The 2022 winter event at Moominvalley Park (in Metsa, Hanno, Saitama Prefecture) is called Moomin Valley Night Walk, “Illu-mori-no-oto” . The ‘illu’ is short for illumination, ‘mori’ means forest and ‘oto’ means sound. The ‘no’ marks possession, so in English it might be translated as the ‘sound of the illuminated forest’. It is on from Saturday October 22nd and will run until January 9th 2023.
Moomin Valley Night Walk
The actual event is similar to last year, but the period of it and the name are greatly different. In 2021 / 2022 the winter event was called “Winter Festival” and it didn’t start until December 10th. However, it ran until Sunday February 27th 2022. The previous two years also had a different name and varying event periods, but again, the concept was very similar. However, one thing they have in common is that they are very different to the hugely successful winter event they had in the opening year of Metsa in 2018. The winter event at Metsa in 2018 was a collaboration with Teamlab. To this day, I still get traffic to my blog for that event! But I regret to inform you, that since that first year they have not had and will not have the “Digitized Lakeside and Forest” Teamlab event. Possibly, because Saitama Prefecture now has a permanent outdoor Teamlab exhibit in nearby Tokorozawa.
The winter events at Moominvalley park have not been quite as prolific as the teamLab event, but they have been popular enough. Moreover, their winter events since 2019 use light up and projection mapping similar to the teamLab event. The winter events combines art and technology to give new life to the Moomin stories. They call it a “sound walk”, where you listen to the stories while you walk around the park. Moreover, they use Sony’s latest technology such as Sound AR and Locatone to heighten the experience with narration. For this reason, you need to have two things to experience the Night Walk at Moominvalley park: a smart phone and your own ear / headphones.
Around the time of the anniversary of Metsa, November 9th annually, they usually start some of their Christmas events (in the free part of Metsa), including a Christmas market and illumination. Normally, Santa Claus visits too, but due to the pandemic he hasn’t been able to visit since 2019. The Christmas information is not yet available for Metsa / Moominvalley Park in 2022.
>>If you are looking for a Teamlab event with illumination, they now have a permanent outdoor exhibition in Tokorozawa Sakura Town.<<
Event: Moominvalley Park Night Walk Illu-mori-no-oto ムーミン谷のナイトウオーク「イルミモリノオト」aka【イルミ森の音】
Date: Saturday October 22nd to public holiday Monday January 9th. It is closed on Wednesdays until and including November 16th and on December 31st and January 1st.
Time: 5.30 pm to 8 pm, last entry into the park is 7 pm.
A ticket just for the Night Walk is 1300 yen for an adult if you purchase it in advance and 1400 yen for same day purchase. For children, aged 4 years old and above, it costs 600 yen in advance, 700 yen for same day purchase.
For a one day “Set” pass to Moominvalley with the Night Walk you can actually get 700 yen off the normal price! A one day pass with Night Walk ticket needs to be purchased in advance and it costs 3900 yen for an adult and 2000 yen for children.
Moominvalley park is about 10 minutes in the car to / from Sayama Hidaka Interchange of the Ken-o expressway. Parking is now free on weekdays and capped to a maximum of 1800 yen on weekends. However, if you arrive after 4 pm the parking costs a flat rate of 500 yen (Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays).
By train 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. However, there are now buses that go to the resort from the North exit of Seibu line Hanno Station. It takes about 13 minutes and costs 200 yen. There is a bus that goes from Higashi Hanno station, but please note the route has been temporarily suspended in the past. It also takes about 13 minutes and costs 200 yen.
Official event web page for 2022.
Attractions in Moominvalley Park detailed on this blog:
For more winter and illumination events in Saitama, please see the main events category.
Images from the official event webpage in 2019.