Studio Ghibli’s theme park will still open in 2022

Despite construction delays due to coronavirus, the ‘My Neighbour Totoro’, ‘Spirited Away’ and ‘Princess Mononoke’ themed park is set to open as planned.

by Mahoro Seward
27 July 2020, 11:14am

Still from My Neighbour Totoro

Miss Rona has not been kind to culture, indiscriminately writing off everything from festivals to fashion shows and film releases off for the foreseeable future. In Japan, however, it seems that one of the most hotly-anticipated plans remains unaffected, for now at least: that’s right, Studio Ghibli’s planned theme park is set to open on time.

While news of the park first broke a couple of years ago, construction on three of its five zones -- based on Whisper of the Heart, My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away respectively -- only began earlier this year. Ground on the other two, which draw upon locations in Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke, is yet to be broken.

Obviously, given the global shutdown brought on by the pandemic, a delay in progress would naturally be expected. Last week, however, Hideaki Ōmura -- the governor of Aichi, the park’s home prefecture -- gave us hope that we just might be allowed nice things again sooner than we thought, announcing that "we are still on track and are planning to open the park in Fall 2022.”

Of course, that’s still quite a while away, and only the Senior Witch from Kiki knows what godforsaken events lie between now and then. For the time being, though, it’s well worth swotting up on the animation studio’s catalogue, all of which is available on Netflix, and perhaps even booking your flights to Japan while the prices are as good as they are now.

Spirited Away
Princess Mononoke
Studio Ghibli
My Neighbor Totoro
studio ghibli theme park