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News 09.11.2018

Japan’s Metsä Village set to become a major hub for Finnish brands – Business Finland helped companies reach new horizons

Metsä Village opened Friday 9 November for public. Photo: Metsa (C)

Japan, the world's third-largest consumer economy, is a desirable market for Finnish brands. Business Finland united Finnish companies with a major overseas enterprise – now Hanno, Japan is home to Metsä Village, a hub for Finnish design, food and drinks. Located in Greater Tokyo, the park is expected to attract one million visitors annually.

Finnish brands are in high demand in Japan. Next year, the new Moominvalley Park will be opened only an hour’s train ride from Tokyo. A result of many years of active development by Business Finland, the venue will offer an entirely new sales environment for Finnish brands.

“Finland embodies Northern Europe, or Hokuo, in Japan. While Sweden and Denmark are ahead image-wise, studies show that Finland is by far the most interesting Nordic country in Japan”, Business Finland’s Senior Advisor Pekka Laitinen explains.

The sales venue will open on Friday, 9 Nov 2018, as the first phase of the park, Metsä Village, opens for business. The park is designed to make Finnish products more readily available.

“Tokyo is a vast jungle where standing out is nearly impossible without a high-profile venue such as Metsä Village – a showcase for Nordic slow life. In Metsä Village, the brands benefit from an audience already interested in Finland, which translates to great potential for sales”, Laitinen adds.

Business Finland provided support for the brands by introducing them with the park’s creators, facilitating meetings and helping get the international collaborations started.

“The Japanese see Finland as a wonderful haven of peace. The Moomins, northern lights and Marimekko are to thank. Numerous Finnish brands have since found long-term partners in Japan”, says Sami Häikiö, Program Manager for Lifestyle Finland at Business Finland.

Fazer’s return to Japan – products only available in Japan at Metsä Village

Metsä Village is full of high-quality brands from Finland: the Japanese consumers have their pick from Finlayson’s textiles, Marimekko, tableware from Arabia and Iittala’s vases. Laitinen reveals that Metsä Village aims to become the world hub for Nordic brands: the flagship store plans to have products from at least 70 top-tier Nordic brands.

Fazer, who previously had their own store in Japan, are now back on the market, providing the only Fazer products in the country at Metsä Village.

“Japanese consumers want exclusive products. Moominvalley Park will also have products that are only available from the venue”, Laitinen says.

Craft brews, Finnish chocolate and ice cream

The park allows visitors to sample Finnish delicacies, such as chocolate, ice cream and even squeaky cheese. Friends of berries and organic products will love the Biokia store. And for drink, the park provides craft beer from Finnish breweries, including Stadin Panimo, Fiskarssin Panimo, Stallhagen, Kuura Cider and Kyrö Distillery. Visitors can enjoy a picnic lunch amid the park’s enchanting nature and sip an afternoon coffee with snacks at Robert’s Coffee.

Esa Wrang, Director of Food from Finland, believes that the park’s combination of food, drink and design will have a unique appeal in Japan.

“Showcasing Finnish nature and the experiences it affords along with top-tier consumer products from Finland is an unprecedented combination in Japan. This is an entirely new marketing concept for Finnish Brands”, Wrang states.

Fact: Moominvalley Park required years of planning
  • Together, Metsä Village and Moominvalley Park form a complete experience on opposing sides of Lake Miyazawa.
  • Metsä Village showcases the Nordic way of life: it is built around a beautiful lake and surrounded by nature with a Nordic ambiance. The park also has Nordic-styled buildings which house cafés, restaurants and stores for Finnish brands.
  • Metsä Village is owned by FinTech Global Inc.
  • Planning for the park was commenced in 2013. The site was eventually found in the city of Hanno in 2015. Construction started in June 2017.
  • The Moomin Experience begins already at the Hanno railway station. Last year, a design competition was held in Finland for the railway station. The winning design comes from N.e.o Ark Oy.
  • Metsä Village, the first phase of Moominvalley Park, opens for public on 9 November. The second stage will open in March 2019, as Finland and Japan celebrate their centennial for forming diplomatic relations.
More information:

Pekka Laitinen, Senior Advisor
East Asia, Business Finland
+81 805 172 5984
pekka.laitinen (at) businessfinland.fi

Sami Häikiö, Program Manager
Lifestyle Finland, Business Finland
+358 50 576 2245
sami.haikio (at) businessfinland.fi

Salla Salovaara, Communications Specialist
Business Finland
+358 (0)40 526 0100
salla.salovaara (at) businessfinland.fi