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Reinhart Ciglenec

Tour Leader

Born and raised in Austria, Reinhart’s desire to travel the world was spurred by adventure stories he read avidly throughout his childhood. His first foray abroad was to England as a 15 year-old, and by his late teens he had visited most of the countries in southern Europe. While at the Graz University of Technology, where he studied mechanical engineering, Reinhart spent his summer vacations travelling to South America and Asia.

In 1977, during his third year as an undergraduate, Reinhart was selected as the Austria representative in an international technical student exchange programme, which included a two-month internship at a manufacturing company in Japan. After a year of learning Japanese on his own in Austria, he relished this chance not only to improve his language skills but also his knowledge of Japan. Based in Takatsuki between Kyoto and Osaka, he was immersed in Japanese business and culture. On his days off, he made forays to places of interest in the surrounding cities and countryside with fellow Japanese students, and stayed with their families. A fan of hiking, he also made the most of the trails in the mountains of Japan’s Southern Alps.

After completing a master’s degree in Graz, Reinhart returned to Japan in 1980 to spend three months hitch-hiking from Hokkaido, in Japan’s far north, to Kyushu in the south – a journey of approximately 2,000km. The kindness he experienced from the many Japanese of all walks of life he met on this adventure left a deep and lasting impression on him

Subsequently, a career in the oil services industry took Reinhart to Australia, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, which allowed him to make regular trips to Japan for pleasure. Then, in 1989, he was transferred to his company’s Tokyo facility, where, as one of only a few foreigners, he once again found himself immersed in Japan’s business culture and everyday life. During his three-year sojourn, Reinhart fulfilled a long-held ambition to train in the kendo martial art, which he still practices to this day and achieved a fifth dan ranking. Postings to Central America and the USA followed before Reinhart decided to retire early to pursue his personal interests in 2016.

Since early childhood, Reinhart has been keen on outdoor sports especially skiing, hiking and mountain climbing. Over his many visits to Japan, he has walked trails throughout the archipelago, exploring far from the beaten path. He now lives with his family in Graz but indulges his passion for Japan by making as many trips as he can each year

Reinhart joined Walk Japan as Tour Leader in 2018.