The world-renowned animation studio Studio Ghibli has made headlines once again. It has been announced that a giant replica of the studio’s famous moving castle from Howl’s Moving Castle will debut upon the park’s opening in the fall of 2022. Fans of the studio have been eagerly awaiting the park’s opening since it was announced back in 2017. Although there have been delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction for the theme park is still underway.
The governor of the Aichi Prefecture made the following announcement about the new moving castle when he posted the concept art on Twitter (translated from Japanese):
This is a CG perspective of “Howl’s Castle” in “Witch Valley”. On a large scale with a height of about 16m, it makes the cannon like a centerpiece move very realistically. You can also see Howl’s bedroom inside and enjoy the world of the movie. The actual colors and textures will be closer to the movie world.
The news of a real-life Howl’s Moving Castle is the first new piece of information about Studio Ghibli’s theme park since the park’s delay last year. It also came with news that not only will the castle be replicated, but the Irontown from Princess Mononoke will be replicated in the theme park as well. These replicas will be one of many attractions to see and experience at the new park in Nagakute, Aichi Prefecture in Japan.
The theme park was supposed to officially open in 2020, but due to the pandemic, the opening has been shifted to 2022 with a full opening in 2023. So, some of the attractions will be available to the public while others will have to wait until the following year.
So far, we know that there will be five areas in the theme park: Majo no Tani (“The Witch’s Valley”), Seishun no Okay (the “Hill of Youth”), Dondoko Mori (the “Dondoko Forest”), Ghibli no Daisoko (“Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse”), and Mononoke no Sato (“Mononoke’s Village”).
The Witch’s Valley will be where the giant Howl’s Moving Castle replica will appear. The Hill of Youth will feature scenery from Whisper of the Heart. The Dondoko Forest will feature attractions in an atmosphere based on My Neighbor Totoro. The Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse will include a café, exhibition room with featured videos, and likely much more. Finally, the in-progress Mononoke’s Village will feature a replica of the Iron Village from Princess Mononoke, as seen in the following picture:
We are sure to get a lot more information in the coming months and year and find out what other attractions await tourists at the long-awaited Studio Ghibli Theme Park. For now, we are excited for the announcements of these two new replicas from a couple of our favorite Studio Ghibli films.
What are you most excited to see at the Studio Ghibli theme park? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter!