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Complete Guide to Japan's Moominvalley Park: Highlights, Recommendations, and More!

Complete Guide to Japan's Moominvalley Park: Highlights, Recommendations, and More!

Date published: 13 August 2019
Last updated: 31 January 2020

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?

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.

Moominvalley Park is just past Metsä Village, adjacent to the shores of Lake Miyazawa

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.

Market building in Metsä Village – another recommended destination near Moominvalley Park

Four areas retell the Moomin story!

Four areas retell the Moomin story!
Sculpture of Tove Jansson and her creations located on the first floor of the “Kokemus” exhibition hall

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!

Moominpappa’s lighthouse

“Clatter, clatter…”

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!

Colorful artwork to welcome visitors

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.

Four book-shaped gates featuring Mumintroll (Moomin), Snufkin, Moominmamma, and Moominpappa

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.

Tickets are also available on the day depending on the number of visitors

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.

Very Berry Lettu (2,484 yen) – Extravagant pancakes with blueberry sauce © Moomin Characters™
Cotton Candy Cloud Pancakes (1,944 yen) © Moomin Characters™

As you continue through the park, you’ll see an Uimahuone (bath house) at the end of a pier extending out into the lake. In the story, Moominpappa built it for the Moomin family, who love the sea.

A bathing hut that has appeared in many in the Moomin stories. Walking around the pier you can see inside.
You can hear birds chirping in the trees. Being surrounded by nature is refreshing!

As you near Moominhouse, you can almost hear them breathing! Welcome to Moominhouse, which is all about the details!

As you near Moominhouse, you can almost hear them breathing! Welcome to Moominhouse, which is all about the details!
If you see smoke coming out of the chimney, maybe Moominmamma is making a meal!

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.

The Moomin family's laundry and a hammock both hang near the stairs leading to the basement. This is just one of many exciting glimpses into the Moomin family's life!

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.

Moominmamma’s homemade jam looks delicious and is perfect for spreading on pancakes!

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?

Look closely for hidden details!

“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.

A spice rack in the kitchen. Moominmamma shows her cooking skills with this spice.
Look up and you’ll see bread hanging in the kitchen.

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!

Who are these mouthwatering pancakes for?
Pictures of the Moomin family displayed on the wall near the entrance.

Continuing upstairs to the second floor, guests can visit the living room and Moominpappa and Moominmamma’s bedroom.

Moominpappa’s important things are on display in the living room, incliding a portrait of an ancestor.
Did you enjoy the music coming from the gramophone while relaxing on this classic sofa?
Moominpappa and Moominmamma's bedroom is decorated with rose wallpaper, rose wall hangings, rose carpet... A lovely atmosphere for rose-loving Moominmamma.
Taking a closer look at the guide’s uniform, you’ll see that it’s designed by Finland’s own Ivana Helsinki brand. The combination of the loose fit and hat is wonderful!
Pictures of Moominpappa andMoomminmamma decorated the windowsill. Will the guide tell you their love story?

On the third floor you can visit Little My’s room, Moomintroll’s room, and guest rooms.

Everything is a mini-sized in Little My’s room. Is Little My sleeping there?
A picture of “Seahorses” drawn on canvas in Mumintroll’s room.

On one table, the items that reminded visitors that "Daddy was planning for the next adventure." Well, where are you going next?

A lighthouse model, a globe, and a map... Items symbolizing dreams of the next adventure!

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!

I can’t go up to the attic, but is Moominpappa really up there?

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?

What other Moominvalley Park attractions can you enjoy?
©Moomin Characters™

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.

Emma's Theater has a performance of "Fun Moomin Family - The Beginning of Spring" (3 performances daily, free of charge, first-come-first-served basis).
The performers comes right up to the audience!
The Mood Orchestra of the Sea, where you can experience the youthful adventures of Moominpappa (1,000 yen)
A realistic presentation you can feel! © Moomin Characters™
Little My play spot Pikku Myyn Leikkipaikka (700 yen) where audience is caught up in Little My’s mischief.
Little My's laundry is in front of the entrance. It’s all so tiny and pretty!
Little My's Shop "Pikkku Myy Kauppa” where you can by Little My products
In the photo studio Muikku Foto, a professional photographer will take pictures with the Moomins in a theme of your choice (personal photography not allowed).
You can buy your framed photo for 2,000 yen.
The “Peli & Leikki” arcade game where you can win prizes is also fun for small children (3 trys, 500 yen)
You can actually mail postcards from the “Posti.” Be sure to check out the postmark!

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 Treehouse has the magical power to excite children and adults alike!
When you go up the stairs and cross the suspension bridge, you will reach the hut. What a great way to take a walk in the woods!

Next is the Osabishiyama Area.

The “Hemulen's Amusement Park” emerges from the forest with suspension bridges, treehouses, and merry-go-rounds taken right from the stories.

The interior is so cute! It would be fun to spend a day in such a wonderful forest cabin.
You’ll want to shout from the top of the treehouse – “Yahoo!”
Colorful candy is on the windowsill of the treehouse
Such an atmosphere of cuteness!
Colorful Seahorse merry-go-round

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.

Mushroom-shaped parasols and benches and a blackboard where you can draw freely.
Descending 400 meters from the top of Osabishiyama and over Lake Miyazawa, “The Hobgoblin’s Zipline Adventure” (Taikurin Seikkailupaikka) is Moominvalley Park’s most thrilling attraction (1,500 yen).

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

A Moomin fan must see! The academic experience facility “Kokemus” where you can understand the Moomin world more deeply
Moomintroll will greet you in front of Kokemus

“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 three-story Kokemus center

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!

Get lost in this strange and enchanting world!

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.

Hattifatteners start moving
The lake surface ripples when stepped on
At the end, the atmosphere is changed completely, and the colorful Moomin family and friends bid visitor farewell.

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 adventurous search for Little My start here.

The sound of Tove Jansson herself reading the story is powerful.

Returning from their adventure, Moomintroll and Mymble get handmade berry juice from Moominmamma.

The center of Kokemus features a huge diorama of Moominvalley, rising from the second floor to the third.

Moominhouse rotates and changing colors and lighting, and various mechanisms bring the scene to life. © Moomin Characters™
Moomintroll and Snufkin sitting on a bridge. Try to find the characters hidden throughout the diorama!

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 yellow theme represents “love, tolerance, family, and friendship.”
There are 77 Moomin friends on display.

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 evolution of how Moomintroll was illustrated. The familiar rounded form began in the 1950s. There certainly is a vast difference between the 1945 and 1962 renditions!
Photo of Jansson's workshop

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.

Interior image of the entire Moominvalley covered with snow

In the "Paja" workshop, guests can make three kinds of Moomin-themed crafts.

Gel nails featuring 10 Moomin characters and 2 colors. Can be applied every 15 minutes from 11:00, 13:00, 15:00 and 17:00 (800 yen per person).
Choosing from 20 designs and make your own Moomin badges. No set timetable. (500 yen per person for 2 badges).
Sea Horse painting, using local Nishikawa wood from Hanno City. Held at 11:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30 and 16:30. (1,500 yen per person)
Tie the ribbon and it’s done!

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!

Experience the Nordic tastes of the Moomin gourmet!
Kokemus first floor: Moominvalley Cafeteria (Muumilaakso Ruokala) © Moomin Characters™

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.

Front: “Jakob's Flying Stew” based on home-cooked Swedish food. (1,404 yen); Back: “Green Hat Pasta” reminiscent of Snufkin’s hat. (1,296 yen); Available at Moominvalley Cafeteria
Front: “Blue Hat Citrus Tart,” representative of Too-Ticky’s hat (702 yen); Back left: Sweet and sour strawberry “Ice Berry milk” (756 yen); Back right: Traditional Finnish confection “Laskiaispulla” (sweet cardamom bun) (540 yen); Available at Kauppa & Kahvila
“Original Hotdog,” featuring an Arabiki Frankfurter (¥ 756); Available at “Pikaruoka” food stand in the Moominvalley Area

Park-only exclusive souvenirs!

Park-only exclusive souvenirs!
“Moomin Park Limited Arabia Mug” (4,320 yen); Highly popular and may be sold out. Check website for availability.

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.

Plush Moomin family and friends (starting at 2,160 yen)
Moominhouse cookie tin (1,620 yen)
Fan-favorite Hattifattener Longbaum (1,080 yen)

Recommended for adults! Moominvalley Park is a return to childhood

Recommended for adults! Moominvalley Park is a return to childhood
Nishikawa wood benches

"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.

Benches feature plaques bearing quotes from the story

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!

  • Moominvalley Park
    • Address 431-3-58 Miyazawa, Hanno, Saitama 357-0001
    • Nearest Station Higashi-Hanno Station
    • Hours: Daily 9:00am - 8:00pm(7/20〜9/1; after which the park will open at 10:00am)

      Website: https://metsa-hanno.com/moominvalleypark/

Written by Furuya Reiko. English translation by Gabriel Wilkinson.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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