Ghibli Park — the theme park all the Studio Ghibli fans have been waiting for — is finally here. It’s located in Nagoya, which is in between Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka, and makes for an enchanting detour. You’ll need to plan in advance, but fortunately, tickets aren’t too expensive (or too hard to get).
First, a disclaimer: you won’t find hair-raising rides and character meet-and-greets here. Ghibli Park is all about immersing yourself in the world of Studio Ghibli. Expect life-sized, realistic-looking exhibitions, impressive photo ops, and plenty of Easter eggs for hardcore fans. So far, three out of five planned sections are open. We have details on those, plus everything you need to know to get you there.
Want to get your Studio Ghibli fix without leaving Tokyo? There’s the Ghibli Museum, plus plenty of other ways to indulge your love of Ghibli in Tokyo.
What is Ghibli Park?
Ghibli Park is the world’s one and only official Studio Ghibli theme park. It officially opened on November 20, 2022, in the outskirts of Nagoya, Japan’s fourth largest city and the capital of Aichi Prefecture. The park is located in Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park (also known as Moricoro Park).
Tell me more!
The park is all about immersive experiences, but as we said before — no rides. So don’t go expecting a Disneyland or Universal Studios Japan kind of experience. Fortunately, this also means that Ghibli Park doesn’t charge Disneyland/USJ-level prices.
Visitors to the park can explore different settings, each of which promises to transport you to the world of a Ghibli movie. But with crowds. Yes, despite the out-of-the-way location, Ghibli Park still gets very crowded — especially during weekends and holiday periods.
At the moment, three sections of the park are open: Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, Hill of Youth, and Dondoko Forest. Two more sections are under construction and — if all goes to plan — will open in 2024.
Tickets prices depend on when you go and how much of the park you see. They must be purchased in advance, and are likely to sell out soon after becoming available.
Getting tickets to Ghibli ParkTickets go on sale 3 months in advance
¥1,000 to ¥3,500 (half-price for kids)
Domestic sales / International sales
We’re not going to lie, getting tickets for Ghibli Park requires patience and planning. At the moment, the only way to buy tickets is online. You cannot buy them on the day at the park.
There are two different official websites you can use: the domestic one (for those living in Japan) and the international one (for those living overseas). Both landing pages are available in English; however, they redirect to different ticket sales sites. The domestic site uses Boo Woo Ticket, which is only available in Japanese, while the international site uses Lawson Ticket, which is available in English.
This is important: The domestic and international sites offer different tickets. If you book on the international site you can only buy tickets for Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse. Only the domestic website has tickets to Hill of Youth and Dondoko Forest.
Ghibli Park ticket prices
Prices for some areas depend on whether you visit on a weekday or a weekend.
|Park area||Weekday ticket price||Weekend ticket price||Notes|
|Ghibli Grand Warehouse & Hill of Youth||¥3,000||¥3,500||Domestic sales only|
|Ghibli Grand Warehouse||¥2,000||¥2,500||International and domestic sales|
|Dondoko Forest||¥1,000||¥1,000||Domestic sales only|
Ghibli Park tickets for kids
Children’s tickets (for kids aged 4–12) are half-price. Kids aged 3 and under can enter for free.
How to buy tickets for Ghibli Park
Tickets become available 3 months in advance on both sites, at 2 p.m. on the 10th of the month. So for example, tickets for September 2023 will go on sale on June 10.
When buying tickets, you’ll need to choose a date and an entry time. For Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse you need to enter within 1 hour of your entry time. If you buy a package ticket for Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse and Hill of Youth, you’ll only be given an entry time for Hill of Youth. Then you can go to Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse anytime until 3 p.m. Meanwhile, for Dondoko Forest you need to enter within 30 minutes.
On the domestic site you have the option to pay in a variety of ways including credit card, and at a convenience store. Meanwhile, the international site requires you to pay via credit card.
Our experience buying tickets
You can get in queue before the launch time, and we suggest doing so. We got in queue on the domestic site at launch time and had to wait for nearly 2 hours before being able to buy tickets. By the time we got in, tickets for the beginning of the month were already sold out, but there were still a fair number of tickets left for the end of the month.
On the other hand, the international site has slightly shorter wait times, and is less likely to sell out. But again on the international site you can only get Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse tickets.
Terms and conditions
Be sure to check the terms and conditions before you book; they’re the same on both sites (international and domestic).
Some important ones to note include:
- You can only buy a maximum of six tickets at a time.
- All members of your group must enter together.
- Tickets cannot be resold or transfered (they may do random I.D checks).
- You can only enter the areas at the time shown on your ticket.
- Re-entry is not permited.
- There are no refunds or exchanges.
Ghibli Park travel packages
Buying tickets yourself sound like a bit much? Yeah, we get that. Luckily, there are some travel packages available that will take care of that for you.
JTB Sunrise Tours: Park entry + hotel¥17,000/¥18,400 weekday/weekend per adult
This package from JTB Sunrise Tours includes an entry ticket for Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse and one night’s accommodation with breakfast. The Ghibli Park ticket is for day two of the tour, so you’ll have a good night’s rest before hitting up the park.
Transport to Nagoya and between the hotel and Ghibli Park is not included. This works perfectly for travelers using the Japan Rail Pass to get around. A two-person minimum is required to book.
Viator: Park entry + hotel + train tickets¥38,400 per adult
This package through Viator includes an entry ticket for Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, one night’s accommodation with breakfast, and a round-trip Shinkansen ticket between Tokyo and Nagoya.
For this tour you’ll visit Ghibli Park on day one, so your Shinkansen will depart Tokyo bright and early. Day two is free for you to explore Nagoya before heading back to Tokyo. Transport between the hotel and Ghibli Park is not included.
Solo travelers can book for ¥43,700. If you are traveling round-trip Tokyo–Nagoya without a rail pass, this package works out to be a slightly better deal than booking the one above and your Shinkansen tickets separately.
What to see at Ghibli Park
At the moment three sections of Ghibli Park are open: Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, Hill of Youth, and Dondoko Forest.
Two more are planned to open in 2024. Each area has a different theme and is inspired by different Studio Ghibli movies. Let’s dive into more detail on each one.
Ghibli’s Grand WarehouseAllow yourself 2 to 3 hours
Photography is allowed in most areas
Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse is the star of the show. It’s the biggest area at the moment, so you’ll easily spend most of your time here. Throughout there are nods to Studio Ghibli classics like Spirited Away (2001), Arriety (2010), and Castle in the Sky (1986), among many others.
Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse has a mixture of exhibitions, displays, and shops, as well as a kid’s play area, a cinema, and a café. There’s no right way to explore Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, you can wander around to your heart’s desire. Check the cinema’s timetable if you’d like to watch a short film, and if you plan to eat at the café try to avoid the lunchtime rush.
Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse is a good option for those who are casual Studio Ghibli fans. You’re sure to recognise some of the characters and references, but there’s nothing too specific. It’s especially good for families with younger children because of the play areas.
Our experience at Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse
For us, the highlight in Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse was definitely the Central Exhibition Room. That’s where you’ll find 14 interactive exhibits showing scenes from some of our favorite Studio Ghibli movies. You can get up close and personal with your favorite characters, and photos are definitely okay here — in fact they’re encouraged.
The line to get into this area can be long, though. And if you’d like a photo with No Face from Spirited Away, you may have to line up again.
Hill of YouthAllow yourself 30 minutes to 1 hour
Photography is not allowed inside
Hill of Youth draws on the films Whispers of the Heart (1995) and The Cat Returns (2002).
The featured structure here is the World Emporium, the antique shop from Whispers of the Heart. You first enter from the back, into a small courtyard, where you’ll find the Cat Bureau from The Cat Returns. If you peer inside you’ll see the characters Muta and the Baron.
After the courtyard, you’ll enter the World Emporium, where there’s a lot to take in. However, keep in mind you can’t take photos inside here. Downstairs there’s the violin workshop from the same film.
Our experience at Hill of Youth
A lot of attention to detail went into designing Hill of Youth, and it shows. The World Imporium is really impressive, and there are so many interesting things to see. But, we wouldn’t recommend this area for people visiting with young children. It’s a bit cramped and has lots of smalls things that little hands might want to grab.
Hill of Youth — despite it’s name — is definitely more for adults. And it’s especially for fans of the two movies that inspired it; in fact, there are probably lots of details that casual fans (like us) would miss.
Dondoko ForestAllow yourself 1 hour
Photography is allowed
Dondoko Forest is where you’ll find all the My Neighbor Totoro attractions. Mei and Satsuki’s house is just as detailed at the World Emporium but you can take photos.
Take your time to explore every part of the house, and we mean every part: open the draws and cupboards, look inside things, and in general enjoy the hands-on feeling. You will be asked to remove your shows before you enter, and you can leave them in a shoe locker at the entrance.
Once you’re finished at Mei and Satsuki’s house you can head up to Dondoko-do. This is the large Totoro statute that you might recognise from early promotional material. Kids aged 12 and under can climb up inside and play, but it’s not for adults (unfortunately). It’s great for photo ops, although it can get a little crowded.
Our experience at Dondoko Forest
Dondoko Forest is another area that’s good for casual fans. Mei and Satsuki’s house is fun to explore even if you don’t know the movie well. This is a quieter part of the park and Dondoko Forest is less crowded than Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse.
Coming soon: Areas that aren’t open yet
Two more sections of Ghibli Park are still under construction: Valley of Witches and Mononoke Village. Valley of Witches is inspired by Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) and Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), while Mononoke Village is inspired by, well, Princess Mononoke (1997).
There isn’t a lot of information available about either of them at the moment, but it seems like Valley of Witches will be the biggest area when construction’s complete.
Getting around Ghibli Park
By now you might be wondering, just how big is Ghibli Park? Well, it’s hard to say exactly. It’s spread out all over Aichi Commemorative Park, so it feels bigger than it is. That being said, when all the construction is finished, getting between the different areas will take up a large chunk of time.
At the moment, it’s not too bad though. Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse and Hill of Youth are less than a 5-minute walk apart. Dondoko Forest is about a 10-minute walk from Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse along a lovely forested path. However, some of the signage along the path is only in Japanese, so we recommend taking a photo of a map to help you stay on track.
There is also a shuttle bus running between the three Ghibli Park areas and other attractions in Aichi Commemorative Park. However, the bus only runs twice per hour on weekdays and three times per hour on weekends. When the remaining two Ghibli Park sections open, bus services may increase.
Where and what to eat at Ghibli Park
At the moment, the only food options at Ghibli Park are inside Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse. If you’re just in the mood for a snack, Milk Stand Siberi❆An has milk and red-bean filled cakes. For meals, head to Transcontinental Flight Café, which has a range of sandwiches, pizzas, and drinks.
Now, if you’ve seen a Studio Ghibli film, you’ll know that the food always looks incredible. So you’ll understand why we say that the menu options at Transcontinental Flight Café are a little disappointing; they just don’t have the visual appeal we’d hoped for. They are, however, very tasty so no disappointment there. In terms of prices, expect to pay up to about ¥1,500 for a sandwich and drink.
There are also a few dining options in the wider Aichi Commemorative Park area. Close to the entrance, you’ll find a convenience store and a café. We also spotted a Mos Burger food truck set up near one of the rest areas, but we’re not sure how often they set up there. You could also pack your own food and eat in one of the rest areas. However, eating outside food inside Ghibli Park is not allowed.
When it comes to drinks, it’s worth noting that there are no drink vending machines inside Ghibli Park. There are vending machines and water fountains outside though.
Ghibli Park souvenir guide
If you’re like us, you want to know about the souvenir situation. Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, has one main souvenir shop and several smaller ones. The main one, called Adventurous Flying Squadron, has a mixture of limited edition Ghibli Park merchandise, plus stuff you can pick up at other places, like Donguri stores.
When we visited, there was a range of t-shirts, plushes, bags, staionery, prints, and postcards (to name a few). We recommend honing in on the limited edition souvenirs. In particular, there was a range of tote bags and magnets that were popular.
You can also pick up a small selection of souvenir snacks like cookies, cake, and chocolate. These souvenir snacks are also unique to Ghibli Park, and are easy to transport.
Elsewhere in Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, there’s a bookshop, a model/figurine shop, and a candy shop. Plus, you can buy postcards that feature antique items inside the World Imporium.
There is also a small shop selling Studio Ghibli themed omamori (good luck charms) near Dondoko-do. These especially make for good souvenirs because they combine Studio Ghibli with a traditional Japanese item.
The surrounding area: Aichi Commemorative Park
Aichi Commemorative Park has a lot more going for it than just being the home of Ghibli Park. There are several other attractions including a Japanese-style garden, an ice skating rink, and a Ferris wheel. It’s entirely possible to spend an entire day there without visiting Ghibli Park — stop by the Information Center near the entrance for some ideas on what to do. The Information Center also has a limited number of lockers if you need to store luggage.
When you’re at the park don’t forget it is a natural space — don’t be surprised to see signs warning of wasps and snakes. Just stick to the paths and be aware of your surroundings.
Getting from Nagoya to Ghibli Park
There are three main ways to get to Ghibli Park from Nagoya Station: by train, bus, or taxi. Train is by far the best option, even though one transfer is required. Taxis and buses will take you there directly, but also more expensive.
Need to get from Tokyo to Nagoya first? Check out this handy guide.
Train: Cheap and convenient¥670
About 55 minutes + transfer time
From Nagoya Station, take the Higashiyama Subway Line to Fujigaoka Station (the last station on the line). This takes about half an hour.
At Fujihaoka Station, exit the station and transfer to Linimo — a Mag-Lev (magnetically levitated) train — to get to Aichikyūhaku-kinen-kōen (“Expo Memorial Park”) Station. Take Exit 2 from here and you’ve arrived at the entrance to Aichi Commemorative Park.
We recommend this route as it’s the cheapest, and has more regular departures than the bus.
Bus: Direct but infrequent¥1,000
About 40 minutes
Meitetsu Bus operates a direct service from Nagoya Station to Ghibli Park, which you can catch from Meitetsu Bus Center. While it is direct, it costs more than the train and has fewer departures.
There are currently only five services between 8:50 a.m. and 1 p.m. on weekedays, and six departures between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on weekends. Because of this, we recommend checking the timetable and pre-purchasing tickets on the Meitetsu Bus site (link in Japanese).
Taxi: Direct but expensive¥7,970
About 55 minutes
While the bank of taxis waiting outside Nagoya Station may be tempting, we don’t really recommend taking one to Ghibli Park. While they are direct, they take about the same amount of time as the train and cost a whole lot more. Plus, traffic is always a gamble. Taxis could be suitable for groups or families where the cost can be split, but in general they’re not a good option for this trip.
Frequently asked questions
Is Ghibli Park open to foreign tourists?
Yes, but you can only buy tickets for Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse on the international ticket sales website.
Are there rides at Ghibli Park?
No, there are no rides like rollercoasters. There is a play area in Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse for children though.
Can Ghibli Park be a day trip from Tokyo
Yes, but we wouldn’t really recommend it — it would make for a fairly long day and exhausting day. It’s better to make it part of a longer Nagoya trip, or a stop on a trip between Tokyo and Osaka or Kyoto.
How long do you need at Ghibli Park?
You could see most things in about 3 to 4 hours, if the lines aren’t too long. When the other areas of the park open, it will definitely be a whole day affair.
Is Ghibli Park worth it?
It depends. If you are huge Studio Ghibli fan, then you won’t want to miss it. Casual fans will enjoy it, too; it’s a nice add-on if you’re already going to pass through Nagoya. If you are just a casual fan and don’t want to spend the whole day there, just going to Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse would probably be enough.
I’m not a Studio Ghibli fan, should I still go to Ghibli Park?
Unless you’re already planning to go to Nagoya or pass through it, we wouldn’t recommend it for non-fans. If you’re curious, you can get a taste for Studio Ghibli without having to leave Tokyo.
Why is Ghibli Park in Nagoya?
Way back in 2005, a World Expo was held at Aichi Commemorative Park. As part of the event, a life-sized replication of Mei and Satsuki’s house from the classic Studio Ghibli film My Neighbor Totoro (1988) was built. It proved to be very popular. Then in 2017, the plans for Ghibli Park were offiicially announced, although the opening date was originally meant to be 2020.