Day to Day 一 Japan

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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:
-Manga/Magazines/books
-DVDs/VHS
-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

Swedish Party at the Sakura Hostel Asakusa


I’m good friends with manager of the famous Sakura hostel Asakusa and she invited my girlfriend and I to a Swedish party she was having with her Swedish friends at her hostel.

Before I show you photos of this party and tell you the story of the party, I’d wanna throw a advert for sakura hostel asakusa.

If you are visiting Tokyo and thinking where to stay I recommend highly this hostel with it’s friendly staff and great atmosphere. Sakura hostel asakusa also has many different events monthly from calligraphy drawing lessons and Kimono trying  to sightseeing tours as well (most are free or very cheap). When I came to Japan the first time I stayed with Sakura house which is another part of the Sakura company but the first Hanami (flavor watching event in spring) was through Sakura hostel asakusa, they invited me there and I met many friends that has become very close to me here in Japan.

More about the Hostel. Free wifi (difficult to find in Tokyo to be honest) and of course if you are staying there you can use their computers free as well. Great kitchen area where you can actually cook well with all the space.

For entertainment the place has a flat screen tv with game consoles and board games and let’s not forget a piano 😀 !

Top 10 things about Sakura hostel Asakusa:
1st. Free WiFi
2nd. Cheap
3rd. Location, in the middle of Asakusa and close to the station
4th. Staff, some of the most friendliest people in Tokyo. ps. they can speak many languages.
5th. The size of the kitchen area
6th. Events that they organize
7th. trust worthy
8th. Big tv,game consoles and board games for a boring night
9th. Vending machines (alcohol as well)
10th. two great smoking areas right outside

If you have followed my blog you have seen that I go there pretty often to use their wifi and to meet new people and have fun.

(Sakura hostel is not paying me to write this just want to give a advert to the best hostel in Tokyo)

But now to the party !

Party was great ! there were 3 Swedish people, 1 Estonian, 1 Finnish (me), 1 German and 3 Japanese including my girlfriend. So almost all of Scandinavia you might say. Food was delicious as well with traditional Swedish meatballs and sushi with beer and hot wine. I was at the hostel already like 4-6 hours earlier to upload photos and edit, so I was taking photos when they were cooking and putting everything together as well.
Swedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura Hostel
Talking about Sweden with serious faces 😀
Swedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura HostelSwedish party @ Asakusa Sakura Hostel

Mysterious Don Quijote

This store is so crazy with it’s cheap prizes and discounts plus with all the weird things it has ! Later I will go there better with my camera to take photos of interesting/mysterious things it has !

But what I found there today was a bit of a shock (in a good way)! Found out that you can buy “pets” there, well if you can call these little thing as pets.

Mysterious Donki

Yes it is alive, there were lots of different species in those little jars that you could buy and feed them. To buy one costs only 980yen!

Mysterious Donki

I’m planing to buy one for my girlfriend as a present! Maybe this cute guy.

Mysterious Donki

They also sell food for them of course and if you want to put your new pet to a bigger jar you can buy that powder and poor it in to the water and it should be ok then.

Mysterious Donki

Don Quijote is a discount chain store that has over 160 locations throughout Japan, most people know it as Donki tho. They sell everything and when I say everything I mean EVERYTHING!

World famous Tsukiji Fish Market 築地市場

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Yesterday Morning I was thinking where should I go and then it hit me , Tsukiji fish market! I never got good photos from there even tho it is one of the most famous things about Tokyo.
World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場
I got there a bit early at 8am and the main fish market area opens at 9am but it didn’t bother me that much since all the little shops around the area were open, lots of interesting hand made things that I absolutely have to buy later.

Once I got in I started taking photos like a crazy person but the thing in Tsukiji is that us the foreigners need to understand that it is a place of business not a sightseeing spot, need to be very careful and fast not to disturb the people who work there.

Few pointers for y’all of what not to do !
1.Do not touch any fish you see (no matter how cute they might look)
2.Don’t stop in the middle of the pathways for more than 5-10sec
3.If you want to take a photo of the people working, take it fast and move on.
4.This is kinda easy but don’t go there drunk (same as going to other persons work place drunk)
5.Do not wear flip flops (sandals) there in any situations.
6.Don’t bring your children way too big of a hassle. (no rollers as well)

What you will learn at Tsukiji Fish Market!
1.You’ll learn to watch everywhere around you otherwise you will be run over.
2.How to take more fantastic photos fast with quick reflects.
3.That fish blood is actually red ! joking 😀
4.Some fish move even when they are cut in half ( zombie fish anyone?)

But now to the photo part! I hope you enjoy these, only 2 days left until our trip to Kyoto and Osaka so I want to leave something here for you to keep busy!

First couple of photos will be outside of the actual Fish market area.

In Tsukiji they don’t only sell fish but also fruits, handcrafts and much more.
World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場

Ok now you are thinking what do I need to become a worker at Tsukiji, well here is the answer for you!
Go to this shop and buy one of each ! In the photos you see later why.
World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場

At Tsukiji you need to be very careful with the people who work there, They are making their living and they will run you over if you are just idle in their way.World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場
World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場

Before I will show you the bloody fish photos here is a cute photo of a father with his daughter (I hope)
World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場

Ok so now you are all happy happy cute cute right ?

time to start with the Fish Market !
World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場

Do not stop here in the middle ! always keep moving.
World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場
World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場
I hope you liked the photos so far ! I understand if you became hungry !
Here’s some more !
World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場

This next photo I like a lot!
World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場

Ok now you want ice for your fish right, you go to this machine !
World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場
It looks 100 -years old but it works so who cares !
World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場
And then your fish are well frozen !
World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場

You see from the photos! Tools of the trade
World famous Tsukiji Fish Market, 築地市場

I hope you liked this post ! I’ll try to post until we get on the road tomorrow evening to go to Kyoto.

Fish Market of Lahti, Finland

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Friday morning I went to the famous fish  market of Lahti to take photos and also to shop a few Christmas presents for my girl. The weather in Finland is perfect since it’s not too hot or cold, about 14c at day and 6-8c at night.

Here are some photos I took at the event.

Fish Market of Lahti/Kala markkinat 2011Fish Market of Lahti/Kala markkinat 2011Fish Market of Lahti/Kala markkinat 2011Fish Market of Lahti/Kala markkinat 2011Fish Market of Lahti/Kala markkinat 2011Fish Market of Lahti/Kala markkinat 2011Fish Market of Lahti/Kala markkinat 2011Fish Market of Lahti/Kala markkinat 2011Fish Market of Lahti/Kala markkinat 2011Fish Market of Lahti/Kala markkinat 2011Fish Market of Lahti/Kala markkinat 2011Fish Market of Lahti/Kala markkinat 2011

I hope you liked all the photos and check my flickr for more ! Very Finnish food !

Next week I will go to the car festival so stay tuned for a lot of photos of pimped cars !!”!!