Metsa Village Umbrella Sky “Forest and Lake and Umbrella“
We visited the Forest and Lake and Umbrella Metsa Umbrella Sky Project in the summer of 2019. And we weren’t disappointed. Its coming back this year, 2020, even bigger and for longer than last year. (There are some really big changes in 2021 be sure to check out the most recent event information here).
Umbrella Sky Project
The internationally acclaimed Umbrella Sky Project which started in Portugal around eight years ago is an art project you can see in many locations around the world. Currently, in Japan there is an Umbrella Sky Project in at least one other location in the Kanto plain. The other one I know of (2019) is at Karuizawa.
Metsa Umbrella Sky “Forest and Lake and Umbrella”
Forest and Lake and Umbrella is the Metsa’s Umbrella sky project. You can certainly see the forest and umbrellas together, but if there was a view of the lake from where the umbrellas are, I missed it. But just as you pass the end of the umbrellas you get a view of the beautiful Miyazawa Lake.
Rainbow Umbrella display
Forest and Lake and Umbrella uses 1000 umbrellas making it the biggest umbrella art installation in Japan to date. And in 2020 it will be twice the size. They are spread over a 100 metres of the main entrance walkway of the Moomin theme park and in 2020 they will also be along the riverside. In 2019, it didn’t feel like there were a 1000 umbrellas, but it didn’t matter – it is the rainbow coloured design and vibrant vibe that makes the display so impressive.
There some beautiful purple hydrangea at the edge of the forest along the side of the walkway where the umbrellas are displayed. It was too hard to get a photo of them and the umbrellas together due to lighting and angles (plus I am not a photographer!). I personally also wasn’t able to get a clear photo of the umbrellas without people in them. As you would expect, there is constantly people admiring / walking / standing / posing under the umbrellas. If you have the time and patience to wait, an opportunity might arise though.
Umbrella display in the workshop
In the workshop in Metsa Village they have a small display of umbrellas from the ceiling. They are connected to the workshop tables to give the impression of them carrying the tables. It gives the illusion that the tables are floating. The umbrellas are different to the umbrellas in the main walkway which are each a singular colour. In the workshop they have different type of motifs and designs.
During the period there will also be a pop up shop selling various types of umbrellas and products with umbrella motif. There are also workshops scheduled during the display period. Workshops are charged. Price varies according to what type of workshop. They will also have a limited period exclusive rainbow cheese cake for sale (540 yen per slice) while the Umbrella Sky Project is running.From the event information share on Insaitama.com
Umbrella Sky Cost
The umbrella display is free to view. It is at the main entrance to the complete park which comprises Metsa and Moomin Valley Park. Metsa is also free. You walk through Metsa to get to Moomin Valley Park which is the part with a cover charge. Please note that in 2021 there are two umbrella skies / tunnels of umbrellas at Metsa. The first one is from spring and is in the charged area of Metsa called Moominvalley park. However, the second one that starts in June is in the free part of the village as per this event report.
Parking is now free on weekdays and capped at 1500 yen maximum charge on a weekend.
Umbrella Sky Dates
There will be two umbrella sky in 2021.
First: April 17th to June 20th
Second: June 26th to August 29th.
Metsa Village Information
Hours: open 10 am to 9 pm, parking opens at 9.30 am
Cost: detailed above
About ten minutes from the Sayama / Hidaka Interchange of the Ken-o expressway. Parking detailed above.
By public transport
There are buses to Metsa Village from Seibu Ikebukuro Line’s Hanno Station (North exit, bus stop 1) or from JR Hachiko Line’s Higashi Hanno station. If you want to walk from the stations, it takes about 35 minutes on foot from both.