Toyota has built a real-life Totoro Catbus

BY Sean Loo

Studio Ghibli fans, this was made for you.

Attention Studio Ghibli fans, Toyota has brought the beloved Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro to life.

Based on Toyota's Accessible People Mover (APM), a low-speed, short-distance battery electric vehicle, the Cat Bus version is their whimsical take on transportation. Basically a fancier golf-cart, if you will.

Originally used at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the APM can reach speeds of up to 19kph and has an estimated range of 100km on a single charge.

Toyota has decked out the Cat Bus with a furry bench, complete with easily removable, soft and fluffy seat covers.

Accessibility is key, with a ramp that deploys in just 10 seconds, making it easier for all passengers, including wheelchair users, to board.

The exterior design is a collaboration between Toyota's Vision Design Division and Studio Ghibli director Goro Miyazaki.

Designed by Naoki Nagatsu, the Cat Bus replica is a faithful recreation, capturing the essence of the animated original.

The attention to detail is astonishing, with a two-tone palette of 'cat brown' and 'cat beige' to match the original colour scheme.

The designers even considered how the vehicle would appear from a child's perspective, ensuring an authentic experience.

The Cat Bus features illuminated eyes at night, a rain curtain for drizzly days, and a design on the curtain that's "only visible to the pure at heart" - a charming nod to Totoro holding an umbrella.

The Cat Bus will be making its rounds at Ghibli Park in the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park starting March 16.

For Studio Ghibli fans dreaming of a trip to Japan, this might just be the reason you’re booking your flights today.