Summer is just around the corner and Saitama's family-friendly Moominvalley Park has already begun its summertime events and activities. Only about an hour by train from Ikebukuro Station, the vast park themed on the Moomintroll saga offers fun workshops, Instagrammable photo ops, water features to help the little ones cool down and much more.
To get an idea of what to expect, check out the two special events below.
Until July 3
Moominvalley Park’s summertime Umbrella Sky event features 1,200 colourful umbrellas lined up above a 200-metre-long walking path. This year's display is themed on designs from the Moomin picture book The Dangerous Journey, published in 1977. The beautiful stretch of colourful translucent umbrellas creates stunning light and shadow effects. Some of the umbrellas even feature different Moomin characters.
On June 5, 12, 19, 26 and July 3, kids can listen to the story of The Dangerous Journey on the second floor of the Kokemus building (in Japanese only). Storytime starts at 3pm each day. A variety of souvenirs based on the story are sold on the first floor of the same building, where you can also create your own Moominvalley x Umbrella badge for ¥500.
Sea of Clouds
From July 16 to September 25
To help combat Japan’s extremely hot and humid summer, Moominvalley Park now has mist generators around the Moomin Mansion, essentially turning the area into a mystical sea of clouds. You might want to keep an eye out for the Hattifatteners, as these funny-looking ghost-like creatures may suddenly appear in the mist. There will also be water features nearby for kids to play in and cool down, so don’t forget to bring some towels and a change of clothes. The little ones can also join in a number of art workshops (until August 28) at the Kokemus building.
If you’re looking for more Moomin fun, upgrade your visit by spending a night at any of these Moomin-themed hotels near Tokyo.
This article was published on May 31 and updated on June 22.
More from Time Out
Want to be the first to know what’s cool in Tokyo? Sign up to our newsletter for the latest updates from Tokyo and Japan.