Friday, April 28, 2023

She's Back!

Well, she's back! The exhaust pipe has been re-attached a bit further away from the hull parts, and everything tightened :-) 

Well, one thousand and more already spent. Another thousand awaiting for the door. Sigh.

(The earlier article with the problems was here.)

More car stories in the Planetskier blog series at Blogspot. The photos and text (c) 2023 by Jari Arkko. 

Something is wrong again

Sigh. Something is wrong again. Loud noise when driving over 5km/h over the most minor bumps.

And this was right after all the good news.

More car stories in the Planetskier blog series at Blogspot. The photos and text (c) 2023 by Jari Arkko. 

I scored a hole-in-one-car


Remember how I left the car for a week+ in the repair shop and for the annual check-up? I have new see-through door … but check up approved. Mostly because I needed to drive the car to the shop that can do the door replace, not because they approved the rusted door … anyone happen to have a right door for a 740?

More car stories in the Planetskier blog series at Blogspot. The photos and text (c) 2023 by Jari Arkko. 

Good luck with the Volvo...

Wish me good luck. The car is going for the shop to some repairs, and they will take to the annual check. Very unclear if it will ever return to me ...

I'm preparing for the check-up by washing the car. My theory is that if it is clean, they will not notice the rust :-)

Update a week later: Bad news: forbidden to be driven. Good news: only due to handbrake imbalance. No issues with the hull, though the hole in the door apparently needs to be fixed using something else than a plastic bag. I’m sure it will soon be a decent summer car again 🙂

More car stories in the Planetskier blog series at Blogspot. The photos and text (c) 2023 by Jari Arkko. 

Hyrylä dust-off


After cleaning up at my mom's, it was time to dust off myself: my first visit to the Tuusula swimming hall. Quite nice. Small, but good saunas, a therapy pool, airy, nice views in the main pool area, etc. Worth a visit!

Another place that I've swam in Hyrylä is the nice small pond in the sports center. See my report here.

For more sauna and swimming stories, check out and websites! And of course the Planetcaver, and Planetskier blogs for other stories in Blogspot and TGR! The photos and text (c) 2023 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. I never take photos of other saunagoers or swimmers and visit when there is simply no one else or the facility has been closed or booked only for me.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Communism is closed, so is the museum

We went to the Krakow Museum of Communistic Poland... it wasn't open, and neither is communism. Would have been very interesting to tour this, but oh well.

Read more urban exploration stories from, and other underground stories from Read the full Planetskier series at, or all blog articles from Blogspot or TGR. Photos and text (c) 2023 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Rokokallio meet-up

So, as reported earlier, our caving association went to Rokokallio. Very nice to see people in the middle of the pandemic :-) and be in the nature. We ended up exploring most of the caves in the area. Here are some pictures of them. 

Starting with the main cave (pääluola) in coordinates N 60.489854 E 24.476853:

The top crack cave (päällysluola) is in coordinates N 60.489582 E 24.477191:

The roof cave (lippaluola) is in coordinates N 60.488881 E 24.479111:

The side cave (sivuluola) is in coordinates N 60.489937 E 24.476207:

The deep crack cave (syvähalkeamaluola) is in coordinates N 60.489154 E 24.477937:

The fire pit cave (nuotiopaikanluola) is in coordinates N 60.489495 E 24.477370:

The team having a break:

See more caving stories at, and all Planetskier and Planetcaver stories at Blogspot and TGR! This article, pictures and videos is (c) 2020-2021 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 10, 2023

Enoshima Caves

Only in Japan: They have a "candle lending service" at cave. And it is not like it is a dark, lightless place even without the candles - the Enoshima cave has lighting, but obviously the candles are a remarkable addition to the experience. On the other hand, since the candles are actual candles with actual fire, there is now a need to have a fire alarm system, if somebody accidentally sets the cave on fire...

Overall, a super nice experience in the cave, and the island in general as well. Much recommended! On the island you can find observation towers, lights, restaurants, and a spa, even though I was actually unable to find it :-) The is nice hiking, a "love bell" for the lovers, and of course, incredible views of the lush island, cliff faces, the sea, and, spectacular views of Mt. Fuji. Although on the day I was there it was covered mostly in clouds.

But back to he caves. There are actually two caves, cave 1 and 2. Both are part of the show cave. Their coordinates are N 35.298389 E 139.475556 and N 35.298174 E 139.476748. Here's a map of the caves:

The caves are ancient sea caves, formed when the island's cliff faces were at a different level, and waves kept hitting some cracks in the rock. Cave 1 is 153 meters long and cave 2 is 56 meters. They are indeed beautifully lit, have nice roofs above entrances, and well-constructed walkways. For the most part one can just walk in the cave, but in few places one needs to lower one's head to not hit the ceiling. The cave is well decorated and protected against accidental roof rock fall. Maybe to the extent that it feels a bit less like a natural cave. The sides of the cave are full of statues, for instance.

There is an entrance fee, around 1000 local (9€) gives you access to both the caves and a number of other attractions on the island. You can buy these tickets before taking the bridge to the island.

I found the stories around the cave most interesting. The main story is about a many-headed evil dragon that falls in love with a maid. They get each other, and dragon plays nice from that point onwards :-)

I also laughed out loud when I read about the Fuji connection story. There's an ice cave on Mt. Fuji, some tens of kilometers away. The people looking a the Enoshima cave felt some cold air come from the cave (as often happens with caves), and immediately deduced that there must be a connection to the Mt. Fuji cave because of the cold air :-)

More information from the caves and the island can be found from Wikipedia and various local travel sites such as this or this.

Cave 1:

Cave 2:


The Shinto Shrine in the middle of the island:

Train station for arriving to the island. Wonderful!

There were also two other tiny caveats nearby that I could spot. Well, not really even caveats, just tiny holes few meters across, formed by the sea. They are in coordinates N 35.298916 E 139.474808 and N 35.298459 E 139.475269. I also made a map and a 3D model (view, download) of the first of these. Here are some pictures:

Read more urban exploration stories from, and other underground stories from Read the full Planetskier series at, or all blog articles from Blogspot or TGR. Photos, videos, and text (c) 2023 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Sun Meadows Kiyosata ... no skiing for me


It was a great plan. Take trains to the Sun Meadows ski resort in Kiyosata, Nagano prefecture, Japan. And then come back at the end of the day, pick up my luggage from the hotel and head to the airport. In the words, I was on a deadline. And I was illiterate...

Sun Meadows was still operating in early April, as I was leaving my work meeting in Yokohama. It would have been nice to visit a proper outdoor ski resort, even if last night I had already done some indoor skiing in my neighborhood.

But problems started to crop up. Problem one was that I was tired, and didn't complete the midnight packing session, which made me continue the packing in the morning. I could and should have left 6.30 am, but I wasn't out of the hotel and checked out until 7.30 am.

The next issue was buying the tickets. I have to say I was confused about the options in the ticketing machine, and there were no ticket sales agents early Saturday morning. I did manage to buy the right tickets, didn't get seat assignments but I figured I'd manage somehow. But some time had again gone.

The real problems started after my first metro ride, however. I was thoroughly confused about which trains I should take. Google maps wasn't exactly collaborating, and interpreting the signs at the train stations was very difficult; the latin lettering version of the destinations only appeared now and then in the signs, but the train changing times were in the order of minutes.

So I lost a train. From this point onwards I think I did everything fine, even though some of the reading of the signs was still difficult. And maybe there was a station where I could have run up and down stairs and change platforms in one minute, but I suspect even the literate among us would not have figured out where exactly to go. Google maps did tell me which platform to take, but I wasn't relying on it entirely, so not sure if it would have been valid.

And then something really unexpected happened. The express trains which per both the official Japanese travel website and Google maps were supposed to stop at the Kobuchizawa station, did not stop there. I went past it half an hour. This by itself was not a problem because I had plenty of time to change to the next train. But I started doubting the next trains stopping. Maybe they would have. My train returning past the Kobuchizawa station did stop there, but visiting the ski area was now a matter of not losing a single more train or transfer, or else I'd miss my plan. 

I think I made the wrong decision, because after this everything went smoothly, and I might have gotten to the ski area and skied 20 minutes, shuffled with taxis to return back to the closest station and then changing again at Kobuchizawa ... but I got scared. Stupid. That's what you get for being illiterate in Japanese: no skiing for me today :-(

So I ended up taking an eight hour train ride at the cost of 100+ € and got no skiing done. However, it was quite pleasant... nice trains, cherry trees blossoming by the tracks, going through mountain areas... not bad after all. Maybe next time with more reading ability and/or courage. Or time?

Above you will see my planned route. Below is shots from the train window near Kobuichezawa. So close, so far!

Me in the trains:

After Ski in Yokohama, after the trip. Or was it Instead Ski?

Read the full Planetskier series at, or all blog articles from BlogspotTGR. Photos, videos, and text (c) 2023 by Jari Arkko.

Tale of three ski ... attempts

A tale of three ski … attempts. First, the nice one was in the evening with Dan and Tero in the Snova Shin Yokohama, an indoor facility with interesting “polymer snow” that is complete harmless to human but should be thoroughly washed before leaving 🙂 

The second one was my attempt the next day to ski at Sun Meadows ski resort in Kiyosato, a four hour train ride away, but I finally bailed out of it after fumbling too much time in my transfers, an illiterate tourist, concerned that I’d miss my plane out of Tokyo; I did see the ski slope from the train window though 🙂 

Finally, unhappy with myself for being a wuss about train delay risks, when I landed in Helsinki at 4am I went straight to my local hill to ski it in the dark morning hours with a headlamp. I guess both March (Yokohama) and April (Kauniainen) skiing were done though, so good. And the eight hour train adventure was a nice outing in the lovely Japanese countryside, even if I didn’t get to the slopes.

Read more about the Snova Shin and train adventures here and here.

Snova Shin Yokohama above and below:

After-ski walk in Yokohama harbor:

Train adventure:


Read the full Planetskier series at, or all blog articles from BlogspotTGR. Photos, videos, and text (c) 2023 by Jari Arkko.