Day to Day 一 Japan


I’m little bit pissed off… I just wrote a very nice blog post and when I tried to publish it, I got an error and it disappeared !

Let’s start again..

Normally everyday I wake up about 4am-6am and fire up my macbook pro, ipad and other gadgets to do my stuff and since I wake up so early, I eat breakfast early as well like 5am-6am. In Aomori as in most of Japan the grocery stores have these awesome bakeries inside them. Depends on my mood but I buy something from the local bakeries daily.
Like these things.
Breakfast panBreakfast pan
I will try later to capture couple of shots at the small bakery I like so you can see all the other tasty goodies they have.

Couple of weeks ago we visited in this old traditional Japanese house here in Aomori.
That tatami floor get’s me every time ! it feels so goooood !
Traditional Japanese house
(Kitchen/dining area)
Traditional Japanese house
(Shower/bath area)
Traditional Japanese house
(Traditional Japanese Toilet)
Sometimes I have problems using the Japanese toilet but most of the time I can manage with it to do my business. I do prefer a western toilet or ToTo “robot” toilet even more.
Old Japanese roomTraditional Japanese house

What do we learn from this photograph?
Foreigner in Japan

Later I will make bigger posts about stores in japan but here are few little info messages.

Book-Off — Probably the second best place to buy DVDs and Manga in Japan
For used DVDs I prefer Tsutayas DVD selling area, it’s cheaper and usually better condition
For Manga I like Enterking and Mandarake more.
Book-Off sells a lot of stuff like:
-Games for consoles
-Phones/PSPs and other devices
-Gaming cards
and more
Book-off in Aomori

100 yen Shop — One of my personal favorite store in Japan
What ever you need they have it, very cheap and stuff you buy from there don’t break so fast as you might think.
as the name goes 100yen store it means that about 90% of things in this store costs 100yen
In Aomori and other “Country sides” the stores are much bigger and that includes the 100 yen store. One 100 yen store here in Aomori is the size of 4-6 normal size 100 yen stores in Tokyo for example.
100-yen shop DAISO in Aomori

Bought a ice cream on a hot day from Lawson, it was not that good but it said “NEW” and I’m a sucker for new things.
Orange ice cream (not good)

What do you learn from this photo?
Do not wear a jacket that says “Bad Man” in Japan or you get in trouble.
Stop the bad man !

One day my girlfriend wanted to visit a Apple factory in Hirosaki which was a very nice place. In there I saw this bond full of Koi (鯉) the Japanese fish that you can find in pretty much every park in Japan almost. This place was a bit special because you could actually feed the koi with the food you could buy at the reception of the cafe near by.

I bought couple of bags of them (50yen a bag) to play with the fish a bit.
Feeding Koi 青森の鯉
I wanted to try what happens if I throw all the fish food from one bag in at the same time, all the fish went crazy as I expected! I have a video of it and I will upload it to you tube when I get back to Tokyo.
Feeding Koi 青森の鯉Feeding Koi 青森の鯉
This is me feeding the koi
Feeding Koi 青森の鯉

Soon as we ran out of fish food we went inside to do some pottery. I made a cup ( at least I tried to make it look like a cup) and my girlfriend made an ashtray.
Pottery in JapanPottery in JapanPottery in Japan

If you follow my twitter or facebook page you might have seen a lot of photos of a cat called Chibi which means “small” in Japanese. She is 18 years old (human years), one of the cutest cats in the world.
Journey of Chibi ちびちゃん!
When I take her outside she goes crazy with all the grass and tries to eat all of it like this.
Journey of Chibi ちびちゃん!
Journey of Chibi ちびちゃん!Journey of Chibi ちびちゃん!Journey of Chibi ちびちゃん!
One day when I was outside with her and it was time to go back inside, she pulled a cute but annoying stunt. She started laying down in the ground and not getting up.
Journey of Chibi ちびちゃん!Journey of Chibi ちびちゃん!Journey of Chibi ちびちゃん!
When she is not laying down on my chest she likes to sit near the window and watch outside.
Journey of Chibi ちびちゃん!
One last cute photo of her !
Journey of Chibi ちびちゃん!

In Japan you can see lots of interesting English everywhere. Sometimes the sentences don’t make any sense and other times you have to think a little.
Here are couple funny photos I found.
1st. Liquid – Like a hair … Liquid is a good name for a bar but my girlfriend said that the place was a hair saloon. That name for a hair saloon is just confusing.
2nd. don’t touch it… Why can’t I touch it !! I want to touch it ! what is it that I can’t touch!
English in JapanDon't Touch it !

Sometimes when we are bored at Hirosaki center, we go to this mall where we play this coin slot mario game. Excellent way to pass the time.
Mario coin slot game in Japan
You can play Mario game while dropping coins to the slots.
Mario coin slot game in Japan
Mario coin slot game in JapanMario coin slot game in Japan

Luckily Hirosaki center has Baskin Robins as well where we go from time to time to relax and eat some delicious ice creams. I usually have my shake because the Baskin robins shake is deeelicious !
My girlfriend usually has this one
Baskin Robins in Hirosaki, Japan
and I have the shake of course
Baskin Robins in Hirosaki, Japan
Baskin Robins in Hirosaki, JapanBaskin Robins in Hirosaki, Japan

Thank you for visiting my site again ! I’ll try to get more posts up here asp.
Our plan is to go to the city called Hakodate tomorrow that is located in Hokkaido but now a huge typhoon is closing in to this area and could be that our ship will not leave the harbor for safety reasons but we will see that tomorrow.

If you liked this post check out my twitter and facebook page Photographer ari helminen

Soon in Japan


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 ! 😀

Cherry blossom time is coming… 桜と花見

Spring has come and the cherry blossoms are opening soon all over Japan. For many spring is the favorite time of the year in Japan and I’m no exception well I do like Autumn too with the beautiful autumn colors.

This year I won’t be able to see Tokyo blossoming in sakura (cherry flower) because I will arrive to Tokyo in the begin of May when the main season has officially finished but I did take couple of thousand photos last spring that I’d like to share with you!

Depends how my plans go but I might be able to see cherry blossom in north of Japan since there the season starts later than in Tokyo.

Little Japanese for you.
サクラ (桜) = Cherry blossom (Sakura)
はなみ (花見) = Flower viewing (Hanami)

Did you know that in Japanese TV you can see info when and where the flowers are at their best? .Well you can so keep you eye on the tv shows 😀

Little bit about Hanami (flower viewing)

One of the best things to do in Japan is to get together with your friends under the colorful cherry flowers and drink beer (or something stronger),eat tasty food and talk with your friends.
The first Hanami I went was organized by the Sakura hostel asakusa and since I was renting an apartment from Sakura house (basically the same company) I could join their parties without paying anything. At that time I did not know pretty much anyone in Tokyo but at the hanami where all of us were having fun and drinking I made lots of new friends.
Sakura house Hanami 東京 日本。Tokyo Japan Sakura
Actually about 5-10minutes after this photo was taken it started raining a lot (and I mean A LOT) so everyone quickly packed their bags and ran back to the lobby of the hostel (I know I tolled this story like million times but it was such a fun night). At the hostel we were sitting at the lobby drinking and getting to know one another and after couple of hours someone got this great idea that we should go to a bar that was close called “Samurai bar” (hope I’m not mistaken about the name), in the bar we stayed until the last train.  So even tho the rain stopped our fun under the flowers we still kept the party on!

Here are some of my favorite shots of the cherry blossoms.
サクラ. Tokyo, Japan 東京 日本。
(This one was taken at Shinjuku park in the begin of sakura season)

サクラ。Sakura, Ueno park. Tokyo Japan
(Ueno park)

靖国神社.Yasukuni Shrine .東京 日本 Tokyo Japan
(Near the Imperial palace)

サクラ Tokyo, Japan.東京 日本。
(This one is from erm somewhere near shibuya :D)

One of my favorite shots of last spring was this I took in front Yasukuni Shrine near the Imperial palace.
"I will reach it"  靖国神社.Yasukuni Shrine .東京 日本 Tokyo Japan
These are great too 😀
サクラ。Sakura, Ueno park. Tokyo JapanCamera ready サクラ Sakura 東京。日本. Tokyo Japan靖国神社.Yasukuni Shrine .東京 日本 Tokyo Japan

Here are some “closer” shots of sakura flowers.
サクラ Sakura 東京。日本. Tokyo Japanサクラ Sakura 東京。日本. Tokyo Japanサクラ Sakura 東京。日本. Tokyo JapanTokyo, Japan 東京 日本。サクラ Sakura 東京。日本. Tokyo Japanサクラ Sakura 東京。日本. Tokyo Japanサクラ Sakura 東京。日本. Tokyo JapanSakura サクラ。東京 Tokyo

I need to get myself a macro lens so I could take better shots of them for y’all !

Famous and huge Hanami (flower viewing) happens in Ueno park! Here are some photos and video from there!

花見 上野公園. Hanami, Ueno park. Tokyo Japan 東京 日本花見 上野公園. Hanami, Ueno park. Tokyo Japan 東京 日本花見 上野公園. Hanami, Ueno park. Tokyo Japan 東京 日本花見 上野公園. Hanami, Ueno park. Tokyo Japan 東京 日本 
I took a lot of photos there which you can see more in my flickr!

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Ari Helminen, The Finnish Otaku

Have gone a “bit” overboard with all the anime and manga stuff here ! Now at wallmart I often buy one piece snacks and they have like posters and stuff in them as a surprise 😀

Ari Helminen the Otaku
That poster only costs 105 yen at the nearest wallmart in Tokyo !

Ari Helminen the Otaku
Some more manga shopping ! I have to be honest to myself that I am addicted of buying cheap manga !

Ari Helminen the Otaku
Kinda ruined my iphones cover ! need to buy a new one later 😀

Soon going to Cat cafe at shinjuku or ikebukuro probably and to eat something delicious !

Hellooo ! Shopping day at Akihabara and Myoden !

This morning we went to Akihabara to get me my photography gloves since the weather has become quite cold and that I have always wanted them !
Testing the new photography glovesToday's Catch ! Shopping day!Testing the new photography glovesToday's Catch ! Shopping day!Testing the new photography gloves
At Akihabara there was a flea market of figures and everything anime related !! was amazing ! cheap figures everywhere ! I wish I could have bought all of them but since I’m going to Kyoto this weekend I had to save some money. When I came here from Finland I promised myself to find one figure that I have wanted a long time and at that flea market I found her cheap and got her finally ! It’s not exactly the figure I wanted but close !
Today's Catch ! Shopping day!Today's Catch ! Shopping day!
Also in akihabara they were giving free Map/calendar of 2012 which of course I had to take ! I had a similar one at Finland but 2005 version.
Today's Catch ! Shopping day!

At Akihabara we also ate at MOS burger quickly since we were a bit hungry ! After Akihabara we went to myoden to do some shoe shopping ! I found great shoes for myself and so did my girlfriend !

Here are my old shoes that I have been using ! tell me what you think ? was it time for me to change ?

Old broken shoesOld broken shoesOld broken shoes

Here are my new shoes ! water proof this time ! yattaa 😀 cheap as well !
New water proof shoes !New water proof shoes !
After we were done with shoe shopping we had a delicious icecream break!
Delicious icecream at MyodenDelicious icecream at Myoden

At home today I “tried” to cook meatballs and potatoes but did couple of mistakes and totally ruined the dinner or that what I thought, it was actually eatable !

Sorry that todays post is a bit smal. I’m pretty sleepy (my eyes are closing while I am doing this !)