2021 has passed by yet we’re still far from our VTL dreams with Japan. 2022 might just be the year though (we’re praying really hard ?) because these 8 new events and openings happening next year are making us crave more for our necessary trip to Japan! If you’re a thrill-seeker, an art appreciator, love amusement parks or you’re just all for the Gram’, you can look forward to these activities the next time you’re back in Japan! ☺️
Missing Japan a little too much? Don't worry, these halal Japanese food places will help ease your heartbreak:
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Studio Ghibli, Japan's First X Games, And More For You To Look Forward To In 2022
1. Ghibli Park
We’re finally getting a theme park dedicated to the magical world of Studio Ghibli! ? Set to open in the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park near Nagoya, the Ghibli Park will feature indoor playgrounds, classic characters, shops, and a cinema! While the full venue will only be ready in 2023, 3 sections of the park will be ready for a soft opening in autumn next year!
Credit: @the_cat_return for Instagram
Firstly, fans of the iconic cat The Baron from the films “Whisper of the Heart” and “The Cat Returns” would love the Hill of Youth! The area is lined by buildings resembling the antique shop Chikyuu-ya from “Whisper of the Heart” and a miniature version of Cat's Office from “The Cat Returns”. ?
Credit: @spiritedaway_fanpage for Instagram
The mysterious town in the classic "Spirited Away" will appear in Ghibli Large Warehouse Area! There will be a video exhibition room as well, although the content to be screened has yet to be determined. Perhaps free screenings of Spirited Away always? ?
Credit: @reinedesgrenouilles for Instagram
The last section is The Dondoko Forest Area, which recreates the natural space of Satsuki and Mei’s house from "My Neighbour Totoro"! Totoro, I’m coming! If you can't wait, you can already visit the iconic house in Nagoya, as seen from the picture above! ?
Ghibli fans would definitely be stoked for this, we’ll keep you updated on the tickets, don’t worry!
P.S. If you're looking for some halal food in Nagoya, there's this fried chicken place you absolutely have to check out!
2. Universal Studios Japan’s new Pokémon Parade
Credit: @universal_studios_japan for Instagram
We’re gotta catch them all at Universal Studios Japan’s (USJ) new Pokemon Parade! To celebrate the alliance between USJ and The Pokémon Company, the ‘No Limit’ parade will open in spring 2022, and will feature Pikachu and other popular characters such as Eevee, Ditto and Slowpoke from the franchise! The parade will also feature characters from Super Mario Bros, Hello Kitty, Snoopy, Sesame Street, Minions and Sing, so expect extravagant floats, dazzling performances, and earworm tunes! For the young, and young at heart, this parade will definitely be something you won’t want to miss! ?
P.S. We compiled some insider tips for Muslim travellers on how to navigate through USJ!
3. Tokyo Disneyland Toy Story Hotel
Credit: @toystory_momo for Instagram
Step into the world of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the gang in Tokyo Disneyland’s new venture, the Toy Story Hotel! Set to open on April 5th, some of the themed rooms include a guest room inspired by Andy’s bedroom in Toy Story 1! There'll also be a gift shop based on Pizza Planet, the family restaurant that Andy frequents with his toys, and will sell exclusive merchandise! The best part is that it will be located directly in front of Bayside Station on the Disney Resort Line, so you will have easy access to both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea! No more rushing about to make sure you boarded all the rides! ?
1. Roppongi Art Night 2022
Creatives, you definitely cannot miss the Roppongi Art Night next year! This annual nocturnal celebration of the arts returns with more late-night exhibitions! From 18 March to 21 March, catch breathtaking outdoor installations, live performances, cultural exhibitions, talks and workshops! Check out the link to find out more about the programmes offered and participating artists as well! Most of their outdoor installations are free and easily accessible, so if you’re not an art expert, you can simply pop by here and enjoy the best of what Tokyo’s budding artists have to offer! ?
P.S. Save our article which compiles all of the halal food places in Tokyo the next time you're there! Roppongi has a delicious halal yakiniku place you have to visit!
2. Setouchi Triennale 2022
Credit: @fridaho_film for Instagram
The Setouchi Triennaleis a contemporary art festival held every three years on a dozen islands in the Seto Inland Sea (Setonaikai), the sea which separates Honshu and Shikoku, two of Japan's main islands. If you want to go beyond popular regions such as Osaka and Kansai and take a breather from city life, or you would like to explore even more hidden art gems in Japan, this festival is for you! See creators and designers from all over the world come together and showcase their art, in an effort to revitalise the culture and lifestyles of the islands in the Seto Inland Sea. There's a lot to do in West Japan, and if you're not sure what to do, check out our itinerary here! ?
1. X Games Chiba
Credit: @xgamesjapan for Instagram
If Tokyo 2020’s skateboarding event was something you wished you could watch live, extreme sports fans can rejoice because Japan will be hosting its very first X Games, where the world’s top skateboarders, motocross riders and BMX cyclists compete in a series of exhilarating tournaments! You might be able to watch it live next spring at the Zozo Marine Stadium in Chiba! Not sure what else to do in Chiba? We got it all covered for you right here! ?
All for the 'Gram
1. teamLab: Digitized Kairakuan Gardens 2022
Credit: @teamlab for Instagram
If the name teamLab sounds familiar, you’re not wrong! They are the team behind the permanent, immersive exhibition, Future World: Where Arts Meet Science at ArtsScience Museum! You can definitely expect magical, cutting-edge digital installations at Kairakuen Garden at Mito, the capital of Ibaraki, which is located in the Kanto region of Honshu! It's definitely screaming ‘perfect photo opportunity!’. Considered as one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, the teamLab: Digitized Kairakuen Gardens 2022 will take place in conjunction with the annual Mito Plum Blossom Festival, one of eastern Japan’s biggest events. Walk into an ethereal forest full of interactive digital artworks, and be awed at the many varieties of plum blossoms! Unlike teamLab’s other events, this only takes place in a short time period from February 1 to March 31, so let’s hope VTL to Japan opens up just in time! ?
2. Kyotographie 2022
Credit: @yoko_takakani for Instagram
Photographs are the windows to the world, and often reveal the raw yet beautiful truth behind our desires to constantly aim for perfection This ties in with the theme of Kyotographie 2022 this year ‘One’ which highlights the uniqueness of every individual to diversify our collective experience. If you’re looking for an enriching trip to Japan next time, or you yourself love taking pictures (like serious, serious kind!) this international photography festival is for you! The festival uses unconventional spaces and transforms them into venues that host the artworks such as temples, shrines, teahouses, and beautiful gardens, which is a perfect way to explore the cultural capital of Japan. ?
There are still many more you can look forward to, but these 8 things are just proof that there’s always one more reason to head back to Japan! There’s simply more to rediscover every time you return! Please, please, please open up Japan, we’re not asking for much, are we? ?