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!!

Abare Festival

Hi from Meg.
I've been to Ushitsu of Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa for Abare Festival.
The festival held over 2 days in the town of Ushitsu and has been running 350 years.

My friend in Tokyo and I always say "see you at the festival" 
every time when we meet and leave. 
Finally here we are at the festival!

The festival is very popular with locals.
All locals participate this festival and it is a chance to get drunk all day and 
be violently crazy in the name of culture and tradition.
Visitors can see Kiriko and Mikoshi floats being carried through the streets.
Kiriko is about 7 meters tall and extremely heavy lanterns carried by up to 30 people.
Mikoshi is a wooden portable shrines but also heavy.
We were asked to join Kiriko carrying and of cause we were in!!
We got Matsuri costumes from locals and we were cheering "yassa!" chants and 
carrying Kiriko through the streets at the first night.



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
For the second night, we enjoyed watching them.
The second night was more energetic.
Mikoshi joined second night, chanting, parading and damaging it 
as best as they can until midnight. 
We could not believe that we have never seen people are damaging Mikoshi. 
It is a portable shrine!!  

OMG, men throwed Mikoshi into the river, jumped in after it 
and continued chanting under a large burning torch as the sparks 
and ashes fall onto them below. 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Finally they took Mikoshi to the main shrine and concluded around 4am following morning.
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It was a great, crazy Matsuri with local people and the most fierce festival 
that I've ever seen.
I'm sure I'm going to join them again next year!!


Yodogawa fireworks!

We will have Yodogawa fireworks festival on the 9th of August.
It's one of the biggest foreworks festival in Osaka.

Fireworks will be set off from 7:50pm to 8:40pm.
It's close to Jyuso station of Hankyu line.

It will be really beautiful!
But must be crowded so be careful!


How beautiful Big Buddha is!!!!!!


Hello. I would like to run away from Japan. Why??

Because... It's toooooooo hot and wet in here!!!!

I am almost passing over everyday. It's a too rough season for me.

I don't like summer at all...


How's going your days? I'm Mayu from J-Hoppers Hiroshima.

I was exciting on last weekend!! 

Because, I went to Nara to see the Big Buddha!!!

I love him very much. I've been in love with him for 8 years.

Have you seen him?? This is the Big Buddha in Nara!!





How cool he is!! Don't you think so??

He's height is 17m. He has awesome atmosphere!!

He was made more than 1200 years ago.

But he still has a spark to people.




This place is "NIGATSU-DOU" in Toudaiji.

It's my favorite place in Nara. If you be there,

You can look down at Nara city. It's really calm and beautiful.

I recommend you to go there on sun set time.

It should be unforgettable view for you!!!




And also, You should have a look the big gate.

It's called  "NANDAIMON".  There is so big statue of 

guardians of the temple. They are really cool!!!


I love Nara and Big Buddha very much!!!

I'm sure that I'll go there in half year again☆☆

J-Stay's BBQ: First collaborated event with Expo House BBQ @Matsuo Bridge!

This is Kimy from J-Stay

In Kyoto it was said that Rainy season finished after Guion Festival, one of the three biggest events. 

Speaking of Summer, it is BBQ!
So last Saturday J-Stay organized BBQ party with Expo house that another share house agency in Kyoto under Matsuo Bridge! 
BBQ party in last summer was the first time for us. 40 guests enjoyed our BBQ. 
So J-stay and Expo House, our intention was making new atmosphere share house community in Kyoto.
 

Yum yum! First Yakisoba


Our BBQ masters


WE are BBQ organizers!
Our guest from South Africa who is BBQ's ice breaker
BBQ is the easy way to have good conversation with new people.
According to weather report all day was rainy a& windy day. But we were sure it would be better.  :)


Good smile


It was raining but did not matter for us!





 

We have game for Free J-hoppers accommodation ticket.
  Our guests come from South Africa, Venezuela, Canada, Colombia, Hong Kong, Iran, Taiwan, France. They were making good harmony there. We hope this new friendship makes kind of new sharehouse community!



See you next time!



Summer greeting card!


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


It's been very hot and humid these days...!! Is everyone doing ok?
I'm very worried about whether my friends are ok or not from the summer heat, so I've decided to send a post card to them to ask how they are doing during this summer.


In Japan, there is a custom of sending a post card (summer greeting card) to family, friends and former teachers to ask their health in summer heat.


SNS is often chosen as a convenient communication tool today, so sending summer greeting card is not as popular as before, but I think it is good opportunity to show one's care for someone important.


I've already bought some.
Here are what I found for this year!!








If you are traveling in Japan, why don't you send a summer greeting card to your family and friends in your country?
It would be great opportunity to introduce them about Japanese seasonal tradition and you can let them know how you are spending summer in Japan as well!!



New roof for outside!

We have a stairs outside from the 1st to the 2nd floor.
This stairs was flooded with water on rainly day.
Old roof covers it, however it has small wholes and rain go through it.

Finally we repaired this roof!

This is a frame to set up roof.


 Amazing, right? :)

 
We are very happy and satisfyed this roof!!!
Arigato-gozaimasu!!

Mt. Ontake!!

Hello, this is moco* from J-hoppers Hida Takayama Guesthouse!!

I went climbing Mt. Ontake.

We have some mountain that is over 3,000m high near Takayama.

Mt. Ontake is one of the sacred mountains in Japan.


















I could see some alpine plants.

They are so small and cute!!



















The season for climbing mountain has just started.

We walked on the snow...it was bit scared.

Luckily, I met a "Grouse" on the walking trail.

 

















Finally, we got top of the mountain after 4 hours.

Most of the lakes were still frozen...it was 4℃!!

The weather in the mountain changed many times,

sunny, raining, thunder and snow...!!



















So I could enjoy beautiful snow scenery,

sunset, thousands of stars with milky way.



















I stayed at the mountain hat is called "Gonoike-goya",

located on the top of Mt. Ontake.

Their meals are all hand made!!

I recommend you to have "Pizza" there.

Next morning, I enjoyed panoramic sunrise view!!

























After that, we tried another top of the mountain

through hell's mountain of needles.




















I hope you have chance to have climbing mountain here.

Enjoy your summer!!

KANIKAMA  SURIMI  CRAB STICK

KANIKAMA is one of the world wide food that first invented in Japan.
I've used it when I cooked sushi for my friends in many countries.
But I've had the really good one only in Japan so far. If I eat it with my eyes closed, I will believe that it's real crab because of the taste and texture!
Please find them in Japanese supermarkets!


"Otona no KANIKAMA" (KANIKAMA for adults)



Brazil or Netherlands or....

It is shige.

Now kyoto is getting hot day by day.
Summer is coming.... please come early because humid weather makes me down my feeling.
Summer is nice.
Beer,fire works,swimming and BBQ.

So usually I don't like June but this year is special!!!
Because of world cup!!!
All games are good and exciting, all teams and players are great.
Unfortunately Japan had a bad luck...but they did best play.
They need to improve everything then I hope they will revenge in Sochi 4 years later.

Now the world cup start the knock out round.
All of matches are more exciting and aggressive.

So I expected the champion is Brazil or Netherlands.
What do you think about it?

Nobody knows it but 2 weeks later  everyone know who is the champion.


This is my favorite goal at this moment.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq_Pkdmvo1k


Tonight Netherlands vs Mexico!!!!!
This game will be great match.
Do not miss it.






Drinking a Japanese beer near Kyoto Station!

This is Yoshi. It is getting hotter than before in Kyoto.
So, I often go for a drink with my friends these days.

We actually have some good areas for drinking such as Kiyamachi Street and Pontocho area in Kyoto.
However, there are many bars and restaurants near Kyoto Hana Hostel as well.
Recently, I went to YEBISU BAR in Yodobashi-Camera building near Kyoto Station.
YEBISU is one of famous Japanese beers :)

I love YEBISU beer and sausage there!

Then, it has a special Japanese beer called Rikyu (利休), which is kind of Maccha beer (green tea beer)! yummy! It tastes a wee bit sweet : )
I'm not sure why it is called Rikyu, but the word is named after Sen-no-Rikyu, the person who started "Wabicha (わび茶)" which is a style of chanoyu, Japanese tea ceremony.
It is a cool Japanese beer, isn't it?
Then, I ordered a white Japanese beer, sausages, and a fish and chips!


Anyway, please try Japanese beer when you will visit Japan!

ArigaTOKYO!

Hi, everyone!
How are you doing?
This is Mizzy from Hana Hostel in Hiroshima!

You know what?
I went to Tokyo 1 week ago as my own birthday present!
It took about 4 hours and half by Shinkansen Nozomi Super Express.

I used to live in Tokyo for 4 years but it's been ages to visit there and was very easy to get lost! lol

Oh boy...Things change so quickly in Tokyo and some shops I used to go were no longer there.
However, the only thing that never changes...is crowds.....
On a train, on a street...everywhere is so busy....

I left Tokyo long time ago and came back to my hometown, Hiroshima.
Hiroshima is not too small, not too big, and very peaceful.
Therefore, in Tokyo, I felt like I was a stray puppy in the herd of people passing by. Haha!

Oh well, a few hours later, my friend and I checked out some bars and I recalled how fun to be in Tokyo was!

First of all, we went to Shibuya and hopped into a rock bar.
They served me a surprise birthday cake and glow drinks.
After that, we went to a karaoke and sung until the dawn.

Hmm...I could have died happy! :D



 But I didn't want to die young so I'm still alive. lol

Secondly, we went to Asakusa and I saw the Sky Tree Tower for the first time in person.
But that was just another tower for me and we passed it by. hehe...
We went to an Izakaya and enjoyed great creative meals with all you can drink system.

Awww....That was soooo gooooood.....




Thirdly, we went to Ikebukuro where I spent the most of my time when I lived in Tokyo.
We visited a bar that I used to work when I was in Uni. but we had only 1 drink.
We were too tired and hangover...

Afterwards, we had Tokyo's local food called 'Monjya-yaki' in Ikebukuro.
It's just like melted Okonomiyaki but my friend expressed it as 'melted pizza' because we put some cheese in it.

It sounds weird but kind of fun to make it by yourself though!

We were planning to go back to our hotel to chill but found out there was a very interesting bar called 'Lock Up' near-by.
Yea, we couldn't miss it.

So...we opened the door and entered.....
But there was no bar but a narrow path... 
So dark...So scary.... It was like a haunted house with some zombie dolls, skulls, and some scary stuff.

I HATE HORRORS and almost cried.
I know I'm soft. :P

I tried to go back to the entrance but my friend laughed, pulled my hand, and led me to the forward....

I felt like it took hours to get to the bar section....
My heart was pounding so fast by the time we sat at table.

Finally, we saw a light and a cute girl in a police costume showed up.
She asked us ' Which one of you did a guilty thing today?' in Japanese.
My friend is Dutch and didn't understand Japanese so I pointed at my friend. lol

The police girl handcuffed my friend and guided us to a table.
OMG...Both of us couldn't stop laughing!

We sat at table that looked like a jail and then, the staff said, 'It seems like monsters were released! Please stay here. Be safe! ' and left.

We were like "WHAT?! WHAAAAAT?!"....looked at each other and laughed out loud.

All of a sudden, all the lights went down and warning siren rung.
Emergency announcement said something but I was in panic and don't remember what they said.

We closed the iron door of the jail and waited the monsters...
We had no idea what was going to happen, so we...waited...waited....waited....and.....
((((((BANG!!!!)))))
We heard a big unexpected sound.
I was so surprised and jumped in the air.
That was the sound of a monster hit our door with a wrench.

All the lights were turned on when the event was over.

"Whew...Finally, we can order...."

We took a look at the menu but as soon as the page was turned over, we got so confused.
Because they were so unique/weird (especially for drinks) and we had no idea what they could taste like.

Everything happened at this bar was very weird, yet fun experience I have ever had.

Gotta love Japan!
Gotta love Tokyo!





Ahhh, Tokyo was fun!
Arigato (Thank you) +Tokyo = ArigaTOKYO!




Ukai (Cormorant fishing)

I went to see Ukai at Nagaragawa river.





Ukai is an ancient fishing method catching Japanese trout by using tamed cormorants.

It is said that Nagaragawa ukai has been conducted for around 1,300 years

This technique has also been used in other countries but is currently under threat in China.
To control the birds, the fishermen tie a snare near the bird's throat. This prevents the birds from swallowing larger fish, which are held in their throat, but the birds can swallow smaller fish. When a cormorant has caught a fish in its throat, the fisherman brings the bird back to the boat and has the bird spit the fish up. Though cormorant fishing once was a successful industry, its primary use today is to serve the tourism industry. It is interesting to see it.

Acces15minutes by bus from Gifu Station
During 11th May ~15th Oct
Price :3100 yen

Ukai (Gifu)





Smartphone Otaku??


Hello, this is Tomomi!!

Do you know Snapchat??

A few days before, one of my friends asked me to download it, but I had no idea about the app at that time.






 

 
 






Snap chat is

A photo messaging application. Users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients.

 
These sent photographs and videos are known as "Snaps". Users set a time limit for how long recipients can view their Snaps( from 1 to 10 seconds), after which they will be hidden from the recipient's device and deleted from Snapchat's servers.

 
According to Snapchat in May 2014, the app's users were sending 700 million photos and videos per day, while Snapchat Stories content was being viewed 500 million times per day.

 

Surprisingly, Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook) offered to purchase it for 3 billion US Dollars and Google likewise offered 4 billion Dollars. Snapchat, however, refused. It is expected that they will sell for much more money in the future.

 

Snapchat is popular especially with young girls in America. It is not so famous in Japan yet, but I guess it is soon going to be popular like Facebook.

Now in Japan, almost all people use Facebook and Line, even elementary students. I think I am lucky that I did not have my own cellphone when I was young. Because now one of the social problems is that young people have difficulties in their relationship with their friends because of these social networking sites (SNS).

I, however, have to admit that I am also a smartphone Otaku.

Recently I lost my smartphone on a bus. (Luckily) I got it back at night, but  I could not use it for a whole day. Even it was a only day it really felt so inconvenient. I had no idea what I should do on the train or while waiting and I could not enjoy listening to music.

I realized that I use and stare at my phone too often.

But of course SNS have also some good points. They always help me to contact to my friends, especially the ones I cannot meet easily.

However, I do not want to be a smartphone geek! It is worth more to talk with friends in real life, read some books , do some sports etc... So from today, I will try to spend less time in using it.

 

How about you?

Do you think you are also a smartphone geek?

Gassho Hostel in Gokayama.

Hello, this is moco*
I'd like you to recommend to stay 300 years old Gassho House in Gokayama.
Gokayama is one of world heritage site, same as Shirakawa-go.

The tour company called "isite Takayama" has just released
"Gokayama stay package tour" from Takayama.

It is included  round bus trip from Takayama-Gokayama,
(Drop by Shirakawa-go observation point)













Gassyo stay and a light breakfast.
If you buy some food, you can cook in the kitchen by yourself.

This is the house you will stay in Gokayama.
They have Japanese style dormitory room and private room.



















You can have a great relaxing time....!!
The facilities are so comfortable.



















"isite Takayama" offers how to get to Gassho house. →Link

After or before your stay, you can walk Suganuma area.
It is smaller than Shirakawa-go, but still beautiful!!


 
















 I hope you'll enjoy more your stay here!!


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