My Japan visit

It was 7th March, 2013 in the morning. I was feeling blissful with my bags packed and ready to go to my dreamland ‘Japan’. I left Turku at 1pm and went to Vantaa Airport, Helsinki. I was flying from Turkish airlines. I reached Kansai International Airport of Osaka on 8th March. My brother was there in the airport waiting for me. It was the moment that made my heart beat faster. I was literally so happy that no words can define it.

I got 3 reasons to visit Japan this March; to attend my brother’s graduation ceremony, to meet my family members, and to attend my cousin’s marriage ceremony. My mom and dad they came from Nepal 2 weeks before my arrival. For me it was a great family re-union since I met them after 6 months of being in Finland. The very second day in Japan, we went to aquarium with my family members and other relatives. We went to sea side and spent some time there. In the other following days, I along with my family members went to Rokko Island, famous island in Kobe, Japan. Kobe is called a city of design.  We went to Kobe seaport. I still remember that night in the port, it was kind of magical. The lighting system was so fabulous, even in the middle of the mountain they got a logo of Kobe city. We went to different places like Nara; one of the historical place of Japan. Universal Studios Japan is the biggest movie themed park in the world and being there was so splendid.

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On 16th March we went to graduation ceremony. The University was so big and well designed. Graduated students wearing traditional Japanese dress called kimono (females), looked like beautiful dolls. For the wedding ceremony of my cousin, we went to Tokyo on 19th March. Tokyo is the busiest city I have ever seen. In Tokyo I spent 12 days and during that time I went to Disneyland, Tokyo tower and sky tree. Now I am back in Turku but still some part of me is roaming somewhere in Japan. And I must say Japan is a must visit country. 

Text and photo: Sabnam Shrestha

Student life and summer in Turku, Finland

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It’s May, the mid. This time I set to home after my evening shift at work, and so does the sun at about the same time or prepares itself to set so to speak. My mind usually serves me with the anticipation of next day’s morning shift to work, but then I get distracted to a level where I stand still, filled with appreciation and gaze upon the sunlight and it’s amazing aptitude for surrounding my surroundings with beauty, intense beauty!

I am from Nepal. Let me tell you this, the sun in Nepal does not last longer than 19:00 o’clock after its rising at around 6:00 o’clock in the morning. Hence, it is obvious for me to get astonished to see the sunlight and the sun itself so bright at around 22:00 o’clock, and even later. Last year, once I saw sun at around 00:15 o’clock, I literally went crazy and started calling some friends to give the unbelievable news of sun going crazy too. I thought so!

Usually after first week of May, the school is over for the rest of the summer and then students here start their summer jobs, not all of them obviously, some go abroad to catch that glimpse of excitement they’d been holding onto for long winter, I presume they seek their satisfaction over there. But, some of us, like me, take few summer courses and also work some places along with that. Actually some summer courses are real fun, the best part is that it’s part of the course to wander around and capture the summer increasing your own experience.

The summer is beautiful in Finland, I might add that the whole country looks like a beautifully created summer park. The people around look awesome, the views take your breath away and sometimes deja-vus occur, reminding some sort of scenic portraits. The beaches in Ruissalo, Uittamo and few other locations hold a lot of people every day, especially from second or third week of May. People often go camping, spend time in their cottages. Few festivals such as DBTL, Ruisrock – “a 3 days concert in Ruissalo” shake Turku city with the roar and screams of happiness and joys along with those highly loaded speakers to rock the summer. The summer here in Turku rocks, it’s awesome, it’s mind-blowing and it’s fun!

You come here in summer, you will find joys and will be filled with awesomeness and thrilled with views. That’s not it about the summer of Turku though! There’s more!

Text and photo: Ashish Shrestha

Travelling in Finland

Travelling in Finland doesn’t differ much from other countries. There are multiple ways to get from point A to point B, but I will try to point out couple of them. For short to medium range travelling I would recommend your own feet, a bicycle or a bus. Most of the cities in Finland have their own routes for cyclers so you usually don’t have to cycle in middle of the traffic (city centres are a case of their own though).

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For medium to long range travelling I would recommend using a bus or a train. With a train you are able to visit most of the major Finnish cities for a reasonable price. Using a bus is cheaper choice, but it is also slower. Then again you are able to visit even most of the smallest town with a bus. If you have a group of friends that want to travel with you, renting or buying a car (depending on the length of your stay) might be a viable option. Just remember that the Finnish traffic is right handed and the speed limits are quite strict. For a long range travelling (such as a trip to Lapland) I recommend either a train or a plane.

You should always check if there is a cheaper way to get to the place you are going. For example if you book in advance for a bus company called “Onnibus” you might be able to get a trip from Turku to Helsinki for 3 euros.

If you would ask me where should I travel to in Finland, I would recommend visiting Lake Finland, especially the lake Saimaa, Lapland, which is quiet self-explanatory, the Island of Ahvenanmaa, and of course our Capital, the city of Helsinki.

Text and photo: Iiro Järvenpää