Santa Metsa Village
– As a lot of you may already know, especially in Saitama, the new Metsa Village opens
officially this Friday November 9th. Metsa Village is part of the larger Moomin Valley which will be completed in spring of 2019. The village, in line with the origin of Moomin, is a type of Finnish theme park.
Santa Claus as we all know is from Finland, formerly known as Lapland, so it only fitting that Finland’s most famous icon should be present at the opening of this new Finnish inspired Metsa Village on Friday the 9th. He will also visit on Sunday December 9th and bank holiday December 24th. Each time he will be available for a meet and greet at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm.
You can get a photo with him for free, but you need to have your own camera with you. The event will be held at the outdoor restaurant “Utepils”.
While this event is free and entry to Metsa Village is free, please note that not only do you have to pay for parking, you also have to book it in advance:
Santa 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.
Official Website (click on image):
Click to be brought to the Metsa Village official website
Another Finnish themed location where you can visit Santa: Finland No Mori in Nasu in Tochigi:
The real Santa with grotto and sleigh in Tochigi
Another excellent event planned for Metsa:
Team Lab: Digitized Lakeside and Forest at Metsa Village | HANNO
All information was accurate, to the best of my knowledge at the time of publishing (Nov 7th 2018). Please do always check the official website or ring the venue closer to the date you plan to go for any updates, changes or cancellations.