My Neighbor Totoro from Studio Ghibli, the makers of Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, is getting its own theme park. Studio Ghibli has partnered with the government of Nagoya’s Aichi Prefecture to design and build the park.
It’s due to open in 2020.
Japan will reuse the old grounds for Expo 2005, a 200-hectare space, to build the new My Neighbor Totoro park.
My Neighbor Totoro was originally released in the late 1980s. The film became a standard for Japanese culture, watched by fans young and old before it jumped west thanks to Disney. While the splash it made abroad wasn’t nearly as big, Japan remains obsessed with the title.
In fact, I personally visited a Totoro-themed shop in Osaka, Japan, back in 2008. The store was dedicated to nothing but Studio Ghibli merchandise, and it was crowded.
Of course, Japan and Studio Ghibli think a My Neighbor Totoro theme park will do well. It will! There’s no doubt about that.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m saving up for a flight to Japan in 2020.