The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Tag Japan

Sakura and Shopping in Tokyo

Most people who like traveling know about visa runs, taking a short trip out of the country so as to receive a new entry stamp when coming back. I have a residence permit in Taiwan so I don’t need to bother with my visa, but I do need to make passport runs every few years. Basically, the Swedish system forces you to go to an embassy in person to get your passport renewed. Taiwan doesn’t have a real embassy so I have a good excuse for taking a short trip to renew my passport once every five years. This time … Read the rest

Meguru River, 12:16 pm

The sun is shining merrily, heating me up despite the early April chill. Across the river a marching band is playing Highway to the Danger Zone, the brass section really putting in some extra oomph. All around the cherry trees are in bloom, their flowers white with just a hint of pink; a sea of blossoms against the pale blue sky. A light breeze caresses the branches, sending some delicate petals raining down on me. It is simply a perfect moment.

The Museums of Yokohama

My mom is part of an international women’s organization called  Zonta which organized a big conference in Yokohama this summer. My mom was going as a delegate for her club in Sweden and my dad was going with her. Since they would be fairly close it seemed like a good opportunity for me and the wife to meet up with them for a few days, so we booked a couple of tickets to Yokohama.

Although Yokohama is a pretty big city it’s not particularly well known for anything. Renegade Wife however did her homework and found out that the city … Read the rest

Winter in Hokkaido, part 2

Renegade wife and I were recently on a ski trip to Hokkaido Japan. The post from that trip turned out to be much longer than anticipated so I split it into two parts. This is part 2, you can find part 1 here. Ok, lets continue with the last two places we visited:

Niseko
Niseko is one of the biggest ski resorts in Hokkaido. The reason it’s so big is because it consists of four smaller systems that are interconnected, Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Hanazono, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri. We stayed in Niseko Grand Hirafu because it was … Read the rest

Winter in Hokkaido part 1

The first time I stood on a pair of skis I was only three years old and I have gone skiing pretty much every year since then; that is, until I moved to Taiwan. Though it does snow here, it is very rare; and while I can cope with it most of the time, I sometimes feel a deep need for strapping on my snowboard and hitting the slopes. At the end of last year I felt that need kick in so I decided we should go for a skiing vacation in Hokkaido, Japan. Since Renegade Wife is not quite … Read the rest

Niesko Ski Resort, Holiday pair Lift, 4:54 pm

I’m sitting here in the lift, waiting for it to bring me to the top, contemplating my situation. It’s really quite strange when you think about it, you travel hundreds if not thousands of kilometers to some small town somewhere where everything is overpriced. When you get there you spend a large portion of your time sitting in a chair that’s suspended several meters above the ground with nothing but a thin metal bar keeping you from falling out, and you get get slowly pulled towards the top of the hill, all the while being exposed to the elements. When … Read the rest

Kiroro ski resort, Expert A course, 1:46 pm

It’s cold, if there’s even a slight gap in my armou of winter clothing I feel it immediately. It’s snowing, the icy flakes sting the exposed skin of my face and stick to my beard, forming a frozen mask around my mouth. Visibility is low, at most some 50 meters before the world disappears in a thick milky fog. Given the circumstances you’d think that I’d be miserable but I’m ecstatic; I’m literally ass deep in soft fluffy powder with a snowboard under my feet and it feels like surfing on clouds. Bloody awesome!… 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

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