This was the very first English guide to Moomin Valley (also written Moominvalley) on the whole world wide web! And still going strong eight years later! It was initially written on July 11th 2015 – four years before the park opened! It has been updated, several times over the years and was rewritten and republished in March 2019 when the park finally opened after three years of delay.
Moomin Valley Park
Moominvalley park is a theme park located within the Finnish Village METSA in Hanno City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. It opened much later than originally planned, on March 16th 2019. A lot has changed in the four years since the park opened, particularly the price, but the concept and the attractions remain the same. Although, some have already had a makeover!
Attractions in the park are few. They include a tree house play area “Hemulen’s playground”, live stage area, a projection mapping play area and shopping / eating area. Moomin characters visit the live stage area on several occasions during the day. In addition, there is an indoor kids space. You can also take a zipline over the lake. Furthermore, there are four small exhibition areas and the large, excellent indoor exhibition hall “Kokemus“.
Like Metsa, the “free” part which opened first, it is more about the theme than the attractions within the park. This is no Disney or Universal Studios. Nor is it an amusement park. It is just a Moomin theme park with relaxation as its selling point – with an emphasis on “selling“! Some of the Moominvalley products are really popular. Such as, in the summer of 2023, the Moominvalley Park Japan Mug Arabia is trending again.
Events at Moominvalley Park
The park has probably become best known for its annual Umbrella Sky. The umbrella sky was first in the free part of the park, but unfortunately during the pandemic they moved it to within Moominvalley Park. Thus, you have to pay into Moomin Valley to see it. The season for the umbrella sky also changed during the pandemic. It is now on in spring until early July:
In Autumn, they have a balloon sky…
The free part of the park also has several eateries and shops. In addition, there is a treetop athletic playground that is very good. Both children and adults can play at “Panza Funmock“. A guide to Metsa here, including information for the seasonal events.
The original Moomin Valley
The original and free Moomin Valley is at Akebono Children’s Forest. But over the last few years they’ve gone to great lengths to change that nickname to Tove Jansson’s Akebono Children’s Forest. I presume because they don’t want people mixing it up with Moomin Valley Park. The two are quite a distance from each other on foot, but you can drive between them in about ten minutes. The original Moomin Valley aka Akebono Children’s Forest is free, but Moomin Valley Park has a cover charge. Charges are outlined in the information section below.
The hours of the park are another thing that have changed greatly over the years. In the summer of 2023 the hours are currently 10 am to 5 pm on weekdays and until 6 pm on weekends.
When the park first opened the entrance fee was only 1000 yen. However, the price has gone up significantly over the years. In 2023, it now costs 3600 yen for an adult and 2200 yen for children. If you purchase a ticket in advance it is 200 yen cheaper.
The parking is the main expense. During the pandemic they actually made the parking lot free on weekdays. But unfortunately since April 1st 2023 you now have to pay for parking on weekdays again. It costs 1000 yen on weekdays, but the first two hours are free. On the weekend the price has actually come down. In 2023, it costs 1500 yen for parking on a Saturday or Sunday.
Location: Moominvalley Park, 327-6 Miyazawa, Hanno, Saitama 357-0001. View on Google Maps. Metsa is only about 10 minutes by car from the Sayama Hidaka Interchange of the Keno expressway. A bus goes to Metsa 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!
Originally written as “Metsa Moomin theme park coming to Saitama” on July 11th 2015. Rewritten and republished as an event “The Opening of Moominvalley”. Republished as a post on the original event post date (March 2nd 2019) in January 2021.