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.

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

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!

Reality & Fantasy – The World of Tom of Finland in Osaka


After its debut in Tokyo, the first ever Tom of Finland exhibition in Japan continues to Osaka, where it will be on display in Parco Shinsaibashi from November 20th to December 7th. The exhibition features a selection of 30 historical works, ranging from 1946 to 1989, covering the artist’s entire professional career, and highlighting both his artistic versatility and presenting his identity as an LGBTQ legend who paved the way for LGBTQ rights worldwide and helped to shape gay culture.

The exhibition is a collaboration between the Finnish Institute Japan, the Embassy of Finland in Japan, the Tom of Finland Foundation, The Container gallery, and PARCO. The exhibition is curated by the Tokyo-based curator and director of The Container, Mr. Shai Ohayon. The exhibition coincides with Tom of Finland’s 100th birthday anniversary – #TOMs100.

Reality & Fantasy: The World of Tom of Finland

November 20th – December 7th 2020

PARCO Shinsaibashi event space (10th floor), Osaka

Opening hours: 10:00-20:00
*Last entry 30 minutes before closing time
*Closes at 18:00 on the final day December 7th
*Advance reservation required
*Pre-school children are not allowed to the exhibition

For more informationvisit Parco’s website (in Japanese)

About the exhibition

Reality & Fantasy: The World of Tom of Finland, brings together a selection of works, covering the artist’s entire four decades of career, and presents works on paper using a variety of mediums, such as graphite, gouache, markers, and pen & ink. Historically, the images highlight milestones and artistic stylistic developments in Tom of Finland’s life and practice—starting with his 1940s and ’50s paintings in gouache, of men in stylish attire and uniforms, such as sailors, soldiers and policemen, in fantastic and romantic compositions, influenced by his army service in Finland—to his stylized depictions of leathermen and muscle men in the ’60s and ’70s, and the cleaner, high contrast and graphic drawings of his later career when he was working in Los Angeles.

The exhibition also features many works commissioned by the Athletic Model Guild (AMG), founded and headed by Bob Mizer in 1945. Tom of Finland and Mizer had a long-time professional relationship. It was Mizer that added “of Finland” to Tom of Finland’s name as was the fashion of the day. Reality and Fantasy, includes a number of drawings that appeared in AMG’s magazine Physique Pictorial, including two drawings that appeared on the cover of the magazine (Untitled, from the AGM “Men of the Forests of Finland” series, 1957; and Untitled, from the AGM “Motorcycle Thief” series, 1964.)

The exhibition puts emphasis on Tom of Finland’s role in promoting sensual and erotic depictions of the male body as a catalyst for social change and the acceptance of gay people, while facing a legal and social reality they were fighting to change. Delving into a world of fantasy, with sexual freedom, Tom of Finland depicted a new “gay masculinity”, adding to the vocabulary of what gay men were allowed to be by society.

About the artist

Tom of Finland (born Touko Valio Laaksonen,1920, Kaarina – 1991, Helsinki), was a Finnish artist known for his homoerotic artworks, and for his influence on late twentieth century culture. During his prolific career, Tom produced over 3,500 illustrations, drawings, woodblock prints, and paintings, mostly featuring men in sexualized poses and compositions, to redefine masculinity and the position of gay men in modern society. He signed his work “Tom” and when his drawings were first published in 1957, the now world-famous “Tom of Finland” was born.

Tom’s works are in many permanent collections worldwide, including NY’s MoMA; Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art; Art Institute of Chicago; The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), LA; Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art, Turku; University of California Berkeley Art Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Tom of Finland Foundation, LA.

In 2006, The trustee of The Judith Rothschild Foundation, Harvey S. Shipley Miller, asserted about the Foundation’s gift to the MoMA of five of Tom of Finland’s work, “Tom of Finland is one of the five most influential artists of the twentieth century. As an artist he was superb, as an influence he was transcendent.”

About Tom of Finland Foundation

In 1984, the nonprofit Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF) was established by Durk Dehner and his friend Tom of Finland. As Tom of Finland had established worldwide recognition as the master of homoerotic art, the Foundation’s original purpose was to preserve his vast catalog of work. Several years later the scope was widened to offer a safe haven for all erotic art in response to rampant discrimination against art that portrayed sexual behavior or generated a sexual response. Today ToFF continues in its efforts of educating the public as to the cultural merits of erotic art and in promoting healthier, more tolerant attitudes about sexuality.

“Old age and equality: towards a fairer experience of aging” seminar day


Thanks to everyone who participated! The lecture slides are available here.


“Old age and equality: towards a fairer experience of aging” seminar day will be held in the newly built Metsä Pavilion on the grounds of the Finnish Embassy in Japan. The event will run from 13:00 to 18:00 on 29th of October.

Japan is the first nation considered to be a “super-ageing society”, while Finland is one of the fastest ageing countries in Europe. Despite the geographical distance and cultural differences, the two countries face very similar challenges in the coming decades: how to maintain the quality of life in a society where the old outnumber the young? How to respond to the needs of a diverse elderly population? How to create care policy capable of assessing and fulfilling everyone’s needs regardless of societal standing?

The aim of the conference is to share Finnish and Japanese perspectives and approaches to the issues of ageing with a focus on equality and poverty in old age. The talks will address not only the problems, but also the success stories and emerging solutions that can benefit both countries.


Ken Harada, Professor at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Jissen Women’s University
Teppo Kröger, Professor of Social and Public Policy, University of Jyväskylä.
Satomi Tanaka, Professor at Department of Community and Society, Tsuru University
Virpi Timonen, Professor of Social work and Policy, Trinity College Dublin

October 29th, 2020 at 13:00-18:00 PM

  • 13:00 Opening words. Dr. Anna-Maria Wiljanen, Director, Finnish Institute in Japan
  • 13:15 Dr. Satomi Tanaka: Regional differences in experiences of aging
  • 14:15 Dr. Teppo Kröger: Equality in old age under threat: Care poverty in Finnish and global perspective
  • 15:00 Coffee break
  • 15:45 Dr. Ken Harada: “Successful aging” and intergenerational relationships in Japan: From the perspective of ageism
  • 16:45 Dr. Virpi Timonen: If technology is the answer, what is the question? Reflections on care technologies as ‘solutions’ to the ‘problem’ of aging
  • 18:00 Closing remarks

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 106-8561)

Kindly register via Peatix to the face-to-face event in the Metsä Pavilion

Registration here:


European Literature Festival


The European Literature Festival will be mainly on-line this year. The Finnish representative is Marianne Backlén, who will introduce an exclusive extract from her upcoming novel Diamantvägen to the Japanese audience on Thursday November 26th 18:45–19:30.

She will also take part in EUNIC Japan’s panel discussion Stranger than Fiction on Saturday November 21st.

More information on the festival website