November 12, 2005: Kyushu - Latvia Snow Club
(No.9) Back to Helsinki
The late Dr. Ukichiro Nakaya was a Japanese snow and ice researcher who created artificial snow crystals for the first time in the world. Mr. Kentarou Nakaya, a nephew of Ukichiro, one day introduced us of a very good tour to Latvia to join an official meeting called "The dialogue of ice and snow exhibition" to be held at National Museum of Natural History in Riga City in November.
All the official events were over and we have to say good-bye to Riga. Before the start, I walked out to look a scene I had been wanted to visit.
Walking along the canal, I came up to a beautiful Russian Orthodox Church. It was in an old good town with many classic housings.
We arrived at Riga airport by bus.
Thank you Ieva who kindly took care of us for five days. She would study in USA soon, she said. We hope she would do well with her future. We hope Latvia will develop much more from now.
We waited at the boarding gate for a while. An instant flutist enjoyed by playing the flute he bought as a souvenir. Good sound!
A small plane will take us to Helsinki in less than an hour.
We arrived at Helsinki again, the capital of Finland.
Cold rain wrapped the building. It was still around three p.m.
A lovely bear looked us up at the exit of the parking lot.
Mr. Kobayashi, the guide to us, has been living in Helsinki more than 30 years.Finland is a northern
European country of the land a little bit smaller than Japan with about 5.2 million population including 560 citizens in capital Helsinki. The Japanese in Finland is about 880, he explained.
The educational level of the country is very high.
This is central Helsinki. It was already dark just after four p.m.
We arrived at the hotel Scandic at the port of Viking Line and Nordic Line. They connect Helsinki with Swedish ports.
Fallen leaves were beautifully decorated in the lobby.
The hotel room was spacious with good illumination.
The dust box in the room had three sections for paper,cans and bins,and plastics to be disposed separately.

It was very good to look around good designs of Finnish items.
I walked out before the dinner. I visited a huge building I saw through the bus window, St Helsinki Cathedral. A ceremony was just to start with huge bell sign of six in the evening.
The entrance of the hotel. A big boar was visible across the street.
I found four personal computers in the lobby for Internet free access service. I could show Japanese pages, but couldn't write Japanese characters. I sent some messages to my usual mail site in Alphabet. One of my old internet friends also enjoyed his connection. We got together this time trip unexpectedly.
We toasted ourselves efforts in "The dialogue of ice and snow exhibition" in Riga.
A wonderful lady showed up. Ms. Toshiko Arai, a world-wide prominent violinist living in Helsinki. She is very active in Finland, Japan, England, and other places all around the world. She performed good music in Yufuin Music Festival a few times as well. She is famous for her management in Kitakyushu Music Festival in Japan.
She worked so hard by connecting Japan with Europe by a cultural bridge. She and her husband (a distinctive cellist) were recently evaluated highly and got a prize from French government. She appealed enthusiastically that Japan should contribute the world much more in cultural world.
The dish was very good. Specifically grilled salmon assorted with potato was very impressive.
We exchanged pleasant chatting with Ms. Arai and asked her to see again in Yufuin without fail.

Just one night in Helsinki was very impressive time.
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