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!!

What's White Day ?

Valentine day is widely known in the world as you know.

Valentine day in Japan is known as a day which females give something (most of the time it's chocolate) to males who they are found of, as you probably have heard of (or not).

March 14th, White day is not something you could find in western culture.
Sounds like a racist day? No way. Then what is it?

It's the day  males who has got something from females around have to give something back in return.
It was born in Japan and has spread to many Asian countries like China, Taiwan, South Korea (so Wikipedia says).

It's all about commercial, one of the stories says its origin has to do with some sweets companies decision to make March 14th promoting as White day to sell their products after Valentin's day with a advertising slogan saying like:

"I'll give your chocolate love back in white soft marshmallow of my love"

I'm almost throwing up with this cheesy words but anyway...

If you are in Japan now or visiting before March 14th, you sure will find many many stores promoting goods for White day:)

Why don't you get something for your precious ones with many thank-yous??

By the way, Ive just learned that there is "Black Day"in South Korea which is about
people who are heart broken after Valentin's day and white day gathering up and
pity partying.


 Have a good one everyone:)






Spring season is coming

Hello I'm Shige. 
Time is going so fast. 
February is over and now already March. 
Spring season is coming. 
 
Spring is my favorite season Because we can make Hanami party under the cherry tree.
 
So I want to recommend the place to make nice Hanami party on Kyoto.
 
Maruyama Park 
One of famous place to make it. 
And there have big and historical cherry tree.
Many people go there to see it.
 
You must see it when you come.
Many Students, office workers, friends and couples are going there. 
 
  
Hirano shrine
This shrine is famous about cherry blossom. 
Many food shops open in the shrine.

 
  
Incline  
Hugo's place does not have shops. 
But there have very good view of cherry blossom. 
You can see the cherry tunnel.
 
 
I can not wait this season. 
Please enjoy the cherry blossom if you come to Kyoto in spring.
 
 
 
 

三寺まいり Santera Mairi (Three Temple Visit Festival)


On 15 January, 2015, I just visited a local Festival in Hida Furukawa which is 15 minutes by train from Takayama.  

This festival was originated 200 years old and was used as an event for creating opportunities for young men and women to meet.  Nowadays, it becomes a festival for young women to dress in kimono wishing for good relationships.  In order to experience the local culture, we made an early reservation for the kimono and arrived Hida Furukawa around 6:00p.m. to get dressed by the professional lady in the kimono rental place.  It was the first time for me to wear Kimono in winter and walking on the ice with the Japanese wooden clogs.  It was colder than we expected!!! However, the atmosphere of the festival makes us forget about the coldness.  The first thing that we have to do is to get 3 stamps of the three temples, then we have to put our candles on the side of the river and light them up.  This is the important moment: make a wish for good relationships!! While our eyes are shut to make the wishes, we could hear the sound of camera shutters on our side.  I realized this is the main spot for taking photos for the festival and there are lots of camera lovers waited at the river for taking pretty pictures of young lady in the festival.  Finally, I was able to receive some good ones from them.  

It was an interesting and unforgettable experience to attend Santera Mari Festival.  If you would like to see snow candles and lanterns in a traditional old down while dressing in kimono, we recommend you to join this festival. 





For more information, please refer to the below website:
http://www.hida-kankou.jp/kanko/foreign/en/things-to-do/festivals/

The story of a frog lucky charm


A friend of mine, who earlier scrapped her plan to visit Takayama because she luckily got a ticket to Arashi’s concert, felt enough guilt to arrange for another trip to Takayama soon after, and that’s what brought us to the Okuhida area, where we had the good luck to meet a really nice Japanese couple.

Probably in their late fifties or early sixties, they were traveling in Okuhida when we met them at Fukuchi Onsen. At that time we were mesmerized by the breathtaking views of emerald green frozen ice spikes there, they stopped their car by the side, apparently hoping to take a few shots of that spectacular view as well. After taking a few photos for one another, we were about to split ways and head down to a morning market when the man took out two small objects and handed them to us. It was a key chain in the shape of a frog (I actually think it looks more like a butterfly, but this is not the point), with a number written on one side, and the Japanese phrase `Buji kaeru’, which means ‘returning safe and sound’, on the other. This message is associated with a frog because in Japanese, the pronunciation of ‘frog’ is the same as that of ‘return’. 




Then the man told us the lovely story behind the frog key chain, which he hand-made one by one, 300 in total. At the very beginning, there was no plan at all to make so many, and he just made one as a lucky charm for himself when he ventured out of his home. One day after hiking with his wife, the lucky charm was no where to be seen. It was not like he had lost his wallet or something, so he made no attempt to look for it. After a few months, when he went hiking at the same place again. he found the key chain being hung on a branch: the frog returns safely. It was that symbolic reappearance of the frog that prompted him to make 300 of them, which he has given to people he met on the way, hoping they would all return safely. I was the 292th, and I returned home safe and sound. It doesn’t matter the key chain doesn’t look like a frog. It is the feelings of care for other people it contains that counts.

The couple was kind enough to offer to drive us to Shin-hotaka where we could take the ropeway up to see the mountains. On the way, they even took the trouble to take us to a few extra spots to take some really lovely pictures. And the lady found a good spot for us to have a snow dive without bleeding our nose. They were so friendly and fun-loving! They did not go up with us, but we saw them waving to us from below when we were going up. I feel really thankful to have been blessed with so many lovely encounters here, and I will never forget this, and I hope there is more to come. And undoubtedly I will bring this frog along for every hike from now on! 




ONOMICHI

Hello.This is Ena from Hiroshima Hana Hostel.

Have you ever heard about Onomichi ?



It is one of the city in Hiroshima prefecture.
It takes about 50 min by Shinkansen and local train from Hiroshima station.


Last week I went there with my friend.
I am from Hiroshima but actually I had never seen very well.

Onomichi has the mountain side and the sea side.

The mountain side has heaps of temples, shrines,old houses and lovely cats !
Since Onomichi is very old city, there are a lot of slope way.
That is the reason why Onomichi is called `The town of slope ` (Saka no machi).
It is quite hard to go up to the temples but the view from the top is amazing!
(Wildcats in Onomichi are friendly but please do not feed them.)


The sea side has a lot of restaurants, shops and cafes.
Onomichi ramen is famous in Onomichi.
If you are fan of ramen, please try it once.

Onomichi is famous for cycling as well.
There are 9 bridges between Onomichi and Imabari (Ehime).
Many cyclists come here and run over to Shikoku island.
Even you do not have your own bicycle, you can rent it.

*Rental Fee*
・Adult (J.H.S and older): 500 yen  per day
・Child (Elem.S.S under):300 yen per day
・Electric Assisted Bicycle :800 yen per day



Here is the link about cycling in Onomichi :)

http://www.go-shimanami.jp/global/english/

Since we need to go up and down many time on the way, 
we did cycling with Electric Assisted Bicycle this time.




It is absolutely amazing city for me.

Why don't you enjoy Onomichi? :)













How to enjoy Japanese food

Do you like Japanese food?

Probably most of the travlers enjoy Japanese food and it's one of the reason why they visit Japan.

But It's sometimes difficult to see which restaurant is really nice one and how much it will be around due to langage problem.

There is a nice tool for you! It's the website called "gurunavi".
You can search by area and price and category. And they have a lot of inforamation.
Here is the link!

http://www.gnavi.co.jp/en/


You can serach online and also you can ask them dirctly at the counter at Grand Front Osaka!!
It's the great FREE searvice for people who has no idea where to eat!

They have food concierge who can support your food problem:)
They can suggest good place and call them to make a reservations.


 Enjoy eating part of your trip more!!

Are you looking for a good Japanese restaurant at a reasonable price?

Here is the answer!

”UME NO HANA (梅の花)”

Their concept is..."Our restaurant is right between inexpensive tavern and classy restaurant." 



Lunch menu is from 2200yen. 
ume 2014 fuyu lunchi kyu kan.jpg

If you are fan of Tofu(豆腐) and Tofu paper(湯葉), They have Tofu lunch 2000yen.
200906umenohana_lunch_kansai.jpg

"UME NO HANA" has more than 70 branches in Japan!



Dinosaur meuseum in Fukui

I went to Dinosaur meuseum in Fukui.

Fukui is next prefecture  of Gifu.


The Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum  (福井県立恐竜博物館 ) is a dinosaur  museum located in the city of Katsuyama, Fukui ,Prefecture

The location for the museum was chosen because many fossils have been found in Katsuyama and it uses many fossils found in the surrounding area.







Dinosaur meuseum in Fukui

9:00am to 5:00pm (no entry after 4:30pm)


Primary or secondary school students260 yen
High school or college students410 yen
Adults720 yen

For our little guests:)

Hi! This is Tomomi from Hiroshima Hanahostel!

Hana offers dorm rooms as well as private rooms with private bathroom. So naturally many families stay at Hana. Especially for our little guests we offer now some special entertainment. One of our great cleaners, Kon, who is the mum of a 2-year old boy, brought books and toys to share with our guests during their stay. Also some chairs can be be borrowed.

We know that it can be sometimes stressful to travel with young children and hope to make your stay here at Hana as comfortable as possible. For parents as well as for our little guests.



Japanese and English books!!
































Chairs for each body size in the first floor living room ;)

Please let us know if you would like to use those.



Donbuli

Hi everyone :)
This is Asuka from Kyoto Hana Hostel.

There is lots of restaurant in Osaka and Kyoto.
Some of them have expensive dinner dishes but reasonable lunch.
I like searching that kind of restaurants :9

Last week I went to Kitashinchi, Osaka to eat awesome Kaisendon.
Donbuli is Japanese cuisine that we put something on the rice.
And we have many kinds of Donbuli.
Kaisendon is one of them :)
We put some Sahimi on the rice.

The restaurant I went is very small but they provide awesome cuisine.
At dinner time, everything is sort of expensive but they are worth it.
I recommend that we should go there at lunch time to eat reasonable Kaisendon :) haha

You've got hungry, haven't you ?
Have a nice eating life ;) haha

Asuka


Hiroshima Dragonflies

Hello from Hiroshima Hana hostel. It's Kana here.
It's been a month already since 2015 began....Time flies....FLIES.......

What sport do you like the most? Personally I like to play Volleyball and love to watch basketball and rugby game.
We have a professional basketball team  in Hiroshima. Which calls Hiroshima Dragonflies. The team was established in 2013, and joined the National basketball league since 2014!


Basketball is not as popular game as other country. So not many game is held. There are only 4 games in Hiroshima each month from Oct to May. I went to one of the game last week.
Hiroshima against to Hokkaido. The game was so exciting and was too close to call.


It was my first time to watch the real game and it was just AWESOME. I did really enjoy it even though I don't know rules.

Why don't you enjoy Japanese player's game in Hiroshima??
It's gonna be good fun. I guarantee!!! Ticket from 2100yen.

Any info about the date of the game↓(In Japanese)
http://hiroshimadragonflies.com/game/



Matsuzakagyu Yakiniku M

I went to one restaurant which is called "Matsuzakagyu Yakiniku M".
I'm not a big fan of beef but this restaurant is OMG sooooooo good!!!!!!!

Price was pretty expensive, but it's totally worth it!
It was my birthday dinner so we had premium course, it was just so good!

All of staff can speak English because this restaurant is on the Trip adviser.
Many foreigners must go.

This is the link.
http://www.matsusaka-projects.com/english/

If you want to try really really good beef, I totally recommend this restaurant!

Just try :)


Setsubun

Hi there!This is Chika .

Today,I will introduce  one of Japanese culture which is called "Setsubun".
Setsubun literally means "division of seasons."
"setsubun" has now come to mean the day before the first day of spring only.
It usually occurs around February 3rd.






On the 3rd of Feb, in a custom called mame-maki, people throw and soy beans inside and outside their houses while saying,

"Oni-wa soto,Fuku-wa uchi"

(Get goblins out of the house! Invite happiness into the home!)
,I just looked up how we say "Oniwa soto,Fukuwa uchi" in English.
That's so interesting :-)


After throwing the beans, people  eat one roasted soy bean,for each year of their age, and pray for happiness throughout the year.

and then,we have a lomg sushi roll which is called "Ehou Maki".
We eat all in one go on the night of Setsubun, while facing silently toward the year's "lucky" direction with your eyes closed, wishing for perfect health and praying for prosperity of business


If you are in Japan now,you might have seen this advertisement or posters at the shops :-)
Why don't you enjoy Setsubun night on the 3rd of Feb??





TAIWAN♡

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

I took a vacation for a week and traveled to Taiwan last week.

It's only 2hours and half flight from Hiroshima to Taipei.
I've heard that January is the coldest month of the year in Taiwan but for me, it was not so bad and I enjoyed that kind of weather there.

I spent 2days in Taipei and I had only 3more days left to stay, but I wanted to visit major cities in Taiwan as much as I could, so I bought "Taiwan high speed rail 3 days pass"(around 8000yen)that valid for overseas travelers to Taiwan.
This pass allows unlimited rides on the bullet train for 3consecutive days.
I think that's a good deal for traveling in a limited time frame in Taiwan!

On the third day, I moved to southern part of Taiwan.
The weather was really great in this season, especially Tainan city.
On arriving at the Tainan station,I fell in love with this city!
People,weather,atmosphere of the town.....
Everything there was just perfect for me.
If you have a chance to travel to Taiwan,Tainan is definitely worth a visit!!

There are still so many places in Taiwan where I must visit and I met such a great people who helped me in many ways during my trip!

I will definitely go back there again!!!










We have postcards !!


All Hana Hostel and J-hoppers sell post cars sets.
.It is pretty difficult to find them and 70yen stamps (for abroad) in Japan.

This is special postcards of Osaka.
I like them especially the castle one.


320yen for 5.


We sell stamps also!
But we do not do posting service. Please do it by yourself :p

 Thank you so much(^^)

Where is a good supermarket in Kyoto ?


Some new residents of Kyoto ask this to me.

Unfortunately there are not many good (means good variety and good deal) supermarkets in Kyoto-city. I guess because there is not enough space to built since Kyoto is the old city, and FRxxCO, the most famous supermarket in Kyoto, which is pretty expensive and they don’t have good variety nor quality, are everywhere like a monopoly.

So my answer is… Takashimaya!
Takashimaya is a posh department store which is located in downtown, so my young friends believe that their grocery section is expensive. Actually it’s not!
For example I found Japanese broccoli for 100yen which was 230yen in the FxxSCO in the same day. Also petit tomatoes were 290yen which were 100yen cheaper than the FRExxO. See?!
Takashimaya is proud of their quality and service so their fruit and vegetable are also really good!

In addition, their bicycle parking is free for 3 hours if you buy something.
So I park my bike then I just buy my favorite 198yen ciabatta bread of Peck, the cool Italian bakery that they have in underground, and walking around downtown for 3 hours!
This is a tip for new residents of Kyoto! 

 

Coffee shop

Hi from coffee geeky Meg.
Let me introduce one of my favorite coffee shops in Osaka.

There are more than 10 different single origins coffee and 3 or 4 blended coffee.
They served great hand drip coffee using Kono method.
They also have coffee tasting and hand drip coffee lessons.
If you are a pour over lover, please try their coffee!

HIROFUMI FUJITA COFFEE in Tamatsukuri.

HIROSHIMA oyster cabin



Hello!!  This is MAYU from J-Hoppers Hiroshima:)

It's too first that the days come and go!!

Have you heard OYSTER CABIN??

 Hiroshima is really famous for oyster☆☆






I went there last week. I love an oyster☆☆

You can enjoy seafood barbecue in there♪♪

Staff will tell you how to grill an oyster.  


There are abalone,scalloper,conger,and so on...

You will enjoy all of seafood from Hiroshima!!

And also you can  drink almost all of kind of alcohol

Beer,Japanese sake,wine,,,,.








Here is an information of oyster cabin in Ujina Port.

Let's enjoy Hiroshima oyster♪


******************************************************

OPENING HOUR: 10:30-21:00

ACCESS: 20-30minutes from Hiroshima station by tram

PLACE: in Hiroshima minato park

******************************************************


There are some oyster bars as well in city centre:)








Eat well and work out hard.

Both eating good foods and doing exercise are one of my favorite daily activities.
However, even though I try to work out regularly, it is difficult to do exercise more than other seasons such as spring, summer and fall. I know it sounds like "an excuse" though, I'd like to say it is due to heavy snow this year.

Despite of it, I lately tried a sea of  yummy stuffs at restaurants in Takayama.



Toast with colorful and fresh vegetables


Salad with baked camembert cheese

Hida apple crumble with vanilla ice cream and rum
 
 Pot-au-feu


Every time after these tasty foods, yes of course, I do exercise to prepare for my next appetite. 


"Into the Wild"


Snowshoeing in the wild.




I find that this cycle "Eat well and work out hard " keeps me stay healthy both in mentally and psychically. So, I think I should make more efforts to attach more importance to "working out "in order to keep balance between two of my favorite daily activities.