My Neighbor Totoro, probably is one of the most famous animated films to ever come out of Japan. The 1988 movie, was written by Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki and animated by Studio Ghibli, features a giant spirit named Totoro, which has become a beloved character of many children and adults all over the world.
Inspired by this iconic character, one Japanese couple from Takahuru, Miyazaki decided to surprise their grandchildren by creating a full-size replica of the bus stop scene from the movie – and it soon became a popular tourist attraction!
See how the Totoro bus stop was created in the gallery below!
The project was handmade and demonstrates the couple’s exceptional skill in carpentry and their impeccable attention to detail. By using some traditional plastering techniques, the barrel-like frame for the future statue was constructed first. This was followed by layers of concrete and a lengthy process of sculpting. Bricks were then added to help create the signature plumpness of the magical gray beast’s frame. Again, followed by additional concrete and careful sculpting, the memorable, bold eyes and whiskers start to emerge. The couple finished up the project by adding a brick and gravel path around the structure and placing the iconic bus stop sign.
The statue which towers over children and adults alike was not only a big hit with the grandkids but is currently drawing in adoring Totoro fans from far and wide to the small town. The couple also provides the signature red umbrella from the film for any visiting photographers and selfie lovers. Thanks to the love and vision of this elderly couple, long time Totoro fans and magic seekers alike have another pit stop, when it comes to sightseeing and nostalgia.