Ghibli Park’s restaurant has a mouthwatering menu with food culture both from around the world and right from its local community in Japan.

Like most theme parks, Ghibli Park is going to have an on-site restaurant where guests can grab a bite to eat while they relax and recharge before seeing the rest of the attractions. Inside the Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse section of the park, the Transcontinental Flight Cafe (or Cafe Tairikuodanhiko, to use its Japanese name), may not recreate the food from any specific Studio Ghibli anime, but the menu is made up of exactly the level of eclectic, original, and beautifully presented fare that you’d expect of the esteemed anime studio, and even includes a few creations specially crafted as salutes to the local food culture of the part of Japan the park is located in.

As the name implies, the focus is on light, easy-to-eat selections, just the sort of thing a pilot could chow down on before hopping in their flying machine and taking to the skies. Some of them, like the BLT above or the ham and cheese sandwich below, are solid, familiar options.

By the way, the cafe says the cool little flag illustrations were drawn by “Miyazaki-san,” without specifying whether that means father Hayao or son Goro.

But in keeping with the air of adventurous air voyages, the Transcontinental Flight Cafe also makes use of less orthodox sandwich elements, as in its hummus and tandoori chicken sandwiches, the latter of which looks to have saffron rice too.

As for the local Japanese cuisine options mentioned above, Ghibli Park is in Aichi Prefecture, whose capital city of Nagoya is famous for miso katsu, a pork cutlet slathered with miso sauce. Miso katsu is usually served with white rice, but the Transcontinental Flight Cafe has adapted it into a flatbread pizza.

Also an Aichi specialty is an butter toast, a sweet snack or morning eye-opened of red bean paste and butter melting into a thick slice of bread. At the Transcontinental Flight Cafe, their take on this is an an butter dessert sandwich.

Another sandwich adaptation is the Napolitan pasta sandwich, which is Ghibli Park lead planner Goro Miyazaki’s favorite item on the menu.

Oh, and getting back to the pizza lineup, in addition to a more or less traditional margherita

…the chefs will also be happy to whip you up a dessert pizza, with apple year-round or seasonal fruits, which promises to be full of melty, fruity sweetness.

Rounding off the sandwich selection are the spice shrimp

avocado guacamole

spinach mushroom

…and mortadella ham.

On the pizza list, there’s also a pancetta

caponata stewed tomato

…and four-cheese.

Finally, as extra incentive to save room for desserts (yes, multiple ones), here are the seasonal fruit and banana chocolate dessert cream sandwiches.

The Transcontinental Flight Cafe also has a full drink menu, with both soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. It lists its red wine as “Kernai no Buta” (meaning “Crimson Pig,” and also the Japanese title of Ghibli’s 1992 anime Porco Rosso), and it appears to be a joint venture between Studio Ghibli and French winemaker Lou Dumont. The cafe’s beer, on the other hand, is listed as Moretti, not the Valley of the Wind beer served at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo.

The food items range from 350 yen (US$2.40) for the banana chocolate sandwich up to 900 yen for the miso katsu pizza, reasonable rates for a cafe in Japan and without any of the price-gouging one might expect at a theme park. And for those who somehow don’t see anything to their liking here, be aware that outside food can’t be consumed inside Ghibli Park, but even then, they’ve put together an illustrated visitor guide with maps and recommendations for places to eat a bento boxed lunch elsewhere in the larger park that Ghibli Park is located inside.

Source: Ghibli Park, Twitter/@ghibliparkjp
Images: Ghibli Park
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he wonders if the Ghibli Park cafe will add a baba ganoush sandwich.