Japan plans Studio Ghibli theme park

Studio Ghibli has been behind many iconic movies. (AFP pic)

NAGOYA: The fantasy world of Oscar-winning animator Hayao Miyazaki will come to life as a theme park set to open in central Japan in 2022, the prefectural government said on Wednesday.

Miyazaki is the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, Japan’s premier animation studio, and renowned internationally for works including “Princess Mononoke” and “Spirited Away”.

Studio Ghibli has released a basic concept for the vast park to be built by 2022 near Nagoya in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture.

It will feature rides and forest trails based on the master animator’s popular fantasy films, including “My Neighbor Totoro”, “Kiki’s Delivery Service”, and “Howl’s Moving Castle”, according to the Aichi government.

The park will also be dotted with the European-themed brick towers that appear frequently in Miyazaki’s work, as well as giant installations of spider- and boar-shaped spirits in imaginary landscapes that evoke Japan’s mythical and idyllic past.

The park will be built at the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park in the city of Nagakute, the local government said.

Its construction cost and other details were yet to be decided, an Aichi official said.

Miyazaki is among the world’s most acclaimed animators, with huge followings in Japan and abroad.

“Spirited Away” won the Oscar for best animated feature in 2003, the first Japanese film to do so, and also scooped the Golden Bear prize at the Berlin International Film Festival, among other major awards.

Studio Ghibli already operates the hugely-popular Ghibli Museum on the outskirts of Tokyo.

Tickets for the museum only go on sale at the beginning of each month and regularly sell out within hours.