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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tokyo to Hirosaki

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Hellooooo my dear readers !

I arrived to Hirosaki about 2 weeks ago but I haven’t yet updated photos of the journey here!
This trip went well like most of my night buss travels.

Morning started nicely, drinking cold strawberry yugurt drink with my girl and talking to a cool Japanese guy who had this very cute doggy with him.
breakfast with a cute dog

As an early lunch we went to eat ramen to a very nice place that is in Asakusa main street near the ginza station.
My friend Sam was with us who never eaten “real” ramen other then cup ramen.

this is how you open the chopsticks 😀
Chopsticks

His first ramen ever.
First real ramen in his life

My girlfriend had this tasty dish
Delicious Ramen
and I had my normal Curry ramen.
Curry ramen in Asakusa

If you are in Japan now you notice that these Dragon Ball cans are in most vending machines. they used to be just 100yen and you could only get that can that is in the photo but it changed couple of days ago that when you buy one you can get one of 7 different dragon ball cans but because of this the price went up 10yen (now it is 110yen).
Dragon ball juice

Watermelon & Sky tree ice cream
Summer icecream

You know how I have been telling you about the best Japanese fried chicken place (karaage) in Asakusa, well we went there again before our buss in the evening.
Japanese fried chickenJapanese fried chicken

This is us before starting our trip to the north.
Trip from Tokyo to Hirosaki

Ginza line 🙂
Trip from Tokyo to Hirosaki
We were in a super hurry so we had to change for JR to get to Tokyo station more faster.
Trip from Tokyo to Hirosaki
My luggage! This time I don’t have that much to carry.
Trip from Tokyo to Hirosaki

Night buss is the best way to travel in Japan, this buss cost me 3000 ish yen one way to Hirosaki.
Night buss from Tokyo to AomoriNight buss from Tokyo to Aomori

Highway stops are awesome, full of products from the area it is in and a lot of vending machines!
Highway stop

When we arrived to Hirosaki station at 8am we were both hungry so we stopped at Doutor.
JR Hirosaki statonBreakfast at Doutor

Sucks that I can’t use my Suica at the station tho 😦 but at least I can use them at the combini (family mart,sunkus etc.)
Can't use my Suica :(
Trip from Tokyo to Hirosaki

The train was very small that we took from the Hirosaki station to the station that is near my girls home.
Trip from Tokyo to HirosakiTrip from Tokyo to HirosakiTrip from Tokyo to Hirosaki

Gotta love the station 😀 (nothing there)
Trip from Tokyo to Hirosaki

We took a taxi from the station to my girls place.
Japanese TaxiTrip from Tokyo to Hirosaki

That was our trip to the north where I still am. I have taken a lot of photos here that you will see soon!

Today we will have a Japanese style barbeque.

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

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.

Shōwa Kinen Kōen 昭和記念公園 Part 2

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Decided to make this in two parts so it would not be too long !

Here I’ll show you some more photos from that breathtaking park!

I so love how Japanese take their dogs out in these things ! the dog looks happy still tho 😀

Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

These dogs reminded me about a dog my family used to have a long time ago!
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

Look at this cute little dog saying hello to that little girl ! just the cutest thing you ever seen !
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

This photo is again one of the “best photos I have taken in Japan”
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

Don’t you just hate when people are behind your back watching what you are drawing!
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

Taking photos of these guys were kinda easy, took my time changing my lens and everything and still they haven’t moved than 1cm
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

Halloween Bonsai ??? anyone ??
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園
I hope I can go to this park again next week to take a better version of this photo ! this is nice too but I want it more sharp.
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

These looked delicious but I doubt I could eat them !
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

This Autumn color makes me feel warm inside and I feel like I can scratch “See the Beautiful Autumn colors of Japan” off my bucket list.
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

Cat’s are always popular with the ladies !
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

Entrance of the park.
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

I HIGHLY recommend to visit that park any time of the year, but right now it is very beautiful !

Shōwa Kinen Kōen 昭和記念公園

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It only took me 12 hours to upload these photos !I truly hope you all like them. The internet I am using here at Chiba is not the best but it get’s the job done!

If you are now in Tokyo or arriving here in two weeks, you should go to this park right away! You can see what Japanese Autumn colors are all about if you visit there !

This place is a little far but that does not matter when we are talking about everything this park has to offer. Now you are saying yourself “what is so great about this park compared to Ueno or Shinjuku parks” well,,, EVERYTHING ! as you will see from my photos this park has the most beautiful Japanese garden you’ll ever seen in Tokyo area and also it is HUGE so much to see and do!

Park entrance: 400Yen
Access : Easiest way to this park I noticed was the JR Chuo Line from Nakano. Stop at Tachikawa station (the park is right next to the station 7mins walk)

Many famous photos were taken in this park as well that you can see in tourist magazines and books.

Here are some photos I took at the park! check for the rest at my flickr !
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

Aren’t those red leafs just to die for !! So beautiful !!! That is what Autumn in Japan is all about!
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

Took a small break time after walking too long 😀 ! Those apples from Aomori are so delicious ! (portable wifi NTT Docomo, iphone4 ,ipad2)

There was also some very pretty Bonsai plants as well ! you can find them inside the Japanese garden !
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

Koi コイ You can find this fish in pretty much all the famous parks of Tokyo and maybe in all of Japan (not sure about that Japan part) Very interesting fish but they seem to be very hungry always.
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

BIG SPIDERS ! I almost walked through this net where these spiders were ! Scared the Crap out of me !

Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

The Japanese garden was aboslutely breathtaking ! I’m sure you will love it !!
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

There was a lot of “older” people doing amazing paintings ! if I were richer I would so want to buy couple of them !
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

Doesn’t this just look beautiful ? do you get that autumn feeling from this photo ?
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

While everyone were taking photos of the beautiful leafs I decided to take some more interesting photos of people who were taking photos of the autumn leafs. What do you think ? did I get good ones?
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

Those two are my favorite photos. More these kind of photos at my flickr !
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

Many of us were thinking why there were one sun flower left but we were happy that there were since everyone got some great shots of it ! as did I .
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

I think this is one of the main “artsy” things in the park, Very pretty fountain!
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

I came to the park a bit early as you can see.
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

All of us were waiting outside the gate! about 13 photographers.
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

Soon as the gates open we all ran quickly to the first great photo spot !
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

As in everywhere in Japan, even in this park there were a lot of cute cats like this little fellow.
Shōwa Kinen Park, 昭和記念公園

Read more at Part 2 about this park !

和食 Tasty food and Frostie & Smoothie

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To continue from the last post here are some photos of the delicious Japanese food we ate at the upstairs of Yodobashi Camera.

I had Katsudon and cold udon カツ丼とうどん
katsudon カツ丼

and my girlfriend had Tendon and cold Soba 天丼と蕎麦

Tendon 天丼

On the left is my udon and right my girls soba

Udon うどんSoba
Today's Lunchmy lunch!

I got so full from my meal that I could not move for a while! I recommend !

Couple of photos from Hibiya line back to Gyotoku.
In the metroIn the metro

After we got back to Gyotoku I wanted to check my manga shop “quickly” ( which meant 30mins), my girl got a bit tired of me because she found the manga she wanted very fast and it took me long time to find mine. So we went to the coffee shop near by to have a little break and relax.

I had a delicious Macha frostie with icecream and azuki
Break time with delicious drinks

and my girl had Jogurt & lemon & vanilla icecream smoothie.
Break time with delicious drinks

Very good ! I love that macha (japanese green tea).
Break time with delicious drinksBreak time with delicious drinksBreak time with delicious drinks

Very nice looking small place near the Gyotoku station and not that expensive either.
Break time with delicious drinks

Here are some prices (photo of the menu). on the right is the one I had ! That’s one thing I love about Japan, everything is picture perfect when you order food or drinks.
Break time with delicious drinks

Since both us smoke, our packs look cute together 😀 Mine is Marlboro red of course (as my friend from the states called them ” the cowboy killers”) and my girl smokes Japanese brand called Seven star.
Couple.

After our little break we went to Lawson.
Lawson Convinience store Tokyo

To buy our buss tickets to Kyoto! Very nice system that you can get your tickets to concerts and buss at the convenience store. This is the machine we used.
Ticket machine

Tomorrow I will go to a beautiful park to take some amazing autumn photos for y’all ! Until than I hope you will have a happy morning.

Good afternoon Good evening and Good night (heard that in a movie a long time ago… The truman show I think it was called)

ps. if you have anything to ask me, just drop me a message 100% sure that I will answer.