Sunday, October 25, 2009

Starting New Blog

We decided to start a new blog, which should be easier to use than our old blog. Posting something in our old blog always required HTML
tweeking by Samuli, but what we really need is something where even Aura can send an email and THAT'S IT!

Email title = blog post title
Attached pictures = nice picture gallery
url = embedded video

And Posterous is just that!

We also transferred Oskari's blog to posterous so he can send his cool stuff there.

And this even should automatically be published on Facebook - all just by pressing send from selected email addresses.

Our old blog served us well, but it bacame too hard to maintain when we are temporarily living in different timezones. Now we need to figure out a way how to get our old blog saved and printed as a book of our adventures in Tokyo.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Hiking at Yatsugatake

After admiring the mountains for four years from Finland Village, I finally did the hike I had been dreaming of - go to the highest peak and stay overnight at one of the cabins at the top (at 2750 meters) . It was better than I could have ever expected! Total elevation 1200 meters from start to Akadake + quite a lot of climbming and descending along the way. 5 hours on Saturday, 10 hours on Sunday. GPS tracked 45 km, on amap would be less but the paths do go zig zag up the mountains.

Thanks to Michael for joining and making the hike even more memorable!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

After the typhoon

A powerful typhoon passed by Tokyo last night and I was walking the streets with my camera this morning (and during lunch time). The typhoon did not hit Tokyo, but caused damage elsewhere in Japan.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Autumn is here (in Helsinki)

Maple outside our balcony in autumn colors.

Hertta and fallen leaves

October 1st - 1st frost during the night

"They should fix our garage door pretty fast!"

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I escaped the endless concrete jungle and crowds of Tokyo, and spent 7 hours walking 33 kilometers on the outskirts of Kamakura visiting several remote Buddhist temples.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mt Fuji 21.9.2009

Samuli had a fantastic hike to Mt Fuji - sunrise was nice, clear blue skies all the way down where great, but the night sky was absolutely breathtaking - Saturday was new moon, so there was no moon light, just perfectly clear black sky with thousands and thousands of stars,... which I was admiring for hours and hours.

Samuli koki aivan mielettömän vaelluksen Mt Fujilla - auringonnousu oli hieno, kirkkaan sininen taivas alas tullessa mahtava, mutta yötaivas oli kerrassaan henkeäsalpaava - lauantaina oli ollit uusi kuu, joten taivaalla ei ollut kuuta eikä kuunvaloa, vain täysin kirkas musta yötaivas, jossa tuikki tuhansia ja tuhansia tähtiä ... joista sain nauttia usean tunnin ajan.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Two sides of Tokyo

Samuli is just getting ready for another day in Tokyo - Riikka and the kids are sound asleep in Helsinki getting ready for another schoolday in 6 hours.

This video captures the duality of Tokyo, it was this duality that made me love Tokyo since my very first visit in 2004.

Beautiful and ugly, old and new, back streets and high streets, calm and busy, shiny and rusty, commercial and zen ... and the sound of semi at the very end - urban nature.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Samu takaisin Tokiossa

Huomaan usein samaistuvani oudolla tavalla Ismo Alangon teksteihin. Tähän päivään sopii parhaiten pätkä Hassisen Koneen ajoilta:

Ja mä kävelen tätä tyhjää tietä
taloon, jota kodiksi kutsutaan
vaikka siellä ei ole minulle ketään
olen yksin tällä tyhjällä tiellä
olen yksin tällä tyhjällä tiellä
tällä tiellä
tällä tiellä

Tällä Tiellä

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Nagoya castle

I have been in Nagota today and visited the Nagoya castle. I met a 6 year old Japanese boy Tamon, who started interviewing me in fluent English. He was interested on where I came from and wanted to make friends. He is going to an international kindergarden, and already now speaks better English than most Japanese I have met.

The Nagoya castle was built in 1610, around the time when Togukawa shogunate took control of the whole of Japan, isolated the country from the world and demanded absolute harmony.

The first Tokugawa shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, built the castle. His family controlled Japan for almost 300 years on top of the strict class hierarchy followed by the warrior-caste of samurai.

"Ironically, many of the traditional values attributed to the Japanese today originate from this heritage." says Professor Akihiro Chiba in this article on pages 8-9 (pages numbered 16-17).

History is interesting: ...a country with closed borders, one family controlling all the riches, ruling with the help of the military, and building mausoleums to show their wealth...

The shogunate was abolished during the Meiji Restoration which was a chain of events that led to enormous changes in Japan's political and social structure in the 1860s. Luckily.

Tomorrow I will visit Toyota Techno Museum to understand Toyota's history, and it's effect on their philosophy today.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A tribute to MST

I just watched this amazing video and want to dedicate it to the people at MST who provided great education to our children during the past 3,5 years. A BIG THANK YOU to Pete & Mariko, Lynn, Jere & Lynn, James, Minako, Naoko & Nadine, Zach, Patrick, Laurie, Miho, Shukuko, Emi and others who supported them!

See also:
Square root of 646416 and counting 4132+4325 (in Finnish)
Birthday Story: Aura
Logic break
Aura concentrating (see May image)
Book review
Model of MST Upper EL 2006-2007 (special feature: the making of)
Finland class
Periodic table of Elements (by a fourth grader - third grader in Finnish system)