tokyo to Hirosaki

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Hellooooo my dear readers !

I arrived to Hirosaki about 2 weeks ago but I haven’t yet updated photos of the journey here!
This trip went well like most of my night buss travels.

Morning started nicely, drinking cold strawberry yugurt drink with my girl and talking to a cool Japanese guy who had this very cute doggy with him.
breakfast with a cute dog

As an early lunch we went to eat ramen to a very nice place that is in Asakusa main street near the ginza station.
My friend Sam was with us who never eaten “real” ramen other then cup ramen.

this is how you open the chopsticks 😀
Chopsticks

His first ramen ever.
First real ramen in his life

My girlfriend had this tasty dish
Delicious Ramen
and I had my normal Curry ramen.
Curry ramen in Asakusa

If you are in Japan now you notice that these Dragon Ball cans are in most vending machines. they used to be just 100yen and you could only get that can that is in the photo but it changed couple of days ago that when you buy one you can get one of 7 different dragon ball cans but because of this the price went up 10yen (now it is 110yen).
Dragon ball juice

Watermelon & Sky tree ice cream
Summer icecream

You know how I have been telling you about the best Japanese fried chicken place (karaage) in Asakusa, well we went there again before our buss in the evening.
Japanese fried chickenJapanese fried chicken

This is us before starting our trip to the north.
Trip from Tokyo to Hirosaki

Ginza line 🙂
Trip from Tokyo to Hirosaki
We were in a super hurry so we had to change for JR to get to Tokyo station more faster.
Trip from Tokyo to Hirosaki
My luggage! This time I don’t have that much to carry.
Trip from Tokyo to Hirosaki

Night buss is the best way to travel in Japan, this buss cost me 3000 ish yen one way to Hirosaki.
Night buss from Tokyo to AomoriNight buss from Tokyo to Aomori

Highway stops are awesome, full of products from the area it is in and a lot of vending machines!
Highway stop

When we arrived to Hirosaki station at 8am we were both hungry so we stopped at Doutor.
JR Hirosaki statonBreakfast at Doutor

Sucks that I can’t use my Suica at the station tho 😦 but at least I can use them at the combini (family mart,sunkus etc.)
Can't use my Suica :(
Trip from Tokyo to Hirosaki

The train was very small that we took from the Hirosaki station to the station that is near my girls home.
Trip from Tokyo to HirosakiTrip from Tokyo to HirosakiTrip from Tokyo to Hirosaki

Gotta love the station 😀 (nothing there)
Trip from Tokyo to Hirosaki

We took a taxi from the station to my girls place.
Japanese TaxiTrip from Tokyo to Hirosaki

That was our trip to the north where I still am. I have taken a lot of photos here that you will see soon!

Today we will have a Japanese style barbeque.

Sky Tree & Party in Shinjuku

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This day was awesome because I had a party with my friends whom I haven’t seen for a while and also I visited the mall of Sky Tree Solamachi with my girl.

Since my girl wasn’t in Tokyo for the grand opening of the sky Tree she wanted to visit there before we left to Aomori and after 40 minutes walking around the shops there I had to take her to get that smoothie/shake shop I found on my last visit there.

I had my favorite which of course is Strawberry shake
Strawberry shakey in Sky Tree
and she had the pineapple one.
My girl enjoying her shake
I preferred mine tho since mine was more sweeter 😛
Pineapple shakey in the Sky TreeStrawberry Shake

Later that day we went to omote sando to shop some clothes and after that we went to Shakeys pizzeria. (you know I love that place)(we don’t care about the pizza that much but the onion rings are the best)

Lunch at omotesandocaesar salad !tasty onion rings

In the evening we had our party at a Izakaya called Wara Wara in Shinjuku.
Always happy to see friends and make new ones at these parties !
Party at Wara Wara, ShinjukuParty at Wara Wara, ShinjukuParty at Wara Wara, ShinjukuParty at Wara Wara, Shinjuku

This is actually kinda funny, I normally love wasabi but this evening my throat was hurting so eating it was a little bit more difficult than I thought.

1st. This is me with the Wasabi before I ate it. ( you can see there is quite a lot of it)
Party at Wara Wara, Shinjuku
2nd.Ok so now it’s in my mouth, all good so far..
Party at Wara Wara, Shinjuku
3rd. Here it got me since I could not swallow it and the hotness was getting higher and higher. Luckily I had a nice cold beer in my hand to help.
Party at Wara Wara, Shinjuku

Normally, like now I could eat that piece of wasabi and not blink an eye.. just saying 😀

Here are some food photos of what we were eating.
Party at Wara Wara, ShinjukuParty at Wara Wara, ShinjukuParty at Wara Wara, Shinjuku
Don’t you just love these things at the izakayas? 10 minutes after the tray arrives to the table, it’s empty.
Party at Wara Wara, Shinjuku

If any of you are ever in Tokyo while I’m there and not busy, send me a message and you might get invited to one of my great parties 😀

for the last note, have you noticed that in Japan they have changed the sprite can for “older” looking design. I normally don’t drink sprite but the cool looking can made me get one.

New sprite cans in Japan

Mysterious days in Tokyo

Goood Moorning from north Japan!

I’m now in Aomori prefecture in a small town called Hirosaki visiting my fiance. You can imagine why I haven’t been able to update my blog for a while. I have been taking a lot of photos daily but uploading them to my sites is a bit difficult because of the upload speed of the wifi here (Thank you Docomo…) :D.

I can upload photos I take with my pocket camera Sony but very slowly. I did get some photos up that I wanted to share with y’all !

My friends friend showed me this amazing place to get Karaage (唐揚げ) which is Japanese fried chicken. It’s in Asakusa very close to the Sakura Hostel Asakusa (I’ll give you better details later).
I have eaten Karaage in many different restaurants and cities in Japan but to be honest this place in Asakusa has the best Fried chicken I have ever had and the reason is because this place has like 30-ish different flavors, including habanero,honey mustard, sweet chili and much much more!
Tasty Japanese fried chicken, 唐揚げ

While I stayed in Asakusa I used the Ginza line daily and often I could see the train packed with Japanese students like this. Most of them know how to be nicely there but sometimes they are just making way too much noise.
Ginza line full of students

Wanted a hamburger so I went to the trust worthy place in Harajuku called Wolfgang puck express. Lunch time is the best there because it is so damn cheap.
Wolfgang puck burgers , Harajuku

This is something you have to try 😛 The official Sky Tree ice cream! You can find it in pretty much all the convenience stores, I know that at least Family mart has them.
Official Sky Tree ice cream !

Best drink in Starbucks macha frappuccino
Starbucks Akiba, Macha frappuchino
Green tea donuts !!! that would go well with macha frappuccino 😀
Green tea Donut !

Be careful at the metro!!
Be careful in the train

Going to drink with some friends at Asakusa.
Going drinking with friends

I have a crazy amount of photos from Sanja matsuri but I can’t upload them because of the wifi speed so you will be able to see them on 26th of june and a lot more!

Here is me in the festival clothes at the Asakusa Sanja matsuri !
Sanja Matsuri Ari Helminen

I’ll try to keep adding more photos taken with my sony later today again ! 🙂

Grand opening of the Sky Tree

Grand opening of the Sky tree , TokyoGrand opening of the Sky tree , TokyoGrand opening of the Sky tree , TokyoGrand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo

I decided since there are couple of million photos I took at the Sanja matsuri festival that I will share with you what happened today first the grand opening of the newest addition to the Tokyo sky line called Tokyo Sky Tree.

I have had some wifi problems the past few days as well but I try to keep things moving !

So this morning I went to the Sky tree opening and it was not a suprise that it was full of people. I was in line for about 30 minutes until I got in side (it may not sound much but it has been raining a lot all day).

I love that place, It is officially my favorite mall in Tokyo! All the great stores and everything! I love it ! I took couple of hundred photos with my pocket cam for you. I didn’t want to bring my big camera because it is raining.

You could barely see the sky tree from ground level so I was imaging the people who had the ticket to go up today, they must not have been able to see anything else expect clouds up there.

Standing at the line 😀
Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
People were already queuing in front of their favorite stores when I arrived.
Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
Soon as I saw these I went a bit nuts and bought couple. (Luffy from an anime called one piece, phone strap that I collect)
Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
Cute mascot that I tried to hug ! 😀
Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
I got free cookies !! I know you are jealous 😀
Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
This dude was funny, I spoke with him a bit!
Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
Way too much people rushing in to the Disney store
Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
Sky tree Toothbrush
Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
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Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
Upstairs errr like 12th floor or 11th there is a big exhibition area from the Chiba Institute of technology that you have to visit ! I went there without known what to expect and they were showing this cool robot that is in fukushima power plant fixing things.
Grand opening of the Sky tree , TokyoGrand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
You can drive it yourself as well ! It’s pretty easy since the controller is very similar to PlayStation 2 controller.

I know I know ! you want to see what I ate right ?? ok here they are 😀
Macha frappuchino with macha ice cream and macha flakes. ( Green tea with ice cream and other stuff) DEEEELIcious ! you know I love Macha !
Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo

After that I ate this amazing Strawberry smoothie with a lot of strawberries ( I love strawberries).
Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo

My dream drink is Macha strawberry frappuchino with strawberries mixed with macha ice cream on top.
Grand opening of the Sky tree , TokyoGrand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo

Here are some other mixed photos for y’all !
this looked great in Starbucks
Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
Sky tree food ! 😀
Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
People waiting to get in to the restaurants.
Grand opening of the Sky tree , TokyoGrand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
This place reminds me of Kyoto for some reason.
Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
Beer pyramid !!! Can’t wait for the next earthquake to make that go down 😀
Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
I wish I could have went up there !
Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
That girl in the middle of the photo is freaking me out a bit since she is almost like staring in to your soul 😀
Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
More mascots for y’all !
Grand opening of the Sky tree , TokyoGrand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
Some of the lucky folk who got to go upstairs to the observatory
Grand opening of the Sky tree , Tokyo
You can see much more photos in my flickr ! check em out !

I’ll start going through the Sanja matsu photos soon I hope! ( there will be a lot of Yakuza photos) 😀

Hope you enjoyed reading about my day as much I liked it 😀
Thank you for visiting my site and check out my Facebook page “Photographer Ari helminen

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 !