Metsa is a Finnish theme park comprising Moominvalley Park and Metsa Village. Moominvalley Park has admission fees, but the Metsa village has no entry fee. In summer, the umbrella sky colors the entrance road to the village. Thousands come to see the free umbrella art project. Apart from the umbrella sky, there are several events held in the village annually. Right now, the Christmas market is on.
Metsa Village has several shops and restaurants. The Metsa market hall has several satellite shops and eateries. For example, on the ground floor there is a Saiboku shop selling award-winning ham products from the acclaimed Saiboku farm in Hidaka City (also Saitama Prefecture). The village has a picturesque Starbucks too. The village is set around Miyazawa lake. All the shops and restaurants have a view of the lake. You can enjoy the view from the green area in front of the lake too. There are some seats that people can use for free.
There are some activities you can enjoy in the village. For example, they run several (very popular) workshops weekly. There is a treetop athletic "Panza" where both adults and children can play at a reasonable price. And you can also rent canoes to take out on the lake.
Moominvalley park, the part that you pay into, is just past the canoe rental area.
Metsa Village park is about a fifteen minute drive from the Sayama Hidaka Interchange of the ken-o expressway. Parking is free on weekdays, but it is charged on the weekends. It is capped at a maximum charge of 1800 yen for the whole day.
You can get a bus to Metsa Village from Seibu Ikebukuro line's Hanno Station. There is also a bus that goes from Higashi Hanno station, however, please note that it has been temporarily suspended.
Lynda has been in Japan for 20 years and blogging about Saitama on her personal blog insaitama.com for 14 of them. Despite its central location, just North of Tokyo, Saitama is still quite unknown to the international tourist, but frequented by domestic travelers. It is a great place to experien...