The Tove Jansson Akebono Children's Forest Park in Hanno first opened 20 years ago and has since then been loved by generations. Admission is FREE (great news for those who love all things Moomin but find the entrance fee to the new Moomin Valley Park - also in Hanno - prohibitive). We have been to this park numerous times and have always enjoyed exploring the little nooks and crannies of the Mushroom House. The park is a place you'd love to spend more time in and has been begging for a place where you can buy refreshments. Then last June, 2018, a new Scandinavian style cafe opened within the park. Café Puisto ("Puisto" being Finnish for "park") blends right into this Moomin themed park with its vivid blue color and quirky Nordic furnishings. Aside from coffee, the cafe dishes up various smørrebrød (open sandwiches on thinly sliced bread) and tarts.
The nearest train station, Motokaji, on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line, is still a 20 minute walk away. Most people come by car and ample parking spaces are available.
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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.