Backpackers Hostel "J-Hoppers" & "Hana Hostel"

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!!

Friends's Wedding

Hi, this is Saho from J-Hoppers Kyoto :)

I was invited to my friends's wedding the other day.
My friend, he worked as a cleaner with us last year and he's married to Japanese woman.
His wife is from Buddhist family so the wedding ceremony was conducted with the combination of both Buddhism and Shintoism at the chapel.
Interestingly , when bride and groom marched into or marched out of the chapel,the background music was something related to Buddhism and during the ceremony, there was some teaching or lessons made by the monk.

It was unique ceremony but I was happy to be there on my friend's big day!

New jeans

Hi, this is Yuto from Hana Hostel Hiroshima.

I got a new jeans!!

 Mostly, jeans you always see at cloths shops are washed once before its go on shops counter. But one I got this time is non-washed. It is very hard and dark colored.

 The reason why I got  non-washed one is I can grow the jeans from the beginning.  At first, I am going to put the jeans in warm water to take off the glue on it, wash in laundry and dry. After these process, finally, I will be able to wear the jeans. If I miss these process, I can't make it good faded color.

 I am going to wear it everyday and make my only one jeans :))

Exploring Okazaki Wonder Land!

I'm Kimy from J-Stay
Big influenza waves (A,B and new one) arrived Japan.
Hope you are fine.
I'm still fine but really need my Chinese medicine Kudzu.

Just I moved to my favorite Okazaki Area which has Heian Big red gate shrine, Art Museums, Rohm theater, Library and philosophy path as traditional and cultural area in Kyoto. This is one of the good spots for Sakura season as well.
My friend was looking for someone who wants to live a couple of month before the middle of April when next guest from Taiwan comes.
So she invited to me live there a while.
My friend is a stained glass artist for 35 years and she introduces herself as " I am a light aritist" so this house has a good light from facade.
And a lovely cat is living there.

Whose name is Tiggar he is sleeping 

BF on one day with nice sun light

winter seasonal fish dish 
 This house has big kitchen so it makes many inspiration for cooking.
We are planning to have Indonesian cooking lesson on March.

Mexican cuisine "FLAUTA"

I tries to go a walk in the morning along philosophy path. The fresh air makes me wake up it is really joy.
Surrounding east mountain chain it is so cold there. In my room I feel I'm outside because when I can see white cold visible breath. :)

I can't wait Sakura season.


Do you like Ramen?

Konnichiwa from Hiroshima Hana hostel, It's Kana here.

What Japanese food do you like the most?? I am from Hiroshima so Okonomiyaki which is Hiroshima's specialty food comes first, but I am really into Ramen since I had short trip to Onomichi last year. Onomichi is well known as Ramen and there are many Ramen restaurant every where. It was like a heaven to me. Ramen for Lunch, Dinner and even for afternoon tea.

I would like to recommend you the one of best Ramen I had ever had recently.
One of coligue accidentally found this restaurant and strongly recommended me as she knew that I was really into Ramen now.

This Ramen called TORISOBA and has little faint scent of citron.Usually Ramen soup is bit or quite heavy but it was light and even finished them all without heartburn!!

If you have any opportunity to try TORISOBA, please give it a try! It won't let you down and you will not regret for sure!

Solo travel in Kusatsu

Hi,there! This is Misaki from Osaka Hana Hostel.

Last year in December, I went to Kusatsu onsen by myself. It tkes about 7 hours from Kobe by Shinkansen and bus to get there. It was really tiring but I don't really use Shinkansen (which is way more expensive than bus) so it was kinda fun!
And luckily I saw a beautiful Mt.Fuji from Shinkansen! Although I was impressed to see it, I had no one can share this feeling with me, that was sad part of the solo travel Lol

When I got to Kusatsu onsen, I had lunch right away and headed to guest house.
This guest house is not a new one everything seemed very old but person who works there was really nice to me and the best part was they have a big hot spring which is private! It was really cozy like heaven!

I took a break at guest house for a while and then watched Yumomi show. Yumomi is the centuries-old method employed to cool down Kusatsu's hot spring water to bathing temperature without diluting it with cold water and thus attenuating its special qualities. After watching Yumomi show, audience is able to have Yumomi experience. If you want to try it, I recommend to watch on the first floor because one you get inside of the building, it's not really easy to move around.

After that, I went to Sainowara Rotenburo. This large public open air bath (rotenburo) in Sainokawara Park is one of Japan's largest and wide enough to accommodate more than 100 bathers. I felt the hot spring water was hot, I couldn't stay for longer. I became hungry after taking a bath, had Tsukemen which is dipping sauce was so tasty!

While I was in Kusatsu, I was like where has the time gone? Time goes by so quickly! I'm surely go back here again near in the future!


I'm sooooooooo excited that I've got a DROOOOOOOOOOONE!!!

Hey, this is Shiz from J-Hoppers Hiroshima. I've got a new toy! I've always liked electronic stuff since I was little that's maybe because of my brother. We used to play video games a lot when we were kids and now he became a computer graphic/illustrator so he still buys lots of games n stuff. Lucky me that I get things that he doesn't use anymore. Play Stations, Nintendos, DSs, Oculus, PC, lots and lots of video game softwares, etc. And now, I have a drone that I've always wanted!!
It's got a good camera. I can control it with my phone.
Test flight from the rooftop of J-Hoppers Hiroshima!!

Later this day, I went to Tondo festival (bonfire burning last years lucky charms, ceremonial arrows and talismans) @ Gokoku shrine. Fire should be as high as a house but I just caught the end of it.
So fun taking photos and videos controlling the drone but both drone and phone batteries die real quick......buuuut it's worth it:D

Black and white photographies

Hi everyone,
It is Nana from Takayama J-Hoppers. It has been a while since a post something... So this topic is a little bit late. On November my father asked me to participate to one Facebook challenge : 7 days, one black and white pictures per day inviting someone to participate too. This challenge was coming just when I went on travel to Niigata, so I gladly accept the game.
Somewhere in Nagano
In Niigata, little time split
Niigata from the see
Morning light
Eight side Pagoda in Sadogashima

Will you also play this game ? It makes you look even more your surrounding.


This is Yuka from Osaka Hana Hostel.

I had a year end party with Misaki who is my colleague of Osaka Hana Hostel in December of last year.

The bar we found by chance was so nice that we went there and ate a ahijo and a glass of sangria.
The name of the shop is "COMEDOR AJO" in Shinsaibashi.

In fact,because of I didn't chance to eat ahijo,I never tried before.
But now!I'm into ahijo.It's very delicious!
Go there and try delicious ahijo if you have a chance!

And I'm going to have a New Year's party this month with all of reception staff.

I want to eat it again at that time!

A Happy new year day!

Belated a happy new year everyone!

This is Shiori from J-hoppers Hiroshima.

By the way, how was your new year holidays?

Me? We had a party at J-hoppers Hiroshima on New year's Eve!💛

Originally I brace myself that I finish working at 22:00 on new year's eve and sleep at reception and start woking at 8:00 am on new year day. So everything like as usual!!

But Shiz chan and Haruko-san, Kie chan of our staff, and special little boss rickey came here and cooked okonomiyaki  and many things as volunteer for guests and me!!! 



So they made me my first of  year in 2018!! Thank you very much!😭😭😭

And also I appreciate the guests who joined us!!💓
We celebrated a new year by Scottish style!! It was so much fun and interesting.

After that we went to shrine to pray by Japanese style. 
 ''Wish I get marry and lose weight around -10kg in 2018. 👏👏👏''


I laughed a lot beginning of year!!😂  Thank you very much for everything!

May this year be full of smiles for everyone!! 

Tea Ceremony at Home

Hi! This is Nozomi from JHoppers Hiroshima.

Since my mother teaches tea ceremony, probably unlike most of Japanese family we often have maccha (green tea) at home.

We had it yesterday also.

Here is the photo of the tea and the sweet we had yesterday.

Tea ceremony has many branches but
* Omote Senke,
* Ura Senke and
* Mushano Koji Senke
are the main three branches nowadays.

My mother belongs to Ura Senke.
In Ura Senke, beat the green tea that the bubble (?) will be very small and smooth like the one in below picture.

The sweet was from my boyfriend. It is called "Kodai Yaki (means "ancient baked sweet")". A gift he brought from Nara prefecture. It was very very delicious!

Here is the close-up of "Kodai Yaki". 

And the package of the sweet :).

If you want to try green tea, you may find some useful information on this asoview site (sorry the site is in Japanese. Please have someone's help to find out the information you want!).

Kinosaki Baby ♡

Hi there !  Madi from Kyoto Hana :)

Last 2 days, I went to Kinosaki Onsen town as my Christmas ? New years ? holiday :P And it was fantastic overnight trip ♡

Kinosaki Onsen town is 2 hours away by train or 3 hours by a car from Kyoto which means NOT SO far !
The town itself has a long history more than 1000 years, one of the oldest onsen town so that the townscape is historical and reminds you Gion area in Kyoto. But one big difference is that the town holds 7 different onsen and also each accommodation hold own onsen inside their properties.
If you may hesitate to share a bath with others, you can also try foot bath :)

In the town, it is very popular for hopping these 7 onsen when you are there. Also you can enjoy high standard seafood (especially crabs) and high rank beef called Tajima beef in the town with amazing cheap price !

Sorry for food bomb :P

In winter you can see beautiful snow and in summer, you can enjoy fire works in historical town, that's what I told by the receptionist at the accommodation. (Unfortunately you can NOT see snow and fireworks in Kyoto city...) This can be another good reason to go there :)

Well so anyway I was treated very well by this beautiful onsen town and so satisfied !!! I absolutely recommend to visit there :)

Happy holidays !!!!!

Secret Photogenic Spots in Kyoto

Me and my boyfriend got to try Kimono experience the other day - what is Kimono experience? Basically you rent a kimono from a shop which shop keepers help you choosing the Kimono and some other items like bag, sandals and so on, and also help you to do fancy hairstyle or even makeup! And you can stroll around Kyoto and take photos here and there.

Our question was "where are the good spots to go without massive crowd?" - we don't like busy places like Fushimi-inari, Arashiyama, Kiyomizu-temple or Yasaka shrine...

We did some research on photogenic places with not much tourist and we found some places, and wanted to share them with you if you like off-the-beaten-path or wanna avoid crowds.

First spot we went was Sanjo bridge after we got off Keihan train - wait, it's usually very touristic and busy right? but it's WINTER. Pretty relaxed.
And we kept walking towards east, to Shirakawa river.
From Shirakawa river around Chion-in temple was so beautiful and once again, no people. We found some random old buildings with white wall, or nice bench along the river.

And we walked towards Tatsumi bridge, one of the most famous wedding photo locations in Kyoto as we knew all the places would be empty. It was nice and again not many people, but we also wanted to go some other deep places...

Ajiki Roji is an alley of Kyoto machiya in Higashiyama that date back at least 100 years to the Taisho Period. After a long period of vacancy, in 2004 the landlady decided to rent out the machiya as homes to young (up to 35 years in age) struggling artisans (everyone must be of different trades); once the tenants become successful in their trade, they move out and yet other young aspiring artisans have their turn. The roji is now quite well-known and the weekends when most of the shops are open are full of visitors as well as locals who come to purchase the unique goods and services offered as well as bask in the almost surreal environment where one may feel transported back in time.

Shimabara area
Shimabara, located to the west of Nishi-Honganji Temple along Hanayacho Street in Kyoto, is a former licensed courtesan and later geisha area of the city. Shimabara prospered as red-light district until 1958 when prostitution was made illegal in Japan and the geisha quarter survived until the 1970s. Shimabara was one of the three main licensed prostitution quarters established by the Tokugawa regime to control the practice.

Those are our secret spots for photo shoot with less tourists, but it was so much easier to find good places especially in winter when tourism is at low season, but we wanted to take photos with fresh green and warm weather (oh my, it was so cold), so hopefully next time in like May!

Of course we can give you some recommendations if you want to try Kimono! Ask at the reception at J-Hoppers Kyoto ;)

Happy new year everyone!

Short trip to Nikko

Hi! This is Ena from Hiroshima Hana Hostel.
This year is almost over and year 2018 is coming SOON!
Have you made your new year’s resolution?
For the past five years (or longer), I have been wanted to correct my round shoulders so my resolution for year 2018 is to get a straight back!!!

In early December, I visited Tokyo to see my friends;a friend of mine from Thailand since she came to Tokyo on her first visit to Tokyo and also 2 of my Japanese friends,from Tokyo and Yokohama.We knew each other when we were in Australia and it was the first time in 4 years to see each other again.
My Thai friend visited Japan with her family this time.

On our first day,we explored Tokyo.We went to Shibuya and had dinner together at an Izakaya restaurant. My Thai friend liked the Japanese dishes especially Motsunabe ,which is a Japanese hotpot with offal of pork (Motsu) and vegetables.

Next day,we visited Nikko. Actually,I was planning to spend 2days in Tokyo but my Thai friend suggested me to join her family trip to Nikko.Since my Japanese friends who spend a day together on the first day had to work on the day,I went there with 11 Thai people!
To be honest,I had never been there yet and I did not know much about Nikko before this trip.However,her aunt (Of cause,she is Thai)knows about it very well and took us to many sightseeing spots in Nikko:the famous 3 wise monkies;see no evil,hear no evil,and speak no evil,Nikko Toshogu Shrine,Shinkyo Bridge and Nikko Futarasan Shrine.Also,we had Tofu skin which is called Yuba  with soba noodle.
I was thinking before the trip that Nikko is really far from Tokyo.
However,it took just 2hours by train from Asakusa,Tokyo.
We all did NOT have a JR Pass but her aunt told me that there is a 2Days-Pass for JR trains from Tokyo to Nikko and buses to explore the world heritage sites in Nikko with JPY2,670.Although we need to pay 1080yen more to reserve Rapid trains,I think it is so cheap! More details about the Pass(ENG): 

Thanks to my job,I have many opportunity to hear about many places all over my country,Japan. However,I have not been to many places in my country yet.Fortunately,I was taught good things in Japan by them during this trip.

German Market in Umeda

Hi, there! I'm Tomo and work at J-hoppers Kyoto. This year is about to end soon. This year, I came back from Australia and became a staff in J-hoppers Kyoto. It was over a half year ago. Every year when it ends, I'm surprised by how fast time goes by. Next year, I'm turning 25, which is called arasa-(means around 30). I want to keep moving forward every single day to become a good guy!
 By the way, what did you do yesterday, on the Christmas day? Are you one of the happiest who spent time with lovers or saddest without lovers? I wish I could be the former but in fact I was the latter. But, at least I had male friends to hang out with me and we went to a German Christmas market in Umeda.
 There were so many people coming to the event because the day was Christmas. I saw a lot of vendors that sell German food and bought the most famous one, a German sausage with bread. That sausage was so juicy and had an amazing taste!! 

 After we enjoyed the sausage, we went to see a hanging garden(空中庭園).
It was so high and so cold outside, but the view from the observation was stunning. The lights over all buildings were shining so brightly.

We had a great Christmas night!
Thank you for reading.
Hope you will have a great New Year!!

Winter has finally come!

It is getting colder and colder in these days in Kyoto.It got -3 degrees in this morning. It was just freezing as fridge.

I went to Kinosaki Onsen a couple of days ago and it was the time the massive snow storm hit there and Kyoto.

I was born and raised in countryside where normally gets 1~2 meters of snow every winter and I thought I knew well how to deal with snow but it was unexpectably hard in Kinosaki Onsen.

It snowed about 30cm in just an hour.

The river was almost stuck...It was the very rare case that we get snow as much as we can make a snowman as below (normally it's pathetically small even if we could make it).

Cute, isn't it?

I decided to learn how to snowboarding this winter after seeing tons of snow.
This winter definitely will be one of the nicest ones in my life!!!

Also I love watching people being excited to see snow, especially from tropical countries. They sometimes say they have never seen snow.

Since I have got some tips to make proper snowman, let me know if someone wants to see snow in Japan.

My first Trip to Taipei

This is Saho from J-Hoppers Kyoto.

I went on a  trip to Taipei early December.
It was my very first time in Taiwan and I visited my friends this time.
I spent my first two days with my friends and they took me to Yongdong street for lunch and shopping and Nanjichang Night Market to show me around.
I became a big fun of traditional Taiwanese food, 蚵嗲 (オ-ディエ)which is a crispy deep-fried oyster.

I had Mango shaved ice next day and I was thrown by the size of it.
I ordered one for myself but ended up sharing this with 3 people.
Was delicious !

Love Taipei♡ Big thanks to my friends♡


I went to "Shukkeien" (a beautiful Japanese garden) last month.

 Leafs of Maples got red and were lighted up.
It was very beautiful.

You only can see the lighting up in this season.(already over for this year)

Go there and take some great pics!!