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!!

yachimun!!

Hello, this is Nao from Q-beh.

I just came back from my vacation for 9days.
I visited Tokyo and Okinawa for my trip this time.
Most of the days were rainy though, I really had an awesome time.
 
Shisa:D Okinawan lion statues
 
In Okinawa, it was one of my purposes to buy "Yachimun" pottery.
Yachimun is Okinawan traditional pottery.
I was impressed with Yachimun when I visited Okinawa last year.
 
Yachimun master!!
 
There are many pottery studios at "Yachimun no Sato" in Yomitan Village and also at "Yachimun Street" in Naha City. 
Each studios has typical design.
So it's fun to find your own favorite studios there:)
 
Even though they have been keeping the traditional way of making Yachimun, it seems the design is matched with the generation. So it's getting popular among young people!!


I've got two lovely souvenirs for myself.
Every time I use them, they will remind me of many nice memories in Okinawa:)
 

New staff

Hello! This is Tomomi from Hiroshima:)
 
These days we have a NEW staff member at Hana hostel.
His name is RYOU and he comes from Sendai (Miyagi prefecture).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
He will stay at Hana about one month as a free accomodation staff.
Free accommodation staff means that Ryou helps us to make your stay at Hana a remarkable and fun experience and for that he can call Hana his home. 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
He is having the cheering goods of the Carps in the picture, but actually he really loves football (for our American guests: soccer ;)). 
Ryou has even visited Brazil to attend a World Cup game! And he has been a backpacker, visiting 28 countries. 
 
Ryou can only be in Hiroshima for a month, but we hope he will like Hiroshima and we will have a great time together!

I had wild bear meat.....!!

Have you tried wild bear meat???

There is a restaurant named "Takachiyo"

It is located in Gokayama (between Shirakawa-go and Kanazawa)

and the owner is animal hunter!

So you can try some kind of rare meat.

You can see the menu...wild bear, wild bore,

wild pheasant...and so on...!


















I ordered "Wild Bear Sashimi" and "Wild Bear Hot Pot"

Sashimi was chilled meat, when I put it in my mouth,

it smelled like nuts, because bear has nuts a lot!!



















Wild bear hot pot was sooo yummy!!

It was bit chewy, but didn't smell at all.

You can try local tofu is called "Gokayama-Dofu" as well.

It is harder than normal one and very filling.

After Hot pot, you can order "Zosui" (Rice Soup)

It makes you warm!!!!!!

I had a great time there with locals.

"Takachiyo" 

They have English menu!!



Japanese Style Wedding Ceremony

Hello from Hiroshima Hana Hostel, It's Kana here.
Did you enjoy Sakura in Japan?
Unfortunately weather was not good in Hiroshima, so Sakura couldn't last long here...But still was so beautiful as you can see the attached photo.


Have you ever seen Japanese traditional style wedding ceremony?
I attended to it last week for one of my best friend in Fukuoka. She got married to the man from France.

This is a Shinto wedding, held at a shrine... In this setting, the bride is usually dressed head-to-toe in white.
Should you be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a Shinto wedding procession passing by, you might even think you have been transported back in time!

 
 Both family wore Japanese traditional Kimono for wedding and it was just so awesome.


All the family from France left comment on their kimono which is

”Can't breathe.!”

Please try beautiful Kimono in Japan when you visit here! There are some place where you can rental it!

お花見 Cherry Blossom in Nagoya Castle


While Cherry blossom in Takayama (usually 2 weeks later than other kansai area) is approaching us, I took a chance to visit my old friend in Nagoya and the Nagoya Castle in late March.  Luckily, it was a perfect day to see the sakura in pale pink with the super clear sky.  The castle has 7th floors and there is an elevator to reach 5th floor and the views from the observation point is amazing.  Don’t miss it!  In the cherry blossom days, Nagoya Castle has celebrations with street performances and also traditional Japanese food stalls.  During weekends, it was so crowded to take a picture without tourists!!!  After all, I still enjoy my first hanami in 2015.  However, Nagoya not only has the castle but also a number of yummy cuisine.  I especially love trying the food with limited edition (期間限定) for instance, the crème puff with cookies and cream, Sakura chocolate drink, strawberry pie etc.  Nagoya is just about 2.5 hours bus ride from Takayama and it is definitely a nice city to visit during day off!!





Sakura ... i hate it but i love it

Hi everyone it's Saori from Gion Ryokan Q-beh.

Spring has sprung ! Cherry blossoms put Kyoto into a good mood. People see sakura as festive, nostalgic, aesthetically pleasing or simply a good excuse for a party. Everyone wants to be out under the trees and take pictures of the fleeting beauty of the blossoms.

I hung out with my friend from Malaysia yesterday to enjoy sakura trees at Philosopher's Path which is a pleasant stone path through the northern part of the city. The path gets its name due to Nishida Kitaro, one of Japan's most famous philosophers, who was said to practice meditation while walking this route on his daily commute to Kyoto University.
 

It was PACKED. Literally "packed".
 
It was so crowded that it took us a while just to find each other. We heard different languages and camera shutter sounds all around us. It was no longer a quiet path that a philosopher can take a walk and contemplate.

Please don't get me wrong, the path looked still  with fully bloomed beautiful sakura. It was just a bit too crowded to appreciate the blossoms as much.

 
Luckily, I suddenly remembered about a secret path with sakura trees only some locals know while we were having ramen after we turned into a side street. It wasn't too far from Philosopher's Path. I am not going to tell you where exactly it is because I'd like to preserve some nice places for local people to enjoy..

The petals of sakura flowers were swirling around just like snow flakes. I felt like I was day dreaming. I think I love sakura and early spring despite the crowd after all...




Kabuki!Kabuki!Kabuki!




Hi there!
It's getting warm and warm and The cherry blossoms are really beautiful now.
If you are in Japan,bring your lunch or dinner and have a drink under threes!!



At the beginning of March,I visited to Kyoto to see Kabuki theater.
I've been curious to know Kabuki for a long time and finally could see it!!Yay!!

Kabuki is a theatrical form that integrates acting,dancing,music and elaborate stage equipment.It is performed by men.

At Kyoto Minamiza,They do two shows a day.
(They do not play Kabuki every month,please check the information before you go)

I booked the seat the day before, and it was 3000yen per person.
There is cafe in Minamiza,but I bought lunch box near the station and rent a headset with Japanese guide.


One play takes about 1hour and a half or 2hours normally.


It was beautiful and I'm so impressed.
Time
has passed very quickly and I decided to come and see this again near the future!!


If you are interested in Japanese culture and fed up with temples and shrines,
I
defiantly recommend to see Kabuki theater.





1,During the show,someone shout a stage name for the actor.
They are called "Ohmuko",they shout actor's stage name when the drama reaches
its climax.

2,Kabuki actor's make-up is so unique and it have special meanings.

The make -up is called "Kumadori"exaggerates actor's emotions.
Red is used for justice and goodwill,blue for injustice and evil,
and brown for evil spirits.

Did I scare you??


Hello. I'm Hiro from J-Hoppers Hiroshima.

If you're traveling in Japan, have you seen SAKURA(cherry blossoms) yet?

From late March-April is SAKURA season in Japan!
The cherry blossoms are one of my favorite flower, so I can't wait to go to Peace park and walk along an avenue lined with cherry blossoms!!


By the way, I've got hay fever...
If I forgot to take a medicine, I'll be in big trouble...runny noses, sneezing and blood shot eyes...

One day, I was wearing mask to cover my mouth and nose because my hay fever was so bad that day.
One of our guests asked me,
"Why do Japanese people wear mask??"

Well, I know that's weird...
Sorry for scared you, but don't worry!!! There's some reasons!

1.Because they got a cold.
→They don't want other people to get a cold from their cough and sneeze.


2.Because they don't want to get a cold.
→They're afraid of  getting illness like flu.


3.Because they have hay fever like me.


If you feel like you're getting hay fever in japan, just go run to pharmacy and get a mask!
It may help you a lot!!!

Celebration ages

My father had his 60th birthday a few days ago and we celebrated it.
60-year-old is one of the important ages in Japan.
60 means accomplishing one big circle and starting another one in one's life as the traditional 60 year calendar cycle of lunar calendar.

We celebrate with the color of red for 60th birthday.
We used to give a red hood and a red padded sleeveless kimono jacket like this illustration.

But those are not cool and useful so my brother and I decided to give him a red jacket for fishing because he really likes fishing.

We celebrate at ages 70, 77, 80, 88, 90, 99, and 108 too.
Each age respectively carries meaning related to the characters used to express the age or historical facts.
And each age has own celebration color.

Kobe Earthquake Memorial Museum

Hey! This is Russian from Kyoto!

Since spring sunny days finally came to Kansai, me and my friend headed to Kobe to enjoy the sea, walk around downtown and Chinatown and try Kobe beef.
Unexpectedly, the most impressive thing about Kobe turned out to be Kobe Earthquake Memorial Museum. In January 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake happened in Kansai, which almost destroyed the whole city Kobe. The museum is spread over 5 floors and features several dioramas of how the Kobe streets looked immediately after the quake and how the city recovered from that day. Several video displays across the museum also help to highlight earthquake awareness. Explanations in English and headsets in different languages were a very nice surprise for us!

English speaking volunteers were eager to tell us many facts about Kobe and answer our questions.
It took 10 years to completely rebuild the whole city. One of volunteers to whom we were talking about Tohoku and Kobe earthquakes, said that because people in Kansai are much more optimistic than people in Tohoku, they could overcome all the grief and make Kobe stunning beautiful place in such a short time!

Kobe Earthquake Memorial Museum is may not be a place where you can have fun, but it shows all the disastrous power of nature and helps to understand Japanese mentality. MUST SEE! 

Sakura Season

Hi, this is Nana from Fukuoka Hana Hostel.

The temperature is getting warmer here in Fukuoka. I am feeling that spring is finally here!

Cherry blossom (Sakura in Japanese) is one of my favorite flowers!

I did not have time to go see cherry blossoms. So this year, I am definitely going to one of the parks to see them!!!!

The popular parks for cherry blossom viewing  are Ohori park, Nishi park, and Maizuru park.
Ohori park is only 5 minutes away by subway from nearest station.
We always recommend there for a walk.

I just found out few days ago, there are trees of cherry blossoms along the river side of Nakasu where many Yatai (food venders) are!



I do go drinking at all, but if I could see this beautiful flowers this close, I would go drink at Yatai!



☆HIROSHIMA CARP☆


Hello!! I'm Mayu from J-Hoppers Hiroshima:)

Do you have any favorite baseball team?

In Hiroshima, There is a great team!!

HIROSHIMA TOYO CARP

 


Actually, This team is not so strong...

Only in recent years, It left behind good performance.

Then... From this season... A man came back to 

our CARP!!!!!!!!

He is really famous in America as well.

He had been with Dodgers and Yankees as pitcher.

His name is Hiroki Kuroda!!!


He used to be with CARP 8years ago.

When he has gone to America,He promised us to

come back here some day.

He kept the promise with CARP fan!!!!!!





Then, We are so exciting for this season a lot!!!

CARP must get the pennant!!!!

Now, Hiroshima is hot on baseball match!

If you have any chance to go to stadium,

It should be great time for you:)

Please join us and cheer for CARP!!!!!









 




 


Spring

Sakura season is coming!!
Spring is my favorite season because lots of flower start to bloom from spring.
It becomes really beautiful with full of flowers especially Sakura!
We love having Hanami.
Hanami is a Japanese tradition of enjoying  the blooming of cherry blossom.
We celebrate this event by having a party under the beautiful Sakura.
All people from kids to the elderly enjoy a party.
We appreciate nature through traditional customs.   
 



















 Let's celebrate the spring season with our tradition of cherry  blossom viewing!!

Our new wall!

We have been renovating and repairing our building.
We asked high school girls to paint our wall and these are what they did!!!

They didn't paint actually they cut the sticker seat and put them on the wall!
It's amazing isn't it?

They graduated high shcool this March and they will got to Art university soon!

Dotonbori

Osaka catsle
Aquarium
 Universal studio Japan
We are so happy to see these!!!!!

two ways to celebrate spring: Taiko & Gagaku

This is Kimy from J-Stay.
Spring is coming in Kyoto! 
According today's weather report in Kyoto Sakura will bloom from 25th March. And the beginning of April will come to the peak. Everyone can't wait more. :)
But it will be cold from next Monday. We say this change of weather三寒四温(Sankan Shion) which means cycle of three cold days and four warm days. This change requires for having beautiful flower. 
Before arriving Sakura Many blossom make us happy when going to station everyday. 

Mokuren, 
Hinageshi, 
Hioki Sakura, 
Margaret and more....

For Japanese Spring is the best timing for new start. So there are different type of events for celebration of Spring. 
I went to music events last weekend and yesterday which were invited by J-Stay Guests. 

1)Taiko: Japanese percussion 
Always our French chef cooked delicious food in share house. 
Last weekend he showed us another talent for Taiko, Japanese percussion which he started from this year. This time was the first Taiko performance at Biwako Hall. 

This event was showing different level of class from beginners and semi professional. This live lasted 4 hour and half. I felt it one way to express energy from the bottom of our body like dance. I learned Salsa dance in Mexico. So when I watched performance I almost danced. 

Final performance of teachers with many different type of Taiko
like yelling from soul



On the other hand, yesterday I went to 
Gagaku performance. 
One 
Gagaku is ancient imperial court music and dances. Japanese classical music more than 1,200 years Originally the music for God in Shrine So stage of Gagaku looks like Shrine. 
Flutes, oboe, percussion and mini organ. 
ago. So it says the oldest Japanese traditional orchestra. 

Ichihime Shrine locates on Kawaramachi nanazyo have this seasonal performance for get popular every spring. 
http://ichihime.net/gagaku/
Costume was so delicate unique and beautiful. 
We really enjoy like living ancient period. 



Enjoy  your spring. 


Fertility Festival


No, it is not pornography nor is it a joke. But yes, the huge object is exactly what you are supposing it is. The photos were taken at a festival called Hounensai, or fertility festival, which is among the few unusual but famed festivals in Japan. While at one glance this festival, which is held every year on March 15 at Tagata shrine in Komaki city, might come across as vulgar or indecent, it is actually nothing like that. In fact, it is a very important and dead-serious festival (how serious festival participants treat is another question, though) to pray for fertility, not least because the birth rate in Japan slumped to a record low in 2014. It is held in spring because it is when new life begins after the bitter winter. In fact, the shrine itself is dedicated to the same purpose throughout the year, inside which you will find numerous stones and objects featuring the male apparatus.

During the festival, a group of strong men will carry a mikoshi, or portable Shinto shrine taking the shape of phallus, a weighty one weighing a few hundred kilograms, and parade the streets, stopping from time to time to swirl it 360 degrees for a few times (to the excitement of parade revelers armed with sophisticated smart phones, cameras and selfie devices). In addition, women playing the role of miko, or shrine priestess, will also join the parade, cradling in their arms phallus-shaped objects for parade watches lining on the sides of the road to touch, the act of which is said to lead to child birth. Sweets and souvenirs of the same theme are also sold at the festival venue.

I do recommend you go and see for yourself if you have a chance.





Thank you so much, Ranna! We will miss you.

Our colleague, Ranna has left Osaka Hana Hotel in February. 
She has been wonderful colleague and senior of me.
Hideko me and Ranna 2years ago:)
We had a farewell party for her and many friends and staffs from other brunch came to join the party.

This 2and half year has been great.
We went through great time and some time hard time, too.
But each every moments are good memories for me.
It was my birthday last year.
You always gave me a lot of love!
1st year anniversary
2nd year anniversary
We are not colleague anymore, but our friendship is forever!
We never forget your hospitality and your smile.
Thank you, Ranna!!
Thank you Ranna and all the best in your future!!