Enter the World Of My Neighbor Totoro in Japan’s Oita and Miyazaki Prefectures

14.August.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

My Neighbor Totoro is one of Studio Ghibi’s most celebrated animated feature films, adored by people around the world. If you’ve visited Japan, you’re bound to have run into something Totoro-related, but did you know there’s actually several locations in Kyushu which takes it to the next level, bringing the world of the film to life?

 

Today, we are joined by Rie who posts her Kyushu travels on her Instagram page. She has provided us with photos of these amazing spots, which are must-visits for Totoro fans, along with her thoughts.

 

Tataragi Bus Stop | Hita, Oita Prefecture

When you roll up to Tataragi Bus Stop (多々良木バス停) in Oita’s city of Hita, you are welcomed by a giant piece of wall art made into the moss that grows on the wall. This bus stop is actually a stop used exclusively by school buses, so ordinary people can’t actually catch a bus here. And unfortunately, you won’t see any cat buses running down the street if you wait long enough in the rain, but it’s still a must-visit for fans.

Address: Amagasemachi Gota, Hita, Oita, Japan (In Japanese: 大分県日田市天瀬町合田)

 

Totoro’s Forest | Saiki, Oita Prefecture

This area is visited by many tourists and sightseers throughout the year because of how similar it looks to something from My Neighbor Totoro. There is a small park near the bus stop which is known as Totoro no Mori (Totoro’s Forest).

Being surrounded by nature, enveloped by the green trees and foliage, makes you feel like Mei and Satsuki from the movie. It’s like being transported back to my childhood. It’s a strange place that makes you feel nostalgic even if it’s your first time visiting.

Address: 1368 Ume Oaza Minamitabaru, Saiki-shi, Oita Prefecture (In Japanese: 大分県佐伯市宇目大字南田原轟1368)

 

Takahara, Miyazaki Prefecture

The next spot I want to show you is where an ordinary person made their very own Totoro statue. If you hold up an umbrella in the rain you can take a photo that recreates that one scene from te movie. There is a sign nearby the statue with a caution written on it as the Totoro is actually inside a family garden. When visiting to take a photo, please make sure to follow the caution and not cause any trouble for people in the neighbouring area.

Address: 7538-6 Kamamuta, Takaharu, Nishimorokata-gun, Miyazaki Prefecture (In Japanese: 宮崎県西諸島県群高原町大字蒲牟田7538-6)

 

Rie posts photos of all her visits around Kyushu on Instagram, so if you’re thinking of ever visiting there, be sure to follow her for ideas on where to go.

 

Photos by Rie

*The information listed in this article is correct at the time of publishing

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    14.May.2020 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    The official Studio Ghibli merchandise store Donguri Kyowakoku and its online shop Sora no Ue is releasing a new line of seven vintage glasses starting from mid-May this year.

     

    The first line was released back in May 2019 and was a huge hit amongst Studio Ghibli fans. The collection is reminiscent of American comics in its designs.

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    A new collection of summer themed Japanese trinkets have been released at branches of the official Studio Ghibli shop Donguri Kyowakoku and its online store Sora no Ue in Japan, including five different folding fans based on My Neighbor TotoroKiki’s Delivery Service, and Spirited Away.

    Sensu Folding Fans: ¥2,980 Each (Before Tax)

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    Pouch Bags (2 Designs): ¥1,800 Each (Before Tax)

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    My Neighbor Totoro Wind Chime: ¥3,200 (Before Tax)

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  • New Planetarium Project in Oita Prefecture Highlights Sushi, Not Stars

    30.September.2022 | SPOT

    In Saiki City, located in the southernmost part of Oita Prefecture, visitors will find a unique project. For a limited time, guests can enjoy a sushi-netarium, where sushi–not stars–will be featured in the sky. Saiki City, where the event takes place, is a treasure trove of seafood thanks to the Bungo Channel and boasts the largest catch in Oita Prefecture. It’s also known as Oita’s premier sushi destination, with more than 350 varieties of ocean delicacies to enjoy each year. Saiki Sushi, made from fresh local fish, is known for its firm texture and for having just the right amount of fat. To promote this tasty dish throughout Japan, the interactive sushi-netarium promotion was created!

    A Planetarium Experience Featuring Soothing Music and a Sky Filled with Sushi

    The sushi-netarium is said to have a relaxing effect comparable to that of Beppu Onsen, the most famous tourist attraction in Oita. Those taking part will be able to see not only a sky filled with sushi, but a sushi meteor shower and the Gari Borealis. As you watch, it might become impossible not to crave sushi! Visitors will be able to take part in this special viewing at certain locations in Beppu City and at Oita Airport from September 22 until November 30. In a public announcement, the city invited guests to eat plenty of tasty local food and soak in the Beppu Onsen before enjoying the sushi-netarium to wrap up a wonderful day. 

     

    The Beautiful ‘Sushi Projector’

    Check out these impressive projectors made exclusively for the sushi-netarium! These original sushi projectors in the shape of Saiki sushi are the only five such projectors in the world and come in the shapes of tuna, yellowtail, octopus, egg, and shrimp. 

     

    Come enjoy this strange sushi-centric activity in the south of Japan! Participating facilities are listed on the website below.

  • Ghibli Park Gives First Look at Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse Ahead of November Opening Date

    21.September.2022 | ANIME&GAME / MOVIE / SPOT

    Ghibli Park Phase 1 will open to the public on November 1 in Nagakute City, Aichi Prefecture at Moricoro Park within the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park. Ahead of the exciting day, fans are getting their first glimpse at the Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse area!

     

    For those looking to immerse themselves in the world of Ghibli, look no further. Phase 1 will see the opening of a theater, a shop, a cafe, and three unique exhibits. 

     

     

    Cinema Orion

    The theater will screen ten short films that were previously only available to watch at the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo. 

    Trio of Special Exhibitions

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    The on-site store and cafe will also be selling original products only available at the park. A new trailer has been released for the park as well, showing what fans can look forward to in November. Tickets for Ghibli Park will go on sale on the 10th of each month and are reservation-only, with a date and time assigned for each area. Lottery sales for December admission will run from September 10 until September 21 at 23:59.

    © Studio Ghibli

  • Hot Topic and Studio Ghibli Collab Project HARAJUKU COLLECTIVE Gets Pop-Up Store in Harajuku

    17.August.2022 | FASHION / MOVIE / SPOT

    HARAJUKU COLLECTION, a Studio Ghibli-inspired apparel collection by popular American counterculture chain Hot Topic, is offering licensed Ghibli goods for fans in the U.S. and Canada. The collection opened its online store for those in Japan on August 10, and a limited time pop-up store has been opened in Harajuku to celebrate the release of this incredible apparel!

     

    Japan Original Items

     

    American Original Items

    The store has a colorful exterior that shows Totoro and the Susuwatari playing together. Once inside, guests will be greeted by a massive rainbow Totoro! The shop blends the world of Ghibli with the style of Harajuku.

     

    “If there were colorful and kawaii mushrooms in Totoro’s forest, and if it rained acorns one day, maybe he’d need a mushroom umbrella!” This colorful Totoro was inspired by this adorable thought.

     

    The walls are decorated with artwork drawn by the creators of the original Japanese items, and guests are able to see and purchase the products in this special space. Why not visit?

     

    © 1988 Studio Ghibli
    © 1989 Eiko Kadono – Studio Ghibli – N
    © 1997 Studio Ghibli – ND
    © 2001 Studio Ghibli – NDDTM
    © 2004 Studio Ghibli – NDDMT

  • HARAJUKU COLLECTIVE Apparel Collection to Bring Studio Ghibli Merch to Hot Topic in the U.S.

    23.July.2022 | FASHION / MOVIE

    HARAJUKU COLLECTION, a Studio Ghibli-inspired apparel collection by popular American counterculture chain Hot Topic, will be available in stores throughout the U.S. and Canada starting in August! These items will be available on the Hot Topic online store in Japan as well, and a limited-time pop-up shop is scheduled to open in Harajuku on August 10. This is the first time that one of Hot Topic’s apparel collections will be made available in Japan.

     

    HARAJUKU COLLECTIVE, an Apparel Collection from Studio Ghibli and Hot Topic

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    The lineup of Japan-original items includes T-shirts, tote bags, and other items featuring exclusive artwork by up-and-coming creators. These items depict beloved characters from Studio Ghibli’s works, as well as logos created for the collaboration. This will be the first time these creators will be releasing items inspired by the famed animation studio, so expect to find a new vision of Studio Ghibli’s world!

     

    HARAJUKU COLLECTIVE Limited Time Pop-up Store to Open in Harajuku

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  • The Toshio Suzuki and Studio Ghibli Exhibition Opens in Tokyo

    07.July.2022 | MOVIE / SPOT

    The Toshio Suzuki and Studio Ghibli Exhibition finally opened on July 1, 2022 at Warehouse Terrada in Shinagawa, Tokyo. 

     

    First held at Kanda Myojin in 2019, the reception for the exhibition was incredible, and after popping up in Nagasaki and Kyoto, the newest Tokyo exhibition will be the first held in three years. It features significantly more exhibits and content, so Ghibli fans won’t want to miss it. 

     

    Toshio Suzuki, a producer at Studio Ghibli, has worked with both Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata on a number of beloved masterpieces. The exhibition will feature a large bookshelf housing 8,800 of Suzuki’s publications. Many of these were published before Suzuki joined Studio Ghibli, and guests are invited to see how the producer was inspired to join the legendary studio.

     

    This exhibition was realized after Suzuki himself proposed the idea of exhibiting his books for the first time following the 2019 event. The giant bookshelf containing 8,800 tomes was based on a brick-and-mortar store that once served as Suzuki’s ‘hideout.’

    The Massive Abura-ya Annex

    Chihiro’s Bathhouse – Chilled Footbath

    No-Face AR

     

    As a limited event, the Tokyo exhibition will also feature the Abura-ya Annex, a huge space that recreates the world of Spirited Away. Visitors can transform themselves into No-Face using AR or enjoy the Chilled Footbath after getting their fortunes told at the Yubaba and Zeniba Luck and Love Fortune Telling Corner. 

    8,800 of Toshio Suzuki’s Favorite Books

    Valuable Documents, Behind-the-Scenes Details, etc. 

     

    No-Face perches atop one of the many bookshelves at the exhibition, lost in a tome of his own. All 8,800 books were read by Suzuki, and all of them influenced the creator’s decision to join Studio Ghibli. The wallpaper was designed by William Morris, a favorite of the producer since his youth. Some of the books can be picked up and enjoyed, so be sure to flip through some of these inspiring pages!

     

    Rare materials and copy that led to many of the studio’s blockbuster hits are all on display, and visitors can trace the secret story behind the establishment of Studio Ghibli and how the company created everything from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind to their latest release Earwig and the Witch. Suzuki is known for his incredible scripts, such as the many lines he wrote for the title character in The Tale of Princess Kaguya.

     

    On June 30, an opening ceremony was held with Suzuki in attendance. “I’ve stored away so many items that have been important to me in my life, and while it can be somewhat embarrassing to have them on display, I’m glad that so many can appreciate them,” he said. “My dream was to collect all the books I’ve read over the past 70 years and display them in one room. I was so happy when I realized that we could fit all 8,800 books in one space. I hope as many people as possible come to enjoy the exhibition.” 

  • Toshio Suzuki Studio Ghibli Exhibition Inspires Limited-Time Hotel Suite

    02.July.2022 | MOVIE / SPOT

    The Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa in Tokyo will offer a special suite inspired by the upcoming Toshio Suzuki Studio Ghibli Exhibition from July 1 until August 31, 2022. This will include tickets to the exhibition, which will take place at Warehouse Terrada in Shinagawa from July 1 until September 7. 

     

    Toshio Suzuki, a producer at Studio Ghibli, has worked with both Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata on a number of beloved masterpieces. The exhibition will feature a large bookshelf housing 8,800 of Suzuki’s publications and favorite tomes. Many of these were published before Suzuki joined Studio Ghibli, and guests are invited to see how the producer was inspired to join the legendary studio after working as an editor at a manga magazine. To commemorate the exhibition’s opening, this special suite is filled with books written by Suzuki along with other books that visitors may enjoy during their relaxing stay. 

     

    In the suite, guests will find a list of 106 books that influenced Suzuki the most. This list will be available to take home. Visitors will also find reproductions of Suzuki’s calligraphy. 

    ©TS ©Studio Ghibli

     

  • Studio Ghibli Secrets Revealed in Kyoto Exhibition Featuring Miyazaki Collaborator Toshio Suzuki

    28.April.2022 | MOVIE / SPOT

    The Toshio Suzuki and Ghibli Exhibition opened at The Museum of Kyoto on April 23, 2022.

     

    Toshio Suzuki, a producer at Studio Ghibli, has worked with both Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata on a number of beloved masterpieces. The exhibition will feature a large bookshelf housing 8,800 of Suzuki’s publications. Many of these were published before Suzuki joined Studio Ghibli, and guests are invited to see how the producer was inspired to join the legendary studio after working as an editor at a manga magazine. 

     

    This exhibition was realized after Suzuki himself proposed the idea of exhibiting his books for the first time. At the press preview, Suzuki made a statement. “My dream was to collect all the books I’ve read over the past 70 years and display them in one room. Today, I’m so happy to stand in the middle of it. On one hand, I’m amazed by how much there is. On the other hand, I feel like there could always be more.”

    ©TS ©Studio Ghibli

     

    The giant bookshelf containing 8,800 tomes was based on a brick-and-mortar store that once served as Suzuki’s ‘hideout.’ The wallpaper was designed by William Morris, a favorite of the producer since his youth. Among the many books on display, one area is lined with issues of Kinema Junpo, Japan’s oldest film magazine. Suzuki notes that he thought about throwing them out each time he moved, but luckily, he decided to keep them! Some issues are from the Taisho era and are incredibly valuable. If you want to read them yourself, you are welcome to do so at the exhibition!

    ©TS ©Studio Ghibli

     

    Many of Studio Ghibli’s most famous works were born from casual conversations between Isao Takahata, Hayao Miyazaki, and Toshio Suzuki. Suzuki has played a large role in film advertising, including many of the memorable posters and ads almost everyone has seen. He has always included each film’s most inspiring song in television ads, which has dramatically increased audience attendance. After all, who doesn’t love the music in Studio Ghibli films?

     

    What’s your favorite Ghibli film?

  • Toshio Suzuki and Studio Ghibli Exhibition Returns to Terrada Warehouse in Tokyo

    11.March.2022 | MOVIE / SPOT

    From July 1 until September 7, the Toshio Suzuki and Studio Ghibli Exhibition will be held at Warehouse Terrada in Shinagawa, Tokyo. The exhibition was first held in 2019 and is dedicated to Studio Ghibli’s co-founder and producer Toshio Suzuki. Following showings in Nagasaki and Kyoto, the event will come to Tokyo with bonus content including art and calligraphy by Suzuki himself.

     

     

    The theme of the exhibition this time is “Words that Inspired Toshio Suzuki”, with a new exhibit being a huge bookshelf with over 8,800 books and novels. Each of the books is believed to have influenced Suzuki in some way, so fans can gain a rare insight into what kinds of works shaped the producer’s way of thinking. The exhibit has the look and feel of Suzuki’s “hideout” spot Rengaya, where he broadcasts his radio series from.



    Another new exhibit is the Bath House area, which features a huge motif of the Bath House from Spirited Away

     

    Which Studio Ghibli film has had the biggest impact on you?

    ©TS ©Studio Ghibli

  • Studio Ghibli Theme Park to Open in Nagakute, Aichi Prefecture in November 2022

    01.February.2022 | Uncategorized

    The Aichi Prefectural Government announced that part of the Studio Ghibli theme park will open on November 1 in the city of Nagakute. 

     

    During the announcement, the first video and key visual of the park was released, both created by Studio Ghibli. The tourism video highlights the appeal of Aichi Prefecture and features local tourist spots, encouraging those visiting the theme park to also spend some time touring the prefecture.

     



    Three areas of the Ghibli Park will open on November 1 of this year: Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, the Hill of Youth, and Dondoko Forest. Two additional areas–Mononoke’s Village and the Valley of the Witches–are scheduled to open in November 2023.

     

    Ghibli no Daisoko (Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse)

    Three times the size of the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse will be an indoor area featuring shops, restaurants, ongoing exhibitions, and a small theater. An interactive area featuring oversized objects will allow visitors to feel as though they’ve stepped into Arrietty’s world, while another part of the space will recreate the sky garden from Laputa: Castle in the Sky. The Warehouse will also have a My Neighbor Totoro-inspired playground complete with Catbus.

     

    Seishun no Oka (Hill of Youth)

    Serving as the entrance to the park, the Hill of Youth features a yellow observation tower which will double as the main gate. The area will showcase the antique shop from Whisper of the Heart, featuring curiosities from films like Laputa: Castle in the Sky and Howl’s Moving Castle. The Hill of Youth will also feature a mini version of the Cat Bureau from the movie The Cat Returns.

     

    Dondoko Mori (Dondoko Forest)

    Dondoko Forest will feature Satsuki and Mei’s house from My Neighbor Totoro. A completely immersive experience, guests will notice that much of the local nature is intact–Miyazaki himself asked that no trees were to be cut down in the building of the park. 

     

    Which Ghibli film would you like to see brought to life at Ghibli Park?

     

     © Studio Ghibli

  • Studio Ghibli Announces Spirited Away 20th Anniversary Campaign

    25.June.2021 | FASHION / MOVIE

    In celebration of Spirited Away‘s 20th anniversary, Studio Ghibli’s official shop Donguri Kyowakoku and online shop Sora no Ue is holding a special campaign for the animated film.

     

    Studio Ghibli has created an original logo for the 20th anniversary featuring Chihiro riding on Haku when he turns into a dragon. It also features Noface at the bottom on the red bridge that leads to the mysterious bathhouse. The bridge itself includes the year of the film’s release ‘2001’ as well as this year. Noface has also taken on two forms to make up the ’20th.’

     

    More details on the campaign will be announced on a later date via official press releases and on the website and social channels of Donguri Kyowakoku.

  • Laputa: Castle in the Sky Crystal Necklace Inspired Accessory Collection Releases

    02.June.2021 | ANIME&GAME / FASHION / MOVIE

    Benelic released a new collection of seven accessories inspired by the crystal necklace and cube from Studio Ghibli’s animated film Laputa: Castle in the Sky at Donguri Kyowakoku stores and the online shop Sora no Ue in Japan at the end of May.

     

    The collection is part of the Studio Ghibli-themed “Pomponner” accessory series by Benelic. Pomponner is French for ‘doll oneself up’ or ‘get dolled up.’ It includes piercings, earrings, rings, and hairbands.

     

    The crystal has been made from blue semi-transparent epoxy, giving it a high quality look. It’s also glow in the dark, so leave it in a place with lots of sunlight and then put it somewhere dark where it will illuminate. The accessories are simple in design too so can be worn outdoors and at the office while still celebrating the Studio Ghibli classic.

     

    Laputa: Castle in the Sky Accessory Series

     

    Crystal Piercings & Earrings | ¥1,980 (Tax Included)

     

    Crystal and Cube Piercings & Earrings | ¥2,750 (Tax Included)

    Crystal Ring (Sizes: 11/13) | ¥1,980 (Tax Included)

     

    Crystal & Cube Ring (Sizes: 11/13) | ¥2,200

     

    Crystal Hairband | ¥1,540 (Tax Included)

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