japantoday– For the last six years, the Ghibli Expo has been traveling around Japan, delighting fans in nearly a dozen venues that have hosted the artistic celebration of the studio’s anime films. The next stop on the tour is Aichi Prefecture, but bittersweetly it’s also the last stop on the tour.
The Ghibli Expo will be coming to a close when it finishes its upcoming run at the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art in the city of Nagakute. Still, that knowledge can only put so much of a damper on the excitement and wonder visitors will feel as they gaze upon the exhibits, such as a gigantic recreation of “My Neighbor Totoro’s” Catbus (top photo).
Moving to non-feline-based modes of transportation, Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki’s lifelong love of aviation is reflected in the inventive lineup of aircraft that soar through the skies of his films. Several of the most famous will be on display as large-scale models in the exhibition’s Flying Machines of Studio Ghibli installation, with the crown jewel being the airship from the opening scene of Castle in the Sky, complete with rotating propellers.
▼ Aircraft from “Porco Rosso” and “The Wind Rises” will also be on display.
The Poster Room portion of the expo is a practice in understatement. Yes, it’s where you’ll see theatrical posters for the various Ghibli films, but there’s also a wealth of production sketches and illustrations collected from the past 35 years of Ghibli history, some of which were never displayed to the public prior to the expo
Totoro himself will also be on-site to greet guests at the Totoro Bar. While no drinks are served, the countertop lounge is a recreation of the one inside the Studio Ghibli office in suburban Tokyo, where staff hold casual, intimate meetings.
And last, the Ghibli Warehouse is a collection of memorable merchandise and published books related to the studio’s animated works.
The Ghibli Expo at the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art starts on July 17, with tickets only available by pre-purchase (online reservations start here on June 1). It’s scheduled to run until Sept 23, but the good news is that once it finishes that still might not mean goodbye forever. The expo’s “Ghibli Warehouse” portion sounds similar to the “Ghibli’s Giant Warehouse” section that will be part of the Ghibli Park theme park set to open in Aichi in 2022, so there’s a good chance that once the expo winds down the items on display will be headed to a permanent home inside the park.