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Experience Scandinavia in Japan?!
Japan has a lot of theme parks across the country, no need to mention, such as Disneyland, Disney Sea, Universal Studio Japan, Sanrio Puroland, and many more. The existence of theme parks can give a better economic breeze in the area as it attracts tourists very well.
Among the theme parks that we believe you already know most of them, Saitama Prefecture in the northern part of Tokyo has a Moomin-themed park along with the free-admission Metsa Village which we would love you to come to visit and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Scandinavia as if time stops!
Both are located in Hanno city which can be reached by 50 mins ride from Ikebukuro station (on the Seibu line to Hanno station) + an approximately 15 mins bus ride from Hanno city to the park.
We suggest visiting by car for convenient access. There is a car and motorbike parking area close to the entrance. For car parking, it is free on business days and costs maximum of 1,500 yen on Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays).
Metsa village opened in November 2018 on the side of lake Miyazawa and is surrounded by rich greeneries, to invite visitors to enjoy stress-free time and chill out as the Nordic does; chatting with people, enjoying a cup of coffee without worrying about time, or even do daydreaming and enjoy the atmosphere without doing anything in particular!
At the entrance, you will be welcomed by beautiful decoration above your head, changed according to the season.
Then you will find a dark-brown building called Market Hall. It is a 2-floors marketplace where you can find a variety of Nordic merchandise, goods, and foods.
Regarding foods, we figured out that the Market Hall has a lot of vegan-friendly, gluten-free, organic, and fair trade products, made and imported from Scandinavia countries.
Connected to the Market Hall, Viking Hall is a place where restaurants and cafes are gathered, that allows visitors to enjoy meals with a refreshing lake view. Furthermore, there is a cute light blue building with a terrace that sells burgers. Unfortunately, we found it difficult to find something Muslim-friendly. But don’t worry, visitors can feel free to bring a lunch box and enjoy the meals at the meadow Nordic Square!
Nordic Square is a spacious garden with some unique chairs and benches, directly facing the lake. It’s the best place to enjoy the warm breeze of spring! There are some photogenic spots around the Nordic Square that are perfect for your Instagram.
Right in front of the Nordic Square, there is a building called Metsa Hall that offers a variety of Nordic goods and snacks, perfect for gifts as well as for you to enjoy at home! Close to the Metsa Hall, there is a workshop place called Canoe Studio where visitors can try making stuff from the woods. You can also rent a canoe at the canoe rental shop behind the Canoe Studio and enjoy athletic at funmock (an athletic area made from nets).
Walking all the way in, Moomin Valley Park’s entrance welcomes you to the world of Moomin!
Moomin Valley Park
Moomin Valley Park starts from the photogenic book-shaped welcome gate. This is one of the most popular photo spots in the park so make sure to take a photo here!
The admission fee is 3,200 yen/person (junior high school and above) and 2,000 yen/person (4 years old~elementry school). You can save 200 yen per ticket for purchasing in advance on the website. There is a souvenir shop on your left once you pass the entrance, with a lot of Moomin-related goods and kinds of stuff. You can get a Moomin plush doll and take it all the way to enjoy the park together! As the shop is just after the entrance/exit, it can be your option to get something from the park if you forget to get inside.
The park has a lot of things to enjoy!
・Live stage “Emma’s theatre” offers an energetic live performance by Moomin and friends in the open air.
・Game spot Peli & Leikki where visitors can enjoy 3 kinds of games with 500 yen/time.
・The Moomin house appears in a vivid blue tower. If you’re lucky, you can find Moomin playing at the terrace!
・Exhibition facility that presents the stories of Moomin, restaurant, souvenir shop, and spacious kids space.
・ Little My’s Attraction that shows the story of Little My.
・Oshun Extra Theatre invites visitors to experience the adventurous story with Moomin Papa and friends.
・Hemulen’s playground located on the top of the hill has a lot of playing attractions for 3 years old kids and above. The treehouse with suspension bridges and a slide is the most popular attraction among children!
The park is so family-friendly as they have a special building as a nursing room (which is spacious!) and a special room as kids space on the 2nd floor of the exhibition facility where they can play with removable pens, picture books, and a lot of toys!
The Moomin Valley Park is open from 10:00 to 17:00 on business days and 10:00 to 18:00 on weekends and holidays.