Finland, Lahti Ski Games

Hellooo,

This is a post about a job I had a week ago. I was working as an attaché for the team of Japan in the world famous ski competition in my city.

Lahti ski games (Salpausselän kisat)
Is a yearly international winter sport event. It lasts about 3 days and there are three different sports that include cross-country skiing, ski jumping and Nordic combined.
I’m not that much in to winter sports so I did not know pretty much anything about the event but I learned a lot while working there. The second day of the competition everyone always gather there to see the beautiful fireworks that they have.

There were three different attachés for the team of Japan and since the team was competing in all three events we decided that each attaché was in charge of each sport ( I was the attaché for the ski jump team)

This was my team (I can promise that they are not happy that I post their photos here but let’s hope that they don’t read my blog)
Lahti ski games 2012

I had my small sony with my so I got some nice shots here and there, technically I was not allowed to take photos but well my boss didn’t know about that I did.

these are the main ski jumps of Lahti and where the competition is held. Sadly that weekend it was so windy that the athletes had to jump from the second biggest ski jump.
Lahti ski games 2012

Most of the time we were standing outside cheering our teams and being there just in case if they needed us for anything or sitting in our office and watching tv heh.
Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012

You can see how busy I am from this photo
Lahti ski games 2012
Or not 😀

We did get free food tho and I have to say that it was not bad at all.
Lahti ski games 2012

Some outside photos 😀
Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012

In this photo you can see many of the Attachés who worked there and some other people. (if you can find me I give you a cookie or two ! . The white bear? is like a mascot of the event .. I think 😀 There was a small girl inside.
Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012Lahti ski games 2012

One of the most famous Japanese athletes at the event was Noriaki “Kamikaze” Kasai. Very nice guy I talked with him couple times in Japanese of course. Got a love his nick name “kamikaze” hehe 😀
Lahti ski games 2012

Next week I’ll tell you more specific info about my next flights to Japan and other info 😀 one thing I can promise, much much more photos ! 😀

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Aomori video clips

Here are 9 videos I took in Aomori, a little bit of everything from cats to castles I hope you like em!

1st. I took this video in the night buss when we were actually going to Aomori before the new year. I love that smoothing voice that you can hear.

2nd. Castle of Hirosaki! My hands were freezing when I took this! You can see a bit of the park as well and if the weather would have been better you could have seen a mountain in the background.

3rd and 4th. Two videos of the cutest cat ever called Chibi. My fiances family cat!

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5th and 6th. Couple of small clips I took from the window of the car when we were driving in Aomori, the amount of snow is staggering.

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7th. We went to a spot where people feed swans and other birds in the winter. Sadly it was snowing again so I could not take photos there but luckily I got this video taken 😀

8th. Driving in the mountain range of Akita.

9th. You saw photos from this shrine in the last post I did. When my girl was going to pray I took a video inside of it same time 😀

Like” my facebook page “Photographer Ari helminen” if you liked these videos.

Been listening Howard stern show all morning while editing photos and uploading things 🙂

青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori

And so the last day started in our wonderful trip in Aomori and we visited some beautiful shrines, ate tasty ramen and then finally we went to the shinkansen station to catch our bullet train back to Tokyo!

Like I said the day started with beautiful shrines we visited. The weather was again horrible so I could not use my nikon but I did get some good photos with my sony.

As breakfast/Lunch we ate ramen ! (you get the pattern right)

青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori Ramen青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori Ramen青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori Ramen

The shrines we visited were very beautiful as you will see in my photos! very slippery tho, many people including me fell down in the stairs and hill.
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori
Very “wet” weather as well, luckily my new shoes did manage to keep the water out somehow.
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori
When we were visiting the shrines I noticed that there was food stands like other Japanese events 😀
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori

This big shrine was beautiful even tho it was snowing more then ever !
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori

People were burning the old fortunes and talismans like in the other shrine photos.
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori

I also took a video or two here and I will upload them to you tube later today 🙂
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori

Here we were buying our fortunes for the new year. It costs 100 yen everywhere in Japan and in some places it is in english and in Japanese but in most places only in Japanese.
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori
My girlfriend got fortune that was neutral (not bad not good) so she put it to those strings and it will give you better fortune.
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori
I got the best fortune so I did not have to put it there, I put it in to my wallet and it will stay there until next year when I take it there and burn it.

I ate one of these things at that shrine, pancake and in the middle was sweetbeans 😀
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori

Then we returned home and finished packing and took off to the Shin-Aomori station (Shinkansen station). It was just remade and it looked awesome !
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori
Those photos were taken in the souvenir area.
These are taken inside the gates.
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori
My girl searching for the best Bentou (packed food) to take with her to the train since it does take about 3-4 hours to Tokyo from Aomori.
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori
Some mix photos
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori

Panorama photo inside gates 😀
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori

And here are photos of the shinkansen trip from North Japan, Aomori to Tokyo. We made a stop in Sendai too and it looked fine to me heh 🙂
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori
my bag fit just and just to the luggage area 😀
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori
Is it just me that inside the Shinkansen (bullet train) it looks like inside an airplane but with more leg space.
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori
Soon as we sat down we put the portable wifi on and started playing our favorite game called Dragon vale (apple device game). Sadly the battery lasted about 10 minutes since I forgot to recharge it 😀
a bit messy this part 😀
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori
Panorama inside the train!
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori
This is my girls bentou that she ate ! looks good to me !
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori

When we arrived back to Tokyo, both of us were relieved to be back and sooo happy for many reasons ( you will see soon our happy faces)
Back in Tokyo babyy!

Here is my beautiful girl smiling happily and a bit tired from the trip back !
Back in Tokyo babyy!
and here is me !
Back in Tokyo babyy!
First thing we did when we arrived back was a smoke in the Tokyo station smoking area, one of the best smokes of a life time !
Here we are going back home with the luggage
Back in Tokyo babyy!

Thank you for reading about my trip in Aomori (it’s not over yet ! uploading videos in a sec ! )
I hope you liked the photos and place visit my page again ! If you like this last photo “Like” my facebook page “Photographer Ari Helminen
青森での最後の日 Last day in Aomori

十和田湖 Lake Towada

We visited the famous lake Towada in Aomori, first when we were going there I wasn’t thinking much of it since the country where I am from has over 200,000 lakes but when we arrived there I was shocked how beautiful it was and how different it is with all the breathtaking mountains surrounding the lake.

Bit info! the largest crater lake in Honshu and actually it was interesting to drive there since when we were arriving to the beach the GPS was saying that we were in Akita but soon as we parked there it said we arrived to Aomori. The lake is half Aomori and half Akita area.
Towada is the 12th largest lake in Japan which was also a bit shocking since it was so big compared to the lakes I have seen before. My girlfriend said that it was too cold to swim in it but someday I will try tho !

十和田湖 Lake Towada十和田湖 Lake Towada十和田湖 Lake Towada
Also I saw a lot of swans there.
十和田湖 Lake Towada十和田湖 Lake Towada十和田湖 Lake Towada Swan十和田湖 Lake Towada

The lake itself was very captivating and also for some reason you get a weird spiritual feeling there as well.
十和田湖 Lake Towada十和田湖 Lake Towada十和田湖 Lake Towada十和田湖 Lake Towada

This small island was actually a shrine for one of the many gods that Japan has.
十和田湖 Lake Towada
The view from the mountains surrounding the lake was spectacular!
十和田湖 Lake Towada十和田湖 Lake Towada
I should have taken these photos when we drove here earlier since now when I was taking the photos you can’t see the far side of the lake because a snow storm is rising up.
十和田湖 Lake Towada

This is one of the many famous shrines that are in the forests next to the lake.
Shrine in 十和田湖 Lake TowadaShrine in 十和田湖 Lake TowadaShrine in 十和田湖 Lake TowadaShrine in 十和田湖 Lake TowadaShrine in 十和田湖 Lake TowadaShrine in 十和田湖 Lake TowadaShrine in 十和田湖 Lake Towada

Overall it was great to visit that lake! Thanks to my girl who I love so much and her parents !

十和田湖 Lake Towada

Like my Facebook page if you liked any of these photos!!

弘前市、弘前城 First day in Hirosaki city

These photos were taken at 28.12.2011 so just few days before the new year. At this time we were in the beautiful country side of Aomori in a city called Hirosaki.

This was the first day I could go out with my camera and take photos since it was snowing so much everyday. To be honest there was only 3 days where I could go out and take photos with my nikon but luckily I have my sony pocket cam to take photos no matter what the weather is.

In the morning we went to Hirosaki JR station and from there we walked to the beautiful park in the middle of the city which has the amazing 弘前城 (Hirosaki castle), still the weather was not the best and the amount of snow was a bit problematic but in my opinion I did get some great shots !

Maybe next spring I will go there in the time of the cherry blossoms and take photos of the castle and the flowers.
弘前市 Hirosaki City弘前市 Hirosaki City弘前市 Hirosaki City

As you see Hirosaki is a bit different then Kyoto for example 🙂
弘前城、青森 Hirosaki Castle弘前城、青森 Hirosaki Castle弘前城、青森 Hirosaki Castle弘前城、青森 Hirosaki Castle弘前城、青森 Hirosaki Castle弘前城、青森 Hirosaki Castle

Japanese architecture is so fascinating ! Such a beauty that you don’t see anywhere in the world.
弘前城、青森 Hirosaki Castle弘前城、青森 Hirosaki Castle弘前城、青森 Hirosaki Castle弘前城、青森 Hirosaki Castle弘前城、青森 Hirosaki Castle弘前城、青森 Hirosaki Castle

Also saw this guy with his ipad2 and rain cover talking to someone and showing the castle 🙂 I will try to do that this spring through Ustream or something for you 🙂
弘前城、青森 Hirosaki Castle

Men taking snowing away from the trees near the castle. The funny thing was that one of them was actually my girls’ old old friend from school.
_DSC2947弘前市 Hirosaki City弘前市 Hirosaki City

These “cookies” are famous from Aomori, very tasty !
弘前市 Hirosaki City弘前市 Hirosaki City弘前市 Hirosaki City

Look what we found when we were walking in Hirosaki city, Like I have said before Aomori is famous for it’s delicious apples and we found these frozen apples. Probably they just left them for the tourists tho.
弘前市 Hirosaki City, Frozen apples弘前市 Hirosaki City, Frozen apples弘前市 Hirosaki City, Frozen apples弘前市 Hirosaki City弘前市 Hirosaki City, Frozen apples

Found a wicked looking natural ice art as well !
弘前市 Hirosaki City

People are taking away the snow from the streets by dropping the snow to the underground water system so it melts fast and it won’t be in the way.
弘前市 Hirosaki City
Few Hirosaki photos again.
弘前市 Hirosaki City弘前市 Hirosaki City弘前市 Hirosaki City

I recommend everyone to visit Hirosaki city in Aomori, such a beautiful place and easy to go with a shinkansen or night buss from Tokyo.
弘前城、青森 Hirosaki Castle
Today I will upload all the photos that I have left from Aomori to my flickr and upload my flickr as well ! So sorry about the delay 🙂

New years in Japan!

おはようございます!

Okay this post is kinda late but still I know you’ll love it !

The photos in this post will be from the days between 30th to first of January I hope you enjoy them.

If you were reading my blog when I was in Aomori you should have seen this beautiful cat called Chibi.
Happy new year from ChibiHappy new year from ChibiHappy new year from Chibi
She looks so cute when she is sleepy!
Happy new year from Chibi
Close up photo !
Happy new year from Chibi

The convenience stores were very intelligent to make this glass box in front of their main door so snow would not be coming in. Also the parking lots were full of hot water all day so it would not freeze.

New years in Hirosaki,Aomori

Took some photos at the New years table for you so you can see what a normal Japanese new years food is. Warning you will get hungry when seeing the food!
New years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,Aomori

Deeeeelicious ! Would you like to eat any of this ?
New years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,Aomori

I have to say that there was a lot of food! the 31st we started eating about 3-4pm and ended the evening at 2am and the party continued for the next few days.
New years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,Aomori

If you have any questions of what is what just ask 😀
New years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,Aomori
New years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,Aomori

I also took some photos at the store of the different dishes, you can see that they are not that expensive either.
New years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,AomoriNew years in Hirosaki,Aomori

Check how cheap coca cola is in north Japan.
New years in Hirosaki,Aomori
… 138yen for 1,5L bottle
New years in Hirosaki,Aomori
If you are in Japan or going to Japan I’d recommend you to try this ice cream, you can find it pretty much everywhere!
New years in Hirosaki,Aomori

Since my girlfriends old room did not have a working tv, so I was watching tv through her phone!
New years in Hirosaki,Aomori
ps. that is a great tv show with Takeshi Kitano.

Now you are wondering why I haven’t taken much photos with my Nikon, well it was snowing quite a bit!
Snowing in Hirosaki

Day before new years!

I’m now in a car going to Aomori city from hirosaki. it’s snowing a lot ! I have never in my life seen this much snow, everywhere you watch you see only white.

Yesterday I made my first visit to the sea of Japan, on the left side of Aomori. Very beautiful sea and in there wasn’t that much snow either because it is so windy there.

I haven’t gotten much good photos yet but I’ll keep trying!
Tomorrow is the new years party with my girlfriends family, it will be interesting since no one speaks English and only few speak Japanese (many speak only the hirosaki accent).

Took couple of photos through the window (right now)

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