Japan’s largest Umbrella Sky / Street in Moominvalley Park, Saitama (near Tokyo), Japan.
Japan’s largest umbrella sky / street
The official name of this popular event at Moominvalley Park in Hanno, Saitama Prefecture, is Moominvalley and Umbrella¹. It started in 2019 in the free area of the Finnish themed village² in Hanno City, but since last year, 2022, it is now in the charged area, called Moominvalley Park. Another big change since 2022 is that this event is now a spring to early summer event, whereas for the first three years it was a summer event.
¹The event has changed names over the years. For the first three years it was called Forest and Lake and Umbrella. In 2023, it is called Moominvalley and Umbrella. ²Metsa is made up of Metsa Village which is free and “Moominvalley park“, the Moomin theme park, which has an entry fee.
Moomin and Umbrella
The 2023 ‘Moomin and Umbrella’ event will be on from Friday April 28th to Sunday July 2nd. They have yet to release how many umbrellas they are using in 2023, but in the past it has been around 2000 SDGs umbrellas. The umbrellas, of various colors, are spread over the 100 meter path leading to the Moominvalley area. The colors change depending on the position of the sun and the intensity of the light, creating different color spheres throughout the day.
In addition, Hattifatteners – the ghost like characters of the Moomin stories – line the walkway. Moreover, the Hattifattener decorations blow bubbles as people walk by. This year, the shops and restaurants in Moominvalley Park will also have umbrella decorations. And there will be limited edition drinks, “Little Me Rainbow Bubble Tea”, on sale (600 yen) during the period of the event. They normally have workshops on too, but currently there is no information for them.
Recommended related attraction in Metsa: Panza Funmock – an athletic playground in the sky! For both adults and children.
Event: Moominvalley and Umbrella ムーミン谷とアンブレラ
Dates: Friday April 28th to Sunday July 2nd 2023
Times: the preliminary information was just released today (April 6th 2023) and the times are not yet available. In the past it was on until 8 pm and they lit the umbrellas at night. However, currently the park is closing at 6 pm (Metsa, the free bit, is open until 8 pm), so presumably there will be no light up in 2023.
Cost: Metsa Village is free to enter, but you do have to pay into the Moomin Valley Park area. The price has gone up a lot in the last four years (more than tripled). Until April 30th it costs 3000 yen per adult and 1800 yen per child for tickets bought in advance. The price will actually go up again from May 1st to 3,400 yen per adult and 2000 yen per child for tickets in advance. Tickets bought on the day cost 200 yen more each. Moreover, you also have to pay for parking. Parking charges were dropped on weekdays during the pandemic, but unfortunately since April 1st 2023 the parking charges have been reintroduced.
Umbrella Street Access
Metsa is only about 10 minutes by car from the Sayama Hidaka Interchange of the Keno expressway. As per above, from April 1st 2023 they are re-introducing parking fees on weekdays. They will charge 1000 yen for the day, but the first two hours are free – only on weekdays. On weekends there is no free time and they do not validate parking. It costs 1500 yen per day on the weekend.
By public transport: a bus goes from Seibu Ikebukuro Line’s Hanno Station. At one point there was also a bus from JR Hachiko Line’s Higashi Hanno station. However, that has been ‘temporarily suspended’ for over a year now!
Editor’s note: this post was temporarily off the website during the pandemic. It was republished on April 6th with the 2023 information.
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