One of the downsides of working freelance and having an irregular working schedule is that you rarely can synchronize your schedule to mon-fri working friends. I often end up going somewhere I’ve never been before, alone, just taking my camera with me. I’m quite the introvert so I quite like to go on mini-adventures exploring new places without having to be considerate of an other person. Then again, I guess that there aren’t many people in my friend circle that would go through all the trouble and going all the way to Saitama (1,5 h) to see the Moomin Valley in Akebono Children’s Park. Although smaller than imagined, if you have a thing for Ghibli-esque architecture and are BFF with your inner child, it’s an eerie and magical place to spend an early afternoon. Since it’s pretty packed with overexcited hyperactive children during weekends, going on a weekday (bring some picnic food!) might be preferable. Fortunately, no actual hattifatteners to be seen on sight.