- Mononoke Village area and Witches’ Valley will open soon
- Outline of Ghibli Park “Mononoke Village” Area
- Ghibli Park: “Valley of the Witches” Overview
- Ticket Sales Structure Changed for 3 Months due to Expansion of Ghibli Park Area
- The entire Ghibli Park will be closed for an extended period of time until March 15 for maintenance
Mononoke Village area and Witches’ Valley will open soon
The opening date for the second phase opening area currently under construction at Ghibli Park has been determined.
It seems that the Ghibli Park is steadily being enhanced, which is very favorable.
Schematic map of Ghibli Park
Currently, there are three areas: “Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse,” “Hill of Youth,” and “Dondoko Forest.
In addition to these, two more areas, “Mononoke Village(in Japanese “Mononoke no Sato”, same applies hereafter)” and “Witches’ Valley” will be added, making a total of five areas by March 2024.
I made a rough map of Ghibli Park as of July 2023, and found that both Mononoke no Sato and Witches’ Valley are not that far from the Ghibli Grand Warehouse. I tried walking there on a slightly hot day, but it was relatively flat and not too strenuous.
Dondoko Forest, on the other hand, is a bit further away, as you have to go over and down mountains.
Mononoke Village area opens on Wednesday, November 1, 2023
The “Mononoke Village” area, inspired by the Aichi Prefecture satoyama where “Princess Mononoke” and Ghibli Park are located, will open on Wednesday, November 1, 2023.
The Ghibli Park opened on the same day in 2022. Does this mean that “Mononoke Village” also opened on the same date?
Valley of Witches area opens on Saturday, March 16, 2024
The “Valley of the Witches” area, on the other hand, is scheduled to open on March 16, 2024 (Saturday).
There was originally a plan to open the park at the same time as the “Mononoke Village” area, but it seems that the March opening was decided at a relatively early stage.
Recently, we have been looking at the exterior of the park from outside the walls, and the “Howl’s Moving Castle” objet d’art is being completed.
Outline of Ghibli Park “Mononoke Village” Area
The Mononoke no Sato area of Ghibli Park is based on the Japanese-style satoyama featured in the Studio Ghibli film “Princess Mononoke.
The 1997 film “Princess Mononoke” is said to be the culmination of Hayao Miyazaki’s continuing theme of the relationship between nature and mankind. It was a huge hit, breaking all previous box-office records for Japanese films.
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind” was also a masterpiece about nature and humans, and we can sense Hayao Miyazaki’s strong message in this film as well.
In the new Mononoke no Sato area, visitors will feel as if they have wandered into the heart of the film.
List of Major Facilities in “Mononoke Village”
The following is an overview of the major facilities in the Mononoke no Sato area that were announced.
|name||Total floor area (square meters) &height (meters)||Architectural Composition|
|Tataraba||約293||Reinforced concrete, partly wooden, 2 floors|
|Charcoal Hut||about 10||Wooden, one-story structure|
|Rest Area||about 50||Wooden, one-story structure|
|Otsukotonushi||height 3.4||Playground equipment (slide)|
|Tatari Gami||height 2.8||Objet|
The tatara place has a hands-on learning facility designed to resemble a Japanese satoyama landscape, where visitors can experience making gohei-mochi, a local dish originating in the mountains of the Mikawa region of Aichi Prefecture, where the Ghibli Park is located. The price has not yet been announced.
The playground is designed to resemble “Otsukotonushi,” the leader of the wild boar gods in the movie “Princess Mononoke. This playground equipment is a slide for children to enjoy.
The age limit for this slide is 12 years old or younger. A bit disappointing.
What is “Gohei Mochi” in Aichi Prefecture?
Let me digress for a moment and explain the local cuisine “Goheimochi”.
Gohei-mochi is a local dish originating from the Okumikawa area in the eastern part of Aichi Prefecture, the Kiso and Ina areas in Gifu Prefecture, which are popular among overseas visitors these days, and the Hida area in Gifu Prefecture.
It is said to have originated when people who made their living in the mountains, such as lumberjacks and hunters, cooked and ate it on the eve of “Yama no Ko,” a festival to pray for safety before work.
Freshly cooked rice is mashed into a rice cake shape and formed into flat pieces. The rice is then coated with sweetened miso paste and baked until golden brown. I hope you all get to experience this…
Gohei-mochi (rice cake) from Gifu Prefecture is also recommended
Gohei-mochi, which can be handmade at Mononoke no Sato in Ghibli Park, seems to follow the style of the Okumikawa region in Aichi Prefecture, but the shape and seasoning vary by region.
Gohei-mochi from the Kiso region in Gifu Prefecture is a round rice cake on a skewer. The sauce made from sesame and walnuts is the most common, and should be easy to eat even for first-timers or those who do not like miso.
Although far from Ghibli Park, the best place to try gohei-mochi from the Kiso region is a store called Ofukuro (meaning “mother”) in Nakatsugawa in neighboring Gifu Prefecture. Nakatsugawa is a terminal station in the Kiso region where the popular Magome and Tsumago are located, so stop by if you can.
Map is Here。I got sidetracked…^^;
Ghibli Park: “Valley of the Witches” Overview
This area is inspired by the world of witch-related works, and offers an old European atmosphere that is quite different from that of “Mononoke Village”.
The buildings and facilities will include “Okino’s House” and “Guchoki Bakery” from “The Witch’s Delivery Service,” “Howl’s Castle” and “Hatter’s Hat Shop” from “Howl’s Moving Castle,” and the “Witch’s House” from “Arya and the Witch” as a new addition.
The area is large, so there will be a lot to see and do.
Incidentally, the main building will be “Howl’s Castle”.
I am not sure what kind of fun I will have, but I hope I will be able to meet Calcifer (*^^*).
In addition, a playground and restaurant will be set up to enjoy the western atmosphere of Ghibli.
Ghibli Park Valley of the Witches Current View
In case you are wondering, I took this photo of Witches’ Hollow under construction from outside in mid-July.
Around February, Howl’s castle was in rough shape, but the building on the left side (Hatter’s Hat Shop?) was already decorated and looked to be completed (from the outside of the wall ^^;).
The building on the left side of the wall (Hatter’s Hat Shop?) looks as if it is already completed (from outside the wall ^^;).
Please click on the link below to see specific buildings.
Ticket Sales Structure Changed for 3 Months due to Expansion of Ghibli Park Area
There has been a major change in the structure at Iiba for Japan for tickets for the same November, which will be held for reservation sales on August 10, 2023.
Previously, the “Hill of Youth” area could only be purchased (i.e., entered) as a package deal with the “Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse” area, but this has changed so that it can be purchased independently.
Instead, the new “Mononoke Village” area will only be sold as a set with the “Ghibli no Daigaku Warehouse” area.
International Ticket has been available for purchase as a stand-alone ticket up to now, so I do not think this will have any impact, but I will report this information as a piece of information, hoping that such a set ticket may be sold as well. We have found some information about the ticket sales structure for Japan after November, but could not find any information about International Ticket.
The existing set tickets for the “Hill of Youth” area and the “Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse” area were sold out early, partly due to their reasonable prices.
I hope International Ticket will offer such a set ticket as well… I am looking forward to the ticket sales for November starting August 10.
If you are planning to stay in Japan for a long time and want to purchase tickets for domestic use, please refer to the following link.
The entire Ghibli Park will be closed for an extended period of time until March 15 for maintenance
Due to park-wide maintenance in conjunction with these overall changes, Ghibli Park will be closed for more than a month from Tuesday, February 13 through Wednesday, March 15, 2024.
As of late July, the calendar shows the park as scheduled through the end of February, but does not list a closing date in March.
*Although not listed on the calendar on the Ghibli Park website, a press release in July announced that the park would be closed until March 15!
Many of you may be traveling to Japan in March, so please be careful when making your plans.
The park will be closed for a month to prepare for the opening, and the amount of effort put into the Valley of the Witches area is extraordinary. I am looking forward to the opening of the park even more.