In this article, we will discuss some real-life locations of Studio Ghibli movies. Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation studio that was founded in 1985 by director Hayao Miyazaki and producer Toshio Suzuki. The company’s name comes from the Italian word “ghibli,” which means “hot wind” or “blowing through.”
In addition to producing their own films, Studio Ghibli has also collaborated with Walt Disney Pictures on several animated features. Some include Princess Mononoke (1997), Spirited Away (2001), and Howl’s Moving Castle (2004). Equally, the Ghibli Studio amusement park recently opened. The following 12 locations are real-life places where scenes from some of your favorite Studio Ghibli movies were filmed:
Howl’s Moving Castle- Colmar, France
Howl’s Moving Castle is the first of the Real-life Locations of Studio Ghibli Movies worth visiting. The animated movie is set in Europe and inspired by the charming French town of Colmar.
The town features unique and intricate architecture with timber-framed houses, fairy-tale homes, and beautiful canals. The castle in Howl’s Moving Castle is inspired by the town’s landmark, La Petite Venise.
Spirited Away – Japan
Next on the list of Real-life Locations of Studio Ghibli Movies is Spirited Away. The inspiration behind this movie was the Japanese folktale “Bunraku”, which tells the story of a girl who is transformed into a pig and becomes lost in a strange land.
The movie was released in 2001 and was directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It has been praised for its beautiful animation, imaginative story, and memorable characters. The real-life location of Spirited Away is located in Japan’s Tochigi prefecture, near Lake Ashino (the setting for much of the film). This area has been used as inspiration for many other Studio Ghibli movies.
Some movies include Princess Mononoke (1997), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (2008), and From Up on Poppy Hill (2011). There are many reasons why you should visit this area if you’re interested in seeing where these movies were filmed:
You can take part in an organized tour that takes visitors around some key filming locations such as those mentioned above. Plus others such as Kamajii’s house where he lives with Chihiro after she loses her parents. Zeniba’s cottage where she lives with Yubaba. After losing her job due to Chihiro accidentally freeing all her workers from slavery. Haku’s cave where he lived until meeting Chihiro again after being turned into a river spirit. This was because of his love for her despite knowing she would never return his feelings due to being too young. At that time she was only 10 years old when they first met each other.
The iconic animation movie, Kiki’s Delivery Service, is based on a novel of the same name. The story revolves around Kiki, a young witch. She starts her delivery business with the help of a cat named Gigi in the stunning coastal town of Stockholm.
This movie is set in a large European metropolis (an amalgam of Stockholm and other cities) in a time period suggesting the 1950s. You ought to visit these Real-life Locations of Studio Ghibli Movies because this town is known for its beautiful architecture, well-preserved buildings from the past, and stunning waterfront.
Ponyo – Japan
Ponyo is a 2008 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The film tells the story of a goldfish princess who wants to become human after falling in love with a five-year-old boy named Sosuke, but her father opposes this idea because he fears humans will destroy the oceans.
The inspiration behind Ponyo was based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Little Mermaid”. The director wanted to create an underwater world where humans could live in harmony with nature. Then use renewable energy sources such as solar power or wind turbines instead of oil drilling platforms which would pollute the ocean environment.
In order for us humans not to destroy our planet we need to start thinking about our future generations! This is indeed one of the most-visited Real-life Locations of Studio Ghibli Movies.
The inspiration behind My Neighbor Totoro is very simple: Miyazaki’s childhood. He grew up in a rural area of Japan, surrounded by nature and friends who loved to play outside. In the film, you can see that Totoro lives in a treehouse. His forest friends are all animals (cats, raccoons and frogs).
The real-life location of this movie is Takatsuki City in Osaka Prefecture. It is about an hour away from Kyoto Station by train. It’s easy to get there as there are many trains running every day. So you won’t have any problems getting there! If you want some extra excitement then try going there at night when everything looks different than during daytime hours!
Princess Mononoke – Yakushima, Japan
Princess Mononoke is a movie about the conflict between humans and nature. The inspiration behind it comes from Hayao Miyazaki’s love of nature and his desire to protect it. Princess Mononoke was filmed in various locations throughout Japan. Some of the locations include the mountains near Mount Fuji and Lake Ashinoko on Shikoku Island. Here are some reasons why you should visit Real-life Locations of popular Studio Ghibli Movies:
You can visit places that inspired Studio Ghibli films! This will give you an even deeper appreciation for their work and what went into creating them.
They’re beautiful spots worth visiting even if they don’t have any connection with Studio Ghibli movies (though we think they do).
Porco Rosso is a 1992 animated film by Hayao Miyazaki. It’s about an Italian World War I fighter pilot who turns into a pig, and it’s set in the Adriatic Sea. The inspiration behind this movie came from the director himself. He wanted to make an action film that was also funny and romantic! The real-life location of Porco Rosso is the island of Rab (also called Rab Island or Rab Peninsula), Croatia.
It’s located off the coast of Italy and has been inhabited since prehistoric times. You can see lots of ancient ruins here! If you visit this place, there are many things you can do like go scuba diving or snorkelling around some beautiful coral reefs where you’ll find colorful fish swimming all around you!
Laputa- an island in the sky
Studio Ghibli’s first feature film, Castle in the Sky, is set in a majestic floating city known as Laputa. This breathtaking location doesn’t exist in reality but draws its roots from early European locations and architecture. The staff at Studio Ghibli created Laputa’s design from an amalgamation of castle designs from Europe and other cultures.
Whisper of the Heart – Tokyo, Japan
Whisper of the Heart is a masterpiece that tells the story of Shizuku, a young girl struggling to find her place in the world. The movie is set in Tokyo, Japan, and features some of the most iconic locations in the city, including the Seiseki Sakuragaoka train station and the Antique Store featured in the film, which is still operational to this day.
Only Yesterday is a heartwarming animation movie that takes place between Tokyo, where the main character Taeko grew up, and a rural town in the countryside, which was set in Yamagata.
The city is known for its stunning fields and picturesque scenery that amazingly complements the movie’s canvas. You should definitely add this location to your Real-life Locations of Studio Ghibli Movies
The Grave of the Fireflies is one of Studio Ghibli’s most gut-wrenching films set during the Second World War. The movie’s storyline is based on the story of a young boy and his younger sister, tragically succumbing to starvation and disease after the firebombing of Kobe. The city of Kobe is still haunted by the events of the war, and visiting it gives an insight into the scars carried and the resilience of the people who carry on
The Cat Returns – Tokyo
One of the Real-life Locations of Studio Ghibli Movies like Cat Returns is based on a Japanese novel called “The Baron’s Wife” by Aoi Hiiragi. It follows a girl named Haru who meets a cat that she believes is the King of Cats. She must marry him, but it turns out he just wants her help saving his kingdom from an evil witch.
The real-life location for this movie is in Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture, which is about an hour away from Tokyo by train or car. You can visit all the places featured in The Cat Returns including:
The Royal Palace of Jellalabad (pictured above) where Haru lives with her parents and little sister Laliho
The park where she plays with her friends Chibi and Hajime
We hope you enjoyed this list of anime real-life locations of Studio Ghibli movies. If you want to see more lists like this, please let us know in the comments below!
If you’re looking for more information on Ghibli films, check out our guide on how to watch them legally online and on Blu-ray/DVD.pla