Jul 24, 2019
In March this year the Moomin Valley Park (ムーミンバレーパーク) opened in Saitama Prefecture and for sure it quickly got my attention. When a friend then ask me if we could go there together, I promptly said yes and we tried to find a date comfortable for both of us. We chose a Wednesday at the end of June, hoping that the rainy season would take a break for us. And yes, the weather gods were in a good mood and a day filled with sunshine was promised to us.
The Moomin Valley Park is located in Hanno City and with public transport it's easiest to access from Hanno Station by bus. There are many signs telling you where to find the bus, so don't worry. Just take a note that you can’t pay with your IC card in the bus. The one-way ride costs 200 yen, so it would be perfect if you have this in coins.
At the entrance of Metsä, the Finland themed park, where the Moomin Valley Park is located, we were welcomed by a beautiful installation of umbrellas between the trees. The first spot to take some nice photos.
You have to walk a few minutes to get to the entrance of the Moomin Park. Admission costs 1,600 yen for adults. That sounds cheap for a theme park, however, inside you have to pay extra money for some of the attractions - and this can get pricey.
We arrived just in the time for the first show of the day. The seating area was covered with a roof which I was very grateful for because the sun was already pretty strong. The show was nice and I enjoyed it a lot; especially because the actors also walk through the visitor's area. It lasted about 25 minutes and takes place three times a day.
After taking a look around we decided to try out the Merenhuiske attraction. The "orchestra of the ocean" is one of the attractions where you have to pay extra. You can get the time ticket for 1,000 yen close to the attraction exit. Most of the time a member of staff was there to help you. The attraction looked pretty nice on the photo on the official website, but it was not as exciting as I expected. Mainly you have a huge screen, a boat and airplane appearing in the middle of the room and some splashing water. It was not bad and for fans probably interesting, but I wouldn't go in a second time for 1,000 yen.
Next we went to the free exhibition inside the Kokemus Building. The exhibition is located on the 3rd and 2nd floor and was really amazing. There was a lot to see and experience and we spent quite a long time inside.
On the 2nd floor you also can find a cafe and on the 1st floor a restaurant. We wanted to enter the restaurant, but had to get a number ticket with a waiting time of about one hour. However, the ticket has a QR code and while walking around you could check with your smartphone how much time was left until you could enter. This was really useful. We decided to just have a few small snacks there, but the main dishes also looked nice. I especially like the interior of the restaurant.
Before we left the Moomin Valley Park we took a look around in the different shops. They have many Moomin goods and if you are a fan you should definitely bring a big wallet with you.
We ended up having some delicious pancakes at the restaurant close to the park entrance before we went back to the bus stop. It was a really nice day and I will probably go there again with some Moomin fan friends in the future. I liked the nature around and the calm atmosphere. Definitely worth a visit.
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For sure I had my video camera with me on this day and made a short video about our visit there for my Youtube channel. Feel free to take a look. English subtitle is available.
German woman who made several trips to Japan, did one year Working Holiday and started living in Japan again since Oct' 2016 with Japanese husband. Loves music, cats, traveling and food.
Also take a look to my German blog and my Youtube Channel (new video every Friday) → https://www.youtube.com/c/YokoLostInJapan