It was way back in 2015 when we first learned that Studio Ghibli had plans for its very own theme park. That was basically a lifetime ago. Fortunately we won’t actually have to wait that long to visit. The amusement destination that will celebrate the beloved animation studio is moving along. And we mean that in more ways than one. The park has announced it is beginning construction on a giant recreation of the eponymous building from Howl’s Moving Castle.
The home of Studio Ghibli’s upcoming amusement park, Aichi Prefecture, has shared a big update (which we first heard about at Kotaku). A giant replica of Howl’s titular moving castle from the 2004 film will be built inside the “Witch Valley” portion of the park. “Witch Valley,” which has begun construction, will be one of five distinct areas. The section will also draw from another Studio Ghibli hit, Kiki’s Delivery Service.
Howl’s signature castle won’t actually be able to motor across land like the animated version. However, the concept art for the building is reason enough alone to want to head to Japan to see it in person. And although the park’s version won’t be a full-sized re-creation, it will still be plenty tall. When finished it will stand four to five stories high. Guests will be able to “see the eye-catching cannons moving.” As well as “Howl’s bedroom inside the building.” Visitors will be also be to walk the castle’s gardens and dine at accompanying restaurants.
Aichi Prefecture also announced the fifth new section of the park, the “Princess Mononoke” area. (Guess what movie that’s based on!) It has also begun construction.
Along with “Witch Valley,” the “Princess Mononoke” area will join the three previously announced sections. That includes “Youth Hill,” which will feature attractions based on The Cat Returns and Whisper of the Heart. “Ghibli Warehouse” will be adorned with other Studio Ghibli elements. And the the “Dondokomori” area will celebrate My Neighbor Totoro. Those three sections will open in 2022. Guests will be able to visit “Witch Valley” and “Princess Mononoke” the following year.
That might sound like a lifetime away. But like a giant castle sweeping across the land, it will be here before you know it.
Featured Image: Studio Ghibli