Opened last November 2018, Metsä Village is the place to experience the Scandinavian lifestyle -- cozy, relaxed, mindful, close to nature, and full of simple pleasures like good food. Admission is free and there's plenty to do. Kayak around the lake in an all-wood canoe proudly made in Hanno, or learn simpler wood craft at the workshop. Indulge in freshly prepared food sourced with local ingredients in one of the village's cafes, restaurants, or food trucks. Shop for authentic Nordic goodies. Or just sit, slow down, and take in the view. The Moomin Valley Park is set to open in March 2019 and promises to offer attractions that will bring to life Tove Jansson's beloved Moomin stories.
Note that if taking a car, parking costs ¥1,500 on weekdays and ¥2,500 on weekends and web reservations are necessary. The cheapest way to get here is by train. Take the Seibu Ikebukuro Line all the way to Hanno. Exit Hanno and take a bus headed to Metsä (メッツァ). At the moment, construction is underway for a station (along the JR Hachiko Line) right within walking distance to the theme park.
For Sherilyn Siy, Asia is home. Born in Hong Kong, Sherilyn spent time in the Philippines, China, and now lives in Japan. She speaks English, Filipino, Chinese (or putonghua), and Hokkien, her family's local dialect. Running is one of her favorite ways to explore Japan. She proudly finished the 2...