Monday, February 27

Skiing in Hakuba - Nagano

It's been 7 years since I was in a slope. And that slope was a pretty crappy one outside Beijing called "Nan shan". Time to see if I still got what I learned since I was 6 years old...

Always wondered what people mean when they talk about powder snow in Japan and that skiing here is amazing. Now I know! Skiing in Hakuba isn't cold at all and the slopes are fantastic. Weather during the day is about -3 degrees which is so much better than north of Finland and Norway. No need to freeze your feet and hands or look for a shelter to warm yourself with coffee / whiskey every hour. Hakuba is suuuper popular among foreigners, I've never seen so many white people in Japan before. It's nice that the Australians started all kinds of beer breweries here :)

There is a straight train from Shinjuku to Hakuba, takes about 4 hours. Leaves at 7:30 in the morning so it's an early wakeup but you still have time to hit the slopes after it. 

Floating house looking very Silent Hill-ish 
Some small town on the way, beautiful mountainous scenery most of the way to Nagano. City of winter olympics 1998! 
First day we arrived it was pouring down so no skiing....
Only thing we did first day was to rent skies

and have some nice beers at Hakuba brewery 
Second day was half sunny occasionally, pretty gorgeous view and not much people 
Up we go! 

and down! 
Third day and not a cloud in the sky!! Olympic ski jumping slopes from 1998. Wonder if Matti Nykänen jumped here :) 

 Just going out for a walk is gorgeous 

 Stayed at this place called Yamano hotel

 Third day was also a LOT more crowded than the first one...
 View from the top, it's a long way down! 
 Up we go again 
 Pictures don't do this view right. Nature is gorgeous!! 

 Hotel up in the slopes 

 Last set! 
Hakuba train station 
Goodbye Hakuba, see you next skiing season again! 

Tuesday, February 21

Long work study study

Going on work trips while doing intensive studies hits back quickly. Missing 3 hours in school per day and homework sets you back quite fast. And making up for it makes the days loooong.

I'm so waiting for the day when my Japanese is good enough and no need for school anymore. But until then, blood and tears and loads of Kanji writings and grammar that is as complicated as Finnish....

Bright bright day at Monja Street 
Little temple just next door 
Buffee lunch, restaurant was full of Chinese tourists. I noticed that Dianping had an add by the door, no wonder. Everyone seemed to have come for the giant crab legs. Cheap buffee but not super great 
They got Moomin shops here and there in Tokyo 
Study study 
 To keep som balance with work, school and everything else evening runs are great for relaxing 
 YUM YUM!! Soba & Pork cutlets in egg with rice 
 Happy valentines day boo, pancakes and coffee served! 
 And thanks for the chocolate all the way from Finland, didn't even know we had these brands. 
 For Valentines day the supermarkets sold cucumbers in heart shapes 
 Tsukishima also has a sweet potato truck, an add of to the regular ramen wagon :) Was shouting funny slogans 

Thursday, February 16

Bustling Bangkok

Almost a year since last time in this coconut paradise! There are few cities with so much things going on like Bangkok. Probably the best time to visit now since temperature hardly climbed over 30 degrees. None of that sweaty humidity in February. Was a great kickoff meeting with our new partner, lovely team :) BioGaia in Thailand soon!

Was great seeing you Junior and best of luck Grace on becoming Thailands next face! I hope you win the competition!

Bangkok skyline  
Will be working a lot with these lovely people this year! 
 Cool to get an upgraded room with a bath like this! Didn't have time to use it though
Red red sunsets 
 House of Sathorn used to be the Russian embassy for 40 years 
They have a pretty cool bar! 
Chefs took their time to prepare our courses...and result was...
Pretty gory food :D 
Khaosan road always as busy 

Tuesday, February 14

Finally home to Tokyo!

Last 2 weeks trip in Europe felt like half of forever and Japan so faaar away. Not sure if I slept more than maybe 1 hour during the whole 11 hour flight. It's too bad that the flight between Helsinki and Japan is flown by the old Finnair planes. The new A350 only goes to China, Hong Kong and Thailand. Hopefully it will in near future also come to Japan...After coming back to Tokyo I went straight to school next morning after arriving, study time after 1 months "vacation". No matter, so good to be home :)

Been missing this sunset view....
Wonder what's going on down there 
 Weekend afternoon runnings is some good stuff 
Good morning home!! 
Home sweet home 
 Our backyard is always mirror clear in the early morning 
And a picture from the other side 
Always quiet in Tsukishima 
 These guys can be found at the Yurakucho station 
 Went to pick up my India Visa from Tamachi station, loads of Salarimen rushing to work 
 Scandinavian night at the Scandi Center, Moomin International kindergarten for kids available.

 The new add-ons to Fallout 4 are a must for any gamer :) 
 Had the biggest burger in my life so far at Lotteria. You can get up to 10 stacks! And and as many more as you want, each stack 150 yen. NOMNOMNOM

 Gobble gobble!
 Sun setting when leaving office in Shinagawa
 Sunset run at Toyosu 

 Tokyo International Forum
 To Meiji shrine with prayers for Kaj 

 Docomo Tower 
 Late night runs are equally beautiful. Home sweet home, can you locate? 
 Tsukishima Ramen truck, would love to know his route so I could find hime when I got money. Always randomly bump into the truck while running late
 Watching Sumo has been on my bucketlist a long time. Finally see some traditional old samurai sport! 
Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Hall

 Full house and really cool arena! 
 Introduction round 

 3, 2, 1, FIGHT!