Backpackers Hostel "J-Hoppers" & "Hana Hostel"

Another entertaining place near J-Hoppers Osaka

In the japanese traditional games there is one I particularly enjoy to play. It is called Go (Igo in japanese). This is a reflexion game which exists since several centuries. The rules are actually extremely easy to learn. Even very young child can enjoy the game. But becoming a strong player is incredibly difficult. Nowadays it's mainly played in Japan, China, Corea and Taiwan, but more and more people enjoy it in Europe and America and (rare) professional players appeared outside Asia.

The goal of the game is to share a board in two areas by aligning stones one by one to draw borders. The winner is the one who have the biggest area surrounded by his stones. This is a positive way of thinking compare to games like chess : you start from a clean board to construct territory instead of starting with a board filled with chess pieces and looking for killing them. Further more it requires intuition and not only calculation power has the board is so big that even current computers still aren't able to compute enough far away to be sure to win. There is also a psychologic dimension in this game. There is a saying about igo : "common people play cards, kings play chess, gods play igo"...

Near J-Hoppers Osaka you have a wonderfull place to enjoy Igo : the Nihon Ki-in. This is the national federation of game of go. It's located just behind the HEP Five building in front of the shinkansen station, at the 6th floor of the HEP Five Annex Building. Open hours are from 10:00 to 21:30 every day, except on sunday (until 18:30 only). The entrance costs 1200 yen. It's a little bit expensive but you will have a beautifull goban (the igo board) and stones, comfortable chairs and a spacious room to enjoy the game as long as you want. There is also a small shop to buy items related to the game, books to improve your level, or even fan decorated by calligraphy made by the most powerfull players of Japan. If you stay in Osaka for a long time you can even think about taking lesson with a real professional !

I would really enjoy to go there and play a game with you ! :-)

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