Enjoy international exchange!!

We J-Hoppers Hostels are always happy to welcome Japanese customers with open arms as well as foreigners customers. Please enjoy international exchange!!

Enjoy international exchange!!

We J-Hoppers Hostels are always happy to welcome Japanese customers with open arms as well as foreigners customers. Please enjoy international exchange!!

Enjoy international exchange!!

We J-Hoppers Hostels are always happy to welcome Japanese customers with open arms as well as foreigners customers. Please enjoy international exchange!!

Enjoy international exchange!!

We J-Hoppers Hostels are always happy to welcome Japanese customers with open arms as well as foreigners customers. Please enjoy international exchange!!

Enjoy international exchange!!

We J-Hoppers Hostels are always happy to welcome Japanese customers with open arms as well as foreigners customers. Please enjoy international exchange!!

Kyoto one day trip!

I went to Kyoto yesterday.
It was best time to see the red leaves actually super crowded though :(
I went to Arashiyama, there is very famous bridge which is called Togetsukyo, I had to wait to just across tht bridge maybe 20 or 30 min.

This is Togetsukyo. 
Nobody on this picture but it was packed yesterday!!!

Finally I could across the bridge and could see beautiful seance!

I got Yatsuhashi which is famous sweets in Kyoto for myself and coworkers!
I love it :)

Nighttime in November

I don't  go out at night so often because I don't drink usually...
But I could enjoy nighttime this month!

One night, I visited Nanzenji Temple to see colored autumn leaves.
The garden is illuminated at night and it was so beautiful!
There were much less people than I expected so I could be able to relax.
Just sitting, seeing the garden with no-mindedness was a luxurious time.

The other night, went to Nijo Castle.
They hold an event called "Art Aquarium" at night.
It is a fusion of goldfish and art, and also tradition and innovation.

I just surprised that there were so many kinds of goldfish!

       Isn't he cute?:)

Tenjuan, Nanzenji Temple is lit up until the end of this month and the Art Aquarium is exhibit until the 14th of December.

Autumn colour in Jingoji temple

The best season for autumn leaves!!
I visited Jingoji Temple (神護寺) in Takao area.
Many trees were ablaze with autumn colour! What a beautiful place it was!!
Today, November 24th is the last day for the illumination in the precincts. However, we can still see the illumination around the approach to the temple until November 30th at night.

*Illumination along the approach to Jingoji and Takao bridge
 - Time 17.00 - 20.00
 - Until  November 30th

You can visit Jingoji by using city bus or JR bus from Kyoto station, Shijo-Omiya, or Karasuma-Shijo.
*From Kyoto Station
 Please go to Shijo-Omiya, taking JR bus from Shijo-Omiya to Takao (高雄)/Makinoo (槙ノ尾・栂ノ尾).
*From Karasuma-Shijo
 Please take City Bus #8 from Karasuma-Shio to Takao.

I had a wonderful time for autumn-leaf viewing : )

Osaka Hana Hostel Food Map!

Osaka is famous as food!
Don't mistake to choose a restaurant!

We recommend you several restaurants which we have been at least once.
Okonomiyaki, takoyaki, kushikatsu.....!! You should try all!

I made a food map as shown above. But not only these,

there are many good restaurants in Osaka!!
We hope you find your favorite one!

A Tuna filleting show at right in the heart of Shinsaibashi!!!

Hello !
Hideko here again : )

I love sushi and I know most of you tried Sushi in Japan but have you seen a show of a tuna filleting ???

I recently discover this restaurant called 'Jinen'
one branch is just 5 min walk from Osaka Hana Hostel.

Every Tuesday and Friday night, they do a show and you can see it before your eyes, huge tuna is cut to each parts and going down to just a bone.......

its worth a try!!!

Fending off the cold

I have finally got myself a heater before I become frozen. One thing that has become clear after turning on the heater is that the house I am living in right now is really cold, with room temperature not so far below that outside. At this time of the year, the heater display shows the temperature as 5 or 6 degree Celsius. I am sure it will go below zero one day, and I may find my cup of tea frozen inside a glass. I can't help feel envious when my colleague told me the usual room temperature she sees on the screen - twelve or thirteen. Even after setting the target temperature at 20 degrees, I find to my horror that the heater manages to bring it only up to 15 degrees at most. Perhaps I need to buy myself one more heater? Let's see. Despite the limited prospects of my heater's ability to fend off the cold, I do look forward to first snow here in Takayama. Looking at the weather forecasts right now, I think I have to wait a bit more. Maybe early December, I hope? I will definitely give everybody
an update here with photos when the city turns white!

What kind of TOFU do you like?

Some foreign guests say TOFU is tasteless. I guess they don't know that we have variety of TOFU... Now I introduce my favorite TOFU :-)

Koya TOFU 高野豆腐

Freeze-Dried Tofu, it was accidentally invented, when some tofu was left outdoor in the winter time, So basically, it was the frozen tofu produced at Mt Koya first, And later it came to be accepted as "Koya Tofu" as part of Syojin ryori all over the country. The reason why it came to be called "Koya Tofu" is that, in the Edo era, the tourists coming back from Mt Koya brought the tofu as a souvenir.

Sesami TOFU 胡麻豆腐

They’re not made from coagulated soy milk. It is made from three simple ingredients: ground sesame paste, water, and kuzu or kuzu powder. It is one of the best known shojin ryouri (精進料理 Buddhist cuisine) dish.

Peanuts TOFU ジーマミー豆腐

"Jimami" means "beans that grown in the ground", which means peanut.
It is the special local product of Ie Island, Okinawa. From the old days in the homes of Ie Island, the canned “Jimami” were always set and eaten for appetizers, a processed food of peanut butter, sweet natto (fermented soybeans), and Tofu. These days, Jimami Tofu is not just popular in Okinawa, but among Japan as healthy food, and loved by many young females.

Atsuage 厚揚げ

It's fried TOFU! Just pan-fried them lightly so it become crispy! Eat with soy source and grated ginger. Mmm...I need beer!

My summer vacation ~at Kumamoto~

Happy Halloween~~!!
Are you enjoying Halloween day??
We, Fukuoka Hana Hostel just had a Halloween party last night and had a blast!!!
I wish we can do this again next year!

Today, let me talk about my summer vacation...
I know it is already fall.. LOL

This summer, I was pretty busy and did not have a chance to think about going on a trip at all... but last month, my partner said that he wanted to go to Kumamoto! I got so excited and said "I am going!" right away!!
 I got so excited and said "I am going!" right away!!

We started our trip from eating Akaushi-don at Imakin Shokudo (いまきん食堂)

This gyudon is famous because the texture of beef is very soft and less greasy than other beef. It is introduced by medias many times so that people wait in a line for long time to eat the gyudon. I am not good at describing the tast.. if you are interested, please go and have it!

After having lunch, we visited Mt.Aso and Aso Cuddly Dominion. It has been at lease several years since I went up to Mt. Aso.  They used to let us go very near to the mountain to see caldera but not any more... which is very disappointing...

At Cuddly Dominion, we can see and play with animals. I really liked that we can feed bears!!

Other thing that I wanted to see in Kumamoto was Kumamoto Castle!!!
A lot of the guests stay with us told me that the castle is very beautiful so I always wanted to see it!!!!!

I was so excited that I finally saw it!! It was way bigger than I thought.

For visiting Kumamoto, there are bus, limited express, and Shinkansen from JR Hakata Station.
There are nature, historical buildings, and food in Kumamoto!
Please visit!!!!

Good season in Kyoto

This is Shige from J-stay.

Kyoto is getting cold day by day.
Leaves are changing color green to red.
Maybe, one week after good for sightseeing time is coming.

I am planning to go to some good autumn leaf spots in kyoto.
My recommend places are Nanzenji-temple, Arashiyama, Kurama-temple.

This picture is Nanzenji-temple when I go to there last year.

And some of temples and shrines have light up in night time.
Please go some of them after dinner or before dinner with beer or sake.

And this year, Nijo castle has a special event.
That is Art Aquarium.
It is open until December.

If you have some free time please check them.

Osaka Hana's common kitchen!

Osaka Hana Hostel has two common kitchens.
Both are useful, especially 2nd floor's one.
Big, fancy and opened.
Many people get confused because it looks like a restaurant.
But it is a just common kitchen.
All guests can use it for 24hours.

We have fridge, microwave oven and pot, of course.
Almost all kitchen stuff are prepared.
Seasonings like salts are also there.

Osaka has many delicious food, but please enjoy cooking in this big kitchen!
Not only Osaka Hana Hostel, other branches have nice kitchens as well.
Please feel free to use them! (^^)/

New Glico Sign

The sixth generation Dotonbiri glico sign has been lit up!

140000 LED is used for it.

Originally installed in 1935, the giant neon athlete on a blue track is a symbol of Glico candy
And now it's absolutely our symbol of Osaka!

The sign has been altered on several occasions to celebrate events such as the World Cup and to show support for the Osaka baseball team, the Hanshin Tigers.

Check new glico man maybe on the Hanshin Tigers win on Japan cup soon!!

Sayonara Mizzy!

Here's Mizzy from Hiroshima Hana Hostel.

Since I decided to follow my dream, I'm quitting Hiroshima Hana Hostel in November.
I met so many people from all over the world through working at Hana hostel.
My last day at Hana Hostel will be Nov.15th and I hope to see you before I leave!

I love Hiroshima Hana Hostel, my co.workers, and our guests.
Therefore, it was a hard decision for me.

Anyway, I would like to say thank you to all I met through this job.

My motto: working at the hostel was "There is no stranger here. Only friends who haven't met".

After work, I sometimes organized a little party to mingle with our guests in Hana Hostel and oh yea, it was definitely a great time!
I didn't feel like I just met with them at all.

Besides it, I've taken our guests to Karaoke, bars, clubbing, drinking by the river in the peace park, drinking at Hiroshima Port, and beer garden.

Oh...My liver is dying...lol
But all of those times are so memorable and super fun!
I hope our guests also enjoyed their stay with us! :D

I appreciate all the opportunities I got in this job.
It was a special time for me.

Thank you very very much to the guests who already stayed with us and the ones who will be staying with us in the future!

Though I am leaving Hana Hostel, I'd love to drop in and mingle with Hana's guests sometimes.
So I hope to see you oneday.

Hiroshima Hana Hostel

A few thoughts on riding a bicycle

The bicycle season in Takayama is approaching its end as winter is just around the corner. I have been warned that it is near suicide riding a bicycle in the winter season not so much because of the snow covering the ground, but more because of the icy surface.

So I have been working pretty hard, practicing a few tricks. One is riding the bicycle with one hand, the other holding an umbrella, shielding your body against the rain. It may sound easy for many daily bicycle users, but to me, it was super scary and challenging. But I am happy to announce that I have more or less mastered this. The turning point came on a rainy day, when I was having an internal debate of whether to ride the bicycle or walk home. I was tired that day, and there was nothing I wanted more than to head home and have a hot shower. Thus, I summoned up my courage to give it a shot. I was grabbing the umbrella as well as the bicycle handle so tightly that my hand hurt when I arrived home, safely and in one piece, thanks God. But I was so scared of losing balance that I was going at turtle speed. But this story taught me that under extreme circumstances you will always be able to unleash your superpower hidden inside you.

The other trick I have yet to master is pushing a bicycle and sliding your body on it in a fluid motion. It looks so cool and every time I see people doing it I cannot help but look on in admiration, especially when it is elderly people pulling this off.

UNIQLO open in Osaka, Umeda on the 31st of October

Have you ever shopped at UNIQLO?

That is one of the famous clothes shop in Japan. And I like this shop a lot!
You have seen this sign:)
They sell good quality clothes and goods for reasonable price.

On the 31st of October 2014, UNIQLO OSAKA will be opened in Umeda, it is the center of Osaka City.
They open 10am- 9pm on the opening date. (Normal operating hour is from 11am - 9pm)

We have a big UNIQLO in Shinsaibashi (near Osaka Hana Hostel)
and this one will be closer to J-Hoppers Osaka!

The building is 4stories and the store space is about 3,000㎡ !!
And they have large space for the clothes for kids.

It takes 3minutes from Hankyu Umeda Station but you can walk from any subway stations in Umeda or JR Osaka Station!

Please refer the google map as below;


They have staffs who speaks English, Korean and Chinese. So they help your shopping!

●Operating Hour : 11am - 9pm

If you get there early enough on the 31st of October, you might receive some presents from them!

Let's enjoy shopping !!!

Time flies like a arrow Koi'n Yano Gotosi

I'm Kimie from J-Stay

After short summer (Actually we had only 10 days sunny days in Kyoto.
How goes on this plant. ;(

Anyway our favorite season, Autumn arrived.
I felt aroma of  flower of Kinmokusei (orange osmanthus) make me feel coming autumn. 
In Japanese there are some phrase for describing Autumn, 
"Autumn is good for something."
Autumn is good for appetite, reading, sport and Love as well : )

For me it is the best season for enjoying traditional Japanese culture. 
Last Sunday I went to ENRIAN Temple in Arashiyama to join tea ceremony my teacher organized. 
According to Buddhism philosophy ENRI means leaving the everyday world and enjoying life in mountain and nature like a hermit. 
Historically Saga Arashiyama was the place to leave from center of Kyoto (Capital) for people who lost struggle of power and demoted position. 
So it was quite close from the JR station. Even though it takes only 15 minuets on foot. 
it is so quiet place. 
So I felt as if I had left the everyday world like a monk.

Reserved for tea ceremony "Kettle for Tea is ready" 
Felt if I had back to the past
Really Cared Japanese Garden 

Felt if stars of leef are shining 
This Path will escort you to paradise 

Enri An will be opened for public viewing from 1sh November to 7th December for Momiji, Colored leafs. 
The picture on the following link is like one peace of Dream. I remember the scenery of FilM  " DREAM" by Akira Kurosawa.
I won't miss it. 

About Japanese philosophy we explain  aging as example change of four seasons. Autumn is the age of climax of one's life for death, winter season.  
Time flies like a arrow. Recognized that  Presence is important for us. 

Entrance of tea room the room with glass 

Prohibited to take picture in side of tea room. Definitely I had relaxed time with delicious tea and sweet with beautifu decoration, l scroll picture, incense box.

Autumn is the longer than spring. Please enjoy lot of event in Kyoto. Keep on!


Motor vehicle trip

Hi this is Matsu.

Andres from Czech Republic left J-Hopper Hida Takayama and stayed for 2 weeks.

He has been traveling in Asia for 3 months only by  motor vehicle.

He rent a motor  bike  in Osaka .It costs you about 13000yen per month。 It is way cheaper than train or car.

I think  motor  bike is a good choice to travel in Japan.
You can travel to  remote areas that you can not go by train or bus.
Renting a motor bike is not popular in Japan.

I hope more shops will  open for that

He left Takayama with his Sarubobo. I hope he will enjoy the rest of your trip

Hiroshima HANA

Hello! How are you doing? I’m Tomomi from Hiroshima HANA!

Many typhoons hit Japan this year, but the last one is over now and this week the weather will be great. Yay!

Hiroshima HANA Hostel is just about 5 mins by foot from Hiroshima Station. However, sometimes it can be quite tricky to find HANA Hostel, especially at night.

So here are some pictures that show you the way to HANA Hostel. I hope this will help you to find us!

Coming from the South Exit of Hiroshima station, please turn left.

On your left are the coin lockers and a police box (where you also can ask for help)

Please cross this street. To your left is be a bookstore.

Please keep straight. There is a Ramen restaurant (Izakaya) on your left..

Please then turn left.

Do not cross the railroad, but keep straight.
Please turn right at the next corner.

Almost arrived. Please turn left after the parking space.

Hana Hostel!!
You can aslo check the way on our web site: How to get to Hiroshima Hana