Moominvalley Park opened on March 16, 2019 near Lake Miyazawa, Hanno City, Saitama Prefecture. The first Moomin theme park outside of Finland, visitors can experience life from a Moomin's perspective. Here’s everything you need to know about entrance into the park and many of the highlight attractions!
Where is Moominvalley Park - and how to get there?
Hanno City, located in the southwestern part of Saitama Prefecture, is about 50 km from Tokyo. The location is perfect for re-creating a piece of Finnish culture surrounded by woods and water, and can also be reached from Tokyo by car or train in about an hour and a half.
To get there by train, take the Seibu Ikebukuro Line to Hanno Station, and leave via the north exit. Or take the JR Hachiko Lino to Higashi-Hanno Station. From the east exit you can take a 12-minute bus ride (weekends only) to Moominvalley Park. Access by car is also convenient, and the park is only about 12 minutes from the Ken-o Expressway’s Satama-Hidaka Interchange.
Four areas retell the Moomin story!
The Moomins’ creator, Tove Jansson, was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1914. Her father was a sculptor and her mother was an illustrator, and Jansson, influenced by her artistic parents, planned to become a painter. Let's go visit the Moomins and their friends, born in the imagination of Tove Jansson!
Walking along the lakeside from Metsä Village, you’ll the lighthouse that appears in "Moominpappa at Sea" and your excitement is sure to grow!
When you look up to see what’s making the sound, you’ll be delighted by artwork made from Hanno’s own Nishikawa wood swaying in the wind. The cutouts are shaped like Moominpappa's top hat, Snufkin's pointed hat and more!
The park is roughly divided into four areas: Hajimari no Irie, Moominvalley, Kokemus, and Osabishiyama. All four are wonderfully filled with attractions, cafes, shops, and exhibitions based on the Moomin world.
Pass through the book-shaped welcome gate and entered the the magical Moominvalley Park.
Admission is 1,500 yen for adults (13 years and older), 1,000 yen for children (4-12 years old), and children 3 years old or younger are free. Purchasing tickets online is recommended to guarantee entry into the park.
The welcome gates lead directly into the Hajimari no Irie area and its “Alku Kauppa” souvenir shop and “Lettula” pancake restaurant.
Lettula offers a variety of pancakes including "Berry Berry Lettu" and "Cotton Candy Cloud Pancake.” When the weather is nice, the terrace is a great place to enjoy your meal and the lakeside scenery.
As you near Moominhouse, you can almost hear them breathing! Welcome to Moominhouse, which is all about the details!
After passing the trees, Moominvalley Park's iconic Moominhouse (Muumitalo) comes into view. Now you’re finally the main Moominvalley area.
A stream flows through Moominvalley and in front of Moominhouse. You can imagine Moomin and Snufkin sitting and talking on the bridge.
Moominhouse has three stories above ground, as well as a basement and an attic.
If you take the guided tour, you can tour the interior of Moominhouse (about 20 minutes, 1,000 yen per person, Pre-order required). The guide will lead you through the house while presenting various story scenes.
Tours are divided into 3 groups of about 6 people, each starting from different floors. If you start in the basement, you’ll see storage for food, such as homemade jams and cheese.
The guide exclaims, "Ah! Look at the tiny footprints!” and if you look closely, there are cute 3 centimeter footprints on the wine barrel. Who do they belong to?
“What’s that sound coming from the bottom of the wall?”
"Oh, there's also a piece of cheese here!" Apparently, many small creatures seem to live in Moominhouse. Throughout the tour, the guide will subtly point out some of the finer details you might miss along the way. It makes the tour so much more fun!
Next, go up the spiral staircase to the first floor. There you’ll find the kitchen and dining area, and the main entrance.
At the dining table, it looks as if Moominmamma and Little My have just been enjoying tea time. There are delicious pancakes and ginger cookies. Maybe some Moomins will come out of hiding soon!
Continuing upstairs to the second floor, guests can visit the living room and Moominpappa and Moominmamma’s bedroom.
On the third floor you can visit Little My’s room, Moomintroll’s room, and guest rooms.
On one table, the items that reminded visitors that "Daddy was planning for the next adventure." Well, where are you going next?
Looking up from the third floor, you can see a small room. Moominpappa’s study is only accessible by a rope ladder and there’s a trick to finding out what he’s doing, so try looking for it!
Ms. Arisa Kawasaki, creative director of Moomin Monogatari which runs Moominvalley Park says, "In the house, there are many items from doorknobs tablecloths, dishes, carpets, etc. These have been purchased not only in Finland but also from antique shops in Denmark and Norway."
It's precisely because of details like this that you can feel like you’re in a world where Moomins really live.
Be ready for the “Moomin Magic” to transport you back to childhood and put a smile on your face!
What other Moominvalley Park attractions can you enjoy?
In the Moominvalley Area, guests can watch live shows starring the Moomin family and their friends and Emma Teatteri (Emma’s Theater), and witness Japan’s first experience-based morphing theater Sea Orchestra No. Merenhuiske. There are also cafes, shops, and other attractions like the Muikku Foto studio where photos can be taken with the Moomins.
The main Moominvalley Area and Moominhouse really make you feel like you’ve come to know the Moomin family and their friends most closely!
The Treehouse has the magical power to excite children and adults alike!
The "Osabishi Mountain Area" is located on a small mountain, and is perfect for relaxing in the quiet forest. Amusement park area is carpeted with soft wood chips, so it’s a good place for children to play.
The Osabishiyama Area is full of exciting things to see and do and children and adults alike can enjoy the relaxed environment.
The Osabishiyama Area is also home to Snufkin’s tent, an observatory, and a lighthouse.
A Moomin fan must see! The academic experience facility “Kokemus” where you can understand the Moomin world more deeply
“Kokemus” is Finnish for “experience.” The facility gives visitors the opportunity to learn more about the life of author Tove Jansoon and to further experience the Moomin story.
The first floor consists of a restaurant and a shop, with exhibition areas on the second and third floors. Interestingly, the building’s elevator doesn’t stop at that second floor, but goes directly to the third. From there, you can best appreciate your interaction with the Kokemus center.
Ascend to the third floor and when the elevator door opens – a Moomin suddenly runs through the dark red forest right before your eyes!
The black and white illustrations from the novels are transformed into three-dimensional versions, colored, and rendered in CG, to realize the “Nature of Moominvalley.” Many of the colors may seem somber or muted, but that’s because the Moomin world can’t be fully represented by brightness alone.
Walking through the exhibition you’ll feel like a character in the books as their two-dimensional world jumps off the page in three dimensions!
Next is the “Picture Book Display” where the first Moomin story, “The Book about Moomin, Mymble and Little My” (a.k.a “What Happens Next?”), is vividly and creatively presented.
The sound of Tove Jansson herself reading the story is powerful.
The center of Kokemus features a huge diorama of Moominvalley, rising from the second floor to the third.
Be sure to take a look at the mural painted on the wall of the stairs between the second and third floors. It’s a reproduction Tove Jansson’s artwork and an identical mural can be found in Helsinki’s Aurora Children's Hospital.
The second floor attractions include permanent & temporary exhibition spaces, the “Tove's Memory” theater, a shop & cafe, and a workshop that reproduces Jansson’s own at her summer home.
The permanent “Moominvalley Gallery” has a color-coded theme and is filled with illustrations from the books.
The temporary exhibition hall is currently showcasing “Tove Jansson and Moomin” until March 2020. Here, guests can learn more about the author’s life and journey.
The exhibition is an excellent way to learn many little-known facts about Jansson’s life and the Moomin literary world.
The exhibition halls exit into the “Kauppa & Kahvila” shop and café. There, patrons can purchase authentic Finnish Moomin gifts and sweets and enjoy the view from the balcony seats.
In the "Paja" workshop, guests can make three kinds of Moomin-themed crafts.
Please note that it’s necessary to purchase your workshop tickets in advance, available from 10:00 the day of your visit, and that the number of tickets available is limited.
Experience the Nordic tastes of the Moomin gourmet!
After fun day of exploring Moominvalley Park, you’ll want to sample the Nordic cuisine at the Moominvalley Cafeteria. The menu is characterized by dishes inspired by scenes and characters from the Moomin story.
Park-only exclusive souvenirs!
There are souvenir shops located throughout the park, but the best is “Muumilaakso Kauppa.” Located on the first floor of Kokemus, it’s one of the world's largest Moomin shops with about 1,000 different souvenirs.
Recommended for adults! Moominvalley Park is a return to childhood
"I want you to feel the nature changing every day here," says Ms. Kawasaki. The scent of the soil after the rain, the noise of insects hidden in the fallen leaves, the sound of the wind passing through the trees. Benches surrounded by a lakeside forest engraved with words and phrases from the Moomin story.
Tove Jansson delivers a message through her characters’ words.
As you wander through the park, you’ll be touched by the kind, warm atmosphere. And by the time you leave, you’ll have truly been transported back to the heart of your childhood.
Moomin World’s unique view of the world has mysterious power to recapture that “something" that’s forgotten in busy times. That's why Moominvalley Park is great for adults too!
Ms. Kawasaki also says, “Families, friends, and couples enjoy visiting – but so do solo visitors because since the residents of Moominvalley are so close to their hearts."
Why not leave the flow of time and experience the rich Nordic spirit? Your friends are waiting in Moominvalley Park!
- Address 431-3-58 Miyazawa, Hanno, Saitama 357-0001
Hours: Daily 9:00am - 8:00pm（7/20〜9/1; after which the park will open at 10:00am）
Written by Furuya Reiko. English translation by Gabriel Wilkinson.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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