Hayao Miyazaki must be really happy to know that sometime a week after his 76th birthday, the 10 millionth visitor has stepped into Studio Ghibli's museum since its humble beginnings in October 2001. Akio Nagata and his family were welcomed with surprises and gifts for being the lucky sightseers.
The family visited the museum for the first time on Jan. 14. Akio Nagata, his wife, son, and daughter received memorabilia items, Totoro stuffed toy, flowers, and utensils that feature the animated works of the company.
More than 50,000 people get to visit the museum every month that due to its popularity and security reasons, the building only lets in 2,400 people a day and through reservations only. Studio Ghibli's Museum Managing Director said in The Asahi Shimbun news, "It's almost a miracle that tickets have kept selling out even now. We are truly grateful."
Studio Ghibli is famous for its award-winning animations like My Neighbor Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle. Fans and visitors of the museum can get to see the animated illustrations, characters and more when they chance upon the gallery.
In addition, though Miyazaki might have retired from animation works, it seems like he will still be extending Studio Ghibli's world outside the museum with a children's park. Highly inspired by Howl's Moving Castle and My Neighbor Totoro, the park focuses on the importance of nature and will be built in Kume Island, Okinawa.
The Telegraph reports that Miyazaki is funding the project with 300 million Yen. Meanwhile, an existing playground is at the site momentarily but will be replaced soon with equipment and facilities that will cater to the needs of the child. The park will conclude and open to the public by 2018.
With the museum breaking the 10 millionth visitors who knew that they might feature new characters of Ghibli's animated works. Like those, we've seen in their movie Red Turtle. People can speculate, but no one can deny that Studio Ghibli will always linger in people's minds.
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