Mental Health Seminar



Thank you everyone who participated! The lecture slides are available here.


Mental Health Seminar 

Date: 10th February 2021 4PM-5:30PM (JST) 

Platform: Zoom 

Organizers: Finnish Institute in Japan, Asahi Travel International Inc. in Japan and Mieli Mental Health Finland



16:00 Opening

16:05 Anna-Maria Wiljanen, Director of Finnish Institute in Japan

   Well-being of Women, Well-being for Society”

16:35 Q&A

16:45 Marjo Nurmi, Mieli Mental Health Finland planner and volunteer work coordinating management 

  Mental Health is for Everybody”

17:15 Q&A

17:30 Closing



Q1: In Finland, do you have any occasion to talk about one’s well-being? ​

A: Yes, well-being is discussed on every level in the society; in schools, work places and in families as well. There are special programs for well-being to be implemented for example:


Q2: Regarding the balance of 8-8-8 mentioned in Anna-Marias presentation, do you have any tips for balancing them all well? For instance, I tend to think even unconsciously that we shall prioritize work and reduce times for sleep and hobbies. 


​We humans are entities. Kindly remember that you cannot do your work well, if you haven’t rested well. But just an extra hour of sleep can positively influence our cognitive abilities, boost productivity and ability to concentrate. Taking care of your physical health is crucial to achieving work-life balance. Being healthy is important for your work performance and your everyday life in general.

I put an alarm to my iPhone that tells me it’s time to go to sleep. Gently leave your digital devices out from the bedroom and don’t do anything digital at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep.

More information about the importance of sleep and hobbies:


Books about well-being:

・Martin E.P. Seligman: Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being

・Emma Seppälä: The Happiness Track. How to apply the science of happiness to accelerate your success

・Emily Esfahan Smith: The Power of Meaning

・Arianna Huffington: Thrive

・Michelle Obama: Becoming

・Deepak Chopra: The healing self

・HH Dalai Lama: The Art of Happiness

Runeberg Torte Recipe



125 g of unsalted butter

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 dl wheat flour

50 g of almond crumb

1.5 dl breadcrumbs

1.5 dl gingerbread crumbs

a teaspoon of ground cardamom

1 egg,

1 dl sugar

1 dl of cream

bitter almond oil

raspberry jam punch or almond liqueur

1 dl icing sugar

1 teaspoon water



Bring the oven to 125 degrees. Defrost and cool the butter. Mix the baking powder with the wheat flour. Mix the flour with almond crumbs, breadcrumbs, gingerbread crumbs and cardamom. Whisk the egg and sugar to a froth and add the cream, melted butter and dry ingredients. Finally, add a couple of drops of bitter almond oil.

Spoon the dough into the bottom of either the silicone pans or paper pans and onto it, in the middle of the raspberry jam. Add the dough over the jam so that the pan is just over halfway through. First bake for a few minutes in a 125 degree oven and then raise the heat to 200 degrees. Bake with everything for about 20 minutes until the tarts are beautifully browned.

After the cakes have cooled, remove them from the silicone holes (paper ones can be left in the cakes). Moisten the cakes a little with a punch or almond liqueur (in families with children with sugar water). Make icing from icing sugar and a drop of water and extrude it into a ring on top of the tart. Fill the middle with raspberry jam. Serve with coffee and / or punch.

Aino and Alvar Aalto: Shared Visions

Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) was one of Finland’s most famous architects. His dedication to meticulous design that adopted the perspectives of users, and to architecture rooted in regional cultures and societies, grew out of the deeply held beliefs of another Aalto, his wife Aino (1894-1949). This exhibition traces the 25-year story of their synergistic relationship and sharing of ideals, from when Aino met the still-unknown Alvar until her death long before his, and features documents and distinctive materials from the family archive.

Aino and Alvar Aalto: Shared Visions


Saturday, March 20 – Sunday, June 20, 2021
Setagaya Art Museum


Closed: Mondays except May 3, and Thursday, May 6.
Hours: 10:00AM – 6:00PM (last entry: 30 minutes before closing time)
For more information, visit the museum’s website


Photo: Alvar Aalto: Armchair 41 “Paimio”, 1932. Alvar Aalto Foundation. Photo: Maija Holma

inner landscapes, tokyo

Due to the current situation, the opening of the exhibition “inner landscapes, tokyo” was postponed, the new opening date is March 13th.


inner landscapes is an art project by Marja Pirilä, a Finnish artist and photographer, and Satoko Sai + Tomoko Kurahara, a Japanese ceramic artist duo.

The exhibition, inner landscapes, tokyo opens in Tokyo Shibuya Koen-dori Gallery on Saturday, March 13th, and continues until Sunday, May 16th. For opening times and access, please visit the gallery’s website.


If you want to hear more about the exhibition, please join the artists for an online artists’ talk Saturday March 13th 15:30–17.
For more information on how to participate, please visit the gallery’s website.


inner landscapes is dialogue between diverse times and two cultures, Finnish and Japanese: for the project the artists have interviewed elderly people from both countries. The exhibition, inner landscapes, tokyo, shows the inner landscapes of 6 groups, 8 persons living in Tokyo.

Satoko Sai + Tomoko Kurahara:Hirotaka, 2020. Photo: Mareo Suemasa

This exhibition, bringing together ceramics and photography, digs through layers of history by unearthing individual stories and album photos. The works go beyond a mere record of memories that reflect the lives of actual individuals, to highlight universal stories that we can all empathize with and share, transcending countries, cultures, and generations.

inner landscapes started as part of Turku 2011the European Capital of Culture program through 2009-11. The first exhibition in Tokyo was held in 2016, with another artist talk event in 2018.

Photo: Marja Pirilä: Camera obscura / Hirotaka, Tokyo, 2018/2020

Welcome to the Finnish Architecture Seminar online


The Finnish Architecture is well-known throughout the world and the Finnish architects famous for their multifaceted, experimental and innovative design, especially in wooden architecture. How has the Finnish architecture affected the Japanese architecture and vice versa? What are the current trends in Finnish and in Japanese architecture?

This event will now be held only in Zoom, the face-to-face event at the Metsä Pavilion is cancelled.

Join us online to listen to the prominent guest speakers from Finland and Japan!

The Finnish architecture seminar will only be held online in Zoom (in contrast to the previous information) because of the temporary closure of the Metsä Pavilion until the end of this year.

December 8th, 2020, at 13:00-18:45PM
13:00 Welcoming words – AMW
13:15 Speaker Taishi Watanabe
14:15 Speaker Daishi Sakaguchi
15:15 break
15:30 Speaker Kazunori Yamaguchi
16:30 Speaker Kivi Sotamaa
17:30 Speaker Pekka Helin
18:30 Closing remarks
18:45 Event ends

Kindly register via Peatix ( in advance.

Online participation in Zoom via the link

Women’s Empowerment Seminar

Women: Stop dreaming – start acting!
Empowering women to take charge of their lives!
Happy woman feels that her life is meaningful when it comes to her family situation, her work, her leisure time and above all, herself! Happy women are happy at home, happy at work and happy with their friends. The happiness is then spread within the circle of one’s friends, family members, co-workers, companies and finally in the society. But how can women be empowered?
The Finnish Institute in Japan organizes an international conference about Women’s empowerment with prominent speakers for example members of academia, entrepreneurs and innovators from Japan and Finland share their story! Come and join and be empowered!

December 3th, 2020, at 10:00-20:00PM (Including Reception)

9:45 We will open the gate and the doors to the Metsä Pavilion
9:55  We will open the Zoom for our speakers from Finland and to check that everything is in order.
10:00 Opening words by Anna-Maria Wiljanen, Director of FIJ
10:30 Keynote speech by Chancellor Mariko Bando, Chancellor, Showa Women’s University
“We must create a new type of leadership; a leader who will support, share with, and be dedicated to others for a sustainable society”
11:30 Lunch (bento boxes will be served all the speakers and the audience at the Metsä Pavilion)
12:15 Discussion about women’s empowerment by Hiroko Sakomura, S2 Corporation Ltd, and Anna-Maria Wiljanen
13:15 Speech by Arisa Ido
14:15 Speech by Moriko Hori, President of Women’s Federation for World Peace, Japan
15:15 Coffee break
15:45 Speech by Daniela Yrjö-Koskinen, Managing Director and Owner, Novita Oy
16:45 Speech by Anna-Maria Wiljanen, Director of the Finnish Institute in Japan
17:45 Speech by Tamako Takamatsu
18:45 Closing remarks by Anna-Maria Wiljanen
18:50 Network reception starts
20:00 Doors close

Face-to-face participation at Metsä Pavilion (Address: 3-5-39 Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo) *max. 50 attendees,
Online participation in Zoom from this link (

Kindly register via Peatix ( in advance.

Finnish Success Story: Schools on the Move -active school day, better results

What to learn more about the revolutionary new Finnish programme for the schools? How the increase in physical activity during the school day will give better learning results? Schools on the Move is a research-based programme for promoting physical activity in schools. It was developed in 2010 and has grown from a pilot project into a project that today covers more than 90 percent of Finnish schools in basic education.
Finnish Institute in Japan is collaborating with LIKES Research Centre for Physical Activity and Health in Finland with the pilot project in Japan.

Join us in the Schools on the Move webinar November 26th, 2020 17:00-19:00PM in Zoom.
17:00 Opening words – Anna-Maria Wiljanen, Director of the Finnish Institute in Japan
17.10-17.30 Success story 1: Schools on the Move programme, how it became a national success story in Finland – Antti Blom, Programme Director, National Agency for Education
17.40-18.10 Success story 2: Programme research and results, Researcher – Jouni Kallio, LIKES Research Centre for Physical Activity and Health
18.10-18.40 Success story 3: Components of Schools on the Move – Pilot project in Japan – Joonas Niemi, Programme Coordinator, Schools on the Move Programme
18:40-19:00 Q&A Session


Join Zoom Meeting


Sustainable materials seminar


How can we get rid of fast fashion and single-use culture? What are the sustainable materials and their quality? How about the production process and costs?

The Finnish Institute in Japan organizes a Sustainable materials seminar November 24th at the brand new Metsä Pavilion! Prominent researchers and designers from Finland and Japan will speak about the latest product innovations! Join us in hearing and discussing more natural, energy efficient and ecological solutions on what to wear tomorrow.
November 24th, 2020, at 14:30-20:00PM (Including Reception)

14:30 Doors open

14:45 Opening words  – Director Anna-Maria Wiljanen
15:00 SILKKI ~Sustainable approach with silk to textile manufacturing and people’s lifestyle – Yuki Kawakami
16:00 Knitting – combining sustainability and well-being – Commercial director Marita Halonen
17:00 Reima’s sustainable innovations for kidswear – Communications manager Riikamaria Paakkunainen
18:00 Spinnova – sustainable materials for textile industry – Business Development manager Pia Qvintus
19:00 Reception
20:00 Doors close


This seminar is a hybrid event taking place in the Metsä Pavilion (max. 50 attendees) and in Zoom:

Venue: Metsä Pavilion (Address: 3-5-39 Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo)

Kindly register via Peatix in advance.


Heli Blåfield’s Sauna People Photography Exhibition

THE EXHIBITION HAS ENDED. Based on the worsening COVID-situation in Japan, and related requests from the local governments in Japan to restrict unnecessary movement, the Pavilion operational management in Finland has decided that the Metsä Pavilion will close temporarily starting from from Friday, December 4th until the end of this year.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope to be able to welcome you back as soon as the general situation so allows.

A documentary look at Finnish modern-day sauna culture


Heli Blåfield documents Finnish modern-day sauna culture, and through it, Finnish everyday life and its rituals. Heli toured all 19 provinces of Finland from May 2017 to December 2018. Together with her brother, writer Ville Blåfield, they published a series of photo reportages, that eventually formed a book published early 2019 (Saunavuoro, Teos). The siblings travelled 10,390 kilometres by car, 2,200 kilometres by air and 318 kilometres by ferry, for a total of 12,908 kilometres. Along the way, they met over 100 new sauna companions.

Sauna People Photography Exhibition

Nov 27th (Fri) – Dec 3rd (Thu)

Opening times:
Weekdays 12:00–18:00
Weekends 10:00–15:00
Free, with advance registration only.
Children under 12 years old don’t need a reservation.

Metsä Pavilion, 3-5-39 Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Artist talk

Dec 1st at 18:00–19:30
The artist talk is arranged via Zoom.
In English with Japanese interpretation.
The link to the artist talk:


“The tour took us to public and private saunas, together with families, groups of friends, and colleagues. We saw a lot of lacquered birch panel, Crocs sandals, and plastic carpets. But at the same time we saw a lot of beauty – a lot of Finnishness. For a Finn, sauna is not only a dark booth, it’s also a window. We realised that above and after all sauna is the great connecting factor in our culture.”

There are over 3 million saunas in Finland – a country of 5 million people. According to official statistics, clear majority of Finnish saunas – 1,686,154 of them to be exact – are located in private homes. The second largest group, at 797,845, are found in Finland’s summer cottages. As the categories grow smaller, it is easy to gain a sense of the unique diversity of Finland’s sauna stock. Some 9,896 saunas can be found in various farm buildings, 6,468 saunas in business premises or industrial buildings, and 4,000-or-so saunas have been built onto trailers.

Whatever the real number, the statistics don’t lie: you can find a sauna in pretty much every corner of Finland. It is an integral part of most every living arrangement, weekly routine and social interaction.

Heli Blåfield is a Helsinki based freelance journalist (M.Soc.Sc). In her work she is specialised in reportages, portraits, and fashion. Her pictures have been published in many Finnish and international publications.
Ville Blåfield is a Helsinki based communications specialist and writer.

The Sauna People exhibition has been previously on display in Narva and Tartu via Finnish Institute in Estonia. In 2021 the exhibition will travel to VB Photographic Centre in Kuopio and to Spain via Finnish Institute in Madrid.

The exhibition was created with support from Patricia Seppälä Foundation and The Finnish Sauna Society.

Photo: Polvijärvi, May 2018: Tuula and Esa enjoying Esa’s sauna by lake Vehkalampi.


Exhibition tickets

Entrance is free but needs to be reserved in advance, reservations can be made until 16:00 the day before.

Please choose your desired day here and complete the registration process on Peatix via the below links:


Friday 27.11.: <<Reserve your ticket>>

Saturday 28.11.: <<Reserve your ticket>>

Sunday 29.11.: <<Reserve your ticket>>

Monday 30.11.: <<Reserve your ticket>>

Tuesday 1.12.: <<Reserve your ticket>>

Wednesday 2.12.: <<Reserve your ticket>>

Thursday 3.12.: Open only for the participants of the women’s empowerment seminar

Friday 4.12.: CLOSED

Saturday 5.12.: CLOSED

Sunday 6.12.: CLOSED

Monday 7.12.: CLOSED

Tuesday 8.12.: CLOSED

Finnish Swedish Week – traditions, food and fun – is here again!


Finnish Swedish Week – traditions, food and fun – is here again!

The popular Finnish Swedish week organized by the Finnish Institute in Japan is here again!
This year the week is more versatile than ever before! Come and learn more about the Finnish Swedish design, young entrepreneurship, literature and songs!

The week ends with the traditional and hugely popular crayfish party!




MONDAY, November 2nd: Welcome to the fascinating world of Anna ja Liisa Designs and meet the designers behind the beautiful designs that  are inspired by nature in all its details, the wide open landscapes which brings peace of mind just by looking at it.! In this hybrid event designers Elina Rebers, Johanna Högväg and Tanja Krokvik will tell the story of Anna ja Liisa
designs, about their sources of inspiration and their future! Sachiko Imaizumi will tell about her role when introducing Annajaliisa to Japan! Come and join us at the Metsä Pavilion or in Zoom!


TUESDAY, November 3rd: Meet the young and successful Finnish Swedish entrepreneur Robin Borgström who started a company Pals together with his friend Sebastian Molesly when their were only 16 years old! Today their business is flourishing!
Join us in Zoom for a talk with Robin Borgström about how to succeed and his tips to all who want to become an entrepreneur!


WEDNESDAY, November 4th: The soul landscape of the Finnish Swedish author Marianne Backlén! She will tell about her books, her writing process and about her love to Japan!


THURSDAY, November 5th: Introducing the traditional songs that will be sung at the Crayfish party! Join the hilarious sing lesson in Zoom!


FRIDAY, November 6th: SOLD OUT! Let’s celebrate! The traditional Finnish Swedish crayfish party at the Metsä Pavilion is here again! An evening filled with traditions, songs and fun!