Studio Ghibli, the Japanese company behind the creation of such beloved animated flicks as My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Ponyo, has announced plans for a theme park to open in 2020. The 200-hectare site will be constructed in Nagoya city, Aichi prefecture, according to Governor Hideaki Omura at a press conference on June 1. There will be no amusement park rides, but the attraction will be set “in the world of Totoro” said co-founder of Studio Ghibli and producer Toshio Suzuki.
My Neighbor Totoro, released in 1988, is one of Studio Ghibli’s most profitable and consistent international merchandising enterprises. Moreover, the new park promises to uphold the movie’s plot of “respecting and embracing nature… construction will be planned around existing clearings to avoid felling trees." The area, known as Echo Park, was previously the site of the 2005 World Expo and currently a life-size replica of the house from the film remains on the premise.
In Japan, the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka city, Tokyo prefecture is a popular destination that will continue to attract locals and tourists alike. The Totoro theme park will be an addition meant to complement the Museum while encouraging travel to Nagoya, a large city near Tokyo.
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