6 Reasons Why you should Visit Saitama's Moomin Valley Park - Vikingess Voyages

Monday, April 8, 2019

6 Reasons Why you should Visit Saitama's Moomin Valley Park


Moomins and friends on stage at the Moomin Valley park 
Photo: Anette

Did you know that the new Moomin Valley Park opened up in Saitama on March 16th? This park is the first Moomin park situated outside of Finland and whether you're already a fan or not, it is a great opportunity to see the Moomins up close. I paid a visit to the park on a pre-opening tour, and although we were unfortunate with the weather it was a charming park that deserves a revisit on a sunny day. If you find yourself spending some time in Japan, here are six reasons why you should visit the Moomin Valley Park this year.



6 Reasons to visit the Moomin Village Park


1. A "must-see" for travelers in Japan 

The park has been anticipated by the Japanese audience for some years now, so it comes as no surprise that it has been featured on numerous lists displaying Japan's most interesting places to visit in 2019. With that said, these rankings are mainly targeting a Japanese audience, and what is appealing to a domestic traveler might not necessarily appeal to you. Still, this is without a doubt one of the most unique new things Japan has to offer this year, and a trip to the park will without a doubt be an exciting thing to tell your friends about later.
Above: Met the Groke! It was so scary that my hair stood on end!! (or, more likely, I had a bad hair day that day...)

2. A unique concept you won't find elsewhere 

While you can find for instance Disneyland parks all over the world, including the one that newly opened in Hong Kong in 2017, this Moomin park is the only one in the world situated outside of Finland. And considering how the Disneyland parks strongly resemble each other you might as well go for a totally different type of adventure park that you cannot find anywhere else. As a bonus, people who also have visited the Moomin park in Finland tell me that the one in Japan is bigger and more interesting. But don't take my word for it, go find out yourself!

3. You can fly by zip-line across a lake

The Moomin Park is situated right next to the Miyazawa Lake, and when you get to the end of the park it is possible to take a zip line straight across the lake, bringing you back to the entrance in seconds. Unfortunately, the weather was not that good the day we visited so we couldn't try it out. However, those who want to try not only a zip-line flight but also get the chance to fly over a lake, this could be a great reason to take a trip to the Moomin Valley Park.
Above: The original Moomin works in Swedish  

4. A symbol of Nordic and Japanese cooperation 

While most know the Moomins as strictly Finish characters there is, in fact, more to the little trolls than meets the eye. For once, the author Tove Jansson grew up in a Swedish-speaking household, and her original books were all written in Swedish. This is reflected throughout the Moomin park, where quotes from the original books are displayed in Swedish. Although the Moomins look like hippos they are actually trolls (notice that the main character's name is Moomintroll), and as you may know, trolls are creatures of Norse mythology originating from Norway and Sweden. The Moomins have also gotten Japanese influence, and one thing to note is that the Japanese animation studios Telescreen Japan Inc. and Visual 80 played major roles in the production of the Moomin 1990 TV series.
Above: A Moomin valley map in Swedish


4. It is close to nature with lots of outdoor activities within reach

if you've been to a place like Disneyland, you may know that there is not much shade around in the park, and it can get very hot when you're walking around all day in the sun. The Moomin park, on the other hand, is situated in the woods surrounded in a beautiful forest, and inside the park, kids can play around in the outdoor playgrounds and enjoy the natural surroundings. Again, make sure you visit on a day when the weather is nice!
Above: From the indoor Moomin museum where you can learn more about Tove Jansson and her works 

5. The entrance fee is low

You can enter the Moomin park for as little as 1,500 yen for adults and 1,000 yen for children (middle school and younger). In comparison, a day at Disneyland comes at 7,400 yen for adults, 6,400 yen for middle-schoolers and 4,800 yen for children. So, in other words, you can get your whole family into the park for fewer bucks than the price of a single visitor at Disneyland.
Above: From one of the souvenir shops

6. It is easy to access 

The Moomin Park is situated north of Tokyo, in Saitama Prefecture's Hanno City (飯能). You can get to Hanno by train from Ikebukuro in only 50 minutes, and from the train station, it takes 13 minutes to the park by bus. Should be easy to get there, even if you speak limited Japanese!


Have you been to the new Moomin Valley Park yet? If you have, what did you think of it? Please leave me a comment below and tell me what you think!

- Anette

 ◆Basic Info

  • Moomin Valley Park (ムーミンバレーパーク)
    Opening Hours:
    10:00AM - 20:00PM
    Access: 
    50 min by train from Ikebukuro Station. Go out the Northern Exit of Hanno Station 「飯能駅北口」and take the bus from station 1 to Metsä (メッツァ)
    Official Oze Webpage:
    https://metsa-hanno.com/en/
  •   


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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette


A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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