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

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

The Independence day of Finland at the Finnish embassy of Japan

Couple of days ago I went to the Independence day party at the Finnish embassy of Japan. The Finnish embassy is huge compared to the other embassies I have been in other countries.
Independence day of Finland, TokyoIndependence day of Finland, Tokyo
Of course my girl and I dressed up for the occasion, my girl was going to wear kimono for the party but since just to put it on costs 10,000 yen and was a bit difficult to find a place to do it in such a hurry so dress was a better choice.
Independence day of Finland, Tokyo
Sadly it was a rainy day so of course had to bring an umbrella.
Independence day of Finland, Tokyo
The party it self was great, a lot of people (much more than I was expecting) and of course open bar with wine,champagne and we can’t forget the Finlandia vodka.
Independence day of Finland, TokyoIndependence day of Finland, TokyoIndependence day of Finland, Tokyo
Food at the party was delicious, what else could you expect from the embassy. A lot of Finnish christmas dishes with christmas ham as well.
Independence day of Finland, TokyoIndependence day of Finland, TokyoIndependence day of Finland, Tokyo

Since the world famous game that you might have heard of called Angry birds is now hitting well in the Japanese market, the party was filled with angry birds merchandise and even a it’s own “game room” and cupcakes.
Independence day of Finland, TokyoIndependence day of Finland, TokyoIndependence day of Finland, TokyoIndependence day of Finland, TokyoIndependence day of Finland, TokyoIndependence day of Finland, TokyoIndependence day of Finland, TokyoIndependence day of Finland, TokyoIndependence day of Finland, TokyoIndependence day of Finland, TokyoIndependence day of Finland, TokyoIndependence day of Finland, Tokyo
To me the party was a huge success, met many interesting people and old friends.
Independence day of Finland, Tokyo
Independence day of Finland, Tokyo

Need to try to make that a party to visit early ! Everything was free of course !

Photo mix Tokyo !

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With my sony that I carry always on me I take all kinds of weird photos so I’ll post some here for y’all !

Saw this Finnair advertising at Asakusa station, actually it looks pretty good well in Japan everything looks good tho. In my honest opinion Finnair sucks, JAL and Airfrance wins Finnair 10-0, but that’s just my opinion I don’t like hearing Finnish that much when I’m flying and the flight attendants are the worst if you ask me.

Finnair aurora in TokyoFinnair aurora in Tokyo

THE KBQ BURGER ! stands for Korean Barbeque Burger. this delicious piece of work from Mcdonnalds really surprised me with it’s taste and flavor. Japans Mcdonnalds is great sometimes!
KBQ BURGAAAAAAAAA!!!

Normal breakfast at mcdonnalds , surfing online with my ipad using NTT docomo’s portable wifi.
Heathy breakfast?

Okay so many foreigners HATE this part of Tokyo, I do not understand why since I love it ! no matter how full the train be I don’t care. I’m just happy to be here and anything can happen even in the train.
In love with Tozai line

Yesterday evening we had our annual Finnish men Sauna evening here in Tokyo but this time it was totally different since the Ambassador of Finland was kind enough to host this months event for us in the Sauna of Embassy of Finland (which wins the usual spot at Shibuya easily!)
Finnish Embassy sauna evening

Very beautiful place as well, what else you could expect. that photo was like the lounge so to speak. You can see the shower room there and inside there is a sauna that can fit about 6-8 people I’d say.

Also something else happened that I did not expect, the ambassador had got some Finnish beer and food ready for us and also we had a Japanese man there as well filling our beers so they were never empty. I got a feeling that a Japanese woman would have been in shock seeing so many Finnish men naked/half naked in front of her eyes.
Finnish Embassy sauna eveningFinnish Embassy sauna eveningFinnish Embassy sauna evening

I don’t have a good photo from the balcony but you could see Roppongi hills pretty much from there and also Tokyo tower lighten up.

There was enough alcohol for everyone and I’m sure if it would have ended we could have gotten more. From Finnish (lapinkulta) beer to gin there was everything.
Finnish Embassy sauna evening

I doubt the Finnish men would like that I would post photos of them relaxing there half naked so I let you use your imagination on that part.

We were there about 2 hours and then we moved to the closest bar which were called Bonds if I am not mistaken and time flew by. I had to go already at 10.30pm because I do live in the other side of Tokyo ( embassy is at Hiroo (hibiya line) and I live in Gyotoku (Tozai line))
Finnish Embassy sauna eveningFinnish Embassy sauna evening

Shinjuku saturday! Welcome back to japan party

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Saturday went so well that I am surprised ! My girl and I went to eat at denny’s near our house
Lunch at Denny'sLunch at Denny'sLunch at Denny'sLunch at Denny's

And my beautiful & shy girlfriend
Lunch at Denny's

We tried to not to get too full since the party started already at 7pm. We arrived to Shinjuku about 5pm I’d say. We quickly wanted to go for a smoke near the shinjuku station and we noticed that there was a live band and I decided to video it a bit, very good actually.

I wanted to go to Shinjuku’s famous Kabukicho area to take photos since the last spring I was in Japan, all the beautiful NEO lights were off because saving electricity.

I got some photos taken that I have always wanted to take in japan. I’m going back there later with more time to get some even better photos as well !

Here are some for y’all !
Evening at Kabukicho, 蕪木著Evening at Kabukicho, 蕪木著Evening at Kabukicho, 蕪木著Evening at Kabukicho, 蕪木著Evening at Kabukicho, 蕪木著

We went to gaming hall to play few games like mario cart and this crazy pirates game 😀  I actually won my girl in Mario Cart which is a miracle since she is a mario cart master ! I got lucky I’d say 😀

Time was catching up to us and it was already 6.45pm so we decided to go infront of the Izakaya to wait for everyone else ( I am the host and all ). I like to be early for everything as well.

Party went very well ! was in one of my most favorite izakaya in Japan. Delicious food and great company, what else could you ask for ?.. Beer ? we had that heh more then enough since we took a party menu we could drink as much as we wanted.

You may have seen that party video I took (last post), but here are some edited photos as well from that night.
Welcome back To Japan Ari HelminenWelcome back To Japan Ari HelminenWelcome back To Japan Ari HelminenWelcome back To Japan Ari HelminenWelcome back To Japan Ari HelminenWelcome back To Japan Ari HelminenWelcome back To Japan Ari HelminenWelcome back To Japan Ari HelminenWelcome back To Japan Ari HelminenWelcome back To Japan Ari HelminenWelcome back To Japan Ari HelminenWelcome back To Japan Ari HelminenWelcome back To Japan Ari HelminenWelcome back To Japan Ari HelminenWelcome back To Japan Ari Helminen

And here is a great friend of mine from The UK. Best photo ever !

Welcome back To Japan Ari Helminen

Here is that party video again just in case you missed it .

One of the best days!

Yesterday I had my Welcome back to Japan party !!!

It was great to see all my good friends again and drink, eat and have fun with everyone

I took a lot of photos again as always. Monday morning I will start editing them and I should have them uploaded Monday morning as well hopefully!

Also I went to Shinjukus famous kabukicho and got some great photos there as well !

You will love the next post I will make ! also a lot of delicious food photos !

as you may see in this video ! We had lots of fun !

Halloween in Tokyo,Japan (part 1)

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Halloween is just around the corner and in Tokyo you can see it very well ! Everywhere you can see scary Halloween colors everywhere 😀
I took some photos around town for you and I am sure to take more in the days to come before Halloween, also everywhere in Tokyo you can find Halloween parties. As many Japanese like cosplay so Halloween dress up is no surprise ! If we are going to go to a Halloween party I am so going to put a costume on from one of my favorite anime! But we’ll see what will happen !

I hope you enjoy these few photos of Halloween !
Halloween in Tokyo,Japan
Halloween in Tokyo,JapanHalloween in Tokyo,JapanHalloween in Tokyo,JapanHalloween in Tokyo,JapanHalloween in Tokyo,JapanHalloween in Tokyo,Japan
Halloween in Tokyo,JapanHalloween in Tokyo,JapanHalloween in Tokyo,JapanHalloween in Tokyo,Japan
I actually took a lot of Halloween photos today as well so I will add them later as well !