If amusement or theme parks like Disney World have you dreamy-eyed, there&rsquos another must-visit addition to your list. After its first announcement a few years ago and subsequent delays caused by the pandemic, the much-awaited Ghibli Park in Japan is finally ready to welcome fans from around the world.
The park is as magical as the Studio&rsquos iconic flicks. The makers have perfectly brought Hayao Miyazaki&rsquos (co-founder of Studio Ghibli) imagination to reality. On your tour here, you will find yourself in the company of some of Ghibli&rsquos adored movie characters like Yubaba and Kashira from &lsquoSpirited Away&rsquo. You can also find yourself part of iconic scenes from movies like &lsquoMy Neighbour Totoro&rsquo, a classic released in 1988.
The team behind the park have made conscious efforts to keep away from the usual trappings while conceptualising it. It is anything but typical&ndashtheir official website mentions that &ldquothere are no big attractions or rides&rdquo. It&rsquos been created to present an immersive and somewhat meditative experience to all the visitors&ndashthe website reads, &ldquotake a stroll, feel the wind, and discover the wonders.&rdquo
The first construction phase brings certain studio Ghibli works to build an experience. The main area is known as Ghibli&rsquos Grand Warehouse&ndashit&rsquos designed to look like a town, complete with streets and scenes from movies like &lsquoCastle in the Sky&rsquo, kids&rsquo playrooms, two cafes and a gift shop.
Another area open to tourists is the Hill of Youth&ndashvisitors find themselves in the antique shop shown in the popular romantic-musical, &lsquoWhisper of the Heart&rsquo. The third area is dedicated to the most popular &lsquoMy Neighbour Totoro&rsquo, featuring the house from the film.
The other two areas bringing &lsquoPrincess Mononoke&rsquo, &lsquoHowl&rsquos Moving Castle&rsquo, and &lsquoKiki&rsquos Delivery Service&rsquo to life are yet to be opened. The officials have reported that they aim to introduce these areas to visitors in the coming year.
The park is located in Aichi Earth Expo Memorial Park, which also hosted Expo 2005. It spans 17.5 acres and is in consultation with the local people to avoid disturbing their way of life.
Timings It remains open from 10 AM to 5 PM on weekdays (apart from Tuesday) and from 9 AM to 5 PM on weekends and public holidays.
Ticket details The tickets need to be booked in advance for each area on https://l-tike.com/bw-ticket/ghibli/ghibli-park/. They&rsquore priced at JPY 1,000 (Hill of Youth and Dondoko Forest) to JPY 2,500 (Ghibli&rsquos Grand Warehouse).
How to reach The park is located less than two hours from Tokyo, east of Nagoya City. It takes approximately 50 minutes from Osaka and Kyoto to reach by train.
If you can&rsquot get enough of Studio Ghibli&rsquos magic here, you must visit the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo.