it’ll be more about the meditative exploration of nature than the high-tech wizardry of modern amusement parks.