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Princess Mononoke village, Howl's castle concepts unveiled for Ghibli Park in central Japan

This image shows CG concept art for Howl's castle (the surfacing on the completed castle will be different). (C) Studio Ghibli

NAGOYA -- Aichi Prefecture on Feb. 3 unveiled details of its "Ghibli Park" development, a theme park based on the films of legendary anime studio Studio Ghibli, including CG concept art for life-size replicas of Howl's castle and a village from "Princess Mononoke."

    The presentation covered building plans for fiscal 2021. The park is scheduled to open in the fall of 2022 at Expo Memorial Park in Nagakute, Aichi Prefecture.

    Ghibli Park will consist of five areas covering a total of 7.1 hectares. Construction has already begun on three of the five areas: Seishun no Oka (hill of youth), based on the scenery in the movie "Whisper of the Heart," Ghibli no Daisoko (Ghibli's grand warehouse), which will include a video exhibition room and cafe, and Dondoko Mori (Dondoko forest), based on the countryside of the movie "My Neighbor Totoro."

    This image shows CG concept art for the Tataraba (or Irontown) area inspired by the film "Princess Mononoke". It will also be a hands-on learning facility. (C) Studio Ghibli

    Construction of the remaining two areas, Mononoke no Sato (Mononoke's village), a forest village based on Tataraba (or Irontown) from "Princess Mononoke," and Majo no Tani (witch's valley), inspired by the Scandinavian atmosphere in the movies "Kiki's Delivery Service" and "Howl's Moving Castle," is scheduled to begin in 2021. Concept art of these two areas -- set for a 2023 opening -- were revealed publicly for the first time.

    The witch's valley will have restaurants, gardens, playground equipment, and a realistic 16-meter-high replica of Howl's castle with a cannon that swivels like an eyeball, immersing visitors in the world of the film.

    The project will cost about 34 billion yen (approx. $323 million), and the prefecture will allocate about 12 billion yen (approx. $114 million) as project expense in its fiscal 2021 initial budget estimate.

    (Japanese original by Atsuko Ota, Nagoya News Center)

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