On March 16, 2019, Saturday, the Moomin Valley Park is finally opening. Metsä Village, the free admission part of the park, opened last November 2018. Unlike Disneyland, Moomin Valley Park puts emphasis on the Moomin theme and bringing Tove Jansson's Moomin stories to life rather than having a lot of amusement park type of rides. Moomin Valley Park is all about relaxation and play. There will be a tree house play area, live stage area, dioramas, interactive exhibits, cafes and shops. Tickets can be purchased on their website. Entry costs ¥1000 for children 4 years and up, and ¥1,500 for adults. Some attractions charge extra fees.
Note that if taking a car, parking is pretty expensive 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.
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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 2015 Tokyo Marathon -- her first ever full marathon -- in 4 hours and 37 minutes. She was absolutely psyched when she got selected again to run the new Tokyo Marathon route in 2018. She hopes to complete other races in Japan.