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Moomin-themed amusement park to open on March 16 near Tokyo

Moominvalley Park, Japan's first Moomin-themed amusement park throws open its doors to the media on March 5, 2019, in Hanno, Saitama Prefecture, ahead of its public opening on March 16. (Kyodo)

SAITAMA, Japan (Kyodo) -- An amusement park themed on the world of Finland's Moomin fairytale characters will open on March 16 in Saitama Prefecture near Tokyo, its operator said Tuesday.

The 7.3-hectare Moominvalley Park -- the first Moomin-themed amusement park in Japan -- is located within Metsa Village, a Nordic-centric attraction in the city of Hanno, according to the operator Moomin Monogatari Ltd.

Visitors will be able to watch shows that feature the characters from the stories and visit an exhibition that provides insight into the series' creator, Tove Jansson.

The Moomin characters, created by the Finnish author-illustrator, boomed in popularity in Japan when an animated television series starring the white hippopotamus-like creatures debuted in 1969.

Tickets cost 1,500 yen ($13) for junior high school students or older people and 1,000 yen for children 4 years old to elementary school age.

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