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!!

We are the J-hoppers!!!

Konnichiwa from Hiroshima Hana Hostel, It's Kana here.
Time flies....January is already over and already in February without noticing....Oh no....
How was your first month of year 2016?I hope everybody had good start.

I had such a great lunch with former J-hoppers staff in January. We were used to work together in different time, but we have been in touch since some people quit here.
Some of them got married and have kids, some of them moved to oversea, some of them still working at J-hoppers.

 How we are now is different from how we used to be but, I do still like all of them and respect what they are doing.
We were invited one of staff "Yuko and Tom" place and we made our own hamburger which was great fun.
They prepared all the ingredient and even handmade patty!!!!! Was SOOO delicious...

 We had good talk, awesome hamburger and drink. Time gone really fast and I was really happy to see them but on the other hand got little upset by remembering our memories which we used to work together and share a lot of staff. I was hoping that we can have that time again.

I really appreciate that I got opportunity to know them and still being good friends.

Thanks everyone and J-hoppers!

In search of snow

The year 2015 appears to be the hottest in record, and this unusually warm winter has dealt an especially huge blow to Takayama. For areas which are not usually snowy in winter, a warm winter might come across as quite welcoming. But Takayama is different. Many tourists come expected to see snow, and the landscape painted in white.
Takayama without snow is somewhat like a piece of toast without butter or jam. I share tourists’ disappointment, and that is why a few days earlier I decided to venture deeper into the mountains to look for snow, and there, in Okuhida area, there is an abundance of snow on the ground, despite still a far cry from a regular year.

I stayed one night there, and took the opportunity to go to a special event held in Nakao-onsen. There at the event venue, I found igloos in a variety of sizes housing the likes of mini-bars and mini food stalls. I had a cup of plum wine inside the surprisingly warm igloo, and also had a half-boiled egg in hot spring water as well.

On the next day, I went to see the Hirayu waterfall, trying not to get my hopes up too high given the unusually warm weather this year. But thankfully, the waterfall was in part frozen in emerald blue, which made the slippery walk worthwhile (I slipped twice on my way…if you plan to go there, please be careful).

What awaited me after the short walk was of course hot spring, and thankfully snow. It felt so great soaking your body in hot spring while snowflakes landed on your head and disappeared into the hot spring water. Hope you will get some more snow this year before spring is upon us! 

Sweets to go...

Hi there, it's been really mild. Can't believe it's still in the middle of winter.
Weather these days are just like a beginning of spring !
Whether it gets freezing cold , coldness doesn't bother my passion for an ice cream ..!!
I'm crazy about ice creams and I had a eating record 5 scoops of ice creams at once:-)
I've worked at gelato shop and I learnt the process of making them.
What's the difference between gelato and ice cream ?
The biggest difference is the proportion of air content.
The percentage of air content of gelato is much larger than ice cream therefore, gelato is fluffy . 
Moreover, what makes gelato fluffy is low-fat and high-protein.
Protein is a stabilizer so it has a responsibility to make a body of gelato.
Just good proportion of milk fat , sugars and stabilizers are a important key to make a good gelato. 

There are roughly two types of gelato, one is milk based and the other one is sorbet.
Milks and creams are adjusted with a variety of flavors.
Vanilla, Chocolate, Tiramisu Cookies and creams, Pistachio are popular milk based ice cream.
As I mentioned before, the percentage of each ingredients should be precise so that makes gelato fluffy and nice smooth texture.

On the other hand, sobet is a adjustment of water and fruits.
It doesn't contain milk or cream so if you are dairy free, this is for you !
This time, stabilizers have a huge responsibility to decide the texture.

This is like a work of art !!
Gelato is no or less fat therefore, the aroma stands out and rich in taste !
Personally, I prefer milk based ice cream and I love any nutty flavors :-)
Umm…Mouth watering…

Snow shoeing

I went to snow shoeing with my friend.

Though I've been living in Takayama over 20years, it was my first time experience.

As you know this year is quit warmer than usual, there is not much snow even it's mountain area.

We expected to see the Hyobaku(Frozen waterfall) but unfortunately we couldn't.

Whether focus says it's going to be warm and spring will be coming soon!

Oh wait wait wait,  It's a good news but  I haven't  gone snowboard yet!

I have to go ASAP otherwise snow will melt!

Less snow is very good news for local people but for tourist, it's very disappointing news.

Our guest who from south east Asia such as Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia, everyday say "where is snow!? We came here to see snow,,,,,I ant to see falling snow,,,,,

We hope to see heavy snow again this year again.

Have you ever try Hiroshima beef?

Hi there!

As I work at the hostel reception,I've been asked lots of questions which is about travel information,directions something like that.

"Do you know where we have KOBE beef in Hiroshima?"

This is the one of top 5 question I guess.

To be honest,Unfortunately,I've never had Kobe beef before,That's why I always recommend
Hiroshima beef instead :-)

If you go to a department  store,you can get them cheep and cook in the kitchen  at the hostel.
I cooked sukiyaki with Hiroshima beef for dinner on christmas.

Look this big sliced beef!!!!!!

If you would like to enjoy Hiroshima  Beef at the restaurant.
I recommend this restaurant  which is called TOMIYA.
There is a long line at lunch time every can have Hiroshima beef steak around 1000yen for lunch! it comes with rice and miso soup and some side dishes as well!!

Hiroshma-shi,Naka-ku,Fukuromachi 2-6

It takes about 10 minutes walk from peace park ;-)  Enjoy!!!!

One-day trip to Ohara

Hello every one, this is Umi from Taiwan, a new stuff of Q-beh.

On the second snowing day of Kyoto, I visited Ohara, the north moutain area of Kyoto city. 

It was my first time to see so much snow. I got so excited and fell down in three minutes after getting off the bus, felt frozen and hurt but still happy.

I visited Jakkoin Temple, one of the most famouse temple in Ohara. The way to Jakkoin Temple was a silent and peaceful approach, almost no people around there(guess because of the big snow, nobody wants go outside), all sounds I could hear was the sound of snow falling down from trees.

Also I tried my first time ashiyu in Japan. Putting feet inside the hot spring and drinking hot amazake at the same time in a relaxing coffee shop just saved me from pains of my feet.
In the end of my trip, I meet a lovely snow man. I soonly gave her a name as Kinkin because her face just like one of my good friends names Kinkin. Kinkin, hope to see you one day again.

Le déjeuner - crêpe

 When you are travelling around Japan, have you found that some 
 Japanese restaurant selling crêpe?
 Have you tried it ?  
 I bet you may love it if you are a fans of chocolate, fruit and ice cream. 
 Last year, I attended a wedding in Brittany, France where crêpe is orginally made. 
 I am interested in reading the menu in the cafe or brasserie and to try the authentic
 crêpe in France.  What’s more ? 
 I found that garlette is also the specialty in Brittany. 
 Garlette is different from crêpe which crêpe is a sweet type of pancakes with fruit 
 and chocolate whereas garlette is a bit salty which is usually with cheese, ham 
 or sausages etc.
 During my spare time, I fancy going to the crêpe and garlette restaurant here. 
 I am fond of the various choices available and would like to try one by one.  
 Few days before, I went to a nice restaurant which is close to J hopper Takayama.   
 The name of the restaurant Hanchikutei.  The website is as folllows
My recommendation during winter is the Hida apple custard crêpe and it is only
350 yen.  It seems that the popular crêpe nowadays is the Hida beef crêpe. 
 Anyone would like to try it ???


Mone no ike (pond) in Seki city

Mone no ike(pond) became popular because the pond looks like painting of water lilies Japanese bridge, made by French painter Claude Monet.

The water of pond is clear and there are carps 

The pond is inside of Nemichi shrine.

The spot is located in mountains  of Seki city in Gifu where is 3hours drive from Takayama

I recommend you to go by car.

The best time is May because water lily blooms in the period.


Food Stall Street in Kure

Hello this is MAYU from J-Hoppers Hiroshima:)

Have you tried a Food stall in Japan?

It has amazing quality now a days!!

Kure city which is east of Hiroshima city,There is 

a street for Food Stall. Now,This place is only one 

where has Food stall in Hiroshima.

There are so many problems to keep working on the

street.I know just Kure and Fakata there are an area

which has Food stall in west of Japan.

That's really sad because I like the place

and drinking outside.

 I went to Kure last week. It was sunday.

So there are just 2 stall:( I picked up the one and

stay there 2 hours:) There are only 8 seat and 8people.

So we are close to each other and get used to soon.

They serve draft beer hot sake,shouchu and so on.

 After close the stall,They take away the stall all.

They set up it,and take away,day and day.

That's quite interesting:)

If you have any chance to go to stall.

Please enjoy the exparience!!

How about Skiing??@Ciao Ontake Snow resort

I went first snowboarding this year to Ciao Ontake Snow resort.

It takes about 1h 30 min from Takayama station by free shuttle bus.

The weather was perfect!!

You can enjoy beautiful mountain view from the top.

I saw a big snow wall for ice climbing there.

They started it from last year.

It is getting famous activities for climbers!!


Opening hours: 8:30-16:00

1day ticket: 3,900 yen

Daily discount 

Mon: Every one 3,900 yen →1,900 yen
Tue: Men's day 3,900 yen→1,900 yen
Wed: Beginners day 5,000 yen includes ski gears and rental wears
Thu: Lady's day 3,900 yen → FREE!!


Love flowers!

I looove flowers!!
Probably that comes from my childhood...
My mother used to take lessons in Japanese flower-arrangement so she is familiar with flowers. We often went for a walk together when I was little and she taught me about flowers while walking.

I walk a lot after moved to Kyoto City and feel happy every time when I found some flowers.

I love the fragrance of orange osmanthus which makes me feel autumn.

In early winter, I found that sasanqua petal is shaped like a heart.

And now, Japanese allspice gives off nice and sweet smell.

I love every kind of flowers and would be very happy if someone gives me ;P


Good morning!

I'm Yui from Kyoto Hana Hostel.

It's getting cold these days.
Also, it's snowing outside here in Kyoto.

I used to make lots of snowman when I was a little.

Snow is so much fun,
but please be careful. Streets are icy today.

Hiroshima meipuru-pu

Hello. This is Hiro From J-Hoppers Hiroshima.

In Hiroshima,most of sites are accessible from Hiroshima station(south exit) by street car.

But if you travel with Japan Rail Pass, you can use Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus called "Hiroshima meipuru-pu" for free!

The bus starts from Hiroshima Station(Shinkansen-guchi exit) and passes major tourist spots in the city including Hiroshima Castle, the Atomic Bomb Dome and the Peace Memorial Park.

And it is also very easy to use,
get on the bus and when you are ready to get off, just hand it to the driver. They will return it after checking.

If you don't have a Japan Rail Pass,
here's the details about fare!
Single ticket
200 yen/ Adult (12 years or older)/per ride
100 yen/ Child (6-11 years)/per ride

One-day pass400 yen/ Adult
200 yen/ Child

*You can also use an IC card, "PASPY" / "ICOCA" to pay for the fare.

I think it is very convenient way to transfer from Hiroshima station to city center after you arrived Hiroshima by Shinkansen(Bullet train) from other cities.

Hope it helps you make your trip more enjoyable!!

Me versus Dharma LOL

Hi there ! It's Madi from Q-beh :)

Recently I went to Toji-In as I have been wising to visit.

This is a Buddhist temple of the Rinzai Tenryu sect located in Kita ward, Kyoto and close from Tenryu-Ji and Kinkaku-Ji aka Golden Pavilion.

I assume that this place is not famous as much as other main places to foreign tourists.
Thus this place is pretty quiet and you can chill out as long as you want.
Plus this one also has nice and cozy Japanese garden.

But these are not the reason why I have been wising to visit.

So then why ?

Here is the answer.

Ta-da ! This is signature of Toji-In ! (for me :P)
So there is the huge size of Dharma drawing in the main area and welcome you friendly.

Since I saw a picture of this somewhere... maybe a text book of history at the school... ?
well anyway, I have been dreaming to see this and finally I made it !

I can't remember the exact history to tell you but it doesn't matter for us does it !? This drawing just attracts me so much coz it has a friendly face and also somehow unique and little handsome :)

So I was soooo glad when I finally saw this. Just sad thing was I could make it just before the closing time so couldn't spend much time as I wished to chill out and have green tea as their another signature thing there :( Maybe next time !

If you are willing to visit somewhere not on your guide books, this place might be good for you !

Thank you for reading through :) See you next time !

Did you go to ''Hatsumode''??

Happy New Year !!

This is Haru from Osaka Hana Hostel.

Do you know one of Japanese cultures '' Hatsumode(初詣)''??

New Year's Day is the biggest festival for all Japanese and is celebrated throughout the country.

''Hatsumode'' literally means the first visit to a shrine on New Year's Day, Japanese go to shrines to make wishes for the coming year : )

Osaka Tenmangu has large number of visitors every year on this period!!

【Osaka Tenmangu Shrine】

Address : 〒530-0041 2-1-8 Tenjimbashi,Kita-ku,OsakaCity

Normally we visit them during the first few days after the holiday.
10days have already passed from the 1st of January, but never mind.
Your feeling is important!!!

Japanese go to shrines to make wishes for the coming year : )
So I suggest that you visit to the shrine, please experience our culture.

Thank you for reading !!

Wishing for a snowy new year

It is an unusually warm winter, as every one can feel it, but still in Takayama temperature drops to sub-zero. What is more troubling, though, is the lack of snow this year, which without doubt disappoints tourists coming see the white landscape (the locals seem not the least bit troubled by it as the absence of snow means less work clearing away the snow). A few days before, knowing that it would snow during the night, I woke up early hoping to see a white Takayama. I was not disappointed. It did not snow much but I was excited nonetheless. I went out for a walk and left my footprints on the ground for the first time year. I do hope that the weather can return to normality somewhat next year. I am sure this is the wish of most tourists coming in the next few months!

Do you know a cat cafe in Kyoto ?

Do you like cats ?
Then Here's the place you should go !

This is called cat cafes ,It's a popular place for all generation people .

The place I visited was a kind of huge ,
Floors are made by Tatami ,and you can see more then 15cats!

All cats are used to touched by people so they are friendly !
Most of them were sleeping all the time ,but once you get a food to give them (it's 100¥),you would be so surrounded by them !lol

After enjoying with adorable cats,you can move to a cafe space which is just located next to the cats area .

Cats are not allowed to be in this cafe,
So everything is so clean and comfortable!

I would recommend to get your face down on some cats chilling out like this ⬇︎

Ahhh,so relaxing !!!!
However ,after you do this ,Cats definitely 
Try to run away though .

If you liked it ,you should go !!

This is something about Christmas

Last year we had a lovely White Christmas.  Due to the global warming, Takayama is very warm this year.  I would like to share some interesting findings in Japan which are different from where I come from.  While I was reading the local magazine, there are many advertisements about Christmas cakes and at the same time I saw that the Christmas cakes are sold in supermarkets and convenient stores as well.  The most interesting thing is that the cakes will become half-priced during 25 December late night and 26 December.  I was very surprised as I have a feeling that 26 December, 2016 is the boxing day which should be considered as Christmas.  My colleagues explained that Japanese consider 26 December, 2015 is not Christmas and as New Year in Japan is 1 January, thus Japanese will change their mindset to looking forward to New Year on 26 December, 2015.  There is also an old saying that women over 25 years old are the half-priced Christmas cake on 26 December 2016.  I find it very funny!! 

Last but not least, Santa Claus in Honmachi, Takayama also changed to beckoning cat
(招き猫) on 26 December.  I feel a little bit sad of seeing the beckoning cat on boxing day and always hope that Santa Claus can stay a little bit longer on boxing day…..