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Studio Ghibli’s Catbus takes a real-world spin


Studio Ghibli's fantastical character Catbus, from the beloved film My Neighbor Totoro, is set to leap off the screen and onto the road in a captivating collaboration with Toyota and tech wizards MONET. Soon, park visitors at Japan's Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park — nestled next to Nagoya City and home to the recently launched Ghibli Park — will be able to experience the charm of this iconic character in a whole new way.


Enter the APM Neko Bus, an electric low-speed vehicle inspired by Catbus, expected to make its official debut on March 11 next year. The project is a vision brought to life using a Toyota APM (Accessible People Mover) electric trolley, originally designed for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Transformed with a fresh exterior, this vehicle is now set to ferry park-goers around, albeit without the fur of its animated counterpart.

The Catbus, with its distinctive grin and twelve legs, is not just a whimsical sight, but also a marvel of technology and design. This joint effort from Toyota and tech giant MONET employs a Toyota APM (Accessible People Mover) electric trolley as its foundation. Comfortably seating six passengers besides the driver, the vehicle is equipped to ensure smooth transit across the park, capping at a top speed of 19 kilometers per hour.



This innovative venture is more than a novelty—it's an ambitious effort to enhance the enjoyment and comfort of visitors navigating the park's sprawling 194 hectares. It also represents a progressive step towards exploring new possibilities in mobility services within public spaces. 


The project, which has been in discussions for several months, is underpinned by a joint commitment from Studio Ghibli, Toyota, MONET Technologies, Toyoei Kotsu, and Aichi Prefecture to bring the enchanting APM Neko Bus to life.