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Ghibli Park's Newest Area Brings Howl's Moving Castle and Kiki's Delivery Service to Life

by Richard Eisenbeis,

Richard Eisenbeis
Late last year, we went down to Ghibli Park in Aichi prefecture to explore its recently opened Princess Mononoke area. This year, we see the addition of a new area to the experience-driven theme park: The Valley of Witches. Inside this massive new area are locations pulled straight out of Ghibli films Howl's Moving Castle, Earwig and the Witch, and Kiki's Delivery Service.

From Howl's Moving Castle

Richard Eisenbeis
Richard Eisenbeis

Howl's Castle

Howl's Castle from Howl's Moving Castle is the crown jewel of the Valley of Witches. The structure is absolutely massive. The outside is covered in tiny details and you can not only walk around it but go inside it as well.


As with most attractions in both the Valley of Witches and Ghibli Park in general, you are not allowed to take pictures or videos while inside (though the park has provided a few promotional photos on their website). Instead, you are encouraged to simply marvel at the recreations of places like the living room and bathroom along with Howl's bedroom and study.

Richard Eisenbeis

Hatter's Millinery

Also from Howl's Moving Castle, the Hatter's Millinery is a recreation of the hat shop that Sophie manages. Inside, you can not only see Sophie's workshop but also buy hats (and candies). There's even a small bookshop on the second floor.


From Earwig and the Witch

Richard Eisenbeis

The Mouth of the Witch

Just outside the entrance to the Valley of Witches is this giant sculpture of Bella Yaga from Earwig and the Witch. Its gaping maw serves as a tunnel that leads to the park gates and a slide for children to play on.

Richard Eisenbeis
Richard Eisenbeis

House of Witches

The closest attraction to the main gate of the area is Bella Yaga's house. From the outside, it is a rather unassuming place with a well-kept front yard and your typical clothesline in the back yard.


However, on the inside, you can see things like the library (which seems far too large for such a small house) and Bella Yaga's workshop—a messy room covered in many strange and unknown magical ingredients. You can also check out Earwigs room—though it is strikingly more normal than the rest of the house.

From Kiki's Delivery Service

Richard Eisenbeis
Richard Eisenbeis

The Okino Residence

Another deceptively normal-looking attraction is the "The Okino Residence"—i.e., Kiki's home before she starts training as a witch. On the outside, you can walk around the house and look inside the carriage-house-turned-storage room.


On the inside, aside from the herb-covered Witch's Shop area, it's mostly a normal house with a living room, kitchen, and bedrooms. What's cool about this particular attraction is that you can touch everything within (barring one side of a single room). You can open every drawer and cabinet, and find it full with one thing or another. It gives you a peek into Kikki's family and what kind of environment she grew up in.

Richard Eisenbeis
Richard Eisenbeis

Guchokipanya Bakery

This is the Bakery where Kiki lives for the majority of the film. You can go into the bakery and buy bread (and this was the longest line in the park on opening day).


However, what's really cool is that you can also go around the back of the shop. There you can see Kiki's clothes hanging on the clothesline and even check out the nearby outhouse. You can also climb the outside stairs and go into her bedroom.

Richard Eisenbeis
Richard Eisenbeis

Besides the attractions above, Valley of Witches includes a gift shop, two restaurants, a Castle in the Sky flying machine carnival ride, and a Ghibli-themed carousel. There are also ruins and a tower or two to explore.

Richard Eisenbeis
If you're planning to come to Japan and hope to visit Ghibli Park, be sure to buy your tickets ASAP via the official Ghibli Park website. You will not be able to buy tickets on the day of your visit (and tickets often sell out up to two months in advance). Also, if you want to be able to enter the actual buildings like Howl's Castle, you'll need to buy the more expensive “Ghibli Park O-Sanpo Day Pass Premium.” Though to be clear, it's worth the price.

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