Back in Tokyo ! Helsinki-London-Tokyo

Good day for you from the promised land called Japan ! Heck yea !
I’m back and I’m sweating more than a polar bear in Africa !

It’s so hot in here that you could throw an egg to the sumida river and it would be ready to eat in couple of sec.

Let’s start the story of my trip. (full of surprises)

Ok so here I was packing and decided to take a photo of my bag in the packing process. Not that interesting I know :D.
Helsinki to Tokyo via London
I left from Lahti at 3.50am buss at Sunday 13th and I arrived to the airport like 5.05am. I was watching anime and relaxing in the bus. (but did not fell a sleep tho)
Helsinki to Tokyo via LondonHelsinki to Tokyo via London
At the airport I got everything done quite fast, boarding passes & luggage were both okay but the surprising part was that my bag only weight 13kg ( can’t say how much it will weigh when I fly back tho hah).
Here are couple of shots at the Helsinki airport.
There was a lot of advertising of the world championship of ice hockey.
Helsinki to Tokyo via LondonHelsinki to Tokyo via LondonHelsinki to Tokyo via London

Bought some tax free stuff as well !
Helsinki to Tokyo via London

Since I was flying via London I had to go through the passport check at Helsinki because England is not part of the shengen thingy (no idea how to write it). very interesting side of the airport that I never seen.
Helsinki to Tokyo via London

Kinda empty ( I was the first one there)
Helsinki to Tokyo via LondonHelsinki to Tokyo via London
Place to play angry birds 🙂
Helsinki to Tokyo via London
Helsinki to Tokyo via LondonHelsinki to Tokyo via London

playing with my mac and taking a photo of myself .. weird huh ?
Helsinki to Tokyo via London

cute bird that was flying inside the terminal
Helsinki to Tokyo via London

Also here are some shots from the first flight which went great without any problems. Was watching the Big bang theory tv show all the flight from my iPad.
Helsinki to Tokyo via LondonHelsinki to Tokyo via LondonHelsinki to Tokyo via London

Here are some shots of London from up high.
Helsinki to Tokyo via LondonHelsinki to Tokyo via LondonHelsinki to Tokyo via London
When I arrived to London the first thing that made me go nuts happened. Soon as I arrive to an airport I want to know the gate where my next flight is but in London that is impossible it seems, they show you your boarding gate like 1 hour or so before the airplane takes off… pissed me off a bit.
Helsinki to Tokyo via London
other then that it was a very nice airport with good restaurants and easy access to all the terminals. I changed from terminal 3 to terminal 5 without any hassle.
Helsinki to Tokyo via LondonHelsinki to Tokyo via London
At the security checks I became friends with this great dude from the States called John. He was saying that he takes his shoes off always at the security check and I tolled him that in Europe you don’t have to do that ( he did it in Finland) so he went through the metal scanner right after we spoke about that and he started peeping and the guard ask him to take his shoes off anyway 😀 gave us quite a laugh.
After that we went to a restaurant and we got these great burgers.
Helsinki to Tokyo via LondonHelsinki to Tokyo via LondonHelsinki to Tokyo via London

And when the check came he put his card to the table and paid my share as well. Amazing how most Americans I have met have been super polite !

After the meal he went to his gate and I was still waiting until they would tell me my gate as well.
Soon as I saw my gate number it was very easy to find it tho.
Helsinki to Tokyo via London

…condom vending machine at the airport toilet !
Helsinki to Tokyo via London

British airways airplane was amazing with it’s very good screens and even the controller was better than normal.
also the other wicked thing about this airplane was that every seat had their own USB connector so you could for example recharger your phone/ipad or watch photos from your camera.
Helsinki to Tokyo via LondonHelsinki to Tokyo via LondonHelsinki to Tokyo via LondonHelsinki to Tokyo via London

I came friends with this very cool British guy as well whose name sadly slipped my mind this morning. He had this amazing little USB wifi device and with it he created “free” wifi to the airplane pretty much hah.

It’s always nice to make friends with people who are sitting next to you or in transit as long time as you are!

The meal at the airplane was not bad at all either, good pasta.
Helsinki to Tokyo via LondonHelsinki to Tokyo via London

shot from the airplane for y’all.
Helsinki to Tokyo via London
airplane photo …

At this point we were arriving to Tokyo and I was way too excited.
photos of the screen …
Helsinki to Tokyo via London

When we landed to Tokyo the most horrible thing happened! not sure if I should write about this but what a hell they can sue me.

I went to the passport check with my visa papers and what not (getting a normal 3 month tourist visa). The girl at the desk said that I have passed my limit to stay in Japan (at this point my heart was racing). She said that a person can only stay in Japan 6 months a year and technically I have stayed at least 6 months in the past year. They were VERY close to send me back to Finland in the next airplane available but then a woman took me to the side room and asked me questions for about 20 mins about why I come to Japan what do I do here and so on and after that she gave me a visa and let me go in to the country. All of that time my hands were shaking and also my mind was in shock that would they really make me fly back! ( because I just arrived from 13 hour flight).

All ended well tho and she let me walk out with no harm done and my luggage was waiting for me there with the police dog sitting next to it (guarding it ? :D).
I recharged my SUICA and took the first normal (cheap) keisei train to Ueno and from there to Asakusa to the hostel where I am temporarily staying.
Helsinki to Tokyo via LondonHelsinki to Tokyo via London

You can see from this photo of me that I was still a bit shocked from what just happened ( I would have had a crazy smile on me if everything would have went smoothly).
Helsinki to Tokyo via London

Made a quick visit at Akihabara and now I am all tired so I decided to write this for all of you since later I will go and try to get my spirit back with couple of ice cold Asahi super dry beers in my hand and a marlboro on the other.
Helsinki to Tokyo via London

New smoking area in Akihabara !!
Helsinki to Tokyo via London

That was my trip in short but I hope you liked it and learned something ! Tomorrow I will go running in the morning and then to take a lot of photos !

ps. Sorry for the many many typos I’m tired !

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My facebook page

Just wanted to mention that if you want to see some extra updates and photos, “like” my facebook page Photographer Ari Helminen

I just added there couple of albums of photos of my old photos that I’m sure all of you will like !

I’m off to bed now to watch the Ice hockey game between Finland and Canada! I’ll promise to update my site and my facebook page a lot !

https://www.facebook.com/Photographer.Ari.Helminen

Soon in Japan

Hi,

I’ll be going to Japan in the begin of may, to be more exact 15th if I remember right I guess that would be kinda in the middle but what ever!

I’ll be updating my site at least once a day and you can expect a lot of photos and videos as well ! sadly this time I can’t stay too long in Japan since this summer I have to go in to the Finnish military service which is mandatory for Finnish citizens. I have pushed it for years now because I truly do not want to go but this year I just get it over with so I don’t have to think about it in the future. It’s only 6 months so not that bad but that is still six months I could be living in Japan.

Again I will take a lot of photos on the day I will fly back to Japan! This time I will be flying via London and waiting there in transit for 5 hours. Sadly I could not get flights with JAL because they were just too damn expensive so I’ll be flying with Finnair and BA this time. I haven’t flown with BA for quite some time so will be interesting to see how good they are these days.

I have this tradition that I do before I travel somewhere that  I stop watching my favorite tv shows and anime until the day I fly so in the airport buss, at the airport and in the airplane I have a lot of entertainment.

I’ll be making a izakaya party soon as I get back and you are all welcome if you are in Tokyo at that time. Since my girl has moved back to north Japan I will visit there as well of course so I will try to get some photos taken in there too.

I have been working some odd jobs to gather some more cash for this trip and to be honest I have done quite well that means there will be many asahi bottles and delicious food with my name on them !

Now I’m trying to sell my ipad2 quickly away so I could get the “new ipad”. I guess I’m just one of these apple crazy people who have to have everything “new” heh. Actually I will be going to few things when I get back to Tokyo from the apple store including the new ipad, ipod nano and a big maybe a macbook air as well.

I uploaded some photos from my childhood home to a website if you want to see My room in Figure fm. I know it is a bit Otaku-ish “geeky” . Since I’m traveling so much and planning that move to Japan I decided that I’m not getting a new place in Finland so I’m still in that room heh. I had my own apartment once but it got flooded so moved my stuff back here for a bit.

Also in that same website you can see photos from my apartment in Tokyo.

To conclude just in one month I’ll be back in beautiful Japan taking photos everyday and updating my site more and more. I hope there I can find someone who could help me make my site better ! 😀

Finland, Lahti Ski Games

Hellooo,

This is a post about a job I had a week ago. I was working as an attaché for the team of Japan in the world famous ski competition in my city.

Lahti ski games (Salpausselän kisat)
Is a yearly international winter sport event. It lasts about 3 days and there are three different sports that include cross-country skiing, ski jumping and Nordic combined.
I’m not that much in to winter sports so I did not know pretty much anything about the event but I learned a lot while working there. The second day of the competition everyone always gather there to see the beautiful fireworks that they have.

There were three different attachés for the team of Japan and since the team was competing in all three events we decided that each attaché was in charge of each sport ( I was the attaché for the ski jump team)

This was my team (I can promise that they are not happy that I post their photos here but let’s hope that they don’t read my blog)
Lahti ski games 2012

I had my small sony with my so I got some nice shots here and there, technically I was not allowed to take photos but well my boss didn’t know about that I did.

these are the main ski jumps of Lahti and where the competition is held. Sadly that weekend it was so windy that the athletes had to jump from the second biggest ski jump.
Lahti ski games 2012

Most of the time we were standing outside cheering our teams and being there just in case if they needed us for anything or sitting in our office and watching tv heh.
Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012

You can see how busy I am from this photo
Lahti ski games 2012
Or not 😀

We did get free food tho and I have to say that it was not bad at all.
Lahti ski games 2012

Some outside photos 😀
Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012

In this photo you can see many of the Attachés who worked there and some other people. (if you can find me I give you a cookie or two ! . The white bear? is like a mascot of the event .. I think 😀 There was a small girl inside.
Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012

One of the most famous Japanese athletes at the event was Noriaki “Kamikaze” Kasai. Very nice guy I talked with him couple times in Japanese of course. Got a love his nick name “kamikaze” hehe 😀
Lahti ski games 2012

Next week I’ll tell you more specific info about my next flights to Japan and other info 😀 one thing I can promise, much much more photos ! 😀

Tokyo Haneda to Helsinki – Vantaa via Paris

Hi y’all !

I have been all day writing this very nice story of my trip from Tokyo to Helsinki and about 5 minutes ago when I got it all done and checked that the photos and text were ok and I clicked publish like I always do.. guess what happened?!?! it deleted everything I have been writing for hours now.. Also it did not make a backup of it like it normally does. Why did I have this amazing luck.. I will try to write it as good as I did before. Doing my best to finish it today or if I can’t than I will do it tomorrow.

So let’s start again..

I had to fly back to Finland for few months because of a family matter that I’m having but I will be flying back to Tokyo very soon. Actually I got my flights already for May. Normally I always fly via Paris but this time I will be going to London for 4 hours and than flying to Japan with British airways this time.

My flight was at 01.30am this time, we left to the airport at 9pm so we could be together in the airport a bit before my flight.

We were having our last cigarets in our normal spot in front of my favorite combini.
At Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via Paris

I do love Haneda airport because it is so easy to access from Tokyo, no need for some expensive special trains like Narita airport. You can just jump to the Asakusa line and you’ll be in the airport in no time!
At Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via Paris

I wish I could always use Haneda airport when flying to or from Tokyo since it is such a good airport compared to Narita.

When we arrived to the metro station of my terminal I truly did get that feeling of ” I’m really leaving my beautiful Japan again” luckily it is only for couple of months but you should already know how crazy I am of Japan.
At Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via ParisAt Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via ParisAt Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via Paris

As you can see from these two photos that Haneda airport is very comfy and has a beautiful architecture.
At Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via ParisAt Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via Paris

At the checking I was very stressed because of I thought that my luggage was over weight (like always I’m paranoid hah) but I got lucky and the bags were just to the limit!
At Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via Paris

Haneda also has this amazing looking old/modern/traditional shopping area that has everything you’d need. It’s not inside the gates so it is a good place to go shopping even if you are not flying, the prices are not that bad when you think of design clothes and such.
At Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via ParisAt Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via ParisAt Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via ParisAt Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via ParisAt Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via ParisAt Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via Paris

My tickets ! of course window seat as always ! Got a love that JAL (Japan airways) best airliner in the world 😀 Always flying in that economy class, my dream is that someday I could be flying in business class or 1st class!
At Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via Paris

While we were waiting for my flights we got a bit hungry so we were searching a good place to eat but most of the food in the airport was a bit overpriced. We did get lucky tho and found this great burger joint that had some different kind of burgers that I’m normally used to so I had to try ’em!
Mt. Fuji hamburger in Haneda airport

As soon as I saw that they had a hamburger called “Mt.Fuji” I had to have it 😀
Mt. Fuji hamburger in Haneda airportMt. Fuji hamburger in Haneda airportAt Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via Paris

that chain also has a place in Roppongi if I’m not mistaken, I have to try it again when I come back.

Big NEWS ! Haneda airport has the best toilet that I have ever tried! cleanest and most modern that I have ever been in! I would consider saying that this is the best public toilet in the world ! (Had to take a quick snap shot after I did my business hehe)
At Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via Paris

Haneda airport also has a huge outside observatory where you can see airplanes landing and it even has tables for a picnic 😀 I’m so going there next time to take photos of airplanes landing!
At Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via ParisAt Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via ParisAt Tokyo Haneda, flying back to Helsinki via Paris

There is so much to do in Haneda without going through any kind of security checks or passport controls.

This is me sitting alone outside my boarding gate, missing my girl and sad to leave Japan even tho it is only for couple of months. That neck pillow I have is great ! I got it free from the buss company when I went to Aomori 😀
Tokyo to Helsinki via paris

Time for boarding at 1am, sucked to leave but luckily the wifi there was very good as well so I could facetime with my girl at the same time 😀
Tokyo to Helsinki via parisTokyo to Helsinki via paris

Oh yes !! Would be so wicked to sit in these seats but sadly mine were not them ! Someday…. !
Tokyo to Helsinki via paris

The flight did go pretty well tho ! Now that I have flown with JAL more than twice I can say that it is truly the best airliner in the world

Japan airways JAL
– Best service ( even better if you know japanese)
– most tasty food so far
– snacks were awesome
– beautiful flight attendants
– they make you feel like a king/queen no matter what class you sit in

Little comparison

Finnair
– Rude service
– food is not horrible but it is not good either
– snacks… expensive and blaahhh
– flight attendants are like 40+ easily and they do look older (I’m sure there are exceptions but haven’t seen any so far)
– you are considered and handled as cattle hehe if I can say this bluntly

but yes back to the story.
couple of hick ups on my flight from Tokyo to Paris

1st. I wanted to listen music/watch movies but I could not find my earphones, I was searching them everywhere but just could not find them and when I landed to Paris I checked my back pocket and guess what they were there hehe I felt so stupid but I laughed it off 😀

2nd. Nice french couple who were sitting next to me did not want to get up when I wanted to go to the toilet and so on

Everything else went ok and I landed safely back to Europe.
One thing I got say about the Paris airport, it has the worst Wifi in the world !

My flight from Paris to Helsinki was delayed for hours and hours which was awesome … awesome… heh not
(my flights are the delayed ones of course)
Tokyo to Helsinki via paris
I was sitting in front of my boarding gate watching the empty space where the airplane should be for hours
Tokyo to Helsinki via paris

I had my macbook pro ready with movies so I watched couple and before I noticed the airplane was there!
Tokyo to Helsinki via paris

At this point I truly realized that oh my god I’m seriously flying back to Finland. So happy that I knew it was only for couple of months.
Tokyo to Helsinki via paris

At the airplane I did not want to think of anything so I was watching walking dead from my ipad and eating a crappy week old bread that smelled funny
Tokyo to Helsinki via paris
Tokyo to Helsinki via paris

Was missing my girl a lot at this point as well but I had photos of her a lot that kept me happy. Long distance can be horrible but these days the technology is amazing with the skypes,facetimes and what not.
Tokyo to Helsinki via paris

When I landed I got my luggage quickly and ran to the buss so I could get “home” fast.
Tokyo to Helsinki via paris

It was not fun writing this two times no less.. going through sad memories but like I said I got my flights back to the promised land!
Also my girl is coming to Finland for a week or two before I fly to Japan so I can be her guide around this place!

Last week I was working in a winter sport event called “Lahti ski games” as an Attaché for the team of Japan, I’ll tell you more about it in the next post and show you some photos as well!

Thank you for reading my blog! “Like” my facebook page 😀

Hellooo, renovating

Sorry that I haven’t posted for a while now.

I just bought a webhosting service and I’m trying to make my site better looking so I can fill it up with more info about japan, with a photo gallery and other things 🙂

But since I don’t know anything about computer language it will take a bit time. I’ll do my best.

My problem now is that I want to transfer my arihelminen.com under my new webhosts so I can get a new good looking theme that I have been checking out and also starting to use plugins. if anyone has good suggestions how to do this send me an email 😀

Helsinki,Finland to Tokyo,Japan

Image

Good Morning to you all from the Land of the rising sun !
Helsinki to Japan via Paris
I made it here after a loong flight! Let’s start the story on 13th of October, I did not sleep the past night since I had to go to the airport buss at 3am, I was very tired already at this point of my journey and it hasn’t even fully started yet.

About 4.25 am I arrived to Helsinki-Vantaa terminal 2 and went to check-in, this time I had no problem with my luggages, they did weigh somewhat  a lot 1st bag was 19kilos and the second one was 17,5kg plus my backpack which was about 14kg. Carrying them was  really not that difficult since I been going to the gym a lot and after I got to Japan and to the house my shoulders were killing me but we are not there yet.
Helsinki to Japan via ParisHelsinki to Japan via ParisHelsinki to Japan via Paris

— Yes I am !!! 😀
In the check-in they gave me only 1 ticket and that was of course from Helsinki to Paris and she tolled me that I have to get the other ticket in Paris, which of course was a bit difficult since I only had 1 hour 20minutes transfer time so she tolled me to go straight to the gate of my flight and go in with my passport and not get the boarding pass since there was no time.
Helsinki to Japan via Paris

—Was watching all the anime I was saving for months for this day
Helsinki to Japan via Paris
—Broken ipad2 at the airport 😦
Helsinki to Japan via Paris
—Finally the time of my flight came and the journey got started !

My flight from Helsinki to Paris went well, first thing the captain said was ” I’m sorry to inform you that we have to wait about 20minutes before we fly but seems like we have good wind today so we will be in time” of course I was more worried. Got a good seat almost in front of the airplane well right next to business class so I could get off the airplane fast.  I had couple of annoying Finnish models sitting next to me who were going to a fashion show in Paris, was very nice to listen them giggling and talking loud for over 2 hours… and my headache started.

When I was arriving to Paris I got ready to run off the airplane to catch my next flight, I met two other Finnish people who were going to the same terminal as I was and they were in a hurry too to catch their flight to Miami so we all ran together. We got to the terminal in good time and I even had time to go to JAL (Japan Airlines) desk to get my boarding pass, soon as I got it I ran through Terminal 2E to the security check and of course there was a long line! At this point I had about 40 mins left until my flight was leaving. I had some problems in the security check so I had to remove my shoes and put my bag through the scanner couple of times and remove my iPad ,iPod and iPhone, I must have looked like crazy apple supporter since I had my macbook pro there as well.

Finally I got through the checks and I noticed that I don’t have to take that train like last time so I still had some time to spare so I walked around a bit after I found my gate and took some photos. At this point of my journey I was so TIRED!!! I haven’t slept at all.
Helsinki to Japan via Paris
— Next to my gate
Helsinki to Japan via Paris
—Was in such a hurry in this point 😀
Helsinki to Japan via Paris
— Now all was okay and I made it!
Helsinki to Japan via ParisHelsinki to Japan via Paris
— Walking to the airplane.

In JAL airplane the safety videos are so cute !!
Helsinki to Japan via ParisHelsinki to Japan via ParisHelsinki to Japan via Paris

The food in the flight was so delicious !! To be honest the best food compared to all the other airlines I have flown !Helsinki to Japan via Paris
Flight from Paris to Tokyo went great ! I have to give a big hand for JAL and their catering, their food was actually very tasty and of course I was eating with chopsticks and ordering everything in Japanese. I met some nice people at the airplane as well, BUT I did not get more then maybe 2 hours of sleep total in this long 12 hour flight so you can imagine how tired I was.

After arriving to Haneda airport in Tokyo I was very relieved that all went well, now the only worry I had was for my luggage that did they make it or not to Japan since the short change time in Paris and also that if my camera lenses were okay. After the visa/passport check in Haneda I got my luggage and of course my luck they had a special drug search going on so I had to open my bags but since I am not carrying 50 kilos of cocaine on me I was okay.
Helsinki to Japan via Paris
I was walking out from the arrivals hall to the doors of Haneda and there was my girlfriend waiting for me, it had been long 4 months so was great to see her !

My neck was hurting, I had a headache, I was Super tired, I was very excited to be back home in Japan.

after we got to the house I took my medicine and we went to eat in a Family restaurant called Gasto and after I got full I was much better !

Let My life in Tokyo begin again !! ( I promise to blog a lot and take photos much more !! )

I was awake about 62 hours if my counting is right WOW no wonder I was a bit sick yesterday.

But now we are going to Ikea to get me some pillows and then to akihabara, and Izakaya ! today I’ll get drunk !!