A flat person will guide you through Ghibli Park.
Have you heard about the “Flat Person Project?”
If you are from Canada or the U.S., you may have heard of it in school.
Some of you may recognize it as the “Flat Stanley Project.”
Children send paper dolls (Stanleys), which are their alter egos, to friends and acquaintances in different parts of the world and ask them to send records of their travels to deepen exchanges.
This is an educational project in which the paper dolls enjoy simulated travel and experiences in unfamiliar places, leading to an interest in the culture and lifestyle of those countries.
If you are interested in learning more about the Flat Stanley Project, please visit the following URL
- Flatperson guides visitors through the free areas of Ghibli Park
- Directions to Ghibli Park
- From the Ghibli Park gate to the elevator tower!
- Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse and its vicinity
- Road to Dondoko Forest in Ghibli Park
- Dondoko Dokoro where you can also shop
Flatperson guides visitors through the free areas of Ghibli Park
The free area of Ghibli Park actually refers to the area inside Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park that is outside the Ghibli Park area.
In fact, Ghibli Park occupies only a small percentage of the vast Expo Park.
The area introduced in this article will be the area related to Ghibli Park within the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park.
This article is especially recommended for the following people.
- People who are in Japan and don’t have tickets yet but want to experience the atmosphere of Ghibli Park
- People who are in Japan and have not yet obtained tickets, but would like to go and see what the place is like.
- People who want to have a good preview (^^) for a full-fledged trip to Ghibli Park.
Flat person drawn by a Canadian elementary school student
The person who will serve as our guide to the free areas of Ghibli Park in this article is Flat Person, a Canadian elementary school student.
A teacher at an elementary school in Canada offered to help us with the Flat Person Project, and we decided to take Flat Person, a boy, to Ghibli Park.
Come to think of it, we haven’t been to Canada either…. I hope we can go there someday.
He loves the works of Studio Ghibli, and although I have never seen his actual face, as far as I can tell from his alter ego, Flat Person, he is a handsome 10-year-old guy with a bright future ahead of him.
First flat person to visit Ghibli Park?
As I was writing, I was thinking, isn’t this the first flat person to visit Ghibli Park?
I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but it was fun to experience something completely unknown.
It is a pity that we could not enter the Ghibli Grand Warehouse together because it was a time when tickets for Ghibli Park were not available at all, but still, I think I can convey just the atmosphere of Ghibli Park.
Now, let’s go to the Ghibli Park free area ramble with a flat person＼(^o^)／.
Please note that the images shown were taken between February and March 2023.
Directions to Ghibli Park
The starting point is where you get off at “Aichi Expo ’70 Commemorative Park Station” on the Linimo Railway.
You will get off at “Love Expo ’70 Commemorative Park Station” by connecting the subway and Linimo Railway.
For information on how to get to Linimo Station from Nagoya, the terminal station from Tokyo and Osaka, please refer to the following page. Please refer to the following page.
Linimo stations are all Ghibli!
Let’s start with the Linimo station.
Maybe the display will eventually be changed, but the Linimo station is all about Ghibli Park.
Even though the platform you get off at is not that much, it is still exciting even before the ticket gate.
The theme image commonly displayed on this web page was taken from a large illustrated map in front of this station.
If you look at the display a little more, everyone’s favorite cat bus! also welcomes you.
Now, leave the Linimo station and go to the entrance of Ghibli Park.
From the Ghibli Park gate to the elevator tower!
Just outside the station, you will see the gates of Ghibli Park.
This is the entrance gate to Ghibli Park and also the entrance to the Love Expo Commemorative Park (a.k.a. Moricoro Park).
And this gate is in the background. It also serves as the gate to the Expo 2005 Aichi Japan Commemorative Park.
Reliefs in Ghibli Park have history
Reliefs commemorating the founding and milestone events of this Commemorative Park are embedded in the gateposts below the gate.
The entire park was built in 1970, and since the World Exposition was held in 2005, there are reliefs from that time.
The park is commonly known as “Moricoro Park” in honor of the World Exposition.
There is a relief of the following year that seems to commemorate the creation of the common name.
And then there is the relief of Ghibli Park.
This is the newest and closest to the station, so it should be easy to find.
The wrapping of the Linimo Railway is also noteworthy!
Once you have photographed the gate in front of you, turn around for a moment.
If you got off early, look up at the trains that are still parked.
Depending on the operating schedule, you may be able to see a Ghibli Park wrapped train.
They pass by every few minutes, so if you have time, check out the vehicle designs.
Each one is different and fun.
Elevator tower in Ghibli Park
After passing through the gate, walk straight ahead and you will see a convenience store (Lawson) and restrooms on your right.
There are few places to buy drinks beyond this point, so be prepared if you don’t have enough.
Then on your left you will see a souvenir shop.
It is unfortunate that we were not able to take pictures of the interior of this place, but about half of the store is filled with Ghibli goods.
There are plush toys, pochettes, key chains, postcards, etc., so feel free to take a peek.
However, there is “Donguri Republic” selling Studio Ghibli goods all over Japan, so if you are planning to visit there, you may not need to buy anything here by force.
The above page URL can be translated into Goole’s website to confirm the store’s location.
Then go out into the large field toward the elevator tower and take the elevator down.
Looking back, the elevator tower in Ghibli Park looks like this.
This elevator tower is a landmark of Ghibli Park and has a symbolic presence.
Before getting off the elevator, you can go around to the back side and look around the entire park.
We then head to the Great Warehouse of Ghibli.
Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse and its vicinity
As I mentioned earlier, we were unable to obtain tickets and did not enter the “Grand Warehouse of Ghibli” at this time of year.
As you know, it is very popular…(T_T) We could not get tickets!
There is a great deal of information about the “Grand Warehouse of Ghibli” from people who have been there, so I will leave it to them to tell you what it is like inside.
However, you may be wondering what kind of place it is.
First of all, it is straight from the elevator tower to the back.
The Great Ghibli Warehouse can be seen on the right.
Take a peek around the entrance and exit area.
And across the pond looking back, you can see the buildings of the Youth Hill area.
The hill area of youth (behind the ^^;)
This image shows the view of the “Hill of Youth” area from the pond, with the Ghibli Grand Warehouse in the background.
Unfortunately, we were also unable to obtain tickets for the Youth Hill area, so we will only be able to see the area from the outside.
It is somewhat far from where the picture was taken from above, but can be reached in a relatively short time by crossing the water’s edge, where large stones are placed from the edge of the pond toward the back of the house as seen from the entrance.
See the second phase of construction at Ghibli Park
Next, return to the wide walkway next to the Ghibli Grand Warehouse and look to your left.
You will see the area under construction for the second phase of Ghibli Park, which is also used in the main image on this web site.
Even if you get closer, you cannot see inside because of the wall, but you can clearly see the structures in the Valley of Witches area sticking out above.
The photo was taken in February-March 2023, so it may be nearing completion or finished by the time you all get there.
Currently there is no place to eat with family or friends, but it appears that once the second phase of construction is complete, a cafeteria that can accommodate a large group of people will be in operation.
If so, I am also interested in the menu. By the way, please check the following page for current information.
However, we usually eat outside at this park as if we were having a picnic, so I’m not sure if it is very attractive or not.
However, I would like to report on it when we enter the park.
Road to Dondoko Forest in Ghibli Park
As mentioned in another article, the total area of the first phase of Ghibli Park, which is currently open, is only 0.071 km², or 3.6% of the total area of Aichi EXPO Coomemorative Park.
Although it is said that the entire Ghibli Park is large because it is built on a vast area of land, this is not strictly true.
However, walking along the path from the Ghibli Grand Warehouse to the Dondoko Forest area, it would not be wrong to say that the entire Ghibli Park is large.
Perhaps it is because I knew the Expo 2005 Aichi Prefecture Memorial Park before the Ghibli Park was built, but the sidewalks are beautifully and in some places roughly (?) maintained, and the walk is enjoyable. It is fun to walk on the sidewalks.
If I could walk in the park with the height of a child, I would feel like Satsuki and Mei from “My Neighbor Totoro”.
A gateway to another world as seen in Spirited Away?
Now let’s head into the forest, even though we don’t have admission tickets.
As soon as you walk from the Ghibli Grand Warehouse, you will see a scene that looks like something you have seen somewhere before.
That’s right. It is the entrance to the other world of Spirited Away (sorry if you haven’t seen it).
When I first saw this gate, it had an impact. It was because it was a high level of reproduction.
To be precise, I would say it was not so much the level of reproduction, but rather that it created the atmosphere of the movie so well.
I could sense Director Miyazaki’s attention to detail.
The gate is accessed by stairs, but there is a ramp at a short distance to the left of the gate.
Strollers and wheelchairs can also go up.
Another Spirited Away object through the gate
This gate is popular among visitors, and some elderly people were happily taking commemorative photos.
We were taking a commemorative photo with Mr. R, who is a man of few words, but some may be surprised and delighted by the objects beyond the gate.
The official name of the object at the end of the gate is “frog stone” or “frog man (in Japanese way of calling Ajin)” or “man stone”, but how do you describe it in English?
Please let me know if you know.
This is also a popular spot, so it is difficult to take pictures without including other people, but it is a good place to take commemorative photos with your family or friends.
Totoro’s lost and found?
Let’s go past this “frogman” and take the gentle slope to the right.
You will feel like you are entering a thickly wooded forest.
This path (without a ticket (T_T)) leads to the forest.
In the middle of the road, there is an object that looks like Totoro’s lost and found.
A little girl coming from behind us explained to her mother, “Totoro must have dropped it!”
She was explaining to her mother.
“Holy moly, she’s agonizingly cute!”
Canadian flat person, on the other hand…
His expression remained unchanged and he was at peace. He was reassuring even as we moved into the darkness.
The path to the Dondoko Forest is well designed with walking decks, stone stairs, and wide tree-lined paths that make the most of the natural surroundings.
Buses come by every once in a while on the tree-lined streets, so don’t stray from the course.
We, who did not know what was going on, were warned by the security guard (sorry).
Between May and October, you will probably sweat a little by the time you get to Dondokodo, so it is a light workout.
Dondoko Dokoro where you can also shop
Then we arrived at Dondokotoko, another quite popular spot.
This building has the atmosphere of a resting place that used to be found in the mountains and along the roads of old Japan.
Here you can buy drinks, amulets, and other small goods.
Ramune and dondoko candies (a bit Expensive ^^;) available
Some of the goods are also sold at the Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, although some of them are available only in Dondoko.
I think it changes depending on the time of year, but specifically ramune and umbrellas.
I know many of you probably don’t know what Ramune is, so let me explain…
It is soda water in a glass bottle, a drink whose bottle structure has not changed significantly over the past 80 years.
The bottle structure is unusual in that the opening is usually done with a bottle opener or screw cap, but with this Ramune, the drinking spout is blocked by a glass ball, which is opened mainly by pushing a plastic bottle opener into it.
It is sold at Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse and Dondokodo for about 200 yen, and although it is inexpensive and easy to obtain, it is advisable to ask a shopkeeper to show you how to open the bottle when you actually drink it.
— Star wood (@accessLabo) November 26, 2022
On the other hand, there are some goods that are only sold here…
Last year, we bought some Dondoko candies.
This is… well, I don’t want to complain because it is a souvenir, but it costs 540 yen for 6 pieces.
Japanese candy at 90 yen per piece.
That’s a little too expensive! I thought, but I wanted to buy some Ghibli Park souvenirs, so I decided to go with this.
By the way, I tried it…it was a candy.
But it was tasty in its own way＼(^o^)／ = That’s right.
The Japanese garden in Commemorative Park is also lovely!
We would like to go to Dondoko Forest next, but we do not have tickets, so please stop by the Japanese garden near Dondok Dokoro if you can afford it.
The “G” menu in the upper right corner allows English translation.
We did not go there this time, but when we went there before, you can enjoy pure Japanese style matcha green tea and sweets.
I recommend the Japanese matcha because of the beautiful containers.
As for the tea and sweets, reservations are not required and the price is reasonable at 700 yen, so if you are interested, please go there.
That’s how we toured the free areas of Ghibli Park with the flatperson.
It was worth my effort to take pictures of the Flat Persons, as they seemed to be enjoyed by Canadian, the author of the Flat Persons themselves.
However, I made a mistake.
Just as we were heading back to Ajin from Dondokodo, the flat person, disappeared.
I never bullied him, so I guess he liked this park so much that he slipped away…
I went back to the road and checked, but could not find him.
I hope he has been picked up by someone nice or is living free in the woods, but I would appreciate any information if you see him walking around this free area in the same way.
Well, I thought I had a pleasant trip with Canadian flat person, but I didn’t know there would be a surprise at the end.
Nevertheless, I would like to thank Canadian flat person and his teacher for suggesting such an enjoyable experience.
In summary, if you don’t want to take pictures with the characters and souvenirs unique to the park, I think you will be able to enjoy Ghibli Park even in the free area.
Thank you for reading to the end.
* Revisions have been made since the initial release on April 4 and re-released in May.