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!!

Kushi-age movie in Kyoto hostel

We had a kushi-age party in Kyoto J-Hoppers hostel the other day.
Kushi-age is one of the Japanese foods.
Tempura is more famous for deep-fried stuff, but kushi-age is also very popular especially in Kansai region.
It is very easy to cook.
The recipe is provided in the movie.
You can try, too.
Have fun !

Enthusiastic Tigers fans

I went to Koshien Baseball Stadium to see Hanshin Tigers game.
Since I live in near this stadium, I have a opportunity to see it very often and I can hear the fans shouting with pleasure at my house.

The crazy fans standing by me was shouting in a hoarse voice all the time. Their hoot is quite funny.
I would say that some of Osakan slangs is the most rude word in Japan. It sounds like they are picking a fight with a player. I always doubt that they really like Tigers.

There are several conventions and rules of Tigers fan.

1.At the bottom of 7th inning, all the Tigers fans release a balloon.
2.If Tigers wins, fans sing a team song "Rokko Oroshi"
3.When Tigers grabs for the chance, fans stand up and start the standing dance.

Remember Tigers is one of the most popular team of all professional baseball teams.
It could be difficult for you to get a ticket at the weekend. Even though weekday the possibility to get one is not high.

It takes about 30 min from J-Hoppers Osaka. If you have any question, or want me to help to buy a ticket, just ask me at J-Hoppers Osaka.

You can buy these Tigers goods at Tiger shop by the stadium.

P.S. I appreciate J-Hoppers Staff Shogo for giving a ticket.

Tenjin Matsuri Festival Calendar

Kyoto has Gion Festival, Osaka has Tenjin Festival ! Not as long (only two days) but another event that you CAN'T miss if you're in the area and if you want to enjoy japanese traditional culture.
Then here comes the detailed schedule of the events that will be hold the 24th and 25th (for more details, please refer to the beautiful website made by the Osaka City Tourism Office)

on the 24th

8:00 Dance at the Tenmangu Shrine
9:00 The sacred float is put on the river in front of the Osaka City Hall
10:00 Dance at the Tenmangu Shrine
11:00 Parade at Tenjinbashisuji
13:00 The Mikoshi arrive at Tenmangu Shrine
15:00 The taiko parade from the Tenmangu Shrine
16:00 The floats come to visit the Tenmangu Shrine
18:00 Dance in the Osaka Amenity Park
19:00 Noh Performance in the Osaka Amenity Park

on the 25th

11:00 Dance in the Tenmangu Shrine
14:00 Ritual Shinto in the Tenmangu Shrine
15:00 to 17:00 Parade from the Tenmangu Shrine to the river (in front of the City Hall)
19:00 Parade of the boats on the river
20:00 Fireworks
21:00 The procession returns to the Tenmangu Shrine

And here comes a copy of the map edited by the Tourism Information Center :

click on it to open it bigger,
check for the eye marks for interesting points of view

I LOVE Gion Matsuri !

Last week I went three times to Gion Matsuri. Weather wasn't perfect but enough to enjoy and take pictures, so let's share some of them ...

Welcome on board of Naginatahoko

Lanterns of the Kikusuihoko

My beloved Funehoko

Musicians training in the Naginatahoko

The Kankohoko waiting on Shijo Avenue the night after the parade

The Naginatahoko during the parade on Oike Avenue

The Sacred Child

The floats on Oike Avenue

And the festival is not over : I hope to see the last Mikoshiharai on the 28th.

No,5 best hostel in Japan!!

Hi there!

We are ranked No,5 best hostel in Japan (Hostelworld)!!
We hope to be No1 next year!!

Denizens of Japan by CrAzyyUya tRyiNg tO Be gOOd

I was very lucky to encounter a bufonidae in Japan. I had never seen such a thing in my life. Whatta facinating creature they are, aren't they?

Discarded cicada skin at the temple in Kiyomi. Kenji found it!!

Japanese Hydrangea commenced to peep from the ground. A detailed awareness; such a fascinating tune this one pervades in the air today. Man, plants are just so psychedelic, aren't they? here's a good pose of them

and another big one just for you!

I got more pics, but I shall close this for now

Gion matsuri events calendar

It's already more than one week after Gion Matsuri started but this short translation (from the official website) of its calendar will serve you every years (all the dates are as of July). This is very short and you will probably want more informations, but at least it gives a good overall of what to look for during this fabulous event ...

* From 1st to 5th

- Kippuiri : The managers of the yamaboko gather and pray for the safety of the festival.

- Nikaihayashi : Training of the musician of the yamaboko begins

- Naginatabokochigo osendo : Introduction of the selected sacred child to the Gods in Yasaka shrine

* On the 2nd :

- Kujitorishiki : Order of procession of the Yamaboko is decided randomly at City hall.

- Yamabokochoushasan : Each manager of the yamaboko go to pray for the safety of the floats at Yasaka shrine.

* On the 5th :

- Chigomaihirou : The sacred child is introduced to people in the city.

* On the 7th :

- Ayakasabokoshasan : The 6 servants of the sacred child go to pray at Yasaka shrine.

* On the 8th :

- Miyabiaosendo : Geiko serving during the festival go to pray to the Yasaka shrine

* On the 10th :

- Shinjiyousuishinarai : The water used to wash the Mikoshi is taken from the Kamogawa river and brought to the Chuugenji temple.

- Omukaezyouchin : On the evening a procession of lantern crosses the city toward the washed Mikoshi.

- Mikoshiarai : Mikoshi are got of from Yasaka shrine and get washed on Obashi bridge (on Shijo avenue) with the water of the Kamogawa river.

* From the 10th to the 13th

- Shinarai : Purification ceremony of the Yamaboko

- Hokotate : Construction of the Yamaboko

- Hokohikizome : Test of good construction of Yamboko by making them move on few meters.

* On the 12th :

- Araretenjinsanhanmandosai : Every 25 years a special ritual is hold on Araretenjinsan (next one in 2022)

* On the 13th :

- NaginataBokochigoshasan : The sacred child is blessed in Yasaka shrine.

- Hisayokomagatachigoshasan : The sacred child performed a ritual riding a horse in Ayatokunaka shrine.

* From the 13th to the 15th :

- Yamaken : Ending of the construction of the Yamaboko

- Choukaishokazarituke : Packing back all the tools used for the construction

* From the 13th to the 16th :

- Gionbayashi : The Yamaboko are on display

- Kikusuihokochounochakai : A tea ceremony is performed

* On the 15th :

- Tokidatetate : An ornament of bamboo is built and offered from people of Takahashichou.

- Mitaraiidobiraki : People participating to the festival wash their face and hands with water of a sacred well at karasumanishikouji.

- Yoimiyasai : The Mikoshi are displayed in Yasaka jinja

* From the 15th to the 16th :

- Yoiyama / Kazariseki : Yamaboko are decorated, treasures of Yamaboko owners are on display in their houses, and music performance are hold all around.

- Byoubusai : Old paintings and screens are dispayed to everyone

- Housangyouji : Kagura is performed in Yasaka shrine.

* On the 16th :

- Kenchasai : Tea ceremony is hold in Yasaka shrine.

- Ennougyoujasangomatakikuyou : A service for the dead is hold by itinerant monk.

- Hiyorikagura : The passengers of each Yamaboko parade in Teramachi and Gion while playing music

- Abarekannon : The statue of Kannon is set up in the Minamikannon hoko

* On the 17th :

- Yamakazari : Yamaboko are equipped for the parad.

- Yamabokojunko : the 32 Yamaboko parad in the street.

- Kujiaratame : The order of procession as decided previously is supervised by the mayor of Kyoto.

- Shimenawakiri : The rope holding the ornament of bamboo offered during Tokidatetate is cut by the sacred child

- Yasakajinjayouhai : A sacred branch of tree is offered to the God at Yasaka shrine.

- Shinkousai : The Mikoshi are taken off from Yasaka shrine and brought to the city through the Obashi bridge.

* On the 23rd :

- Senchakenchasai : Tea ceremony in Yasaka shrine

- Ohakeshinji : A vegetal ornament is built around the tori of Sanjoushinmachi

* On the 24th :

- Hanagasajunkou : All those who have participated in the festival parade from the city hall to the Yasaka shrine where a lot of artistic event are hold.

- Kankousai : The Mikoshi return to Yasaka shrine.

* On the 25th :

- Kyogenhounou : Kyogen is performed in Yasaka shrine.

* On the 28th :

- Mikoshiarai : The Mikoshi are washed once again in the Kamogawa river.

* On the 29th :

- Shinjizumihoukokusai : The Gods are informed that the festival is over in Yasaka shrine.

* On the 31st :

- Ekijinshanagoshisai : A big wheel of sprout is made in Yasaka shrine. Those who pass through are protected from bad things.

Shirakawago and Amou Wetland

We went to another short tour to Shirakawa-go - Amou wetland.
Shirakawago is about 50 km from J-Hoppers Hida takayama Hostel. 40-50 minutes by car or bus. This is one of the must-see places in the central Japan

At first, we went to a UNESCO World Heritage Shirakawago Village. The village was designated as a World Heritage in 1995 for the unique traditional way of houses' architecture called "Gassho Zhukuri". People are still living in the fantastic houses and Shirakawa-go is a "Living Heritage". Some of the houses are museums at the same time. You can enter with a small fee (300-500 yen) and learn the history of the village and the features of the houses. Some run inns (Minshuku) and it may be a good idea to stay one of the inns. The rates are quite reasonable (6000-9000 yen pp/pn for a private room with 2 meals).

from the top of the hill in Shirakawago Village

Amou wetland is about 10km east of Shirakawago. There are 3 waterfalls on the way. We can approach the second one quite closely.

One of the 3 Amou waterfalls.
The other 2 falls are not aproachable.

After some sharp turns of the mountain road, we arrived at Amou Wetland. We need to pay 500 yen pp as a maintenance fee. There are some walking routes in the wetland. We can also climb Mt. Momi-nuka on the other side of the wetland, if you like. It is around 4 hour hike if you climb the mountain, otherwise, we can enjoy around 2 hour walking on the boardwalk in the wetland.

Sometimes in the woods, sometimese crossing rivers,
up and down, boardwalk and wooden stairs...
variety of trails attracted me much.

Walking in the native forest

Around the wetland, we saw some old-growth beechen forests and Katsura forests. Even though 2/3 of Japan is mountains, it is not very easy to see a beautiful natural scenery. We walked though those interesting native forests, crossing some small stream (too clear!) and took a rest by some bogs with full of small flowers.

Big Katsura trees.. I don't know what the tree
is called in English.
It looks kind of spiritual.

, there is no way without a car or taxi. J-hoppers Hida Takayama Hostel sometimes organize one-day tour with a small fee. If you want to feel real Japanese nature, please come over and kick the reception in the back !

J-Hop Tour Hida Takayama - We provide you with a budget bus tour to Shirakawa-go from Takayama. Shirakawa-go ( Site with traditional thatched roof houses. ) is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. We will take you back to the Japanese good old days. View the website of J-Hop Tour Hida Takayama

Cycling Kyoto; Bodai no taki, Ukyo-ku

I went to cycling the other day. Usually, I don't have the specific objects before pedaling, just turn the front wheel to the direction. At this time, I had a thing to see. A waterfall called Bodai no taki which is located in Ukyo-ku Keihoku. Probably, I was affected by the waterfall-watching tour J-Hoppers Hida Takayama had organized.

Start from Senbon-Kitaoji through Bukkyo Uni. , Genkou-an and Koetsu-ji and get into the wood. There is a very old teahouse namaed Kyomi touge chaya on the way. The name means a teahouse on the Kyoto viewing pass. My shirt was wringing wet with sweat.

I had hoped to see the city between trees, but forgot to see it, and have been the backside of the mountain already.

Take the way to Sugisaka, and soon see a shrine dedicated to Ono no Michikaze who is known as God of Calligraphic.

Go to west like a drawing an arc, then pass Nakagawa villege, get back to the Tokaido shizen hodou. For a while later, you will see Bodai no taki.

This is that. A small elegant curtain... You have to carry your bike sometimes on the way back to Takagamine.

Here is the route.

See the map ofKyoto Cycling Bodai no taki on Google map

Hida Takayama Firework Festival

Ok, they have done this festival for 51 times in the past. It is going to be my first to attend this festival here, in Hida Takayama.
For human dynamos, this is a good stuff man. Come and check it out.
Well, it's a festival so I'll need a flask of brandy or something. You want beers man? well, I'll share my special sauce with you if don't got any.
These are the pics from last year. Cheers bro!!
Oh yeah, so it's on the 29th of this month. See you anon

Tempura Night★

The other night, I held a Tempura party at J-hoppers Hiroshima.

So many guests joined in it and the room was full of hungry people!

The main chef!

Tempura is a classic Japanese dish of deep fried lightly-vegetables and seafood. We also served Somen noodles too. They are very thin white noodles and often eaten in summer time.

All the guests seemed to be enjoying the food and meeting new people at the party.

It's always by chance that people from all over the world stay here this small hostel at the same time. I think meeting new people is one of the most fun parts of travelling. I would love to have these kinds of parties more to make opportunities for people to enjoy the time here and share it with people.

 ・ ・ ・ ・ ・

June 5th

I know it's already a months ago...But

it was Tsuru-san's 35th Birthday!!!!

He's a night staff and It's been only few months since he came to this hostel, but he's a big part of J-hoppers Hiroshima already! He's funny and worm-hearted person. Also he's a great chef and always make us happy with his great delicious food!!!

Are you hungry?? Come to J-hoppers to see him!

Happy Birthday!!!!