– The much anticipated Moomin Valley Park is set to open in March 2019. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait until then to enjoy all the park will have to offer, as part of the overall complex, the Metsa Village, will open this week.
Image from the official website, click to be redirected
is a Finnish cartoon character. Hanno City has been home to a FREE Moomin park in Akebono Childrens Forest
, colloquially called Moomin Valley, for more than a decade now. It was for this reason, that Hanno City Saitama was chosen as the location for the first Moomin theme Park outside of Finland. To compliment the Finnish background of the theme park, Metsä
Village was designed to reflect Nordic living. As they say:
Metsä offers its visitors the chance to experience in that same kind of relaxation and coziness surrounded by a Nordic-like environment.
The village is on the shore of Lake Miyazawa and surrounded by forest. The park aims to give people the chance to relax in nature. They will offer shopping, dining and events. The restaurants, cafes, shops and workshops will officially open this week on Friday November 9th. One of the shops is a Nordic Christmas shop where you can buy traditional European Christmas goods.
For the opening they will have a number of events, some of which are Christmas events. Santa Claus will also be attending the opening and available for a meet and greet at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm.
One event that is already attracting a lot of attention is there collaboration with Team Labo:
Team Lab: Digitized Lakeside and Forest at Metsa Village | HANNO
Metsa Village Information
Open 10 am to 9 pm seven days a week. The market hall closes at 8 pm.
Metsa Village is free to enter, but you do have to pay for parking. And it costs 1,500 yen per day on a weekday and 2,500 yen on a weekend. And not only do you have to pay for it, you also have to book it! No booking, no parking.
You can book from the official website (Japanese language only) here.
Metsa Village Access:
(Map in grey details box at the bottom of the post)
The location of Metsa village was a surprise for me. When I first heard about Moomin Valley opening I always assumed it was right beside the current park, but it is actually around five kilometres away as the crow flies and close to six kilometres by car. The Metsa village location is more convenient than Akebono Children’s forest for drivers as it is closer to the highway. Its only about 10 minutes in the car to / from Sayama Hidaka Interchange of the Ken-o expressway. As per above; parking has to be booked in advance. And costs 1,500 yen on a weekday, 2,500 yen on the weekend.
By train you can access Metsa Village from either Seibu Ikebukuro Line’s Hanno Station or from JR Hachiko Line’s Higashi Hanno station. Unfortunately, both are quite a walk to the resort, taking at least 35 minutes on foot. However, you can take a bus from both on weekends and from Hanno station on weekdays. The village is about a 12 minute walk from the bus stop.
More on the free Moomin park:
“Moomin Valley”, Akebono Children’s Forest | HANNO
And the cafe on the grounds:
New quirky and trendy cafe “Puisto” in Moomin Valley | HANNO