Moominvalley park (also written as two separate words Moomin Valley) is a theme park from Tove Jansson's Moomin stories. Hanno was chosen as the first location outside of Finland to have a Moomin theme park because of the city's history with the Moomin characters. There is a longstanding free park in Hanno that for many years was nicknamed Moomin Valley. The popularity of the Moomin characters in Japan also played a part in the decision.
The entrance to Moominvalley park has three large picture page statues. Even if you are not paying into the park, you can get a photo at this colorful display. The Moomin House in the center of Moominvalley park has become a symbol of the Moominvalley theme park in Hanno City, Saitama. You can tour the house for an additional charge. At the moment, with the Coronavirus, you need to book in advance to take the tour.
Hemulen's playground is one of the attractions in the park that doesn't have an extra charge. It is very popular with children. Apart from the tree house pictured, there is a large chalk board, a merry-go-round and swings. Kokemus - an exhibition hall - also has no additional charge. The hall brings Tove Jansson's stories to life with life size exhibits using special effects. Each day there are live performances by the Moomin characters at the live stage which is located close to the entrance of the theme park. There are several places you can buy food at the park. Often the indoor restaurants are very busy, but there are several kiosks where you can get take away food. Particularly convenient during this period with the Coronavirus outbreak.
Moominvalley park is located at the west end of Metsa Village and the Miyazawa lake. You have to walk through the free Metsa Village to get to the entrance of the theme park. Parking is shared for both. Parking is free on the weekdays, but charged on weekends. The nearest highway exit is the Sayama Hidaka Interchange on the Ken-o expressway.
By public transport there is a bus that goes from Hanno Station (Seibu Ikebukuro line). There used to be a bus from Higashi Hanno station too, but that bus 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...