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Dive into the World’s First Ghibli Park in Japan

After years of waiting it finally opened, the world’s first Ghibli Park, and we were first in line!

So here it is, everything you need to know about the new Ghibli Park, the home of Totoro, Mononoke, Chihiro, and Co.

What is Ghibli Park?

Map of Ghibli Park, image via ghibli-park.jp

Ghibli Park is often called a theme park, but we really shouldn’t compare it to the popular Universal Studios or Disney Land.

You won’t find your favorite Ghibli movie characters, such as the gray and cuddly Totoro or Sai from Princess Mononoke, to greet you as is the case with Mickey Mouse, and Cinderella.

There are a few rides, but nothing adrenaline-filled such as roller coasters or Ferris wheels, or high-tech such as VR attractions.

At Ghibli Park, you step into the world of your favorite Ghibli movies, in a much more sustainable way than sets built out of plastic and, in the case of VR, thin air. The whole concept for this park is a symbiosis with the surrounding forest and natural beauty. Sounds cool, doesn’t it?

It is a park similar to no other, the first of its kind. Rather than treat you like a visitor, the park is designed to make you feel like you’re part of your favorite Ghibli movies.

The 5 Fascinating Areas of Ghibli Park Let You Be Part of Your Favorite Ghibli Movies

The park has five areas in total. Three of them opened on November 1st, 2022, followed by Mononoke Village on November 1st, 2023, and finally, the Valley of Witches on March 16th, 2024.

Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse

The staircase of Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse

This is the main draw of Ghibli Park. A reconstructed swimming pool facility holds countless wonders from different Ghibli movie worlds. It really is a warehouse, as Studio Ghibli has a gigantic amount of items, models, and other artifacts that so far have been stored away from the eyes of fans, only taken out for special exhibitions or events. All of these wonderful items found a new home at Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, which is 3 times bigger than Tokyo’s Ghibli Museum.

Elly looking at a map together with some Tanuki from Pom Poko

The highlight of this grand hall of wonders is the photography section, where you can take pictures made to look as if you were inside the movie. You can for example catch a train ride with No Face, from Spirited Away.

Another wonderful area is the world of Arietty where everything is made to look as if you were one of the tiny borrowers. It is so much fun to recognize the everyday items and what the borrowers would use them for.

The bedroom of Arietty

Equally impressive is the expanded and upgraded version of the special exhibition “Delicious! Animating Memorable Meals”. This exhibition was previously exclusively hosted at the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka. However, it was so popular that it was moved to Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse and it’s now even bigger. It features even more unbelievably realistic food recreations from the studio’s most famous movies that will actually make you drool a bit, so make sure to eat before you go! Besides making you feel hungry, it offers the opportunity to have an insight into the behind-the-scenes process of designing these meals and to walk into real-life recreations of the kitchens in which they’re made.

Also worth mentioning is the Screening Room Cinema Orion, which screens 10 original Studio Ghibli animated shorts that were previously only available at the Ghibli Museum, Mitaka. You will be given a ticket to visit the cinema upon entering the Grand Warehouse, so make sure to keep it safe until you are ready to sit and enjoy the film. This indoor area is perfect also for rainy days and holds some small shops selling snacks, a big merchandise store, and play areas as well.

Hill of Youth

The World Emporium of the Hill of Youth area

On the Hill of Youth, in the far north of the park, stands World Emporium, the antique shop from the movie Whisper of the Heart. Filled with lots of beautiful items, and a complete violin workshop in the basement.

Inside the little cat house

But it is not the only attraction here. You will also find references to other movies such as The Cat Returns with a cute bus stop as well as a miniature house inhabited by characters from the popular movie.

The elevator tower

Another structure in the area, the Elevator Tower serves as the entry point to the park. It is inspired by the imaginary scientific world from the classic film Laputa: Castle in the Sky but did not feature in the movie itself and was already part of the original World Expo Park, however, it has been renovated for the opening of Ghibli Park. 

Dondoko Forest

Satsuki and Mei’s House at Moricoro Park

Dondoko Forest, is dubbed the “Totoro Area” as it is the location of Mei’s and Satsuki’s House. This house has been standing at Moricoro Park since 2005 when the World Expo took place here, and is one of the reasons why Ghibli Park was built in this location.

The study at Satsuki and Mei’s house

The house is filled with real items from Japan in the 1950s including real newspapers, and it is so much fun to discover all of the small details including a study desk with homework, a real working water pump in the kitchen, and an overstuffed study.

The Dondoko-do

This area also houses a wooden Totoro-shaped statue, called ‘Dondoko-do’ a playground structure 5.2 meters tall with space for up to five small children to play in at a time.

Mononoke Village

Tatara-ba, a learning center at the Mononoke Village

As the name suggests Mononoke Village is all about the popular Princess Mononoke movie. As the central piece stands the Tatara-ba, the Irontown from the Muromachi period (1336-1573), which houses different local arts and crafts workshops for children, the first one being a hands-on “Charcoal Grilled Gohei-mochi Cooking Experience”.

Gohei-mochi Cooking Experience

Right in front of Tatara-ba stand two impressive installations: a Lord Okkoto slide and a Demon Spirit reproduction (not for climbing). A few meters away, the Mononoke Village Rest Stop awaits. In there, you’ll be able to buy original items as well as refreshments to help you restore energy before resuming your real-life Ghibli adventure.

The outstanding Lord Okkoto slide

Valley of Witches

Howl’s Castle is one of the highlights of Valley of Witches, image via ghibli-park.jp

The Valley of Witches is, undoubtedly, the most ambitious of all the areas. This section draws inspiration from Studio Ghibli’s witch-themed movies, including Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Earwig and the Witch.

Within its European-inspired townscape, you’ll find iconic structures from all these films as well as attractions for children like the Flying Machine from Castle in the Sky and a carousel decorated with vehicles, animals, and characters from all Studio Ghibli’s films portrayed in this area.

Among the countless attractions in the Valley of Witches, you will see the Okino Residence, where Kiki, from Kiki’s Delivery Service, lives until she leaves to train as a witch. A few meters away, Guchokipanya Bakery awaits. This is where Kiki and her black cat move later on in the movie The best part? Here you can actually buy real bread to snack on while in the park!

The carousel is one of the new rides for children, image via ghibli-park.jp

Another must-see spot in the newest area of Aichi’s Ghibli Park is Howl’s Castle: a 20-meter-tall creature-like structure that will leave you in awe. Pro-tip: look out for the moving parts of the castle, and the smoke that comes out a few times an hour, making it a truly “moving” castle. 

If you still have some stamina to keep exploring, you can visit Hatter’s Millinery (the hat shop that Sophie, from Howl’s Moving Castle, manages) and shop for original candies or hats. Moreover, you can walk to The House of Witches from Earwig and the Witch and the Tower of Aviators from Kiki’s Delivery Service.

Overall, the Valley of Witches is designed to be fully immersive, to the point of evoking a real desire to soar through the skies and fly like a witch.

Try the Delicious Food and Buy Original Merchandise at Ghibli Park

Omamori and keychains sold at Dondoko-do

Up until 2023 only the Grand Warehouse used to sell any kind of food or snacks, but everything changed with the opening of the Valley of Witches since another of its highlights is that it serves as the main restaurant area of the park. The site includes a full-service restaurant “Flying OVEN”, and the hotdog Stand “Hot Tin Roof”, as well as the Guchokipanya Bakery.

You can still buy the popular cake with red bean paste and a bottle of milk at the small stall close to the exit of the Grand Warehouse, as well as typical sweets and Ramune from a tiny store.

However, due to the nature of the place, families are still welcome to bring their own food and drink to have a picnic inside the park.

Fans of Ghibli will find original and exclusive items for sale at the shops in the different areas as well. They are selected to be loved for a long time using local products from the region to support the community.

Tickets and Opening Hours – Everything You Need to Know for Your Visit

Tickets of the 3 areas of Ghibli Park

The tickets for Ghibli Park go on sale two months in advance, on the 10th of each month at 2 p.m. (Japan time) via Boo-Woo, a Japanese online ticket service. If you are currently in Japan, you can buy your tickets here, otherwise, tickets can be purchased from abroad via the international ticket website.

Note: Single area tickets with a specified entry time are no longer available as of February 2024. Read below for the new pricing structure.

Ghibli Park O-Sanpo Day Pass

This option is recommended for those who prefer to stroll around the entire park taking pictures, buying souvenirs, and sampling food, but dedicate more time exploring Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse.

  • You can enter all five areas with this pass but you cannot go inside World Emporium (Hill of Youth), Satsuki and Mei’s House (Dondoko Forest), The Okino Residence, Howl’s Castle or The House of Witches (Valley of Witches).
  • You will have access to the cafés and restaurants, shops, play equipment, and rides in all areas (additional fees may be required).
  • This pass will only have an assigned entrance time for Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse.

Price
Weekdays:
¥3,500 (children ¥1,750)
Weekends and holidays: ¥4,000 (children ¥2,000)

Ghibli Park O-Sanpo Day Pass Premium

This option is recommended for those who want to see as many areas as possible in one day.

  • You can enter all five areas with this pass and go inside World Emporium (Hill of Youth), Satsuki and Mei’s House (Dondoko Forest), The Okino Residence, Howl’s Castle and The House of Witches (Valley of Witches).
  • You will have access to the cafés and restaurants, shops, play equipment and rides in all areas (additional fees may be required).
  • This pass will only have an assigned entrance time for Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse.

Price
Weekdays:
¥7,300 (children ¥3,650)

Weekends and holidays: ¥7,800 (children ¥3,900)

Ghibli Park Light Sanpo Day Pass

This option is recommended for those who are already in Japan, as they only go on sale 1 week in advance. It allows visitors to take a look at four outdoor areas of the park, focusing on Valley of Witches. Please note that this option is only available on the Japanese site.

  • You can enter four outdoor areas (Hill of Youth, Dondoko Forest, Mononoke Village and Valley of Witches) with this pass. However, you cannot go inside Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, World Emporium (Hill of Youth), Satsuki and Mei’s House (Dondoko Forest), The Okino Residence, Howl’s Castle or The House of Witches (Valley of Witches).
  • You will have access to the cafés and restaurants, shops, play equipment and rides in the areas included i the pass (additional fees may be required).
  • This pass will only have an assigned entrance time for the Valley of Witches area.

Price
Weekdays:
¥1,500 (children ¥750)

Weekends and holidays: ¥2,000 (children ¥1,000)

Ghibli Park (ジブリパーク)
Entry Fee: See the prices above
Opening hours: weekdays 10:00 – 17:00, weekends and school holidays 9:00 – 17:00, closed Tuesdays
Address: 1533-1 Ibaragabasama, Nagakute, Aichi
Access: From Nagoya Station take the Higashiyama Line to Fujigaoka Station, transfer to Linimo Line, and get off at Aichi Expo Memorial Park (Aichikyuhaku-Kinen-Koen) Station.
Website | Google Maps

More Ghibli-Related Fun in Nagoya and Aichi

Mori Cafe Kodama in Osu is a Ghibli Oasis

When you are planning a visit to Ghibli Park, don’t forget that there is more to discover around Aichi.

How about visiting a Ghibli-inspired cafe called Osu no Mori Cafe Kodama in the Osu district of Nagoya, and later have a stroll around the shopping arcades looking for Ghibli items in one of the many Anime, Manga, and gaming shops around?

Or how about joining a Ghibli-inspired character Bento cooking experience? Your food will never look as cute as Totoro-shaped riceballs surrounded by a broccoli forest, ham, and sausage flowers.

For even more Ghibli merchandise you might want to check out the Donguri Republic at Sakae Oasis 21 or Nagoya Station.

Ghibli Shop Nagoya inside
Inside the Donguri Republic shop

If pop culture, in general, is your thing, check out this article about the best Anime and Manga stores in Nagoya, and this one will introduce you to some real-life Anime locations around Aichi

And don’t miss the world’s largest cosplay event, the World Cosplay Summit held each year in summer in Nagoya. You could even attend as your favorite Ghibli character.

This post was last updated in March 2024
Although we strive to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information possible, please note that changes may occur nonetheless. We recommend you confirm any relevant information such as event cancelations or changes, opening hours, or possible restrictions using a direct source. Please keep in mind that these sources might be in Japanese only.


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About the author

In love with Japan and its amazing food, Lena wants to share her passion with the world. Her goal is to make everyone interested in Nagoya, her adoptive home, online through her writing and offline through unique food tours.

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