Free Areas Inside Ghibli Park: Video Introduction
This video, titled "Ghibli Park - Want to Go Without a Ticket? Learn About Free Areas You Can Enjoy (November 1, 2022)" (「ジブリパーク」チケットなしでも行きたい！無料で楽しめるスポットも【あらいーな】(2022年11月1日)), was uploaded by "ANNnewsCH."
Ghibli Park is a theme park opened by Studio Ghibli in November 2022, and is located at Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park (Moricoro Park) in Nagakute, Aichi. As the park states, "It's a park that expresses the world of Ghibli, created together with the forest," and there are no major attractions or rides. However, it's a dreamlike place, and as you walk around and explore the lush greenery of the park, you'll have chances to meet popular characters like Totoro!
Each area requires a reservation and a ticket for a specific date and time, but there are also free areas that can be enjoyed without a ticket. Be sure to read along to learn more about the free areas at Ghibli Park.
How to Buy Tickets for Ghibli Park in 2022
Ghibli Park opened on November 1, 2022. There are free areas, but designated areas require a ticket for a specific date and time, which must be reserved in advance. As initially anticipated, the park has been extremely popular, and as of mid-November 2022, tickets for January 2023 are already hard to come by.
The ticket sales process has changed for the February 2023 admission, which went on sale on November 10, 2023. The lottery system will end and tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis from the 10th of each month until the day of admission. In addition to Boo-Woo tickets, which are purchased online, tickets can also be purchased with Loppi terminals at Lawson and Ministop convenience stores across Japan.
※Please check the official website for ticket types, admission time slots, and prices.
Introducing Free Areas at Ghibli Park + Other Highlights
Naturally, some people are going to be disappointed that they couldn't get tickets. However, Ghibli Park also has many areas where visitors can have fun for free. You can even get some popular Ghibli souvenirs! Let's check out some of the exciting free areas below.
◆Ghibli Park Main Gate
The Main Gate can be found right after you get off at the nearest station, Ai-Chikyuhaku-Kinen-Koen Station. There are Ghibli Park logos on the pillars of the gate, making it a popular photo spot for instagrammers.
Rotunda Kazegaoka is a round-shaped building located beyond the main gate of Ghibli Park. In addition to a café with a Japanese-style interior where you can enjoy light meals, Ghibli goods and souvenirs are also available for purchase.
The Elevator Tower is inspired by the imaginary scientific world of the late 19th century, like Laputa: Castle in the Sky and Howl's Moving Castle, and visitors can experience the world of Ghibli while riding the elevator. The composition with the light from the street lamps at dusk and the elevator tower is sure to be great for taking photos!
[Video] 2:18 - Elevator Tower
◆World Emporium in the Hill of Youth Area
The World Emporium is located in the Hill of Youth area and was featured in the movie Whisper of the Heart. Although a reservation ticket is required to enter the building, the exterior of the building can be enjoyed without a ticket, so be sure to take some photos. Don't miss the small building next to it, the office of the cat from "The Cat Returns."
◆The Cave Under the World Emporium in the Hill of Youth Area
Do you remember the scene in Whisper of the Heart where the main character searches for a jewel in a tunnel while dreaming? This is the spot where that cave is recreated, and the countless shining stones are simply beautiful.
[Video] 3:40 - The Cave Under the World Emporium
◆The 'Lost Article Benches' at Ghibli Park
Several of the benches in the park are decorated with objects that resemble lost articles of characters from Ghibli's works. There are 15 "Lost Article Benches" in the park, so visitors can have fun strolling around the park while searching for them.
[Video] 2:55 - A "Lost Article Bench" With a Student Bags and Cap, Themed After "From Up on Poppy Hill"
◆The Red Gate
The Red Gate was relocated and restored from a traditional Japanese-style restaurant in Nagoya City. Inside the gate, which fits perfectly with the world of Spirited Away, is a statue of a stone man from the scene at the beginning of the movie where Chihiro wanders into the mysterious town. Visitors can also enjoy this statue free of charge and are encouraged to take pictures with it.
◆Satsuki and Mei's House
The Dondokoro Forest area, where Satsuki and May's house from "My Neighbor Totoro" is located, requires a reserved ticket for a specific date and time, but you can see the exterior from the free area with an elevator building in the vicinity.
Located at the entrance of the Dondoko Forest Area, Dondoko-doro is a souvenir shop open to everyone free of charge. The shop sells many goods related to My Neighbor Totoro, which will have you picking up souvenirs left and right!
[Video] 4:18 - Dondoko-doro
Popular Ghibli Goods & Souvenirs at Ghibli Park's Free Areas
There are two places in the free areas where you can buy souvenirs of Ghibli goods: Rotunda Kazegaoka and Dondoko-dokoro. Here are some popular souvenirs available at each. Lots of limited-edition goods full of ingenuity based on Ghibli works can be found in the shops! Be sure to pick up a souvenir to commemorate your visit.
[Rotunda Kazegaoka] ※Tax-included prices as of November 2022.
Straw hat (Mei Kusakabe, Tatsuo Kusakabe, Ursula, Sophie, Shizuku Tsukishima) 3,300 yen+
Frixion ballpoint pen: 1,320 yen
Limex pens (pink and blue): 550 yen each
Plantable pencils (11 types including Daisy, Sunflower, Basil, etc.): 715 yen each
Wooden ruler: 495 yen
Kodama moss pet: 1,540 yen
Porco Rosso Savoia soft glider: 825 yen
Levistone soap bubbles: 770 yen
Teacups: 1,320 yen
Hand towels: 1100 yen
Pin badges: 715 yen
Stickers: 385 yen
[Dondoko-dokoro] ※Prices include tax as of November 2022.
Dondoko candy: 540 yen
Dondoko umbrellas: 1980 yen+
Bench-patterned vinyl umbrella 2200 yen ※Limited to Rotunda Kazegaoka
Hand towels: 2,200 yen
Bird calls: 1980 yen
Very ordinary ramune 200 yen
Also, Breitling's limited edition Porco Rosso-themed wristwatch, a popular souvenir at Ghibli Park, costs 1,199,000 yen (tax included)! It appears to be available at the store in Ghibli's Grand Warehouse Shop.
Enjoy Ghibli-Themed Lunches at Ghibli Park! Introducing Cafes Where You Can Enjoy Lunch and Tea Time
There are three places to eat and drink in Ghibli Park: Transcontinental Flight Cafe, Dagashi Nekokaburi Hime, and Milk Stand Sibelli An in Ghibli's Grand Warehouse Shop.
The concept of Transcontinental Flight Cafe was inspired by the image of guests resting their wings after exploring Ghibli's Grand Warehouse Shop. The menu features sandwiches, pizza, and sweets inspired by foods that require only one hand to eat while flying, just like the many long-distance flight pilots in Ghibli's works. The highly reputed sandwiches come with 10 different types of flags with randomly chosen illustrations drawn by Hayao Miyazaki. Many people want to collect all of them as souvenirs, making the sandwiches very popular with visitors.
[Video] 1:21 - Transcontinental Flight Café
In addition to nostalgic old-fashioned sweets, the "very ordinary ramune" with a label designed by director Goro Miyazaki is also popular at Dagashi Nekokaburi Hime, which resembles a retro Showa-period shopping arcade.
At the kiosk-style store Milk Stand Sibelli An, visitors can enjoy "Sibera," a triangular snack made of sponge cake and yokan (a traditional Japanese confection made from red bean paste), which was eaten by Jiro Horikoshi, the main character in the film The Wind Rises. If you're feeling hungry after walking around the spacious park, consider relaxing with some tasty sweets!
Summary of Free Areas at Ghibli Park
You might have thought that a theme park should have attractions and rides, but this Ghibli theme park has an awesome atmosphere without them! Many fans of Ghibli have commented on this as well, saying how they love the park's natural setting and the atmosphere. Ghibli lovers and even those who are not familiar with Ghibli are sure to have a wonderful time at the park, which shows Studio Ghibli's attitude of respecting nature. If you watched Ghibli movies growing up, you'll definitely get a blast of nostalgia here! If you can't get tickets, be sure to check out these free spots!
【Official Website】Ghibli Park
【TripAdvisor】Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park