A cause to journey to Nagoya, Japan: the opening of Ghibli Park

For a lot of, the mere point out of Studio Ghibli is sufficient to conjure a world of caprice and intrigue.

The animation studio famed for a number of the most stunning works in Japanese anime ⁠— My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away and Howl’s Transferring Fortress, simply to call a couple of ⁠— has lengthy welcomed guests to the modest Ghibli Museum nestled within the quiet suburbs of Tokyo. This yr nevertheless, guests are invited deeper into the woods, because the studio’s new Ghibli Park formally opens its gates throughout the sprawling grounds of Aichi Commemorative Park (additionally dubbed Moricoro Park). The model new theme park is in Nagoya, a metropolis that may be reached from Tokyo by shinkansen (bullet prepare) in lower than two hours.

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A show of Yubaba, an animated character from the movie Spirited Away, copyrighted by Studio Ghibli, is seen within the Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse space in Ghibli Park © Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty Photographs

Guests used to typical large-scale theme parks will discover the Ghibli Park a extra muted affair. Although the park is not at all small, there aren’t any rides or giant sights. As a substitute, the luxurious grounds enable guests ample room to discover and soak within the environment whereas strolling by the park’s winding, tree-lined paths.

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Three themed areas ⁠— the Ghibli Grand Warehouse, Dondoko Forest and Hill of Youth ⁠— will open to park-goers come November 1, with extra areas set to open in 2023. The most important of the three areas, the Ghibli Grand Warehouse, is the place followers can catch brief movies beforehand proven solely on the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo, in addition to unique exhibitions. It additionally wouldn’t be Studio Ghibli if the environment didn’t transport you to a special world and the Grand Warehouse is a number of worlds rolled into one, all ripe for discovery. Then, step into the comfortable World Emporium from Whisper of the Coronary heart on the Hill of Youth, adopted by a calming stroll by the park to Dondoko Forest, the place the world of Totoro awaits.

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A member of the media takes a photograph of an exhibit at Ghibli's Grand Warehouse during a media tour of the new Ghibli Park in Nagakute
One the immersive reveals at Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse © Studio Ghibli/Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Photographs

Separate timed-entry tickets are required for admission into every space, with various pricing. Entry to Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse will set you again ¥2000 ($13.50) on weekdays and ¥2500 ($16.80) on weekends, whereas tickets to the opposite two areas every value ¥1000 ($6.70). Kids three and up enter half-price. Tickets for November have already bought out, and the ticket lottery for entry starting in December is open now, and accessible for buy by Lawson convenience stores (web site in Japanese solely).

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Seize a wholesome onigiri rice ball with natural greens, accompanied by a hearty cup of espresso at Soyogo Coffee, located proper close to the park entrance, for a pleasant kick-start to your journey. For a hearty meal after a time out and about, attempt the signature lobster broth tsukemen (dipping noodles) or seafood-based soy sauce ramen at Menya Hanzo close to Fujigaoka station. Need quiches, truffles and different baked items worthy of a Ghibli film? Homely Cafe SAISON is the place to go — don’t neglect to take a look at their cute seasonal cookies. Osu Mori no Cafe Kodama could also be a little bit of a trek, although Ghibli followers will discover its storybook-like setting and the beloved Studio Ghibli characters dotted across the institution nicely well worth the journey; reservation is required to dine between 11am to 1pm.

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A bowl of hitsumabushi is a Japanese Nagoya rice dish decorated with grilled Unagi eel at the top. The eel is served in smaller pieces that allows it to be enjoyed with simply plain rice, or accompanying condiments and an original soup stock or hot tea.
Hitsumabushi is a Japanese Nagoya rice dish adorned with grilled

A visit to Nagoya wouldn’t be full with out a hitsumabushi meal (crispy, grilled unagi, or eel, eaten three other ways). Hitsumabushi Bincho is a well-liked spot, although there are many different choices dotted round Nagoya metropolis.

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Cafes and tea homes past these positioned inside park grounds are sparse, however the close by transport hub of Fujigaoka has loads of choices to unwind. Regardless of the hour, it’s at all times a cool, refined night at Jazz Tearoom Aoneko, a darkish and comfy underground cafe with record-lined partitions and delicious pastries. Get successful of caffeine and even uncover your new favourite mix at Freak Coffee Roasters, a contemporary cafe serving up types of specialty espresso. Cafe Tohenboku is within the better neighborhood of Ghibli Park, and doubles as a stunning artwork gallery visitors can sip espresso in.

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Nagoya is well accessible from Tokyo, Gifu, Kyoto and extra by bullet prepare. There may be loads of lodging round Nagoya Station for any price range: from a glitzy 5-star fare to bunking at a hostel, the center of Aichi prefecture has choices to accommodate any traveler. Entry from Nagoya metropolis to Ghibli Park is simply 45 minutes on public transport. Studio Ghibli followers or households who might wish to spend greater than a day on the park can go for lodging close to the much less central Fujigaoka Station, the place a 13-minute experience on the Linimo monorail takes visitors proper to the station closest to the park.