Find out what’s on in Saitama this weekend with the best Saitama event list on the web. If its on in Saitama, its on insaitama.com!
Please see the grey “details box” at the bottom of each individual event for dates, hours, prices, location and external links.
Metsa Village Christmas ~ A Nordic Christmas in Japan
November 1 @ 10:00 - December 25 @ 21:00Free
Metsa Village Christmas in 2019 ~ Until this year the Cocoon City / Saitama Shintoshin area was the epitome of a quasi-“western” Christmas in Saitama. Having the largest Christmas market, Christmas events and Christmas tree, and one of the largest winter illumination displays, since Saitama started celebrating Christmas in a real way, they pretty much had the monopoly on the Christmas celebration trade.
However, there’s a new player in town; Metsa Village in Hanno. Metsa village will run a Christmas town “Metsa Village Christmas” from Friday November 1st to Christmas Day, Wednesday December 25th, 2019.
Metsa Village opened in November in 2018, ahead of Moominvalley park that opened in spring of this year (2019). Not only is the Moominvalley Park a Moomin theme park, the whole Metsa park – incorporating Moominvalley and Metsa Village – is a Finnish theme park. Where better to celebrate Christmas than in a Nordic village in a scenic rural area of natural beauty?!
Metsa Village Christmas Line up
- Christmas Market
- Santa Meet and Greets
- Christmas tree and Light up
- Seasonal food
- Seasonal workshops
The Christmas market runs for the whole time of the Christmas period: from November 1st to December 25th. The market is in the Metsa hall.
Santa Meet and Greets
The real Santa Claus from Finland will visit Metsa three times during the season. The first visit coincides with the one year anniversary of Metsa Village; on November 9th. He will also visit on December 21st and 22nd. For more details in English, click here.
Christmas Tree and Light up UPDATED NOVEMBER 1ST
Metsa Village has a beautiful huge natural Christmas tree by the lake, but it was not decorated for the opening of the Christmas market on November 1st. They have the tree featured on their Christmas pages and it is mentioned in several event magazines so it would seem they will eventually have a tree decorated for Christmas. They did have a smaller planted tree decorated with some bobbles on November 1st.
The lights around the lake (and hopefully at a later point on a Christmas tree) will be switched on at dusk and remain on until the village closes at 9 pm.
Seasonal food and workshops
Lagom restaurant have a 2019 winter menu, which to my delight includes an Irish stew and traditional Irish dishes such as roast pork and casserole. They also have Christmas workshops where you can make, for example, a snow dome or Christmas badge.
Cover photo / banner image from the official website.
Metsa Village Christmas Access
(Map in grey details box at the bottom of the post)
Metsa Village is only about 10 minutes in the car to / from Sayama Hidaka Interchange of the Ken-o expressway. Parking is normally very expensive, but from November 1st to March 31st 2020 parking is free on weekdays. The upper cap on parking costs on weekends has been reduced to 1,500 yen from 3,000 yen for this period. But if you spend more than 5,000 yen in Metsa the fee is waived.
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.
Source:Santa Metsa Village
⇊Map, links, phone etc ⇊ below the “you might also like” section⇊
Events by their very nature are tentative. Please do check with the official sources for any last minute changes due to weather or other mitigating factors.