There’s been a fair bit of interesting news coming out of Studio Ghibli these days. In March, Ghibli’s star director Hayao Miyazaki announced that he would be making a return to directing. And last week, Studio Ghibli announced that they were looking for new talent – both inside and outside of Japan.
Well, fans of the studio that brought Totoro to life will have even more to celebrate now. According to a statement that was first reported on in RocketNews24, Studio Ghibli will be building a full-sized theme park in Aichi Prefecture that will be open for business by 2020. The park will be located in Aichi’s Ai-Chikyūhaku Kinen Kōen, which was first opened in 1970 and was the location for the 2005 World Expo. The huge (200 hectare) nature park is already home to a full-size replica of Mei and Satsuki’s house from My Neighbor Totoro.
As announced by Studio Ghibli producer Toshi Suzuki and Aichi governor Hideaki Oomura, the new theme park will be expansive, and plenty of work will be needed to bring it to life, but none of the existing trees or plant life in the nature park will be cut down to make room for Totoro and crew.
The opening of the new park will coincide with the 2020 release of Miyazaki’s new film, Goro the Caterpillar. Neatly enough, it also lines up nicely with a certain world-level sporting event that will be taking place in Tokyo…