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!!

Tomato with Suger makes Gold medalist ?


The other days I went to the sports shop in Shin Osaka.

The day was a special day, famous Olympic athletes came and they gave us some advice for materials, for training, and some special foods...

I can accept theirs... almost ... except about foods.

What do you think about what is the best partner with Tomato and Natto?

They said 'Fresh Tomato with suger' and 'Natto with butter' is Good!!

Basically I don't eat tomato and natto. I cannot accept this advice...

'Natto with butter' feels like penalty game:-(

I will try to 'Tomato with Suger' in this summer.
I think that is the most difficult mission for me.
Same as special home work @ summer vacation for schoolchildren

Teppan Jinja

The new restaurant opened yesterday just in front of J-Hoppers Osaka, the name is Teppan Jinja 鉄板神社 !!

"Teppan 鉄板"means an iron plate, and "Jinja 神社"means shrine.
. . An iron plate shrine?? Yes, it sounds strange, and their looking is also very unique, because it looks like an Italian restaurant or a cafe, but it has a big ring of Shinto shrine on their entrance.. and the sign of "Teppan Jinja" in Japanese.

Anyway we imagined that they were a "Teppanyaki" restaurant from their name.
"Teppanyaki" is one of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron plate to cook steak, seafood, vegetable, okonoiyaki, yakisoba etc..

But I was surprised because they cook "Kushiyaki" on an iron plate!
Kushiyaki is skewered food(chicken,beef and vegetables etc.) with bamboo skewer over charcoal, like BBQ.

So, "Teppan Kushiyaki" must be unique and they already seems like very popular in Namba.
Yes, this is their 2nd branch.

The price is not very reasonable, but why don't you try as one of your experience??

Teppan Jinja(Japanese only,but you can see some photos)
http://r.gnavi.co.jp/ka0z602/

Trip to SEOUL : World Cup

Hi there!
How are you enjoying World Cup??

I'm sure there are some under-sleeping people in your class at school or in your office at work from staying up to watch the games all night. Japan is now in the last 16! I'm very impressed and can't wait for the next game on the 29th!

I had a 3-day trip to Seoul with another J-Hoppers Hiroshima staff, Chika last week and I would like to write about the real World Cup atmosphere there!

Our second day of this trip was the 17th and a World Cup game between South Korea and Argentina was on that night. Everyone was in a red shirt since in the morning and all the thing people were talking about was the match all day.

The whole city had that World Cup feel to it.



I passed the Seoul City Hall Plaza around 3:00 pm first.
Some soccer funs were saving spots for the match already!



And we passed the Plaza again around 8:00 pm.

Fans turned out in HUGE numbers
to watch live TV broadcasts of the match!!!

All the streets around the Plaza were closed
and it was full with red!


I couldn't believe there were no cars on streets
and nobody in town during the game.

Too bad we had only 3 days in Seoul this time and couldn't cheer for their team in the World Cup with local funs. But we both were happy to see a part of the fantastic atmosphere!
We loved it!

A New Type of Sauna Experience

中央揃えDokutsu mushiburo in Sensuijima (photo from their website)

Have you heard about Gamban-yoku before?

Gamban-yoku is a type of sauna that is popular in Japan especially among young females.

"Gamban" means bedrock, "Yoku" means to douse.Are you wondering how you can douse in bedrock?
The bedrocks are heated in a nice warm temperature and it’s inserted into the wall and floor. To douse into it, you simply lay down on the floor. Usually you do it with a T-shirt and a pair of shorts on which is provided by the bathhouse.

Just laying down there, you will be surprised at how much you can sweat!

Sweating is considered providing a good effect for your health. It improves the circulatory system and toxin comes out from your body with your sweat. Some Gamban-yoku bathhouses take in aromatherapy, so you can expect not only a detoxification effect but also a relaxation effect.



There is an island called Sensuijima near Fukuyama city (30min Shinkansen ride from Hiroshima). The whole island is kind of like a Spa resort and you can experience unique Gamban-yoku style sauna in caves.





I went there with a friend of mine last weekend. We took a day trip course for 2500yen includes 4 different baths and a lunch! Everyday from 3 in the morning, they put pine tree wood in the fire and put it in caves.Each caves get different type of Japanese herbs for relaxation effect.




After all the wood burns out, you can start Gamban-yoku style sauna with the residual heat.




A course that you should follow is set. Basically after 1 sauna you have lukewarm bath. One of the lukewarm baths was actually the ocean!! They call it “the world largest outdoor bath”:)


Anyway at the last sauna, I was sweating SO much (I don’t usually sweat much) and I felt very good. I though my skin looks brighter and better that when I first came in.


At the end, we had one last Onsen and went home.

Are you a little bit tired of traveling? Feel sore in you body?
Detoxification in Gamban-yoku is a cool (warm!?) way to heal your body!!

Sensuijima Island
Access: Shinkansen from Hiroshima to Fukuyama (30min)
Bus from Fukuyama to Tomonoura (30min)
Ferry ride (5min)

Website: http://www.sensuijima.jp/index.html

The Butterfly form Gifu(Gifu chou)

Hi,there.I have been watching world cup football lately.I have kept running short of sleep.
I am so happy the Japanese quad made through the group league yesterday.

By the way,You might happen hear about butterfly of Gifu called Gifu chou.
It was found at Kanayama town in Gifu prefecture 100 years ago.That butterfly is named as Gifu cho.
My father is butterfly collector. So I used to go catching butterfly with my father.
The butterfly only flies during May . I went to catch the butterfly last month.
It flies only when it is sunny with no wind.I managed to see some.



































It is beautiful isn’t it.






















↑My father keeps the young worn. I hope you don’t say they are creepy..
They will emerge from pupas next May. I can’t wait and see.

Sweets Paradise

How are you doing in this hot and humid weather?

To beat the summer heat, we need to consume food with good quality and enough nutrients.
Though we all know this in our heads, what I really want is totally different, favor quantity over quality... favor sugar-rich sweets over nutrients!

Well, this is why I went to Sweets Paradise with the guests twice recently.

The loveliest couple, Luke and Charlotte from Somerset, England.
They are so into Sweets Paradise!!

Sweets Paradise is a popular all-you-can-eat sweets buffet chain in Japan. They currently operates 30 outlets nationwide and 7 of them are in the Kansai region.

What is crazy about it is that the entrance fee 1480 yen gives you 90 minutes which to indulge and over-indulge in the cakes, custards, ice creams and more that is available.
If you get bored of sweets, they also have some savory items, such as curry, pasta, sandwich, and rice.

But you have to remember that it is not allowed to have food left in your plate. It shows how much Japanese people appreciate and treasure food.

There are always more than 30 kinds of cakes and more than 20 kinds of drinks to take as much as you want. You can also have soft serve ice cream or shaved ice.

You may enjoy dipping some fruits or biscuits in the chocolate fountain!

The deliciously warm and inviting designer decor welcomes you. The dominant reds and white make it seem like we have stepped into a big, fat strawberry and cream cake.

Happy looking boy, Luke

Melani from Hawaii and Bjorn from Sweden

Melani did her best to try all the desserts. I do think she did quite well! Meanwhile, Bjorn seemed very serious about tasting each of them as he is into cooking. In fact, it was interesting to know how he liked it.

How about having a cup of coffee after meal? There are also more than 20 kinds of teas. The herbal tea will give your stomach a break and make you feel relaxed.

Sweets Paradise is like every greedy, sweet-toothed people's dream come true. This is a must-see place if you are in Japan! Test your limits and eat until you can eat no more.

Trip to Seoul !! cultural shock!!








In mid-June,I visited to South Korea with another J-hoppers staff MASA.
That was first time to visiting other Asian country for me.
Since we decided to go to Korea,we had been excited about it.(To be honest,I was too excited to sleep before the night)
It was a little a cultural shock for me when I arrived in Korea.


Firstly,there were so many bikes there!!Most f them are deliverer.That's why they always have so much packages on their buck!Sometime it is cardboard,and sometime it is flowers or
tires!

I tried to take a photo of them.But they always rides so fast!I missed the chance for taking photos....
Besides,They all remodel their bike in own way.
Have you ever seen like this bike before?
My friend( He lives in Korea) told me that They can ride on even on sidewalk.
Coz it is faster that ride on the road.(so scary !!)
It means that they use both side walk and the road as the situation demands!!
I realized that Korean people focus on efficiency.


Secondly,the shings wich mede me surpirised is shop hour.
They are opened till around 4 or 5 am i the morning!!
That was an amzing!It was also first time shopping at the departmnt store aroud 2 am!

Seoul,the city that never sleeps!Why don't you see for yourself??






A 2 days surprise trip

Few weeks ago was my birthday. With my girlfriend we have some kind of "traditional" birthday present : a surprise trip. The one who offers prepare everything in secret and even the day of the trip try to keep the final destination undiscovered as long as she/I can. That's very fun !



This time she did very well... We started by boarding the Shinkasen toward Tokyo. I then expected Tokyo, Nagoya, Mount Fuji, maybe Kamakura ... We got off at Ueno, but she then informs me that we were still far away from the destination. Then we walked to Kitasenju station to catch the Tobu line. Probably I could guess from there where we were heading, but as I wasn't very impatient to guess, I preferred to keep concentrate on my photos. The next train led us across the Tokyo plain at slow pace, with the Tokyo Sky Tree fading even more slowly on the horizon. It's still under construction, but already the biggest building I've ever seen !



Then the local train slowly got off from Tokyo prefecture to enter Saitama prefecture. Then got off from Saitama prefecture to enter Gunma prefecture. Then got off from Gunma prefecture to enter Tochigi Prefecture. It was endless !! Moreover the suburb spreads extensively all over the plain and you feel like never getting out of Tokyo.
But finally rice paddy replaced houses, soon followed by the first curves of the mountain.



We were killing time telling stupid jokes, while the few other passengers, mainly other tourists, were sleeping or waiting with bored faces. She was enjoying being so far without I've guessed. Then, when the train approaches the terminus, the driver announced the bus timetable for the Kinugawa Onsen ! "What a nice idea, for me who still haven't been to a onsen" I thought. "Eh, I guessed !" - "Oh oh, do you love ?" - "Yes ! Onsen is great..." - "What ??" - "We're going to Kinugawa no ?" - "Ah ... not at all ! Eh eh !". And finally when we stopped to change of line a last time I got the answer : Nikko !



Departure time : 7:30, it was already 14:00, we were starving ... When, two stops before the arrival, a old men shout through the opened door "BENTO !!!". We couldn't wait longer, and it was a chance to save some time for the visit, so we rushed to the door. The old men, "come on, it's good, you'd better buy it !" looking at the driver waiting to close the door. Our stomach decided instead of us and we accepted. However, we remind then there was only two stops left. After 2 hours of slow pace traveling, the rush on the food woke us all of a sudden !


Don't hesitate, just press a button !!!

And finally there we are, Nikko, mausoleum of shogun Tokugawa, filled with gorgeous temples and shrines... Architecturally it's definitely worth seeing it. But as my girlfriend said, it looks like it was a big spot for tourist but it's now running slow. Hordes of teenagers on school trip were quite a pain though.



After completing the recommended course, we head back toward Tokyo and arrived there quite late. We stayed in Asakusa district, at Aizuya inn, a small and convenient guesthouse. For dinner, a yakitori in front of Asakusa station ended to be a good surprise : they completely mistook our order and we ate twice and paid half ! On the way back to the guesthouse, Sensouji Temple by night has been a real pleasure too.



The next morning we woke up early to enjoy the city as much as possible. We first went once again to Asakusa to see the temple by day, and its famous giant lantern. The street between the lantern and the temple is also very funny. There are a lot of stands selling colorful souvenirs...







The next step was the Tokyo Tower. We used the one day pass for subway all along the day, very convenient, but with a little criticism : the tiny magnet closing the pocket were my girlfriend held the pass was enough to get it wrong. We had to complain to the staffed gate any time we went in and out, until we find what was the reason ... at the end of the day of course ! The Tokyo tower is very enjoyable. The upper floor is worth the price, and the view very impressive. We hadn't a chance to see Mount Fuji due to air humidity, which is quite frequent as tell us the staff. The tower is said to be the sister of the Tour Effeil, but there is something she missed : open air. That's much more fun feeling the emptiness than being behind a window...





Then we felt like going to the fish market. I had in head the images of the famous hall where the frozen fishes are sold, and which is now only visitable on reservation, so I got surprised by the district just behind it, somehow similar to a bigger and dirtier Nishiki market of Kyoto. We felt hungry and started with a omelet. How comes we ate this in a fish market, I don't know, but it was still good and refreshing. Then we had a more suitable raw fish dish, delicious !





The next destination was the Imperial Palace. And first a little rest on the grass in front of it. It was a bright sunny day and it's been hard to wake up ! Passed the greenery, the approach to the entrance is a looong walk in emptiness. And the famous bridge in front of the entrance, the only thing you will see from the palace, hasn't really impressed me. Anyway that was a "have to go" place I guess. Then we quickly head toward the public gardens of the palace. Once again it took an endless walk, and finally it's been so disappointing : nothing more than a very standard park.





The day was almost over but we still had some time for a quick walk in Shinjuku. Anyway it couldn't have been a slow walk in this bustling district where people as well as building are eccentrics. It's really impressive and I could have spent hours just looking around. But the last Shinkansen back to Kyoto wasn't waiting for us, and that's in a rush that we bought our last souvenirs and only just catched the train !



It's been a very wonderful two days ...