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!

If you like this post “like” my facebook page 😀 Photographer Ari Helminen facebook


Hamburgers of Tokyo


Here are some of the most delicious hamburgers I have eaten in Japan and some other extras!! If you don’t become hungry while reading this post there is only two options:
1st. you don’t like food
2nd. you are a vegan or vegetarian

Let’s start with the awesome M.O.S burger ! This burger is my favorite there and I miss it so much !
MOS burger and Pizza-LaM.O.S BurgerM.O.S Burger

Just look at how tasty that looks 😀

Hard Rock cafe Tokyo

World famous restaurant strikes again!
Hard Rock Cafe Tokyo,JapanHard Rock Cafe Tokyo,JapanHard Rock Cafe Tokyo,Japan

Always a good place to go to have a great evening.

Freshness burger

Very similar burger place to M.O.S but I guess this place is more “fresh” ? 😀 hehe
Freshness Burger

Got a love those onion rings as well 😀

McDonald’s (マクドナルド)

I don’t eat often Mc often but the morning sets I love !
5th day! まじ東京あげぽよ☆

Cheap and good !

Hooters Tokyo (フーターズ 東京)
hフーターズ Hooters, 東京 日本 Tokyo Japan

That was my first time in Hooters and damn it was goood 😀 women were nice too hehe 😀

zest cantina (ゼストキャンティーナ)
Hamburgers at zest cantina EbisuHamburgers at zest cantina EbisuHamburgers at zest cantina Ebisu

Zest is a great place ! I recommend eating here ! their website is in English as well 🙂

Wolfgang Puck (ウルフギャング・パック)

Wolfgang puck andWolfgang puck andWolfgang puck and

Very cheap and delicious place as well ! easy to find in Harajuku 😀

Festival Hamburger
Asakusa,Tokyo Hagoitaichi marketAsakusa,Tokyo Hagoitaichi marketAsakusa,Tokyo Hagoitaichi market

This burger was huge and gooooddd 😀

There were couple Hamburgers that you might like to try in Japan!

If you liked the photos “Like” my facebook page 😀

Roppongi Hills Mori Tower。Best view of Tokyo


This is a tower where all of you have to visit when you are in Tokyo! This is an order ! hehe.

This belongs to the top 5 places I like to spent hours and hours watching the Tokyo skyline.

The tower itself is 238 meters (781 ft) tall so you see it is not just a normal office size  building. the 52nd floor has the Tokyo city view and from there you can see pretty much everything nicely through the glass but if you can spare couple of hundred yen more you can see much wider view from the “sky deck” which is the helipad on top of the building.

52nd floor also has a nice restaurant (expensive) and a great smoothie shop which I like and it is not too expensive like normal Roppongi prices.

To go up to the Tokyo city view (52nd floor)

– Costs 1500円 or 1200円 if you buy your ticket in advance from a comibini like family mart or sunkus.

To go more up to the Sky deck (helipad)

– Costs 300円

Okay so this is the Mori tower at Roppongi Hills
(it kinda looks small in the photo but it is actually very tall, it’s the one on the left)
Tokyo, Japan/東京 日本Roppongi Hills 六本木ヒルズRoppongi Hills 六本木ヒルズRoppongi Hills Christmas lights 六本木ヒルズ

The architecture and design of this building is just fantastic !

Here are some photos from the 52nd floor that I have taken.
Mori Tower View, 東京 日本Mori Tower View, 東京 日本Mori Tower View, 東京 日本Mori Tower View, 東京 日本Mori Tower View, 東京 日本Mori Tower View, 東京 日本Mori tower Roppongi hills, View of TokyoMori Tower View, 東京 日本Mori tower Roppongi hills, View of Tokyo

You can’t see the glass at all from these photos, it’s very clean so you can get nice photos through it.

Here are some photos I took at the Sky deck !
Mori tower Roppongi hills, View of TokyoMori tower Roppongi hills, View of TokyoMori tower Roppongi hills, View of TokyoMori tower Roppongi hills, View of TokyoMori tower Roppongi hills, View of Tokyo

As you can see the photos are much more clear! ok the weather was not that good but still 😀

Here are couple of sunset photos for y’all as extra 😀 (of course you can see all of these and more in my flickr)
Mori tower Roppongi hills, View of TokyoMori tower Roppongi hills, View of TokyoMori tower Roppongi hills, View of Tokyo

The Tokyo Tower is always a beautiful building to take photos.
Mori tower Roppongi hills, View of TokyoMori tower Roppongi hills, View of TokyoMori tower Roppongi hills, View of TokyoMori tower Roppongi hills, View of Tokyo

Let’s now wait until Sky Tree opens and we will see if the view will be better than the one from this beautiful building!

Cat cafe Calico, Shinjuku 猫カフェ 新宿

It seems that always when I go to my favorite cat cafe in Tokyo, I keep going to eat in the same restaurant called Shakeys pizza ( if you been reading my blog before you know it).

This time was no different, before we went to the cat cafe we took a quick stop at the restaurant to some delicious salad that they have and of course the best onion rings and few slices of pizza.

Pizza and SaladPizza and SaladPizza and Salad

-Best cat cafe in Tokyo (in my honest oppinion)
-not too expensive 1000yen an hour
-you get a free ticket always when you leave and with it you can get a free drink when you come back.

I took some great shots of the cats again there 😀 I know all you cat lovers will like them a lot !

The first ones are my favorite 😀
Cat Cafe Shinjuku calicoCat Cafe Shinjuku calicoCat Cafe Shinjuku calico
These days when I go to this place I always buy that small box of chicken that the cats love. Always when I have it open the cats come around me 😀

Here are couple of photos of the cat downstairs and up.

-upstairs is great with Wii and ipad to play with 😀
Cat Cafe Shinjuku calico

Downstairs is full of Manga and an area where you can eat and drink as well 😀
Cat Cafe Shinjuku calicoCat Cafe Shinjuku calicoCat Cafe Shinjuku calico

More photos of the cute cats!

I love it how they put their paw on your hand when you are giving them chicken so that you don’t pull you don’t take the chicken away!
Cat Cafe Shinjuku calicoCat Cafe Shinjuku calico

Sleepy sleepy
Cat Cafe Shinjuku calicoCat Cafe Shinjuku calicoCat Cafe Shinjuku calicoCat Cafe Shinjuku calicoCat Cafe Shinjuku calicoCat Cafe Shinjuku calico

I loved this cat! I was watching this big cat jumping in to that small basket and everyone started laughing when she was trying to make herself fit in to it 😀
Cat Cafe Shinjuku calicoCat Cafe Shinjuku calico

There there cute cat’s
Cat Cafe Shinjuku calico

I want more chicken !
Cat Cafe Shinjuku calico

He doesn’t want anyone touching him while he is a sleep.
Cat Cafe Shinjuku calico

Standing on my legs.
Cat Cafe Shinjuku calico

and Sleepy again
Cat Cafe Shinjuku calicoCat Cafe Shinjuku calico

Some things I bought those days.
-From left to right
1st. European plug-in
2nd. SD card box for 4 cards
3rd. C270 logitech webcam for my girlfriend
Shopping in Yodobashi AkihabaraShopping in Yodobashi AkihabaraShopping in Yodobashi Akihabara
I love this thing, recharging the batteries of my ipads and everything 🙂
Shopping in Yodobashi Akihabara

Nice panorama I took at the station
Panorama metro station tokyo

She has a cute back bag 😀
Asakusa festival

Thank you for reading one of my posts again ! “Like” my facebook page if you liked those cats 😀

Shopping day in Akihabara

Few days before I left Japan to come to Finland I was busy with work and shopping. Yodobashi Akiba is my main place to buy electronics and camera equipment in Tokyo since the points you get to your yodobashi point card are awesome and of course that place is cheapish.
Akihabara shopping

This day we went there and I bought two new webcams I got the Logitech C910 (photo) and I got one cheaper one for my girl as well. Long distance relationship is hard but these days the technology has made it much easier.
logitech c910 webcam in japan
Also I did buy other things like portable battery that works with ipad2,iphone4 etc so I’m never without power and got some memory card boxes and so on.

In the morning we had meals in Lotteria, I don’t often eat there so I wanted to try their morning set out. I do love their cheap shakes tho!
Lotteria TokyoLotteria Tokyo

Always when we are walking near Akiba and we see the New york doughnut plant and we say to each other that we will buy from there someday and this was the day and damnnnn they were deeelicious ! When I get back to Tokyo I will get them the first day !
Deeelicious !

Japanese toilet map!
Japanese toilet
Shopping bags!!
Akihabara shoppingshopping in japan

I saw these Surprise bags in Asakusa again ! I almost bought one since they were fairly cheap and you could get the psp vita, camera or Wii 😀 Next time this season comes I will get one
Japanese surprise bag

The hunt of a new wallet !

The goal we had this day was to find a wallet I saw back in November in a store in shibuya.

Saw a “onsen” in Ginza.. well a Foot onsen ? heh I was thinking getting naked and jumping in but didn’t 😀
Onsen in GinzaOnsen in Ginza
We visited that store I visited in November and they did not have it so they suggested us to go to Tokyu hands to see if they do since they had more from the brand (Porter) and of course they did not have it either, they did help us a lot by calling Porter and asking about it but they did not know either where we could get it.

We went from store to store to see and non of them had it but then we suddenly saw the one I wanted in a small shop in shibuya but the problem was that it was a white version of it but we did find out the name for it. The lady who worked there said that that wallet was now very popular and it is sold out in most of Tokyo (I got good taste huh). At that point I gave up and said that I’ll find another wallet but my girl did not give up and we went to I0I0 in Shibuya and dadaaa they had one left and I got it !

This is my old wallet that I bought from Madrid back in the days when I was living there, many years old now.
My old walletMy old walletMy old wallet
This is the new and shiny Porter that I have now.
New Porter walletNew Porter walletNew Porter wallet
At this point we were both starving so we went to a cheap and delicious restaurant near our home in Gyotoku.
The thing I like about this place is that it is so cheap, fills you up and tasty ! Like these sets were under 800yen each.
Tasty Japanese restaurantTasty Japanese restaurant

I miss Shibuya ! got a love that place
Shibuya panorama

Check this out on it’s original size in my flickr !
Shibuya panorama


First of all sorry that I haven’t been updating my site at all this past month. I been trying to make it more “professional” looking but no luck even tho I got the webhosts and everything paid.

Let’s now continue with this until I can get someone to do it for me 🙂

I’ll be back logging a lot now from the days when I came back from Aomori to Tokyo.

In the year there are couple of dates when most of the stores have these “surprise bags”. Bags of goodies that are different prices and full of interesting things. For example the apple stores had bags that costs some couple of thousand yen and inside it had anything from ipods to macs (getting a laptop was of course very lucky).

I took couple of photos in some stores that I saw them,
Suprise bags in Japan
(these bags are full of Manga and games)
Suprise bags in JapanSuprise bags in JapanSuprise bags in JapanSuprise bags in Japan

I tried this new Macha they had in starbucks and I loved it ! Not sure if they still have them but if they do you should check em out !
Starbucks Tokyo

Normal morning mcdonnalds shot 😀
Morning set at mcdonnalds Japan

I came to Finland few weeks ago for a while because of family reasons and for work a bit but don’t worry I’m on my way to Japan soon!

I’m so happy to see that even tho I haven’t had time to post on my site people still visit here daily. Thank you all for following my life in Japan and liking my photos.