Hayao Miyazaki has a vivid imagination that can be seen from the floating castles to enchanted forests. His places are actually out of the world and enchantingly beautiful that it is hard to believe that they exist. Ghibli fans can access the sites inspired by the places visible in Miyazaki’s films.
The places listed in this blog look as if they link to the same mysterious spirit world. If you want to feel like a character from ‘Spirited Away’ then do plunge in to have a bath in Kanaguya or catch a train at the seaside Shimonada Station.
Dogo Onsen, Ehime Prefecture
Dogo Onsen structure is the oldest bathhouse still operating in Japan. It was built in1893. Studio Ghibli confirmed that this bathhouse was used as one of the leading models for Yubaba’s bathhouse. This bathhouse was a mix of Japanese and Western architecture. It is situated in the southwest region of Shikoku.
Dogo Onsen attracts fans of Ghibli daily even after 20 years since the film was released. Kami no Yu and Tamano Yu are the two different baths in the building. Each of these baths has an entry fee for people coming in to visit it.
Edo Open-Air Architectural Museum
The Edo Open-Air Architectural Museum showcases the various buildings in and around Tokyo between the 17th and mid-19th centuries. Miyazaki visited the site to seek inspiration and capture the nostalgic feel of the museum’s buildings when he was making “Spirited Away. If you wish to see something similar to the boiler room run by the eight-limbed Kamaji, then you need to visit the stationery shop called Takei Sanshodo.
Kanaguya is known for its quality to draw many ‘Spirited Away’ fans for its colossal structure and striking red interior, although Studio Ghibli does not mention it as a source of inspiration. It has a remarkable resemblance to the exquisite features of the bathhouse seen in the film. The old Ryokan is found in a hot spring village that has almost a 250-year-old history.
Shima Onsen, Gunma Prefecture
Before making ‘Spirited away,” the staff of Shima Onsen says that Miyazaki stayed here. You should be able to easily locate this bathhouse’s similarity to the one shown in the movie. This is because this one is also located on the other side of a red bridge. If you have watched the film, you will remember that Chihiro held her breath when crossing the bridge, so other visitors did not come to know that she is human!
Shimonada Station, Ehime Prefecture
Would you be excited to get on a train that runs over water and takes you to a place that you have never ever visited? Don’t you believe it? Well, then you should try it yourself by boarding a train from the remote Shimonada Station in Ehime Prefecture.
The train tracks of this train run along the coastline. The travel is very scenic, and if you look out of your window, you will observe that the scenes and views look precisely like what Chihiro saw when she was traveling to meet Zeniba who was the twin sister of Yubaba, the mistress of the bathhouse.