An Early-summer Day-trip to Kalajoki

Monika Luukkonen

On a sunny end-of-May Sunday, I headed down to Kalajoki for the day with my daughter Amaya. After the long and snowy winter, I was keen to see Kalajoki in its more summer-style attire, especially the sea without the ice and snow. Our first stop was the Kalajoki Sand Dunes. We parked our car on the top of the highest part of the dunes and walked down the wooden steps and path towards the sea. Even though it looked sunny and summery, the wind blowing from the sea was still quite bitter. But still, it was the open, fresh summer sea. I was excited!

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Walking and Wellbeing in Kalajoki

Monika Luukkonen

I spend a lot of time outdoors in my normal daily life and take several long walks every week all through the year. On my visit to Kalajoki again, I was keen to explore what the Kalajoki hiking routes are like.

But first I wanted to visit the seaside again, and we drove to the shore over-looking the Rahja ( ラフヤ) archipelago. The sky was clear that day and the sea water was of the bluest of blue. We found a quiet cliff by the water and decided to stay there for a while. I sat on the stony cliff and enjoyed looking at the sea, and Amaya practised her stone skipping skills. The sea was just stunning with many small islands in front of us, the sun sparkles danced on the surface of the water. I could have stayed there for hours. For a short while, I also meditated sitting on the cliff, just enjoying the closeness of the water and the sunshine on this early summer’s day.

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Moving to Kalajoki Changed Johanna’s Life

Monika Luukkonen

I knew that Johanna ヨハンナ (39) who works as Sales and Marketing Manager at Visit Kalajoki moved to Kalajoki about a year ago. I wanted to hear about her first year’s experiences on living in Kalajoki…

Kalajoki was not a completely new place to Johanna, I learnt. Moving to Kalajoki in early 2017, immediately took Johanna back to her childhood summers which she spent camping (and living in a caravan) by the sea in Kalajoki. The water activity park JukuPark in Kalajoki immediately reminded Johanna of those summers too… “Oh yes, I remember this place!”

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Educational Tourists from Japan 

Monika Luukkonen

In March 2018, I was fortunate to meet two lovely visiting Japanese educational tourists who had come to Kalajoki for a 12-day visit during their spring vacation. These were two high school students Chio (16) and Hinako (17) from Fukuoka. These girls were the first students from their area brought to Kalajoki by a Japanese tour operator which offers programs in educational travelling around the world. The supplier for the educational trips in Kalajoki is the local destination management company Kalajoki Booking Centre which collaborates with the local schools and Kalajoki municipality. “Maybe next year more students will come to Kalajoki from our area,” the girls said. Continue reading…


A Family Living in Harmony with the Seasons and History

Monika Luukkonen

Two weeks before Christmas I went to see a Finnish-Irish family, the O’Gormans, who are renovating two very old Finnish houses in the historical Plassi area of Kalajoki. William and Heidi and their 4-year-old son Viljo ビリヨ. (I took my daughter, Amaya 雨夜with me, so she appears in the photos too.) Heidi and William had met each other in Japan over ten years ago when Heidi had been working in the friendship town of Kalajoki in Izumo and William on the JET programme. The cooperation between Kalajoki and Izumo towns has been going on for nearly 20 years I learnt from William. Izumo and Kalajoki have many similarities, like sandy beaches, wind power turbines, strong fishing industry and location by the sea or ocean, explained Heidi.

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The Kalajoki Story Begins

Monika Luukkonen

As I have been writing books and blog posts about the Finnish way of living and what makes Finnish people happy in their lives for the Japanese market for a few years now, I was overjoyed when I was invited to explore the coastal town of Kalajoki and write stories about this hidden gem to you. This is the first story on my ”Stories from Kalajoki” series in which I will do my best to introduce you to this coastal town, the local people, the surrounding nature, local sights, food specialities, schools and educational system and local businesses. I hope I can really get into the deeper thinking of the Kalajoki people and into essence and feeling of this town and convey it to you. Welcome to this Kalajoki journey with me!

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