Find out what’s happening in Saitama today and 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!
**During the 2021 State of Emergency and Coronavirus Outbreak, events are subject to change and cancellation at a moment’s notice. Please do always check with the official website for any last minute changes or cancellations.**
NB update re Umbrella Sky / Street 2021 confirmed dates
April 17, 2021 @ 10:00 – August 29, 2021 @ 21:00
Umbrella Sky / Street Japan. The official name is “Forest and Lake and Umbrella“, but it is also known as “Moomin Valley and Umbrella” or umbrella sky project. It is held in Metsa* in Hanno, Saitama Prefecture (just North of Tokyo) every summer since 2019. However, this year 2021 it will start in spring. And there will be two versions. Unfortunately though another big change is that the umbrella sky is no longer in the free part of Metsa, but in that part that has an entrance fee “Moominvalley Park”. In 2019 and 2020 the umbrella sky was in the free part of the park, now it is in the area that you have to pay into.
*Metsa is made up of Metsa Village which is free and “Moominvalley park“, the Moomin theme park, which has an entry fee.
Japan’s umbrella street
What started as a month long event in 2019 has become so popular that last year (2020) they extended the end date, not just once but twice! And the event ended up running right up until September. In 2020, it was the biggest umbrella street to date. And that’s saying something – even before they increased the size it was already Japan’s largest umbrella sky. The event went ahead despite the pandemic.
Recommended related attraction in Metsa: Panza Funmock – an athletic playground in the sky! For both adults and children.
If you won’t be in Japan in the summer, they have dozens of other seasonal events, including a Balloon Sky in Autumn!
Japan’s largest Umbrella Sky
The dates for 2021 have been confirmed. And this year once again it will have 1200 umbrellas. However, they will not be on entrance road like in previous years. This year they are in Moominvalley park which you have to pay 2300 yen to enter.
Another change, is this year they will have two completely separate umbrella displays. The first part will start in April. The theme of that display is “Little My” – a character from the books / cartoon who dresses in red. Thus the first umbrella display in 2021 will be red umbrellas. From June 21st to 25th they will take those umbrellas down and put up a whole new river of umbrellas. They will be on display to the public from June 26th until the end of August. They haven’t decided on the concept for that display yet.
First part – April 17th to June 20th.
Second part “Summer version” – June 26th to August 29th.
Umbrella Sky Project
The Umbrella sky project started in Portugal in 2011/12. Since then several locations around the globe have adopted the uplifting art project. There have been several places in Japan that have mimicked the art installation over the last few years. But this one in Metsa will be the biggest to date.
In 2020, there were 800 umbrellas along Entrance Road – the main road from the car park / bus stop to the village and Moominvalley park. However, they also added a new stretch by the lake, 200 meters long with another 1200 umbrellas. For a total of 2000 umbrellas.
Hattifattener’s Thunder Splash
The Hattifattener’s or Nyoro Nyoro Thunder Splash was newly added to the Umbrella street event in 2020. Thunder Splash. Nyoro-nyoro is the Japanese for the Hattifatteners character, that look like a thin long ghost or white mushroom! The Hattifattener’s thunder lightning splash combines sound effects, mist and water to heighten the experience of the umbrella sky. And also to help cool down in the summer heat! There is also a fountain spot where kids can play with water. It is not yet known if there’ll be a thunder splash in 2021.
Umbrella Sky Japan light up
Both areas are open until 9 pm at night so you can see the umbrellas lit up at night too. They are using different color umbrellas to give the illusion of a rainbow along entrance road. The lakeside display aims to create a “warm light” image and will use different color umbrellas to entrance road.
In 2019, there were pop up shops selling various types of umbrellas and products with umbrella motif. There was also a display in the workshop area (from the ceiling) with different types of umbrella shapes, some with animal motifs. They also had workshops scheduled during the display period. In 2020 the workshop offers you the chance to make your own custom design umbrella for 2800 yen. They also have limited edition desserts during the event period. 2021 workshop information is not yet available.
Metsa Village Information and Access
Metsa Village Information
Hours: Open 10 am to 9 pm seven days a week. The market hall closes at 8 pm.
Cost: Metsa Village is free to enter, but you do have to pay into the Moomin Valley Park area. And in 2021 for the first time the umbrellas will be in that area. So this year it costs 2300 yen to see the umbrellas. You also have to pay for parking. Parking has thankfully been reduced significantly since the park first opened. The car park is now free on weekdays and is capped at a 1500 maximum charge on weekends.
By car: the umbrella street and the theme park are about a ten minute drive from the Sayama Hidaka Interchange of the Ken-o expressway.
By public transport: You can get to Metsa Village in Hanno in about an hour from parts of Tokyo. 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. There are now direct buses to Metsa from both stations.
Check out the Harvest event with a Balloon sky that starts a week after the umbrella sky event finishes:
Hanno City, Saitama Prefecture 〒357-0001 Japan + Google Map View Venue Website
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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, particularly with the current Coronavirus outbreak.