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!!

Let's head out!!

How's it going, everyone? I'm a staff member of J-Hoppers Hiroshima, Mamoru.

I quit a job here at the end of this month. I'm proud of what I could work at J-Hoppers for about 2 years.

Thank you for everyone who have been to J-Hoppers Hiroshima and Hiroshima Hana Hostel!!

And thanks for all our staff members, Mouri-san, Tera-chan, Mikami-san, Kumi-chan, Mako-chin, Chika-chan, Katerin, Souda-san, Kon-san, Tei-san, Tsuru-san, Okamatsu-kun, and Iida-san!!

I think I have wandering nature. . . I rode across Japan, Australia, north and central America on bicycle. And now I'm planning to do a vagabond-style trip again. It's a question how to enjoy life to one's fullest satisfaction, but my singular purpose in life is to enjoy myself.

Many thanks for J-Hoppers!!

Okama in Zao

Just the other day, I took three days off and went to Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture.

There was a breathtaking view of Mount Fuji from the window of the plane. Amazing!

At the time of my arrival the weather was genial. Especially since it is the season of fresh greenery. Warm Sunshine came in through green leaves and the balmy wind felt great. I usually pay no attention to breath, but at that very moment, I could not feel anything but gratitude for it.

Since Sendai is in the Tohoku region, we could still enjoy the ground strewn with cherry blossom petals.

Here is a photo of Okama, which is the symbolic sightseeing place located in Zao, Katta district, Miyagi Prefecture. It is a volcanic lake 1.5km in circumference and 25m deep. The lake lies in the middle of Zao Mountains, which consist of Katta, Kumano and Goshiki mountains. It is also called Goshiki-numa (five-colour pond) because the colour changes several times a day depending on the angle of the sunlight. But it is more commonly known as 'Okama' because its round shape resembles a kettle ('kama' in Japanese).

Fortunately, it was very sunny at the mountaintop, so Okama could be seen clearly. The temperature was pretty high and I did not expect to get sweaty in the face of snow-covered mountains. Uncontrolled ecstatic rapture.

Impressive view of the surrounding mountains. Very wild!

Gyutan (cow tongue) dishes are a specialty of Sendai. I was amazed how thick the slices of meat were. When I eat gyutan in Osaka, they are served thin-sliced, with a lemon wedge. We squeezed the lemon wedge onto them just after grilling. Meanwhile gyutan comes in salt, soy sauce and miso flavours, with cucumber slices in Sendai. They were lovely.

One more thing, Zunda (green soybean) dessert is a must for the Sendai people. I had zunda-mochi, zunda-ice-cream shake and zunda-pudding. They were all tasted wonderful!

I strongly sensed that Sendai is blessed with a good natural environment of lush greenery and water. There are many beautiful leafy avenues even in the middle of the big city. It seemed like they have built a society that can coexist with nature. You could also enjoy so many natural hot springs neat by. If you are thinking of travelling to every region of Japan, I am sure you would love this beautiful city, Sendai.

Autumn has come yet ?

Hi there !
This is Azusa. It's my first post on this BLOG !!

I'm very new of J-Hoppers Kyoto and KYOTO as well.

I've been here over 3 months ,and have been exploring around little by little.
It's very traditional and attractive here in Kyoto. That is why I moved in here !

My friends came over to Kyoto for a short trip the other day.

It was quite fun to see around as one of tourists.
We went to some of the popular places such as Gion and Kiyomizu temple.

One of my favorite place in Kyoto is Ninnaji Temple.

It takes about 20min' by city bus from Kyoto station.

It's a world heritage and builded in 888.
This place changes very diferently in each season.

We've found out that Autumn has come there already !!

Do you know why??

See this picture below ↓↓↓

Can you believe? Some of the maple leaves turned red already !!!
It was adorable to see them in Summer. NO! even before summer !

Kyoto is getting warmer, but I don't feel summer has come here yet.

I've seen beautiful cherry blossom there a month ago ! then now you can see maple leaves.

It feels like time flies sooooo fast !

If you want to feel Autumn before anyone else, go Ninnaji Temple!

The inside of the building is also amazing and very relaxing.

You can have a seat for a while :)

I had a great day off !

Ciao !

Cycling, Lunch, in Uji

New Green tea and nice breeze wind season are coming!!

The other day I went to Uji city with my buddy.
I pedaled about 1 hour for south from J-Hoppers Kyoto.

Do you know 'Nakamura Tokichiro' ? This is one of the famous green tea restaurant in Kyoto.
The days lunch was 'green tea buckwheat noodles with fresh wasabi'.

Green tea buckwheat noodles are very nice!!, fresh(?) so dangerous for me.
If you are not Japanese young TV comedians, you have to mix wasabi with noodle soup securely.
Otherwise, you must take a big reaction :-p Or you wept about strong wasabi taste.
In my case, ...I'm not TV comedian(and not young?)...I wept..;-(

Ah, they have a branch in Kyoto station, too! Nakamura Tokichiro's web page link as below;

If you try green tea buckwheat noodles with wasabi' you have to mix !! Don't miss it!!

Noto peninsula

I went on a road trip to Noto peninsula in Ishikawa prefecture with one of our guests .

It takes at least 2 hours to drive up to the edge of the peninsula from Kanazawa city.

Transportation in Noto peninsula is infrequent.So we recommend you to rent a car if you go there.
Although the weather wasn't good,it was good to drive along the coast line.

The highlight of our trip was Yase Cliff .Yase cliff sticking out to the sea measures up 55 meters in height above the sea level.That scared us.

Yase Cliff ↓

Rock formations are so unique

We went up to Wajima where is the largest town in Noto .
The town is well organized like Takayama.There is a morinig market that local people sell seafoods.

I took him to a Pachinko.It was first time for him to do it.Luckily he won.
So a meal of dinner was on him(yeah!!)

Rakumachi Rakuya 2010

Rakumachi Rakuya is the annual event held between the middle of May and the middle of June. There are various events such as the concert and exhibition, unique one is vinegar tasting. All events are taken place in Machiyas.

So, what is Machiya ? Machiya is traditional townhouses of the city's merchants usually with two floors. It is famous of small front and deep depth, and popularly called "eel's bed". It's because houses were taxed according to the extent of the street frontage, this design came from economic necessity.

There are characteristics in its appearance, koshi (lattice) , mushikomado (literally insect cage window) , shoki-san (the protective god) and more.


It's easy to see machiyas from the outside but difficult to see the inside. Do not miss this opportunity!

Official Opening Party at Kyoto Hana Hostel

Due to the fact that we often struggle to gather people whenever we fix Japanese food thus we had prepared some tacos this time.

Special thanks to Iida san for a couple bottles of great sake, Ooyama san for Chapche and Chijimi (Korean Food), and all the guests for simply joining us for good times

Please come and join us again!

A day of Green Tea picking "Hachijuhachiya"

The eighty eighth evening ,summer comes close .
In fields, in mountains, fresh green leaves are growing.

88th evening is the day counted from the first day of Spring called Risshunn(立春). The fear for late unexpected frost will be gone around the 88th evening. It's a popular old lore in Japan to start tea picking.

Eagerly awaited time of Green tea has come again.
As it's a ritual of early summer for me, I went to Wazuka tea town located in the mountain side (south) of Kyoto prefecture.
This beautiful town up on the mountains are producing a lot amount of famous tea called "UJI TEA".
Although the sales volumes are rely on the popular name of Uji tea for now, they are trying hard to familiarise the name of Wazuka tea.

This year ,we picked teas for governmental competition .
We had to pick more than 20kg of tea leaves which is such hard work because we are only allowed to pick soft and fresh top part of leaves.(up to third leaves )
On the process of making tea,80% of the content moisture will be dewatered. A lot amount of tea is needed to complete a small packet of Tea.

Sky is high, birds are singing.
How beautiful it is to work in a field.
Breeze in the valley cooling our face and bring the comfortable fatigue.
This made our dietary life more joyable and we can get very peaceful sleep.
I've been to so many places in Kyoto and Kyoto prefecture, yet, there are so much more places and things to explore.
I dream to meet those beloved teas to appear in my tea cup soon.
That is sure, I will find beauty of nature and breath of earth within a taste of green lake in my tea cup.

Firefighting Training in HidaFolk Village(Takayama)

Hida Folk Village (Hida no Sato) is an open air museum exhibition over 30 typical farmhouses and other traditional buildings from the Hida region, the mountainous district of Gifu Prefecture around Takayama.

Date : 12th June 2010
Time : From 13:30-
Place :Hida Folk Village (Hida no Sato)
How to get there : 20-30 walk from J-Hoppers Hida Takayama
10min by bus (200yen) from Takayama Bus Terminal


Food Festival in Takayama !!

We had Spring Food Festival in Takayama 22th and 23th of May.

If you go there,
you can have different kinds of local food like this↓↓

Spit-roasted Hida Beef


It is prepared by putting pounded steam rice
onto the skewer and then by grilling it with tare.


It is a Japanese-style waffle.
The most common filling is red bean paste
that is made from sweetened azuki beans.

Other common fillings are custard, chocolate.
The waffle has a shape of Sarubobo.

Rice cracker

It is decorated with sugar paste.

Grilled-Mountain Trout


This food festival is held twice a year in spring and autumn.

The autumn food festival will be held on 11th and 12th of September.

Let's enjoy Local food!!

BBQ party in Osaka

We had BBQ party last week in the backyard of J-Hoppers Osaka, and it's the first time for us..
because we didn't have a space for that, but we'd been wanting to do it since Ken made a small backyard !

We prepared beef, pork, a lot of vegetables, rice balls, and Kiyo made tortilla and baked banana for desert! It's actually a plenty of food, and now we know how many person can enjoy there.. so, we would notify beforehand next time and please come and join us !!

Go Go Hiroshima carp!

I went with some my friends and one of our staff 'Masa' and our guest 'Gar' a couple days ago to Mazda baseball stadium which was opened last year .

This was Masa's first time to go there so it was fun for her.

Hiroshima carp is the home team of Hiroshima.
I like to go to stadium to cheer for Hiroshima Carp rather than in my
house because cheering for them is sooo much fun :)

And there is special performance by the Hiroshima Carp in the 7th inning stretch.
We blow up many balloons fall onto the ground like this↓.

Today's sheets were very nice! it was covered with roof over it to
keep out the sun shine and rain out so it was very conformable. The tickets were only 1600yen.

Please go to stadium when you come to will be a great
fun !

Hello everyone!!

This is Shizuka working at Kyoto Hana Hostel. I am new at here.

This is my first blog!!

...for my fist blog, I want to introduce our guest who stayed at Kyoto Hana Hostel!!

They are from Switzerland. They are traveling all over the world by bicycle!!

She is sooooooo adorable!! She has spent time about 10 months in here!!

It was little bit colder than the usual on that day.
Getting ready for a journey to Hikone in Shiga prefecture.

Bon Voyage!!!
Hope they get there safe, and they are having great time in Japan!!
I am looking forward to hearing all the stories of their traveling when they come back to Kyoto next time!!