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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
This weekend is the Tomb Sweeping Day, which essentially just means we have four days off in a row. Renegade wife and I are making the most of it by traveling around and enjoying ourselves.
We started off lightly yesterday by driving out to a small amusement park just outside Hsinchu city. The park itself is small, old and pretty lame, except for a few really well executed optical illusions:
This tilted house is by far the best, I actually got a little bit motion sick just by … Read the rest