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.
**During the 2020 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.**
Umbrella Sky Project 2020 and Hattifattener’s Thunder Splash
May 22 @ 10:00 - August 30 @ 21:00Free
Umbrella Sky Project Saitama Japan – “Forest and Lake and Umbrella” and “Moomin Valley and Umbrella“. In 2019 Metsa brought Japan’s largest Umbrella Sky Design Project to date ever and this year, 2020, they are making it even larger again. Recommended related attraction in Metsa: Panza Funmock – an athletic playground in the sky! For both adults and children.
Japan’s largest Umbrella Sky
AND they are making it available for even longer than last year. Last year, 2019, it only ran from June 8th to July 15th, but this year 2020 it will be available from May 15th** right through to August 30th. You will be able to enjoy the internationally acclaimed umbrella art installation, once again, in Metsa Village in Hanno, Saitama.
**The start date was pushed back due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Saitama is in a State of Emergency until May 31st. The umbrella art installation will be available from May 22nd as Metsa reopens to Saitama residents. And Starbucks has posted on their official website that the Metsa Village branch plans to reopen for business on Friday May 22nd for take-out only, between the hours of 10 am and 5 pm.
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.
Last year, 2019, the display was on the Entrance Road. It used about 1000 umbrellas over the 100 meter area. It was the only display. This year there will be 800 umbrellas along Entrance Road. But they are also adding a new stretch by the lake that stretches 200 meters and will have 1200 umbrellas. For a total of 2000 umbrellas.
Hattifattener’s Thunder Splash
The lakeside umbrella display will be available from May 15th to August 30th. The Entrance Road display also starts on May 15th,
but will end on July 26th. Initially, they planned to end the Entrance road display on July 26th but at a later date decided to extend it. They also added the Nyoro Nyoro 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.
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. One is an umbrella sky pancake, in the pancake restaurant, for 1,760 yen.
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. You also have to pay for parking. Parking has thankfully been reduced significantly since last year. The car park is now free on weekdays and is capped at a 1500 maximum charge on weekends.
Metsa Village Access
…The Metsa village location is more convenient than Tove Jansson 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.Source: Metsa Village opens
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.
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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.