Last week I took a day trip to the magical fairytale-like village of Metsä in Moomin Valley, Hanno, Japan, with a few of my friends visiting from outside the country. Based on the popular comic strip and animated series created by Finnish author Tove Jansson, this friendly Moomin-themed park offers a day of relaxation, theater shows, and fun exhibits for visitors. Though I have lived in Japan for over 4 years now, this is one of the few theme parks I had yet to visit because it is roughly an hour and a half outside of central Tokyo. Though it was a bit of a long journey, I had a lot of fun venturing through this valley with my friends because it captures the spirit of the series.
Like in the series, the big blue Moominhouse is the first thing you’ll see once you enter the park! There are shows performed every 2 hours with dancing mascots, and many shops and restaurants you can enter. We ordered the following food at the cafe and were very impressed with the taste. Both the rice and latte art iced coffee were amazing!
My favorite park of Moomin Valley was the museum with multiple floors and interactive technology. There are a lot of animated exhibits you can see and play with here, as well as a maze that looks like a story book. I had a lot of fun getting lost in it and meeting all of the different Moomin characters:
Overall I thinking coming here was worth the experience, but I was a little disappointed that there weren’t any amusement rides. However, if you are a fan of the series, or if you have lived in Japan for a while and are looking for a different experience, I would recommend checking it out. Moomin Valley combines both nature and technology with makes it a memorable trip.
- Only 1500 yen entrance fee (very cheap compared to other theme parks)
- Beautiful scenery and not very crowded
- A great combination of nature and technology
- Targeted at younger children and families
- Additional fees required to enter some attractions
- No rides like in other amusement parks (not very action-packed)
Here is some footage I caught of the Moomin theater show. My friends and I were extremely impressed when they started riding the hover boards):