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!!

Summer festival at Fushimi Inari shrine

Hi there !

This is Madi from Q-beh.

Last weekend, I went to Fushimi Inari shrine for the summer festival.
Every 3rd weekend of July, this festival is held and it is my favourite day of Kyoto through the year :)

This festival is not so busy as much as Gion festival.
And it is the traditional festival like what we used to have.
You can see some Japanese drums performance.
You can join "Bon Odori" which is traditional summer dance.


Also the shrine is decorated by many red colour paper lanterns that makes shrine nostalgic.


This is the best part of this festival :)
This nostalgic atmosphere is just beautiful !
I can't describe well but it's definitely worth to see it !!!

If you are here in one summer season, I absolutely recommend to join this festival :)


I have never seen so many...

Hi. This is Shoko from Osaka Hana Hostel.

This is the first time to write this blog as a staff.

I am from Shizuoka where the Mt. Fuji is.

I used to live in Tokyo for 5 years but moved to Osaka last year.

People are nice and friendly, and food are amazing so I like Osaka!

I will try to update useful and fun information every month.

The other day, I went to Kotsuo Temple with my husband.

We did not know much about his temple, but it seems like that this temple is good to wish about 'winning/success'.

Because, there are sooooo many Daruma doll* in here.

*The Daruma doll is a hollow, round, Japanese traditional doll modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism

See? Daruma dolls are everywhere, aren't they?

I have never seen like this many!!

We did not really expecting but it was so much fun to look around.

This place is a bit far from center of Osaka city but it worth to visit.

Biei, Hokkaido

It is the first time for me to visit Hokkaido in July, the real summer!!! Biei and Furano are famous for flowers blossom in summer with plenty of lavender and sunflower. The extraordinary colors of the flowers together with the shape of the field are really stunning. I recommend you to drive around in Biei and Furano as you can stop by anywhere when the pretty views are in front of you. I highly recommend Patchwork Road in the north of Biei with rural landscapes. The best way to enjoy the beauty of Biei is to stay in the cottage house on top of the mountain overseeing the views far away. If you can get up early around 3:30-4:00, please do not miss the sunrise!!! 


After enjoying the drive, how about enjoying fine dining at French restaurant called Biei Senka?
It was a very cozy restaurant which uses fresh vegetable and food in Hokkaido. The signature dish is the assortment of 20 vegetables. Believe me, all of them are extremely fresh!!! There are several courses to choose from. If you are planning to visit this restaurant, please call them for reservation as it is a very popular restaurant in Biei.



Pokemon go finally has been available in Japan 4days ago.

I have downloaded it on the day it's released.

It's been for ages since I played Pokemon (Red, Green , Blue Game-boy ver.)
Pokemon used to be black and white back then but now every pokemon is so colouful.

I sometimes go out in the morning catching new pokemons or hitting a gym.
Then I see a lot of people are now playing pokemon go, too.

It looks a little crazy and surreal for me, although I am a part of them...

------------Got Snorlax on my pasta,, Gotya!

It's fun but it could become dangerous.

I saw two middle-aged bussiness men bumped into each other at Kyoto Station yesterday.
One said "Oh! sorryyyy" then another said "It's Ok...... Are you..... playing Pokemon Go?"
Then "Yeah.. hahah" ...

They greeted each other and walked away but still kept looking at their phone's screen....

I watched them and heard all of the conversation they had while playing Pokemon Go...

"Stay aware of your surroundings" that's what Niantic said.
"Don't play it too hard, sort your life out first" that's what I said.

sumo tournament

I went to Sumo tournament . Sumo is a national sport in Japan.
Currently we have foreign wrestlers too such as Mongolian ,Brazilian,Egyptian

This time Sumo tournament has been held at Nagoya.

The tournament is every 2 months.

I am a fan of Kisenosato who is top Japanese sumo wrestler.
 He has had  a chance to win this tournament .However he lost when I went.

If you travel to Japan when there is the tournament,I recommend you to see that!

Sumo tournament

Local summer festival at Shinsaibashi

Hi : )
This is Haru from Osaka Hana Hostel.

Have you ever seen or Joined the Japanese local festival ??
The festival is called ''Matsuri'' in Japanese,
there are up to 300,000 festivals throughout Japan.    

My co-workers joined the local summer festival at Shinsaibashi :)

In the festival, Japanese people get around the Mikoshi and carry it on their shoulders in order to worship Gods.

Mikoshi or portable shrine is a carriage for Gods.
While carrying the Mikoshi, the carriers yell ''Wasshoi, Wasshoi !!''.

Japanese people who carry a portable shrine wear ''Happi'' , and a headband with decorated patterns.

Happi is a traditional Japanese outfit with the Chinese character for the word ''祭(Festival)'' written at the back.

Well done !! : )))))))

Thank you for reading.
Have a good day.

Universal Studios Japan 2016

Me and my friends went to Universal Studios Japan (USJ).
First of all, we took a train from Kyoto station to Osaka, then changed to another train on the Osaka loop line that went direct to USJ (800JPY).

When we got off the train, we saw tons of people there although it was Wednesday.

First, we rode the Hollywood Dream (roller coaster), followed by the Flying Dinosaur.
We waited for 120mins to ride the Flying Dinosaur.

Actually, I have a fear of heights.
So basically,  I can't go up over 10m away from the ground but my friend told me if I didn't ride it, I would regret it.
So I was like "Better get my money's worth!"

While the Flying dinosaur was going up to the top, I was petrified and couldn't say anything.
Meanwhile, it got to the top, ready to fall down.
I don't remember what happened next.
I barely could open my eyes and think what if somebody riding in front of me puked.

Once we reached the end, I was so relieved but I felt so good and refreshed more than I ever felt before.
The flying dinosaur was great!

I overcame a fear... I think.

We also went to the harry potter's attractions.

We had a wonderful time at USJ!!

* We have a sister branch in Osaka close to USJ! Please check it out too :)

Hi, there.

Nowadays, I am into reading books either in English or Japanese:)

So this time please  let me introduce my recommendation! 

The title is 'BUSHIDO'

「英語と日本語で読む「武士道」 (知的生きかた文庫)」の画像検索結果

This book is written about Japanese Bushido( the way to live of Samurai) easy to understand.

I like this part as follows.

'The spiritual aspect of valour is evidenced by composure calm presence of mind.

Tranquility is courage in repose.

It is a statical manifestation of valour as daring deeds are a dynamical.

A truly brave man is ever serene he is never taken by surprise nothing ruffles the equanimity of his spirit.

In the heat of battle he remains cool in the midst of catastrophes he keeps level his mind.'

This is just only small part.

So please read all:)

Thank you.

Fancy retro night in Osaka


Me and my friends from uni met up for dinner in Osaka last week.
What are we going to have? That's the question that always annoys/excites us, and after long discussion, we decided to try French bistro in Kitahama this time.

On my way there, I stopped by Nakanoshima area which has a lot of historical buildings from Meiji period.

City library is my favorite spot to spend some time, reminds me a lot of Melbourne.

And walking through this beautiful riverside street

Got to the restaurant called "Kofuji shokudo" that my friend had made a reservation - so popular that usually fully booked up even on weekdays!

We first met in university back in 2006 and have shared great/crazy/fun time since then, it's always great to hang out with them even for just a coffee...just a coffee means hours of non-stop conversation about our lives, work or family, and kinda weird that we've known each other more than 10 years now and still feel like we're talking at the cafeteria in uni.

Their food is superb - course meal with a lot of seasonal best ingredients and creative dishes in cozy atmosphere.

Nothing can be better than quality time with beautiful girls and meal which amazed us a lot!

Highly recommended ;)

Bonjour tout le monde !

 "Hi everyone !", that is the title of this post, my first one !

I am Nana from France, the new J-Hoppers Hida Takayama Guesthouse reception staff.
I used to be a free accommodation staff in Osaka Hana Hostel and an opening staff  in Hana Sake Bar last year. After a bit of travel I came back to Japan on May but this time in Takayama. 

   Some people who knew me from Osaka asked me if it will be alright for me to go from Osaka to Takayama since those cities are so different ! But that is also why I like so much Takayama : great sceneries, snow in winter, good hiking locations near by, old city and... mountains ! Back in France I grew up in a place from where I could see every day the Alps and the "Mont Blanc" so I am really glad to be in Takayama.

Takayama viewed from the Kitayama walking course at sunset

Wont you come and try out Takayama ?
But be careful once you get attached to the place you will just keep on coming !

Yukata for Gion Matsuri Festival 2016

This is Yoshi from Kyoto Hana Hostel.

We have Gion Matsuri Festival (the festival of Yasaka Shrine) this month!!
I hear that it lasts for a month in Kyoto City. ( The highlight of the festival: July 14th to 16th to see Yama & Hoko, like the following picture, before the grand parade on the 17th)

There are many events relating to the festival especially from July 10th!

We have customs to wear yukata for festivals in summer.
So, for the Gion Matsuri Festival, I visited some department in Shijo Area, where there were a variety of yukatas for ladies, men, and kids!

Recently, modern patterns of texitiles for yukata imaging the Taisho Era has become gradually more popular. On the other hand, traditional yukata such as "shibori" is still attractive to the Japanese.
There are mainly two kinds of texture to make yukata.

One is made of cotton, and another is of polyester (others may be made of hemp cloth).
The polyester-made yukata does not wrinkle easily, but makes you feel hotter than cotton-made and vice versa.

This time, I got two cotton-made yukatas for myself and my husband as I tend to sweat especially in summer....

 If you do not want to buy yukata, of course, there are many yukata rental shops in Kyoto City :)
Please feel free to tell us if you come to Kyoto Hana Hostel and have any question about yukata :)

Me llmo Ian!! Soy de Hong Kong

Since I started working at J-hoppers almost two years ago, I have derived a great deal of happiness from talking to travelers from around the world through listening to their stories, and asking about what is happening in their country. Lately, I have also tried to learn from them. I became able to say numbers in Thai reasonably fluently thanks to the numerous guests from Thailand in the last few months! Every Thai guest has become my teacher. Every time when they checked in, I would practice saying their room number, pin number, and at a later time, the room fees as well in Thai. As expected, my pronunciation at first was terrible, and my so-called "Thai" was met with puzzled expressions. But I grew better over time, and now more often than not my attempts at speaking Thai were met with appreciation.  

Thus, in a sense, J-hoppers is like an international language school where you can learn a range of different languages. Now that I think about it, how lucky I am having an unlimited supply of teachers from whom I can learn for free! I have decided to make the most of this wonderful language learning environment. With the summer just around the corner, I have decided to put Thai aside, and tried to pick up some Spanish as we are expecting many guests from Spain in the coming months! And just two days ago, when a Spanish couple was just about to go out, I asked them how to say "see you later" in Spanish. Hasta luego! My teachers taught me right away. But of course, I have been making some effort on my own as well by learning to Spanish learning podcasts. And I have just learned how to introduce myself in Spanish, and will try to practice it with the next Spanish guest I see! 

Bienvenido a Takayama! 

Cafes in Kyoto

Hello there! Today is the last day of June but we still need to wait 
for about 2 weeks until the end of rainy season...

Today I would like to recommend cafes in Kyoto where you can be relaxed 
or feel happy in a rainy day.

- Cafe marble -

This is a machiya (traditional wooden house in Kyoto) style cafe in downtown, 
cute and cozy.

They always have 3 or 4 lunch menus and delicious looking cakes.

They also have this cute stamp card and you will get their original goods 
or a cake for free when you collect 10 stamps :)

- mement mori -

A small stylish cafe close to Heian-jingu Shrine.
I had lunch and that was so nice! You can try several dishes of food on one plate.

You had better be there before opening or make a reservation, 
otherwise you will need to wait for a long time since the cafe is managed by one lady 
and it gets full quickly.

Eat Eat Eat.....

   Hi ! This is Ena from Hiroshima Hana Hostel.
WET,WET,WET.... This week we have had so much rain in Hiroshima.
I can not wait for a sunny day.

At the end of last month,I went to Kanazawa 金沢
(which is one of the most highest rainfall cities in Japan....)for the first time.
When I got there,I realized I did not know very much about Kanazawa 
before this trip. I knew about Kenrokuen Japanese garden , seafood... but did not know about 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art,Oumicho Market,
 Higashi chaya District...

However, everything was amazing and elaborated!
Art (I am not more of an artist person but enjoyed the
21st Century Museum!),Food, Garden, Onsen .....
For these tourist spots in Kanazawa,the excursion bus is convenient for tourists. Each bus runs on a single route, and each bus stop displays the bus number with an English notation. One day pass is 500yen.Once you get it,you can also get discounts at some facilities.

* Why don't you visit Kanazawa once ? *

Tourist spots in Kanazawa :
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art: