Moomin Park is a fun and unique park just 20 minutes from Yokota’s terminal gate! We spent an afternoon at the park in late March and had a wonderful hanami under the sakura trees. The park’s structures were created as replicas of a popular Finnish childrens book & TV series called the “Moomin’s”. The Moomin’s look akin to hippopotamuses and have adventures in Moominvalley. Although I had never heard of the series before we went to the park, I will definitely be checking it out.
There were several climbing structures, a large library (all books were in Japanese), a small bridge and babbling brook (perfect for wading) and best of all; a huge adobe three-story treehouse with plenty of places to hide and play. My children spent most of their time in the treehouse exploring the nooks and windows. There were surprises at every turn; perfect for little ones and big kids too. There is plenty of space to run around or have a picnic and bathrooms are located close by, next to a little store that sells Moomin merchandise. Entrance to the park is free, as is parking.
On our way out, we noticed a large playground just across the street from Moomin. We were pleasantly surprised to find several play areas, including a huge climbing structure that looked like a spiders web. The ground was covered in sand, making it a perfect place to bring sand toys. My son joined a sandcastle-making party and had a ball. This playground also had a large parking lot (in case Moomin’s is full), restrooms and nice shady areas. GPS: 35.830762, 139.344619. Phone: 042-972-7711. Address: 893-1 Azu, Hanno, Saitama Prefecture 357-0046, Japan. Webpage: http://www.city.hanno.saitama.jp/0000002658.html Hours: 9:00AM – 5:00PM (closed on Mondays and Public Holidays). Emily Gyimah, June 2014. Photos by Emily Gyimah & Sarah Straus 2014.