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

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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

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
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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

Back in Japan Monday !

Mori Tower View, 東京 日本

Hellooooo!!

I’m flying back to Japan this Sunday (13.5). Get ready for many updates and keep an eye to my flickr as well since I will be adding photos a lot again !

I’ll be flying with through London this time.
My schedule for that day

– 4:00-5:00 am. Bus to the airport
– 8:00 am. flight from Helsinki to London
– (3 hour 10 min flight)
– Chilling 4 hours at the airport
– 1:30 pm flight to Japan
– (11 hour 35min flight)
= Total flying time 14 hours 45mins

Arriving to Japan Monday morning.

I’m so excited to be going back! I’ll be making a nice post of my trip to Japan, photos at the airport, airplane and more.

I’ll start packing soon, I have already selected the clothes but I haven’t yet decided which luggage I should take. I got my good looking samsonite that is lighter than my other bag from whirlpool but I can fit more things to the whirlpool one.

I have again crazy amount of movies, tv shows and anime to watch while I’m traveling!

This time I will try to take much more “people” photos with my big lens or I just nicely ask in Japanese if I can take a photo of someone 😀

I have been practicing my Japanese a lot and I’m pretty sure I can manage myself much better this time.
The Giant Panda Ueno Zoo 恩賜上野動物園, Tokyo Japan 東京 日本

Need to go to see my panda friend at Ueno zoo again!

Soon in Japan

Hi,

I’ll be going to Japan in the begin of may, to be more exact 15th if I remember right I guess that would be kinda in the middle but what ever!

I’ll be updating my site at least once a day and you can expect a lot of photos and videos as well ! sadly this time I can’t stay too long in Japan since this summer I have to go in to the Finnish military service which is mandatory for Finnish citizens. I have pushed it for years now because I truly do not want to go but this year I just get it over with so I don’t have to think about it in the future. It’s only 6 months so not that bad but that is still six months I could be living in Japan.

Again I will take a lot of photos on the day I will fly back to Japan! This time I will be flying via London and waiting there in transit for 5 hours. Sadly I could not get flights with JAL because they were just too damn expensive so I’ll be flying with Finnair and BA this time. I haven’t flown with BA for quite some time so will be interesting to see how good they are these days.

I have this tradition that I do before I travel somewhere that  I stop watching my favorite tv shows and anime until the day I fly so in the airport buss, at the airport and in the airplane I have a lot of entertainment.

I’ll be making a izakaya party soon as I get back and you are all welcome if you are in Tokyo at that time. Since my girl has moved back to north Japan I will visit there as well of course so I will try to get some photos taken in there too.

I have been working some odd jobs to gather some more cash for this trip and to be honest I have done quite well that means there will be many asahi bottles and delicious food with my name on them !

Now I’m trying to sell my ipad2 quickly away so I could get the “new ipad”. I guess I’m just one of these apple crazy people who have to have everything “new” heh. Actually I will be going to few things when I get back to Tokyo from the apple store including the new ipad, ipod nano and a big maybe a macbook air as well.

I uploaded some photos from my childhood home to a website if you want to see My room in Figure fm. I know it is a bit Otaku-ish “geeky” . Since I’m traveling so much and planning that move to Japan I decided that I’m not getting a new place in Finland so I’m still in that room heh. I had my own apartment once but it got flooded so moved my stuff back here for a bit.

Also in that same website you can see photos from my apartment in Tokyo.

To conclude just in one month I’ll be back in beautiful Japan taking photos everyday and updating my site more and more. I hope there I can find someone who could help me make my site better ! 😀

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!

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No more luggage weight trouble

Headline says it all!

I bought this amazing little scale to weigh my luggage. If you have read my blog before you have noticed always when I’m traveling to or from Japan I’m always stressing about my luggage weight and then in the airport worrying if I have to start throwing stuff away or do I need to start paying extra for +kilos.

This new scale is going to change all that and it will be always with me when I’m traveling! I have tested it and it actually works too 😀
Asaklitt Luggage scale