Day of departure

Gifts? Check! Clothes? Check! Passport with visa? Check! Wallet, laptop, phone, rechargers, etc, etc, etc? Check! Weight limit exceeded? Check! Something forgotten? Most likely, but it shouldn’t be vital! Time before the airplane departs? Less than seven hours. Final blog post? Soon done!

The above should describe my current situation quite well. Today 17:15 PM Finnish time, my airplane departs for Tokyo, where I’ll arrive 2:55 AM Finnish time, meaning 8:55 AM Japanese time — it’s going to become one really long day. Once there, I’ll have quite a rigmarole to clear up: getting used to the new settings, meeting with Nihon Ki-in personnel and friends on Thursday, doing an interview on Friday, studying as insei right away in the weekend, and registering as alien at a local police office sometime during my first three weeks.

At this point, I would like to thank everybody who has helped to make my trip to Japan possible: Kobayashi Chizu sensei and Tomotaka Urasoe of Nihon Ki-in, my good friend Kurt for fixing my accommodation problem, Jaakko Virtanen with his company Virte-metalli and the Finnish-Japanese Organization for providing me with a big enough travel budget, and my family, girlfriend and go player friends for all the encouragement and practical help!

My Finnish readers may be interested to know that I also have a travel blog in Finnish at! Rest assured, English readers, I’ll make sure to update this blog often enough.



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