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Ghibli Park to add rideable Catbuses, ‘Princess Mononoke’ village and more

Ghibli Park Catbus
via HBO Max Family

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    Visitors of Japan’s Ghibli Park can look forward to the addition of Catbuses and attractions from “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Princess Mononoke.”

    The popular theme park will reportedly collaborate with Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota to create six rideable Catbuses. The special electric vehicles (EVs), inspired by the grinning 12-legged cat in “My Neighbor Totoro,” will carry six people at a time and be released later this year, according to reports.

    To create the Catbuses, Toyota will reportedly use the Toyota APM, which was originally created for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, as the base. Special wrapping and other features will be used to help the EVs look more like the popular fictional feline.

    Ghibli Park visitors should also keep an eye out for other new attractions, such as Hatter’s Hat Shop and a “Princess Mononoke” playground.

    The former, which is owned by the character Sophie Hatter in “Howl’s Moving Castle,” will be built in an area of Ghibli Park named Valley of the Witches. The two-story hat shop will reportedly open in spring 2024 and feature a workshop inside.

    Meanwhile, fans of “Princess Mononoke” can look forward to Mononoke Village, an area of the theme park that will include playground equipment based on the boar god Okkoto featured in the hit 1997 film. 

    Ghibli Park, which is inspired by the beloved films of Hayao Miyazaki and his renowned animation studio, first opened on Nov. 1, 2022 and is located in Aichi Expo Memorial Park in Nagakute, Aichi. 

    The park was built at a cost of 34 billion yen (approximately $232 million), and all five areas of the park are expected to open later this year. So far, it already includes attractions such as the Grand Warehouse, the Hill of Youth and Dondoko Forest.


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