It’s no secret that Studio Ghibli is home to some of the most acclaimed Japanese animated feature films of all time. These include My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Princess Mononoke, to name a few. In 2015, the film studio revealed its plans of building its own theme park. Unfortunately, Studio Ghibli Theme Park won’t open its doors until fall 2022 due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, several concept drawings that have surfaced online guarantee that it’s going to be worth the wait.
Just recently, the park revealed yet another exciting attraction in the works. It’s none other than a real-life Howl’s Moving Castle based on the 2004 animated fantasy film of the same name. Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, the film features a lady named Sophie who is cursed with an old body by a wicked witch. In her journey of finding a way to break the curse, she meets a wizard named Howl who lives in a four-legged, walking castle with his companions.
Studio Ghibli Theme Park has recently revealed a new attraction in the works—a real-life Howl’s Moving Castle
However, the real-life counterpart of the castle will not move nor walk, unlike the one depicted in the film. Instead, it will be built on the ground yet will still feature the same exact design. Located in the “Witch Valley” section of the park, the finished structure will stand about four to five stories high.
And just like in the movie, it will feature multiple cannons and houses that appear to be haphazardly stacked on top of each other. Guests will also get a sneak peek of the castle’s whimsical interior in real life. Other amenities will include gardens and restaurants where visitors can take a rest and dine.
As announced previously, the upcoming park will be located in Nagakute City, Aichi Prefecture. It will consist of five themed sections. These include the “Ghibli Warehouse,” the “Youth Hill” based on Whisper of the Heart and The Cat Returns, and the Dondoko Forest from My Neighbor Totoro. All these three will be open to the public by fall 2022.
Meanwhile, the two remaining regions—the “Witch Valley” and the Princess Mononoke village—will be accessible to the public beginning 2023. Be sure to regularly check Studio Ghibli’s website for the latest updates on the park’s much-awaited opening.