A groundbreaking ceremony is to be held later this month.

Ghibli Park has been in the works for almost three years now, and while work had begun on building the theme park earlier this year, it was temporarily suspended for two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak. While Studio Ghibli fans feared that this would affect the opening date, it appears that the park will be completed on schedule. Aichi Prefecture governor Hideaki Omura has announced that “We are still on track and are planning to open the park in Fall 2022.

The park, which will be built in Aichi Expo Commemorative Park, will have five different zones. Some zones will be inspired by specific Ghibli anime, and others will feature themes that have influenced the studio.

Three of the zones will begin construction this month, the first of which is the Hill of Youth, which will feature a large elevator which will give views of the entire park and recreated architecture from Whisper of the Heart. Ghibli’s Giant Warehouse is the next area that will begin construction this month. This zone takes inspiration from Spirited Away and will include a theater and food court, the latter of which is rather ominous for those who have seen the 2001 Hayao Miyazaki-directed anime (if the zone is as faithful to the movie as it looks, fans may wish to avoid eating any food here). Finally, Dondoko Forest, the third zone on which construction is starting, is based off My Neighbor Totoro and will feature a replica of Mei and Satsuki’s house. Staying true to the atmosphere of the film, the area will have a rural feel.

Construction is set to officially get underway on July 28 with a groundbreaking ceremony, which will be attended by Studio Ghibli chairman Kiyofumi Nakajima.

Studio Ghibli fans may have to wait another two years until they can visit the park, but the Studio Ghibli Museum is set to reopen later this month, so fans will be able to get their Totoro fix while they wait! Even better, you can attend the Not-Big Ghibli Exhibition in Nagoya later this month; just make sure you listen to Yubaba and keep safe!

Sources: Ghibli no Sekai
Images: Aichi Prefectural Government
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