Hayao Miyazaki is the legendary filmmaker behind animated films like My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Ponyo, and many more.
Miyazaki may have retired from the movie biz, but he's not done contributing beauty to the world. He's announced that a nature park intended for kids is the next project on his to-do list. Although this may seem like a left-field development to some, fans of his movies won't be surprised by this move. A unabashed passion for nature has always woven its way into his films.
The park will be built in the Okinawa Prefecture's Zendo Forest Park in Japan. It will spread across 10,000 square meters of land, about 1.8 acres, but details on what kids and their parents will find there are scarce at the moment.
Kyodo News reports that Miyazaki will name it "Forest Home of the Wind." He intends for the park to encourage children "to enjoy nature through their five senses," which sounds like a very hands-on, children's museum kind of experience. Kyodo also says that Miyazaki plans for a two-story, 1,000 square meter building that can accommodate 30 people.
Funding the park out of his own pocket, Miyazaki expects the park to cost $2.5 million to build. Construction will begin in April 2016, with completion projected for 2018. Rather than own it himself, Miyazaki said he will donate the park to the town of Kumejima.