Moomin Theme Park Opens Near Tokyo

Moomin theme park opens near Tokyo

A theme park based on the popular Moomin series of children's books has opened in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo.

A long line of people, including young visitors dressed as Moomin characters, formed before Saturday's opening. The park is located beside a lake in the city of Hanno.

It is the first facility of its kind outside Finland, the home country of the books' author, Tove Jansson.

The facility consists of a newly-opened 70,000-square-meter paid area, called Moominvalley Park, and a free-admission section that opened last year.

Guided tours are being offered around a replica of the "Moominhouse".

At another facility, copies of Jansson's illustrations and a miniature Moominvalley, where the story is set, are on display. The Moominvalley replica measures more than eight meters high.

Visitors are also able to watch a show by Moomin characters at a theater.

A woman in her 20s from Yamanashi Prefecture said she had looked forward to the park's opening. She said meeting Moomin characters made her happy.

The park operator expects one million people will visit the facility each year.