Curry Ramen in Asakusa

My friend Matti who is Finnish-American had his last day in Japan so we wanted to eat something special and I happened to see a limited time offer of Curry Ramen.

It was actually very good 😀 When I get back to Tokyo I need to have it once more.
Curry Ramen in AsakusaCurry Ramen in Asakusa
Doesn’t that just look delicious !

The waiter took a photo of us and you can see that cool advertising poster in the back as well.
That’s myself, Matti and Juan ( I think it is written like that 😀 )
He didn’t want to be in the photo and I wasn’t sure how he felt that I would post it here so I blurred him a bit 😀
Ramen with friends !
Half Finnish Half American !

After my friend left to Narita international. I went back to the hostel to clean my bed area a bit since my fiance was arriving to Tokyo that same day.

In the evening I took my girl to my favorite bar at Asakusa called err.. Shot music bar asakusa (or something like that). When I get back to Asakusa I will make a video for you to find it since it is kinda hidden in a small side street second floor.
best bar in Asakusabest bar in Asakusabest bar in Asakusa

Great music and all drinks 600 yen except some special imported beer.

Who was watching AKB48 2012 election yesterday ? 😀

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Happy life in Tokyo

These couple of days were great, Cat cafes and delicious food !

Coming home after a long drinking night in Tokyo is always interesting. First train comes around about 5am-ish and in that train you can see a lot of weird things.

I arrived to Asakusa at 5.40am and the streets were so quiet and peaceful, very good time to take photos.
Early morning in Asakusa
I went straight to sleep but I did saw people getting ready for the Sanja matsuri.
Early morning in Asakusa

In Ginza there is a famous waffle shop that I never tried before and now I understand why there is a long queue everyday. They were deeeelicious and Cheap !
belgian wuffels in Ginzabelgian wuffels in Ginza

I’m absolutely mental about Ice cream ( you should know that already), in a hot day in Tokyo I normally eat 3-5 ice creams and most of them are macha (green tea) ice cream.
Eating macha ice cream

One of my weird traditions is to go to Shakey’s pizzeria and after I’m full I go to the cat cafe !
Shakeys pizza is a good place to go if you want ok tasting pizza, very tasty onion rings and 300yen drinks.
ps. that place is very cheap.
Shakeys pizza in ShinjukuShakeys pizza in ShinjukuShakeys pizza in Shinjuku
Here are some very cute photos of the cats at my favorite cat cafe at shinjuku called Calico.
Cat cafe Calico near KabukichoCat cafe Calico near KabukichoCat cafe Calico near KabukichoCat cafe Calico near KabukichoCat cafe Calico near KabukichoCat cafe Calico near KabukichoCat cafe Calico near KabukichoCat cafe Calico near Kabukicho

In the last post post I wrote about the best Japanese fried chicken place (唐揚げ)
that is located in Asakusa. The chicken is very cheap so one evening I ate a lot of it 😀
浅草の唐揚げ浅草の唐揚げ

M.O.S Burger is best fast food restaurant in the world. Just look how tasty it looks ! When you visit Japan you have to go to eat there even once !
M.O.S. Burger in AkihabaraM.O.S. Burger in Akihabara

I went to the famous One Piece event in Roppongi Hills which was great but the entrance fee was 2000 yen and you could not take photos inside there and it was in the same floor as the Tokyo city view but you could not enter to that side without paying 1500 yen more so I gave up and went only to see the One Piece event. It was worth the money but I would have been happier if I could have taken photos inside.
One Piece exhibition in Roppongi Hills
Long line of people getting the tickets to the event that was held in the 52nd floor if I’m not mistaken.
One Piece exhibition in Roppongi Hills
I did get a lot of One piece merchandise from there tho 😀
One Piece exhibition in Roppongi Hills

If you are going to the Solamachi mall in Tokyo Sky Tree you have to check out the kyoto green tea ice cream shop ! Look what I got and you understand why.
Macha Azuki ice cream in sky tree, まちゃ あずきMacha Azuki ice cream in sky tree, まちゃ あずきMacha Azuki ice cream in sky tree, まちゃ あずき
Also when you visit the tokyo Sky Tree you absolutely have to buy a Tokyo Banana Tree from there, they sell these almost everywhere in there so would not be too difficult to find.
Tokyo Banana Tree (famous souvenir from the Sky Tree)

As a nice end to this post, here is a homeless man with an expensive Finnish design bag called Marimekko. 😀
Homeless man with marimekko

I hope you liked this post ! check out my facebook page “photographer ari helminen” where I will add details about my trips, life and photography.

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
———————————————————————————
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

Odaiba the best place in Tokyo ???

yesterday (16th may) I went with my french friend to Odaiba to see the amazing Gundam (for people who don’t know it is a big robot from a famous anime) at new mall that just opened.

Let’s start what happened at the morning, I woke up and had a serious hangover going and I was just sitting at the hostel lobby and watching to the emptiness (I’m sure some of you know that feeling), then my English friend made Pakistani curry which was delicious !
Pakistani curry in JapanPakistani curry in Japan

It helped my hangover a lot and with it I got energy to go to Odaiba.

Took some shots at Asakusa while we were walking to the station.
Himiko is always a beautiful boat to see in the Sumida river and always when you see it you should take a photo.
Beautiful Himiko
Could it be?!?! Could it be possible !!! the cutest dog in Asakusa (I gave her the title !)
cutest dog in asakusa !cutest dog in asakusa !cutest dog in asakusa !cutest dog in asakusa !
You know me.. Always when I get a chance to take a photo of a Japanese school girl I take it.
Japanese school girls

I need to start taking more photos in the stations and metro! I know it is kinda a bad manner but I’m pretty fast taking a photo without people noticing.
mysterious Ginza linemysterious Ginza line

Took the Yurikamome train to Odaiba which is always fun
Beauty of OdaibaBeauty of Odaiba

When we were walking on a bridge and you could see bit by bit the amazing gundam, I got more and more excited. I been a big fan of it for a while and I have wanted to see that real size gundam for years and years ! I was so so so so so so so happy hah ( I know I sound like the weird guy ever..)

can you say that this thing is not cool ?
Badass Gundam in Odaiba !Beauty of OdaibaBadass Gundam in Odaiba !Badass Gundam in Odaiba !Badass Gundam in Odaiba !Badass Gundam in Odaiba !Badass Gundam in Odaiba !Badass Gundam in Odaiba !Badass Gundam in Odaiba !Badass Gundam in Odaiba !

Took some other great photos in odaiba that I’m sure you’ll like. I also got a one photo that I’m especially proud of !
Beauty of OdaibaBeauty of OdaibaBeauty of OdaibaBeauty of OdaibaBeauty of Odaiba
This is that photo that I’m very happy about.
Beauty of Odaiba

We decided that we did not want to pay other 315 yen to use the yurikamome train so we just walked through the rainbow bridge and I got some nice shots there as well.
Beauty of Odaiba
Beauty of OdaibaBeauty of Odaiba

I hope you enjoyed the photos ! Now that tomorrow Asakusa has a huge festival coming up I will take crazy amount of photos there !

Feels like I never left

Now that I have been here for couple of days I have gotten this feeling that I never left, this place feels so much like home to me !

The first days here have been a bit on the crazy side with partying and drinking. If you try to speak to me I could not answer because I lost my voice in a bar 2 days ago.

But I have also taken some amazing shots which I’m sure you will like ! I’ll do my best uploading the rest today but for now I just show you some photos I took with my sony.

Few days ago we were in shock because the famous sky tree had disappeared !
Sky tree has been stolen !
It should be right in the middle of that photo but it was all covered with clouds and fog.

If you don’t know what the sky tree looks like here is a photo of it.
sky tree on a cloudy day

I don’t think you can see this often 😀
no more sky tree

I went to visit Roppingi hills as well and saw how beautiful the Mori tower was with the fog.

Mori towerMori towerMori tower

I love that building ! need to go up there again soon !

Here are Japanese students listening to the teacher at asakusa.
student assembly

Found a very good italian restaurant in Asakusa as well 😀
I had this
italian food in japan
and my friend from France had
italian food in japan

I missed the Japanese morning menu at mcdonnalds.
morning mcdonnalds set in japan

this was like a fast blog post but I wanted to write little something something for y’all !But now I will go to get some medicine for my throat and then to take more photos !!

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 !