Ari & Eri Engaged

Since many of you been wondering are we engaged or not, I decided to make a post of us here to clear everything 😀

To start with yes her name is really Eri and I of course am Ari. People keep asking about our names always how similar they sound 😀

I have known my girl for over year and half now, first we started sending messages back and forward in the site called Japan-guide and from there we moved on to emails and twitter. When I came to Japan in the begin of March 2011 we met in the first week when I arrived there.

First time we met we went together to Tokyo tower since I never been there, in there we ate icecream together in baskin robins. From Tokyo tower we walked a long way to Odaiba aqua city (which is a long walk through rainbow bridge and so on). There we ate in the first izakaya I ever been in and that was a mind blowing experience for me.

Since then we met each other pretty much every weekend and went to party and drink in different izakayas around Tokyo. We also went to onsen together and we became a couple in April.

We have  traveled together in Japan in many fascinating places like Kyoto, Osaka, Nikko, Yokohama, Odawara and Aomori.

Here are some photos of us together.
Ari & Eri happily together
Ari & Eri happily togetherAri & Eri happily togetherAri & Eri happily together
Ari & Eri happily togetherAri & Eri happily togetherAri & Eri happily togetherAri & Eri happily togetherAri & Eri happily togetherAri & Eri happily togetherAri & Eri happily together

and here we are now. Yes I know I am a bit fat-ish looking but I did not have enough time and money to go to the gym. I’m now getting myself in to a good 8-pack ? hehe I can try.
Ari & Eri happily together

Purikura is a thing you have to do.
Ari & Eri happily together

If you are in love with someone like I am or you like my website, Check out my facebook pagePhotographer Ari Helminen” and click Like


Ari and Eri in Kyoto/Osaka

Few photos of Kyoto again !

My girl likes to be my private paparazzi so she took a lot of photos of me when I was working.

Photographing in Kyoto
The photos that she took are actually very good 😀
Photographing in KyotoPhotographing in KyotoPhotographing in Kyoto
Of course in my flickr you can see the photos I was taking or you can check out my Kyoto posts in this website !

I always look awesome in my yukata before going to the onsen !
Together in Kyoto

Here are some photos we took together at Kyoto !
autumn leafs
Together in Kyoto
at Kiyomizudera
Together in Kyoto
at kinkakuji
Together in Kyoto
at ginkakuji
Together in Kyoto
in the buss
Together in Kyoto

But we are off to cat cafe and then to eat somewhere ! See y’all later !

ps. if you like my website and want to see more, like my Facebook page (on the right)

My Sony in Kyoto

In the recent posts I only added photos that I took with my Nikon but in this one I will show you all kinds of photos that I just quickly took with my Sony pocket cam. Mostly photos of food we ate and so on ! I hope you like them and don’t become too hungry while watching the photos !

This is us leaving to the trip in the evening.
Ready for our trip to Kyoto !Ready for our trip to Kyoto !
I look so horrible in that photo !

The first and second High way stops we got off to stretch our legs, Very interesting places those highway stops !
Highway stop Tokyo-KyotoHighway stop Tokyo-Kyoto
Finally arrived to Kyoto at 5.30am
Arrived to Kyoto station

Our breakfast/lunch that morning
Japanese SaladBreakfast hotdog 朝食のホットドッグBreakfast hotdog 朝食のホットドッグNormal morning set in Japan cafeBreakfast hotdog 朝食のホットドッグ
I had the Hotdog morning set and my girl had a normal bacon morning set ! found that small cafe by accident and it was sooo delicious !

I ate way too much of Macha icecream (green tea) in Kyoto ! I’m in love with it !
Green tea icecream 抹茶ソフト
While I was having my ice cream my girl was eating this delicious dish called Zenzai!

Someday I want to try one of these over sized plates
Restaurant where everything is big

Had quite normal dinner as well since we were both tired after the first day and too bored to start searching a better restaurant.
Mix grill set (in Kyoto)Mix grill set (in Kyoto)

Here it is ! our room at the Ryokan we stayed at! We were there two nights, it was not bad at all considering it’s price which was about 6000yen a night and it had a goodish onsen downstairs and very close to the Kyoto station (about 3 min walk) ps. Sorry that it is quite messy ! was too lazy to clean for a quick photo.
Ryokan Kyoto 京都の旅館
Ryokan Kyoto 京都の旅館
This Fanta looked good at the store but when I tried it I was so disappointed
Delicious fanta.. NOT

Normal Morning McDonald meal (morning set)
Morning set at mcdonnalds

After the first Temple of the day I ate one of the best icecreams ever ! mixed with many Japanese flavors including Macha(green tea),Maron,other tea and vanilla.
Icecream mix , 四種のミックスソフト

Had a delicious late lunch the second day !
udon うどん湯葉丼抹茶パフェ Macha icecream抹茶パフェ Macha icecream抹茶パフェ Macha icecream
Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Delicious it made me cry !

Quick hot dog at Kyoto station the third day
Hotdog at Kyoto stationHotdog at Kyoto station

My breakfast after climbing the fushimi inari shrine mountain
breakfast toast

Our dinner before the buss back to Tokyo at Kyoto station
Spaghetti スパゲッティSpaghetti スパゲッティ

Delicious icecream ! no idea where I ate it tho, Macha flavor of course
Green tea icecream 抹茶ソフト

My girls Takoyaki (octopus balls)
たこ焼き takoyakiたこ焼き takoyaki
(my cola)

and some of the souvenirs we bought at kyoto.
Souvenirs from KyotoSouvenirs from Kyoto

More to come…

Third amazing day at Kyoto and Osaka

Sorry that it took this long to upload these photos ! The internet connection at my place been fighting with me a bit.

This day we visited only 2 different famous places in Kyoto and than we jumped to the local rapid train from Kyoto station to Osaka, to see the world famous Osakajo Castle.

Our buss left at 11.55pm (23.55) so we did have time but we knew that after we climbed on top of Fushimi inari Shrine (which is basically a mountain) that we would be very tired after that to start going all over Kyoto again. We walked to Tofukuji from Fushimi inari because it is in a walking distance and than took the train to Osaka. My first impression of Osaka was not that great I guess I am too much of a Tokyo lover, I do hear many people saying that they prefer Osaka over Tokyo but I don’t.

that day the visiting order was

in Kyoto
1st. Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine
2nd. Tofuku ji
and then in Osaka
3rd. Osakajo Castle
4th. Shopping streets of Kyoto (souvenirs)

Fushimi inari was breathtaking!
Couple of tips for all of you who want to go there
-Go very early preferably 6-7am, if you want to take beautiful photos and walk in peace
-Bring very good walking shoes ( there is a loooot of stairs)

I took way too much photos at this place because to me it was so beautiful with the colors and the spiritual feeling it had.
Here are some photos that I took.
Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社

This place is very famous for the amount of Torii it has and now you will see why.
Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社

They continued all the way the mountain and of course we climbed on top to see all of them.
Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社
No worries there was a vending machine !
Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社

Climb a mountain – Check
Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社

To make you understand how long way it is up there I tried to take few shots to show you.
Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社

So many stairs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When you go early enough you do not get this kind of photos. (just took this to show you that going very early is the best choice)
Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社
Putting up a new Torii
Fushimiinari shrine 伏見稲荷大社

We finally got down and we were a bit tired so we took a quick stop at a nice local cafe which had very good breakfast set. After we were all rested we left to see the famous Tofukuji Temple, we knew that it was going to be full of people but that did not bother us that much because of the beautiful autumn leafs.

Tofukuji Temple 東福寺Tofukuji Temple 東福寺Tofukuji Temple 東福寺Tofukuji Temple 東福寺Tofukuji Temple 東福寺Tofukuji Temple 東福寺Tofukuji Temple 東福寺Tofukuji Temple 東福寺Tofukuji Temple 東福寺Tofukuji Temple 東福寺Tofukuji Temple 東福寺Tofukuji Temple 東福寺Tofukuji Temple 東福寺

We took the first train out of Tofukuji to Kyoto station and there I had a delicious hot dog quickly and then we took the next semi rapid train to Osaka station, was very fast to be honest.
The Osaka castle is the 2nd real castle I have seen in Japan besides Odawara Castle. What can I say I love Japanese castles! It was very beautiful and since my girlfriend is a bit of a Japanese history otaku (geek) she was the perfect tour guide and knew the history of the castle as well.

I hope you enjoy the photos I took of it !
Osakajo Castle 大阪城Osakajo Castle 大阪城Osakajo Castle 大阪城Osakajo Castle 大阪城Osakajo Castle 大阪城Osakajo Castle 大阪城Osakajo Castle 大阪城Osakajo Castle 大阪城Osakajo Castle 大阪城Osakajo Castle 大阪城Osakajo Castle 大阪城

And we returned back to Kyoto and did our final shopping spree before our night buss back to the best city in the world called TOKYO ! It was a bit sad to leave Kyoto but glad to go back to Tokyo since that is the place we both know very well.

Here it was our trip to Kyoto & Osaka, did you enjoy the photos ? would be glad to hear some comments 🙂

I will make a post of some extra photos I took in Kyoto and Osaka soon, also today I will make few other posts since a lot have happened this week and last including the Finnish independence day party at the Finnish embassy of Japan I went and much more!

ps. To all of you Car & car babe lovers around the world. I’m going tomorrow to the famous Tokyo Motor show and I will do my best to get some great shots for y’all !

Second day in the breathtaking Kyoto

Let the story of my second day in Kyoto start (since I finally got the photos of that day to my flickr).

The Visiting order for this day was the following:

1st. Ginkakuji (The Silver temple)
2nd. Heian Shrine (Huge Torii)
3rd. Nijojo Castle
4th. Tenryuji Temple
5th. Bamboo forest
6th. Togetsukyo (famous bridge)
7th. Kyoto Station area

You might think that we did not visit as many places as the first day but that is because the distances with the local buss took hours sadly. For me the main thing this day was that Bamboo forest ! Since few years ago I had a photo of a bamboo forest as my wallpaper and when I visited there I knew that the photo was taken there. I could not get any good photos taken there since I was kinda in a Shock of the beauty of the Bamboo.

I’m now uploading photos of my sony to flickr which has photos of pretty much all things we ate and more mix photos ! I hope you all like em !

So let’s start with the pictures of the beautiful Ginkaku-ji (Silver temple), the famous counterpart of the Kinkaku-ji (golden temple). The Actual Ginkaku-ji is not silver so don’t be shocked when you go there, it is actually just normal wood. The plan was in place to make it in silver like the Ginkaku was made in Gold but Shogun who was ruling that time died and the faction that was going to build it ran out of money but they still kept the name.

銀閣寺 Ginkakuji temple銀閣寺 Ginkakuji temple銀閣寺 Ginkakuji temple
My girlfriend taking photos of the beautiful temple.
銀閣寺 Ginkakuji temple銀閣寺 Ginkakuji temple
As you can see, it is exactly the same as the Golden temple except this is not made of Gold.
Got a love these money things in Kyoto, they are pretty much everywhere and full of coins.(I tried and missed)
銀閣寺 Ginkakuji temple
銀閣寺 Ginkakuji temple銀閣寺 Ginkakuji temple
Students posing for photos at the Temple
銀閣寺 Ginkakuji temple
The beautiful Autumn colors continued in this day as well.
銀閣寺 Ginkakuji temple

I wanted to Visit the “famous” Heian shrine because of the huge Torii they had, I’m not sure but I think it is one of the biggest in the world.
平安神宮 Heianjingu shrine平安神宮 Heianjingu shrine平安神宮 Heianjingu shrine
Isn’t it big !!
The main shrine was nice as well !
平安神宮 Heianjingu shrine平安神宮 Heianjingu shrine平安神宮 Heianjingu shrine平安神宮 Heianjingu shrine
Students taking photos of the shrine as well!
平安神宮 Heianjingu shrine平安神宮 Heianjingu shrine

Close to this Shrine was the famous Nijojo Castle (not actually a castle the real castle burned down a long time ago). It is a interesting place to visit but to be honest I was not that impressed with it. I was more impressed of the famous Pride fighter I saw there called Yoshida Hidehiko (wikipedia link), nice guy had a smoke with him.
二条城 Nijojo castle二条城 Nijojo castle二条城 Nijojo castle二条城 Nijojo castle二条城 Nijojo castle二条城 Nijojo castle二条城 Nijojo castle二条城 Nijojo castle二条城 Nijojo castle

Autumn colors in Nijojo were amazing as well !
Autumn leaf colors in Japan 紅葉Autumn leaf colors in Japan 紅葉Autumn leaf colors in Japan 紅葉Autumn leaf colors in Japan 紅葉Autumn leaf colors in Japan 紅葉Autumn leaf colors in Japan 紅葉Autumn leaf colors in Japan 紅葉二条城 Nijojo castle

After Nijojo we took a long buss trip to the famous Tenryu-ji Temple. It’s mostly famous of its beautiful garden and a huge dragon painting like you saw the from the first day. One bad thing about this place was that it was expensive and you can not take photos of the dragon, we went in there to see it anyway and it was beautiful ! .. bought a small post card hah.
天竜寺 Tenryuji temple 紅葉
This is another dragon that they had there.
天竜寺 Tenryuji temple 紅葉
天竜寺 Tenryuji temple 紅葉天竜寺 Tenryuji temple 紅葉天竜寺 Tenryuji temple 紅葉天竜寺 Tenryuji temple 紅葉天竜寺 Tenryuji temple 紅葉天竜寺 Tenryuji temple 紅葉天竜寺 Tenryuji temple 紅葉

Now we get to my favorite part !! BAMBOOOO !! (I have a feeling that I was a Japanese Samurai panda in my last life ?)
Bamboo forrest! 竹林の道Bamboo forrest! 竹林の道Bamboo forrest! 竹林の道
Autumn colors and beautiful bamboo !
Bamboo forrest! 竹林の道Bamboo forrest! 竹林の道Bamboo forrest! 竹林の道Bamboo forrest! 竹林の道
We continued walking through the Bamboo forest and found our self in a park filled with autumn colors.
保津川 hozugawa river保津川 hozugawa river
After being lost for a while, my girlfriend realized that we were very close to a famous bridge that she wanted to see so we continued forward in the park until we found a river and walked to direction of the bridge.
保津川 hozugawa river保津川 hozugawa river保津川 hozugawa river
This is the bridge my girl wanted to see called Togetsukyo渡月橋 Togetsukyo bridge!
渡月橋 Togetsukyo bridge

After that we had dinner and walked around a bit and seeing the stores.
嵐山 Arashiyama shopping street
Geisha ?
保津川 hozugawa river Geisha
Got few nice evening photos as well !
嵐山 Arashiyama shopping street
天竜寺 Tenryuji temple 紅葉嵐山 Arashiyama shopping street

And we returned our Ryokan and shopped a bit around Kyoto station. I had to buy another memory card since my cards started to be a bit full at this point.

I will start uploading the photos from day three soonish but since I use a crappy Docomo internet it should take couple of days to upload them. but let’s hope it is fast.
I hope you all enjoyed my photos and visit my flickr to see much more beautiful photos from Kyoto and Tokyo.

First day in Kyoto !

I’m back ! (well few days ago)

I decided to make my Kyoto & Osaka trip blog posts in few different parts since I took #cough #cough 4000+ photos (went a bit over board there). I even had to buy 2 memory cards while there since I did not have my mac with me.

These photos I will show you are from the first day there, I got very good shots even tho the weather was not perfect (at least it was not raining). Earlier today I uploaded 283 photos to my flickr from the first day I truly hope you like them and please go and check them out ! The photos from the other days I will edit and re-check them by Monday and I will get them uploaded as well (350+ photos).

The first day we arrived to the Kyoto station at 5.30am with the night buss from Tokyo. It wasn’t too cold but I was happy I had my jacket and sweater on me. We went to our ryokan to drop off our luggage and we head off to the first temple.

Here are the temples, shrines and areas we visited the first day (in visiting order)

1st. Kiyomizudera Temple
2nd. Yasaka no tou Tower
3rd. Yasaka Shrine
4th. Gion (famous for geisha)
5th. Kennin-ji Temple
6th. Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Temple)
7th. Ryoan-ji (Famous for Stone garden)
8th. Ninna-ji Temple
9th. Gion (geisha hunting with my camera ready)
10th. Shinkyogoku Street

As you see we did visit quite a few, all of them were breathtakingly beautiful!

Let’s start with the first one! (Please remember that I only post a small portion of my photos here, the rest you can see by visiting my Flirck page 

kiyomizudera-temple 清水寺kiyomizudera-temple 清水寺kiyomizudera-temple 清水寺kiyomizudera-temple 清水寺
As you can see it was pretty much the best time to visit with all the leafs red and yellow.
kiyomizudera-temple 清水寺kiyomizudera-temple 清水寺kiyomizudera-temple 清水寺
The main gate of the temple
kiyomizudera-temple 清水寺kiyomizudera-temple 清水寺kiyomizudera-temple 清水寺kiyomizudera-temple 清水寺kiyomizudera-temple 清水寺
Saw a wicked looking bird there as well !
kiyomizudera-temple 清水寺
This was a very interesting thing that is a normal in Japanese temples (wash your hands place).
kiyomizudera-temple 清水寺
My girl of course did it.
kiyomizudera-temple 清水寺

uhm.. Just realized that this post will have way too much photos… How should I do this mmm ok well let’s try putting all in one post.

Let’s move on to the second one, that tower also was very nice!
京都 Kyoto "Old Town"

We were on foot so we accidentally went through the Yasaka shrine, a recommended place to visit while in kyoto as well.
yasaka jinja-shrine 八坂神社yasaka jinja-shrine 八坂神社yasaka jinja-shrine 八坂神社yasaka jinja-shrine 八坂神社

I wanted to go through Gion since I hoped to catch the beauty of a Geisha with my camera but did not have such luck.
祇園 Gion"the geisha area"
But in Gion we found a temple that I was so taken in with called Kennin-ji. I love dragons (my birth year was the year of the dragon), this temple had the most beautiful dragon painting I ever seen and probably will see. One of my absolute favorite places in Japan.
Kenninji-temple 建仁寺
There was also many replicas of this famous painting.
Kenninji-temple 建仁寺
Also this great looking dragon! Then we put our slippers on and continued the main part.
Kenninji-temple 建仁寺
And we saw this ! I was in shock of the beauty of it !
Kenninji-temple 建仁寺 Twin dragonsKenninji-temple 建仁寺Kenninji-temple 建仁寺Kenninji-temple 建仁寺

This place also had a beautiful garden.
Kenninji-temple 建仁寺Kenninji-temple 建仁寺Kenninji-temple 建仁寺

Time for the world famous Golden temple (kinkaku.ji), I loved the colors there!
Kinkakuji-temple 鹿苑寺金閣Kinkakuji-temple 鹿苑寺金閣
The main Temple.
Kinkakuji-temple 鹿苑寺金閣Kinkakuji-temple 鹿苑寺金閣Kinkakuji-temple 鹿苑寺金閣Kinkakuji-temple 鹿苑寺金閣Kinkakuji-temple 鹿苑寺金閣Kinkakuji-temple 鹿苑寺金閣
Don’t you just love those Autumn colors in Japan !
Kinkakuji-temple 鹿苑寺金閣Kinkakuji-temple 鹿苑寺金閣
Money money money !! I tried throwing money there but went absolutely to the wrong dirrection.
Kinkakuji-temple 鹿苑寺金閣

At the Kinkaku-ji they were having a event that happens couple of a month where people write down their hopes and prayers to a piece of wood and give it to the Yamabushi men who placed them to the fire.
Kinkakuji-temple 鹿苑寺金閣Kinkakuji-temple 鹿苑寺金閣Kinkakuji-temple 鹿苑寺金閣Kinkakuji-temple 鹿苑寺金閣

My girl wanted to visit the famous stone garden of Ryoan-ji temple. (Japanese people soo love those stone gardens !)
龍安寺 Ryoanji-temple龍安寺 Ryoanji-temple
There was a lake as well !
龍安寺 Ryoanji-temple龍安寺 Ryoanji-temple

There is a famous Temple with a walking distance from that place called Ninna-ji, so we decided to visit there as well.
Ninnaji-temple 仁和寺Ninnaji-temple 仁和寺Ninnaji-temple 仁和寺
This next picture will show you how heavy those autumn leafs really are, with my girlfriend trying to lift them up!
Ninnaji-temple 仁和寺
Salarymen from Tokyo walking at the temple site.
Ninnaji-temple 仁和寺
Main part of the temple
Ninnaji-temple 仁和寺Ninnaji-temple 仁和寺Ninnaji-temple 仁和寺Ninnaji-temple 仁和寺Ninnaji-temple 仁和寺

Our trip back to the “new” part of Kyoto started, took about 45 mins in a buss. Our ryokan was very close to the Kyoto station so it was easy to find. This Kyoto tower looks so small for us since we are from Tokyo with the Sky tree which is about 6 times bigger. Kyoto tower is about 131meters and Skytree about 663meter
After we got everything done with our Ryokan check-in and a bit time relaxing in our room, we left to Gion again to find my geisha but no such luck again. We did get lost tho and found a Finland bar !!
祇園 Gion"the geisha area"祇園 Gion"the geisha area"
Day ended nicely with a hot onsen in our ryokan and with couple of asahi beers while watching tv.
I will now start editing the second days photos ! Monday I will get them uploaded ( I hope since I’m going to the Tokyo motor show and I will end up taking way too much photos there I know).

How you do you know that Kyoto is more friendly with foreigners then Tokyo… well free wifi of course !
祇園 Gion"the geisha area"

I hope you all enjoyed these photos and please visit my flickr for more photos from this beautiful day at Kyoto !