The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Month February 2016

Exploring Vadodara

My company has sent me and two colleagues to India to install a machine. Naturally we will spend most of our time at the customer site but we get the weekends to ourselves and it just so happened that we arrived on a Saturday, so we got our first day in the country off. Me and one colleague, Scott, took the day to explore the city while our other colleague, who has been here before, stayed at the hotel. Our hotel helped us arrange a car with a driver that took us round to some of the more famous places … Read the rest

Lantern Festival 2016

At the end of the Chinese New Year the Taiwanese celebrate the lantern festival. Colorful lanterns in all shapes and sizes are put on display on some suitable piece of land for about a week. People come from all over the country come to admire the creative designs, watch the light show and try some tasty snacks at the night market. It moves to a new city each year, but me and the wife were there a few years ago when it took place here in Hsinchu. This year it takes place in Taoyuan, close to where I work, so … Read the rest

Our ski trip comes to an end

All through our stay here it’s been cold, windy and snowing, today the sun finally came out. Because of the strong wind last night however, the snow wasn’t as good as previous days. All the same I had a very good day, and it was nice to actually see where I was going. Thus concludes our week of skiing, except for some slightly adverse weather, both Renegade Wife and I have both had a great time.

Some general points about skiing here in Niseko:
The resort actually consists of three separate areas, Annupuri, Niseko Village, and Hirafu – Hanazono. Hirafu … Read the rest

Hokkaido skiing update

I wrote my last post a few days ago, since then most days have been more or less similar; my wife has been practicing pretty much on her own while I have been up on the higher slopes searching for powder. We always end the day with the open air hot spring in our hotel.

In most Japanese bathes men and women are separated but here at Niseko Grand Hotel they have a mixed part. You can, if you want, borrow some kind of fabric swimwear at the reception, but it seems to be optional since a lot of the … Read the rest

Teaching the wife to ride

Today it was time for Renegade Wife to learn how to ride a Snowboard. She actually tried a bit two years ago, but I doubted she would remember much. I know beginners often get tired easily, what with using muscles that normally don’t get much exercise and so forth, so we took it easy, and didn’t get to the slopes until around ten thirty.

The wife did remember the very basics and she managed to stand up, but it was slow going at first and she needed a long break every time she fell. Eventually though, she started getting the … Read the rest

Niseko Grand Hotel onsen, 8:34 pm

The warm, slightly murky greenish water envelopes me, steam rising from its surface, billowing into the cool air. There is snow all around me, large drifts on the ground, clinging to the branches of trees, a large clump atop a conical rock in front of me. Slightly to the left, sticking out of the water like a small island, is an ornamental Japanese stone lantern. A single, street light style lamp bathes the scene in warm yellow light. Large snowflakes float lazily down to melt as soon as they touch my skin… Total relaxation.… Read the rest

First day of skiing

I have promised my wife I will teach her how to ride a snowboard, but she was kind enough to let me go out on my own and enjoy myself the first day. So I got up bright and early and went out to rent some equipment. Like any ski resort, Niesko has plenty of ski rental places but I selectd one called Rhythm Sports because it seemed like they might have some higher quality stuff. Sure enough, with the premium package I got high quality equipment from Burton.

Geared up and ready to go I hit the slopes and … Read the rest

To Niseko

I’ve longed to go skiing for quite a while now so for this year’s winter vacation Renegade Wife and I decided to go to a ski resort. Since we live in Taiwan the best choice seemed to be Japan which suited me nicely since I’ve wanted to ski in Hokkaido for several years.

Today we set off to Niseko, one of the largest ski resorts in Japan. We flew to Sapporo then took a bus that trundled along the small roads for about three hours and we reached our Hotel around six in the evening.

It was much too late … Read the rest

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