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!!

Coolest Tattoo !!

On the other day I was shown a tattoo by a guest from Australia.

His name is Aidan and he had stayed here for two weeks. It was amazing for us to see how much he loves buying Japanese merchandise featuring cartoon characters.

One day he asked me where he can buy manga (Japanese comic) titled "Ghost in the Shell". I was so excited when he asked me that because it was my favourite animation work/story. The Japanese title is "攻殻機動隊" and I think it is one of the best animation work of the world.

Anyway, he said it is his favourite one as well and showed me a tattoo on his arm.

To me, for sure, this is the coolest tattoo I have ever seen.

If you like animation and do not understand what this tattoo means, just watch all the "Ghost in the Shell" series!! Recommended!

Great Cyclist came to Hiroshima !!

So far, many cyclists have visited Hiroshima from around the world. Recently a great Japanese cyclist came to J-Hoppers Hiroshima!!

His name was Hirai, from Nagoya all the way down to Hiroshima by normal single speed bicycle, without pannier bag (he was carrying a backpack on his back!). The day he arrived, he had ridden about 150km from Kurashiki in roughly 12 hours. In total he rode about 500km in just 5 days from Nagoya by single speed bicycle. What a tough cyclist he is!!

I used to be a cyclist, so I can understand how great he is. Normally cyclists travel by MTB or Road racer with over 20 speeds, and have pannier bags, but his style of travel is very simple. He is so cool!!

He was planning to ride across Kyushyu island and he'll be in Yakushima. When you see him on the route 2 or 3, please cheer for him!!

One-day trip to Onomichi!

Hi there! This is Chika from J-Hoopers Hrioshima.This is the first blog for me.

I took a day off and visited to Onomichi which is the east side of Hiroshima.
It is takes around 40 minutes or a bit more from Hiroshima station.

We were starving when we reached Onomichi.That's why we run in the Ramen restaurant which is really famous.Also my manager highly recommend this Ramen place for me.
It was really tasty!!It looks a bit rich but the tast is really light and good!!
I recommend you to order some dumpling as well.

After had lunch,We went up to Senkoji temple by ropeway.
Here is the most popular sightseeing spot in Onomichi, visitors to Onomichi first come to see "Senkoji Temple"; "The Path of Literature" where you will find many stone monuments inscribed with famous authors' works.
From the observatory at the top of the park, you can enjoy a 360 degree panorama view of many islands in the Seto Inland.

There were also lots of strange rocks in Senkoji teple.I wore a skirt though, I climb these rocks !!That was really hard actually but we got a great view from the top of the rock.It's worth alot!

When we were coming down from Senkoji temple.
We found the cafe which is called'Fukurou no Yakata'(castle of owl) and one of my manaer's favorite place.It was really quiet and cozy,good place to relax.

There are a lot of to see,visit n do in Onomichi.
So why don't you have a plan to go there on your trip?

Thank you very much for having stayed here for 4 months

Last September a Japanese girl showed up to ask “Do you have a room tonight?”
Her name is Akina from Fukuoka in Japan.After she had finished working
in Toyama she visited Takayama on the way home.
She was supposed to stay here for a couple of nights but she always
extended one more night every day.She started working in Takyama.She ended up staying here for four months.She left here the other day.

She is kind like a sister for our staff.
She loves having alcohol after job and she looked very happy when she
had it. That made us happy too.

Thank you for what you have done for us and for staying here.Cheers
I hope that people like Akina would come here and get stuck here for
long time and enjoy the moment here sharing time with us.

Kiyomizudera for free ?

The other day I went to take pictures of Kiyomizudera to make a new postcard of Kyoto :

This point of view is with no doubt the most famous of this temple. This is the view from the second platform, at 奥の院 (okunoin).

Do you know you can go there for free ??

The entrance fee is due only to enter the main building. Others buildings are actually freely accessible, as long as you know how to reach them without passing through the main building !!! ;-)

There are two solutions. The first one requires some hiking in the wood : from the hiking course on the crest of the mountains above the Kiyomizudera there is a path going down to the rear of the main building. That's not the easiest solution but if you like nature it can be a funny way to discover this temple. You can see the path on this Google map.

The second solution is quite easier but ugly with consideration for the landscape. From the intersection gojoudoori (五条通) - higashioodoori (東大通), instead of going around the toribeyamataishakutennoutsuumyouji (鳥辺山帝釈天王通妙寺) on the north side along gojozaka (五条坂), walk along the highway 1 to go around on the south side. You will see a stairway on your left, pass it and continue to reach a second stairway, still on your left. Climb it to reach a graveyard, then without entering the graveyard keep on walking toward east. You will soon reach a small road in the wood. There is also a walking path going up in the woods from there, this is a path connected to the one I'm talking about in the first solution. Turn left and follow the road which will lead you to the 子安の塔 (coannotou, which is under renovation at the moment). From there you can easily access the second platform by walking up the touristic path. You can see this path on this Google map.

Winter waterfalls

I went to Utsue-48-waterfalls in early January, 2010.
It was snow world all over.

The falls (and the park) are one of the most famous waterfalls in Hida region.
It is about 30 minutes by car or by bus.
From spring to autumn, a lot of tourists visit there and are enchanted by the natural scenic of beauty .
But now, in mid winter, the snow blocks people's way and there was nobody except an old caretaker.

Utsue falls winter view (January 2010)

Utsue falls summer view (June 2009)
Maybe the same place as the upper photo??

I have been there last summer. At that time I went to the end (top) of the waterfalls taking about 1 hour, but this time we somehow managed to the first small waterfall near the entrance of the park.

It is almost impossible to visit there without snow shoes. We are going to buy some snowshoes for ourselves and our guests.
Why don't you enjoy (or struggle with) the powdered snow with us in Takayama !

Utsue-48-waterfalls in summer (Youtube movie)

Utsue-48-waterfalls in winter (Youtube movie)

Amazing Street Performance!

Do you know 'Blue Man Group'??

Blue Man Group is a creative organization originally from NY. The organization produces theatrical shows and concerts featuring music, comedy and multimedia in all over the world!
(Link to Blue Man Group: )

As I informed on the J-Hoppers Hiroshima's blog, we had two back band members of Blue Man Group in Tokyo here at J-Hoppers Hiroshima the other day.

They had street performance on Motoyasu Bridge in the Peace memorial Park everyday while they were in Hiroshima.

Yuichi Fujisawa(Lou) played Dulcimer and Shuki Maeta played Djembe.

It was AMAZING! Everyone stopped to listen to it. It was my first time to see Dulcimer. The sound is kind of similar to Japanese instrument, Koto and very beautiful.

On that day, their music expanded to the world from the Peace Park.

They will come back to perform again.
So please keep checking this blog for the informations!

Lou, Shuki, we will see you soon again!=)

Do you know "Postcrossing" ?

I've found recently a funny project on Internet. It's called "Postcrossing".
The idea is "“send a postcard and receive a postcard back from a random person somewhere in the world!". You just need to create an account to be selectable by the software. Then someday, somewhere, another 'postcrosser' will get the address you registered to send you a postcard. In the opposite way you can ask the software to pick up someone randomly and give you the address where to send your postcard. The 'completely random' aspect make the experience very funny ! You can also track your postcards, see how many kilometers they've ran.
No money, advertisement, whatever hidden information collecting behind, that's simply for the pleasure of making someone happy by altruism. The project has already seen 3,602,766 postcards sent, covering a distance of 491,935 laps around the world !! The activest japanese customer has sent 1162 postcards and received 1134 ! Do you feel like competing her ? ;-)
I've sent my first one and am waiting impatiently to receive my first one ! Will you join ? It may be a funny way to promote Japan and J-Hoppers, and I know a nice guy who have a lot of beautiful postcards of Japan at your service if you need ;-)

Hida Takayama's Bar

There had been a time like these; when one locks one's self within; merely struggling to grasp the aria. This guy on my right hand side is Waseem, my amigo from Spain Granada, and to my left is a bartender from Red Hill Bar in Hida Takayama.

Cheers! in other words "In vino veritas". Most of the modern populace may not utilize this antediluvian expression, but it used to be a well-known Latin phrase. There's definately a "fear and loathing" (Hunter S. Thompson) of losing the beauty and refinement of words.

At the bar, where man releases, unravels, unloads the wisdom of our burdens

Please do not go home after just one bar. This picture is another bar, "Rhyme" in Hida Takayama. This is my bloody mary after work!

The Instant Ramen Museum

It's common now that Non-Japanese people like Japanese Instant noodle.. we quite often see our guests eat them in our kitchen or TV lounge..

Their tastes have been improving more and more, and I can say Japanese Instant food is the best in the world(of Instant food) ! (though I don't eat them often..)

However, have you heard that there is a place you can make your own instant noodle in Osaka?This is the place for that,"the Instant Ramen Museum" in Ikeda city !

I went there with my Hong Kong friend who came to Japan for 4 times already, and it was so much fun!!

"Chicken ramen", which is the first instant noodle in the world, was invented in 1958 by Mr.Momofuku Ando in a small hut in his backyard, using only daily things we use in the kitchen etc.. without any special machines.
You can see all his history and tons of their products, and try to make your own ramen at the end!

If you made a reservation, you can make "Chicken ramen" from beginning to end.
(You can try it without booking in advance, but I recommend to book before you go, because it's very popular and almost everyday are full.)
*this page is written in Japanese,but you can see photos of process. It costs 500yen.

Otherwise, you can try "My cup noodle factory" without booking.
We did this, and it's actually very fun enough!!

Step 1:Buy a cup at the vending machine.
It's 300 yen, but there is nothing else you need to pay there!
(no admission fee)

Step 2: Draw a picture or write anything you want!

Step 3: Wait on a line and a staff put noodle into our cup

Step4: Choose a favorite soup flavor and 4 topping ingredients

Step 5: Put a cup into a thin plastic bag, and evacuate the air

Step 6: Put a cup into airbag and pump air.

then, FINISH!!

After 3 weeks later, I ate this my own noodle in my house, and noticed that the original message on a lid at the first tie. Also, the taste was the best instant noodle I've ever had!It's definitely one of highly recommend place in Osaka!

Such a great view from Miyajima♪

Hi there!

Today was freezing cold - it's supposed to be the coldest day this winter.

2 of our nice guests , James and Mathijis gave us some great pictures taken from the top of Mt Misen, Miyajima.

James and mathijis

Winter in Japan is cold and sometimes we feel a little down, but the sun is usually shining - and as can see - you can enjoy Miyajima during any season:)

It's about a 40 min trip from J-hoppers Hiroshima, and then a round trip of around 2 hours by cable car and foot to the summit. Be sure to check out Itsukushima Shrine at high tide to see it (and the gate) "floating" - and the island itself also has quite a nice atmosphere.

We hope you'll have a great time in Hiroshima!!

Fireworks in winter!

Do you think that fireworks are events only in summer?

I saw Tezutsu (hand-holding) Fireworks on the 11th of January with snow.
It was held at Hida Earth Wisdom Center.
(10min drive by car or bus from J-Hoppers Hida Takayama)

Also this place had an event " ice and light"
There were sculptures made from ice.
The sculptures were illuminated with the light and twinkle like a diamond.

The Tezutsu Fireworks mark the start of this event.
Fireworks are set off bamboo cylinders handheld by "shooters",
who got showers of sparks from fireworks, creating extremely exciting scenes.

I love the moment when the bottom of the cylinder came off with a big sound.

1st Mt. Fuji, 2nd Hawk, 3rd Aubergine


What was your first dream in 2010 ?
It's said in Japan if you can see even one of them in your first dream of the year, you would have a good year.

Unfortunately, I saw none of them.... but viewed the real Mt. Fuji.

These photos were taken in Owakudani that is a volcanic valley with active sulphur vents and hot springs in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It is a popular tourist site for its scenic views, volcanic activity, and especially, Kuro-tamago — a local specialty of eggs hard-boiled in the hot springs. The boiled eggs turn black and smell slightly sulphuric; consuming the eggs is said to increase longevity. Eating one is said to add seven years to your life. (Wikipedia)

To know more about Owakudani, please visit this site. Owakudani Tourism Centre

J-Hoppers Hiroshima will be featured on a live-broadcast radio show

J-Hoppers Hiroshima will be featured on a live-broadcast radio show on the 9th of January. The theme of the show will be "travel". Please come to the living room around 9:20AM this Saturday (on the 9th of January), if you would like to appear on the live-broadcast radio show!!

You'll be a popular foreigner in Hiroshima!!

Kyoto Winter collection 2010 (?)

Paris ? London? ... No~~~~~ Kyoto is Best !!

Kimono collection 2010 @ J-Hoppers SHOWCASE
Good Kimono with Nice Guys!(?)
We will accept any offers from New York, Milano,and any other collections :-)

Love & Peace!
Laugh & Peace!!
Make a nice Smile and big Happiness!!

Kotoshimo yoroshiku 2010

Happy New Year !!

We wish you all a wonderfull year 2010 !

May peace, happiness and harmony fulfill this new year.
We also wish you a lot of beautiful travels all over Japan and the World !!