1. Ghibli Park
    Photo: Kisa ToyoshimaDondoko Forest – ‘Dondoko-do’ statue
  2. Ghibli Park
    Photo: Kisa ToyoshimaGhibli's Grand Warehouse – Yubaba's office
  3. Ghibli Park
    Photo: Kisa ToyoshimaGhibli's Grand Warehouse
  4. Ghibli Park
    Photo: Kisa ToyoshimaGhibli's Grand Warehouse – Arrietty’s room
  5. Ghibli Park
    Photo: Kisa ToyoshimaHill of Youth – Elevator tower

Ultimate guide to Ghibli Park: attractions, restaurants, shops, tickets, free areas and more

Everything you need to know, including tips and hacks, to make the most of your time at Ghibli Park near Nagoya

Tabea Greuner
Written by
Tabea Greuner
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The world’s first Ghibli Park is located within the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park in Nagakute city near Nagoya, about three hours by train from Tokyo. Three of its five areas opened on November 1 2022 – Hill of Youth, Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse and Dondoko Forest. Admission to the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park itself is free, but you’ll have to purchase a ticket to each of the Ghibli-themed areas.

Compared to other popular theme parks such as Tokyo Disney Resort or Universal Studios Japan, Ghibli Park doesn’t feature any rides. It’s also designed to blend in seamlessly with the surrounding nature and visitors can immerse themselves in the world of Studio Ghibli at attractions based on the animation studio’s most popular films.

Read on for our complete guide to Japan’s first Ghibli Park, including restaurant and shopping tips, ticket information and more.

RECOMMENDED: The Ghibli lover’s guide to Tokyo

Ghibli Park overview

Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse

Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse is the park’s main area, complete with three exhibition rooms. There's a small cinema, a children’s playroom with a ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ (1988) Cat Bus, a souvenir shop and restaurants, plus a small warehouse that stores exhibits from previous events and exhibitions.

Upon arrival you’ll be mesmerised by the main area that’s centred around a large staircase made from hundreds of small colourful tiles. Look up and you’ll spot a 6.3m reproduction of an airship known from ‘Laputa: Castle in the Sky’ (1986).

Other highlights include a true-to-original recreation of Yubaba’s office from the Oscar-winning movie ‘Spirited Away’ (2001), plus an area themed on ‘Arrietty’ (2010). Walk through a jungle of giant plants and flowers, which lets visitors experience the world from the perspective of the movie’s tiny main protagonist, Arrietty. You can even step inside the Borrowers’ family home and take a look inside Arrietty’s room.

At an interactive special exhibition, visitors can pretend to be their favourite characters by taking photos in life-sized recreations of pivotal scenes from famous Ghibli movies.

Hill of Youth
Antique shop (Photo: Kisa Toyoshima)

Hill of Youth

The main gate to the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park is a stunning elevator tower modelled after fictitious 19th-century objects from the Ghibli movie ‘Laputa: Castle in the Sky’. The Hill of Youth elevator tower can be used by all park visitors, but note that you’ll need a ticket to visit the area’s second attraction: the antique shop known from the movie ‘Whisper of the Heart’ (1995).

Visitors will enter the building from the second floor, which is furnished with automaton clocks, rocking horses, figurines and more. On the first floor you’ll find a beautiful recreation of the movie’s violin repair workshop.

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Dondoko Forest
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Dondoko Forest

Dondoko Forest is located inside Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park’s Japanese garden and features Satsuki’s and Mei’s house from ‘My Neighbor Totoro’. The area’s name is derived from the dondoko dance, which the two sisters perform together with the spirit Totoro in hopes that the seeds they sowed will sprout. 

The area is also home to a wooden Totoro-shaped statue called ‘Dondoko-do’. The 5.2-metre tall structure is located on top of a hill that can be reached by a flight of stairs. Wheelchair users and families with strollers can take a ride in a small slope car. The tiny monorail is designed after a tram that was in service in Nagoya city between 1955 and 1965, the era in which ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ is set.

Restaurant guide

Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse: Café Transcontinental Flight
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse: Café Transcontinental Flight

This café is located in an outdoor area of Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse and its aviation-themed interior is reminiscent of the Ghibli movie ‘Porco Rosso’ (1992). You can choose from a large selection of sandwiches and pizza, including the ketchup spaghetti sandwich (¥650) and miso cutlet pizza (¥900) pictured above. Each meal comes with a little flag that features a Ghibli motif.

Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse: Milk Stand Siberi-An
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse: Milk Stand Siberi-An

Inside Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, you’ll find the Milk Stand Siberi-An. Here you can pick up a castella cake sandwich with sweet bean jelly filling (¥380). This treat is known from the Ghibli movie ‘The Wind Rises’ (2013) and is best paired with a bottle of milk (¥220).

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Cafeteria Rotanda Kazegaoka

Ghibli Park’s north entrance is home to the souvenir shop and cafeteria Rotanda Kazegaoka, which is located in two separate buildings and accessible without a Ghibli Park ticket. The eatery offers Japanese-style sweets, including matcha parfaits (¥1,000) and anmitsu (syrup-covered bean jam with fruit, ¥950), plus light meals such as onigiri (from ¥180). You can choose from ten different types of onigiri, but we recommend the ketchup-flavoured ‘napolitan’ (¥200) with spaghetti filling – a favourite of Studio Ghibli director Goro Miyazaki.

Souvenir shopping

Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse Shop
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse Shop

The souvenir shop at Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse sells everything a Ghibli fan could dream of. There’s exclusive Ghibli Park merch, plush toys, figurines, handkerchiefs, postcards, stationery, hats, magnets and much more. Popular souvenirs include plush toys of the ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ Cat Bus and the Kashira characters from ‘Spirited Away’, the funny green heads from Yubaba’s office (pictured above in the photo’s upper right-hand corner).

Dondoko Forest: Dondoko Baiten
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Dondoko Forest: Dondoko Baiten

This small shop is located next to the ‘Dondoko-do’ statue and sells a range of Ghibli-themed omamori lucky charms, ema votive plates and goshuin-cho temple seal books. Note that you’ll need a ticket to the Dondoko Forest area to shop here.

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Dondoko Forest: Dondoko-dokoro
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Dondoko Forest: Dondoko-dokoro

Dondoko-dokoro is a small souvenir shop at the entrance to the Dondoko Forest area. It’s open to all park visitors and you can shop for Ghibli-themed umbrellas, hats and towels as well as snacks and drinks.

Rotanda Kazegaoka
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Rotanda Kazegaoka

Rotanda Kazegaoka is located at Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park’s north entrance. You don’t need a Ghibli Park ticket to browse its large selection of plush toys, T-shirts, tote bags, tumblers, notebooks and more. You can even pick up straw hats like the kind worn by some of the main female characters in Ghibli movies – think Sophie from ‘Howl’s Moving Castle, Mei from ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ or Shizuku from ‘Whisper of the Heart’.

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Lawson convenience store
Photo: Tabea Greuner

Lawson convenience store

Across from Rotanda Kazegaoka, you’ll find a Lawson convenience store with two shelves full of Ghibli merchandise, ranging from puzzles and calendars to postcards and stationery. The highlight, however, is a set of Ghibli Park postage stamps that commemorate the opening of Ghibli Park.

How to get tickets

International ticket service
Ghibli's Grand Warehouse – Laputian Robot from ‘Laputa: Castle in the Sky’ (Photo: Kisa Toyoshima)

International ticket service

It's now possible to buy tickets from overseas through Ghibli Park's international ticket site. Tickets go on sale from two to three months in advance, with the schedule published on the website. Note that tickets sell out fast, so be prepared.

Currently, it's only possible to use this site to buy tickets for Ghibli's Grand Warehouse. Entry times are also limited, with 12noon the only entry time offered as of now.

Tickets for Ghibli's Grand Warehouse through the international site cost ¥2,000 for adults on weekdays (children aged four to 12 ¥1,000) and ¥2,500 (¥1,250) on weekends and holidays.

Lawson’s Boo-Woo Tickets service

The Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park is open to the public for free. However, each Ghibli-themed area has its own entry fee. As mentioned above, the international ticket site currently only sells tickets for Ghibli's Grand Warehouse. So if you want to visit the park's other areas, you can use Lawson's Boo-Woo Tickets service.

Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. To avoid overcrowding, Ghibli Park asks you to pick a specific date and time as well as your preferred area during the booking process. Once you've created an account with the booking site, see here for tickets to the Hill of Youth area, here for Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse and here for Dondoko Forest. Note that Hill of Youth tickets will include entry to Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse for visits from February 2023.

Price overview:

Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse
Weekdays ¥2,000 (children ¥1,000), weekends and holidays ¥2,500 (children ¥1,250)

Hill of Youth
For visits until January 2023: ¥1,000 (children ¥500)
For visits from February 2023 with access to Ghibli’s Large Warehouse: weekdays ¥3,000 (children ¥1,500), weekends and holidays ¥3,500 (children ¥1,750)

Dondoko Forest
¥1,000 (children ¥500)

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JTB travel agency

The easiest way to get your hands on the coveted tickets is to book a package deal via JTB travel agency. There are two accommodation plans in Nagoya: one with entry to all three Ghibli Park areas and the other with just admission to Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse. The former package, which includes an overnight stay at the Meitetsu Grand Hotel, for example, starts at ¥14,500 per person per night. You can also add a flight or shinkansen ticket to your booking.

Note that if you book a JTB package, your entry time for the Ghibli Park is between 10am and 1pm.

Pro tip: The Hill of Youth area and Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse are separated by a five-minute walk, but you’ll need about 20 minutes to reach Dondoko Forest. Based on our experience, you’ll spend about an hour at the Hill of Youth area and two hours in Dondoko Forest. We recommend entering Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse before 12noon. Head straight to the special exhibition and the souvenir shop to avoid long wait times in the afternoon. Before you go, make sure to download this adorable Ghibli Park map.

How to enjoy Ghibli Park for FREE

Free ‘Spirited Away’ area
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Free ‘Spirited Away’ area

Inside the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park you’ll find a number of Ghibli-themed attractions that are free to enjoy such as the ‘Spirited Away’ area complete with the movie’s red gate and stone monument. The gate itself used to be part of a Japanese restaurant in Nagoya city before it was relocated to the park.

Look out for Ghibli-themed objects
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Look out for Ghibli-themed objects

Throughout the park you can find a number of objects modelled after Studio Ghibli’s most famous films. Many of them are placed on benches, such as a hat and school bag from the movie ‘From up on Poppy Hill’ (2011), Mei’s straw hat and a corn ear from ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ and Arren’s sword from ‘Tales from Earthsea’ (2006).

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Hill of Youth: Admire the antique shop’s exterior
Photo: Tabea Greuner

Hill of Youth: Admire the antique shop’s exterior

Even without a ticket to Hill of Youth’s antique shop, you can still enjoy the building’s beautiful exterior. You’ll also be able to see a Ghibli-style bus stop and telephone box, and get a glimpse of the miniature version of the Cat Bureau from the movie ‘The Cat Returns’ (2002).

Hill of Youth: Explore a mysterious tunnel
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Hill of Youth: Explore a mysterious tunnel

This mystical tunnel is located under the antique shop and is free to enter. It’s a recreation of what Shizuku, the main protagonist of the movie ‘Whisper of the Heart’, sees in her dream. The tunnel features colourful lights on its walls and floor.

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Hill of Youth: Stunning architecture with a view
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Hill of Youth: Stunning architecture with a view

The main gate to the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park is already an attraction in itself. It doubles as an observation deck, so make sure to walk past the elevators and enjoy a beautiful view of the park.

Getting there

Photo: Tabea Greuner

Ghibli Park can be reached from Nagoya Station. Hop on the Higashiyama subway line until Fujigaoka Station and transfer to the maglev Linimo line, which brings you directly to Ai-Chikyu-haku-kinen-koen Station at the north entrance of the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park. A one-way trip takes about 50 minutes and costs ¥670.

You can also opt for a direct 40-minute bus ride from Nagoya Station. The bus departs from Meitetsu Bus Centre’s platform 24. See here for the timetable. A one-way bus ticket costs ¥1,000 (children aged 6-12 ¥500).

Ghibli Park’s second-phase opening

Howl’s Moving Castle in the Valley of Witches (Photo: ©Studio Ghibli)

Ghibli Park’s second-phase opening is focusing on the two remaining areas: Mononoke’s Village, opening in autumn 2023, and the Valley of Witches, scheduled to open in March 2024.

Mononoke’s Village will include a real-life recreation of Tatara-ba, the Irontown depicted in the movie ‘Princess Mononoke’ (1997). The scenery takes you back to a rural landscape from the Muromachi period (1336-1573), in which the movie is set.

Valley of Witches, meanwhile, is designed after ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’, ‘Kiki's Delivery Service’ and ‘Earwig and the Witch’ – all three films feature protagonists with magic powers. The area will feature a European townscape with restaurants, parks and rest areas. You’ll also find a recreation of Kiki’s family home and bakery, plus a real-life, 16-metre tall version of Howl’s Moving Castle.

More Ghibli attractions in Nagoya

Osu no Mori Café Kodama
Photo: Tabea Greuner

Osu no Mori Café Kodama

This cosy café in Nagoya’s Osu neighbourhood resembles a Ghibli wonderland. You can access the shop via a staircase decked out with a number of kodama figurines, the small white forest creatures from ‘Princess Mononoke’. The café itself is decorated with hundreds of Ghibli memorabilia, ranging from figurines and clocks, to plush toys and books.

The café menu features dishes and drinks based on Studio Ghibli’s most famous flicks such as an omuraisu omelette (¥900) in the shape of Mei’s straw hat from ‘My Neighbor Totoro’, a blue mocktail based on ‘Ponyo’ (2008; ¥700) or a roll cake themed on the kodama forest creatures (¥700).

Akamon Bldg 4F, 4-2-47 Osu, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi prefecture. 090 7856 0029. 2pm-6pm, Sat, Sun & hols 11am-8pm; irregular hols. Advance reservations are recommended.

Donguri Kyowakoku at Nagoya Station
Photo: Tabea Greuner

Donguri Kyowakoku at Nagoya Station

Round off your Nagoya trip with a visit to the official Ghibli store Donguri Kyowakoku. The shop has everything a Ghibli fan could dream of: plush toys, figurines, household and kitchen goods, clothes, stationery and more. You’ll find Donguri Kyowakoku on the first floor of Nagoya Station’s JR Gate Tower.

JR Gate Tower 1F, 1-1-3 Meieki, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya, Aichi prefecture. 052 551 1525. 10am-9pm daily.

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