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!!

the bird of happiness is・・・

Good evening from hot summer Kyoto!!
How are you doin'  Where are you going for this summer vacation?

I same as always go to football stadium on the week end.
On this weekend our team Kyoto Sanga F.C. got 3 point on the J2(division 2・・・)
But we still on the 17th place・・・even in the J2 league・・・What's gonna happen??

I seemed to Sanga will win this game because I found some goddess bird of victory around stadium today.they brought us a small happiness.

The first pic is very famous couple in Kyoto.

Parsa and Kotono, they are Sanga F.C.'s team mascot.
They are kind of 'YURUKYARA(heartwarming character)'

And, he(She ?) from Tottori, We call him 'TORIPY' a kind of YURUKYARA, too ...

And one more !! Mr. Kitai(キタイくん) He is from Kitaku, Kyoto city.
He isn't YURUKYARA・・・He is TSUYOKYARA(very strong character)

And they brought me some small happiness, too !? Do you know the Japanese toto ?

I will go to the Yakitori house in the near future :-)

Fine noodles Festival in J-hoppers

Japanese have fine noodles in summer.
Usually we put them in a bowl with ice, but we flow and catch them in a small flume on the special day. This is it;

Somebody flow and others catch them very quickly!
It's so funny that they pass through us and go to the bye-bye box.
You are very serious and immature, shouting out "Ohhhh!! my goodness!!" "Shit!"

By the way, fine noodles are very simple taste, so you need seasoned food as well.
They are different from home to home.

Seasoned food in my home is just laver seaweed and baked egg.
Shiso green perilla leaves, Japanese plum and yam will be are good seasoning too!
Tempura must be the best one, ha ha!

Please try this funny Japanese traditional event in your home :)

Sumo tournament in Nagoya

Hello,everybody How are things?

I went to see Sumo tournament in Nagoya( 9th~23rd July).

I didn’t know that the Sumo tournament starts from around 9am,so if you are a big fan of sumo ,you can watch all day long.

The day I went was a very important day when the sumo wrestler called Kaio broke the record for most victories

I was lucky to see him win and achieve the most victories in Sumo history.

Unfortunately he finished his playing career 1 week after he had broken the record.

It is shame that these days Japanese sumo wrestlers are not as strong as foreign wrestlers.

Actually foreign wrestlers rank high so that sumo popularity is not as big as it was ten years ago.

I hope a Japanese new hero will appear in the near future to revive the popularity of sumo.

Next sumo tournament will be held in Tokyo 11th~25th September.

If you are traveling around Japan during that time,it is a good chance to check it out.

Lily garden at Ski resort

Hot humid weather continued for the few day.
So, I escaped to ski resort !
However , there is no snow in summer.

There are ....

Full of lily!

You can try lily ice cream.

More information is below,

A travel writer was born?!

We had the guest who stayed in J-Hoppers Osaka for 1 month, and he went back home yesterday.. we felt like losing one of our staff.
He was very friendly and talked with everybody, really everybody, because he spoke very good Japanese. He also knew about Japanese culture and sightseeing and history.. actually we were taught a lot of Japanese stories..

He always woke up in the early morning and went somewhere, sometimes Nagoya, Shimanami Kaido(Hiroshima and Ehime prefecture) ,Okayama prefecture etc. etc. He used his time very well,
and always gave a lot of information to other guests, so I told him that he could be a good tour guide.
But he was not a tour guide, but he was curious about a travel writer, and luckily he got a chance and he wrote an article in Japan times!

Here is his article :

I hope it would help his new step, and see him next year again !!


me and my friend climbed mt fuji on the 17th.

I thought it was going to be very easy. I didn't almost prepare for it at all.

i should have listened to what my manager, Nori, said though.

I just brought a sport jersey for the night....

We started to climb like 2:30Pm from the 5th station and got to the top at like 8:30 PM. It was much harder than I expected...I even felt dizzy. ahhh I don't wanna go climb up there any more haha

anyway, when we got to the top, the mountain hut was already closed so we had to sleep freezing!!! I was just wearing a T shirt and a jersey lol
so we ended up sheltering in the bathroom with like 10 other foreigners who were ill-prepared hahaha...coldest night of my life!

I hate typhoon!! we could not see the sunrise well.

great experience though.

Arigato & Amedeto Party

Hello from Kyoto!
I finally knocked out cause of this HOT HUMID weather.

In fact, I do eat Somen (noodle) every day.
It is easy and always ready to eat.
It doesn't have much energy though makes me Summer has come.

Well, we had farewell and birthday party at J-Hoppers Kyoto GH the other day.
We have a very nice Flowing Somen kit.

We used real bamboo for the pole.
This is originally from Shizuka(Kyoto Hana Hostel staff)'s granpa!
Thank you so much for such a precious one.


We also did Takoyaki (octopas ball).

I'm not from Kansai district and
I get excited every time I do Takoyaki. It was fun!

our staff ' Fede-chan"(left) 's Birthday and "Yohei"(right) 's farewell was FUN!

Last shot is J-Hoppers Kyoto Crew!

I am very glad we have many staff here now!

☆★☆Hiroshima Minato Yume Fireworks Display☆★☆

The rain season has finished and it's getting hotter and hotter these days in Hiroshima.
The temperature during day time is always more than 30℃... Even it is still in July now, I have no idea how am I gonna deal with this hotness in August which is the hottest month of the year..

One of the best thing s to do in Japan is going to Fireworks display!!!

There was one of biggest fireworks display at Hiroshima port on July 23rd. J-Hoppers Party organizer Mr. Kawase escorted guests from both J-Hoppers and HANA Hostel to there!
People in Japan love to dress up in Kimono and enjoy Fireworks display.

Not only Japanese of cause!

In Both July and August there are lots of Fireworks Display held in Hiroshima! You should not miss it if you are traveling in Japan! Next Firework display in Hiroshima is ..

July 30th

Onomichi city: Onomichi Fireworks Fes 19:30-21:30
Kure city: Kure Firewoks Fes 20:00-21:00

Let's enjoy Japanese style summer together in Hiroshima!!

To the sea

I was woken up by the hardest noise of knocking on the door 7 o’clock in the morning. Of course I had not forgotten about our plan but didn’t expect such an early departure. To the sea.

Six of us (one 5 year –old-boy include) got on the car and headed for the north. There is no beach in Kyoto city. We wanted to see clear water, so decided to go to Takahama beach, Fukui Prefecture. It takes 2 hours drive more or less.

When we arrived at the beach, it was raining. The wave was massive after a typhoon. Tabi-chan, a 5 year-old-boy was the first person. He did not really matter the monster waves and dive into the water. Other four big men (over 30 years old) followed a boy.

A boy and four over 30 years old men stayed in the water until their lips got purple. The summer makes people a little more happy and the time we go back to our childhood .

Hieizan by bicycle

The three highest mountains around Kyoto are Minakoyama (972m), Atagoyama (924m) and Hieizan (848m). I haven't went to Minakoyama yet, but I could enjoy hiking and cycling on the two others several times. However I've never reach the top but by foot. Going there by bicycle was a challenge I was thinking about since long time ago. Then last week I finally decided to fight with the Hieizan !
So I searched an itinerary to the top. As expected there wasn't any road as no one is expecting someone to climb by bicycle. The nearest I could get was Hieidara (400m) on the road 30. After that this is a driveway, forbidden to bicycles. I've actually never ride on the road 30, and always used the road 143 through Yamashina, much easier but ugly, to reach Otsu. So I decided to ride up to Hieidara, and see where to go next once there.
As guessed from the map, the road 30 is a quite beautiful road in the mountain along a river. The traffic was not very dense and I felt reasonably safe with my bicycle. The way up to Hieidara is not very steep but long on the west side of Hieizan, while the east side is much steeper and shorter. Surprisingly there are no beautiful points of view on Kyoto.
At the entrance of the driveway, of course I've been refused to go farther even if I tried. Talking with the men about how to reach the top he told me about another road from Otsu. But he wasn't really clear at all if it was just a hiking course or enough to pass through by bicycle, or even where it was precisely. Also it was quite a pain to go down half the mountain I've climbed so far, and it was a big detour. But I was determined to go as nearer as I can.
From the information I could get through Internet, the only option seemed to me to go down to Otsu, go to the Sakamoto cable car, and climb through the hiking course, hoping it would be not so harsh.
Then I ride down to Otsu. As I said, the east side is steeper than the west. It's been a very fast ride, with several tight curves, on a somehow bumpy road. My brakes were yelling like crazy horses ! I had to take care to the road so it wasn't the most comfortable but still could enjoy the wonderful view on Biwa lake.
In Otsu, the road 47 brought easily to the cable car. This road is a little bit higher than the city, then you can almost always see the lake. It's very nice. And finally I started again to climb through the hiking course along the cable car. Start point altitude is at 80m, top of the mountain is 848m. It's going to be long ! So I took a little rest and refueled myself with fruits and sugar things.
At the beginning the road was ok, made of concrete. Then I've entered the woods but it was still ok. Then rocky parts started to appear and I had to carry my bicycle on my shoulder but it was still ok. And it became more and more rocky, with some sections heavily damaged by the rain. It wasn't ok anymore ! But I could still continue my way up by carrying my bicycle on my shoulder and the path wasn't dangerous. So I keep on fighting with the mountain.
At around 3/4 of the course I was completely exhausted. I took a long break and checked precisely how long lasted to the top. To have access to maps through my Galaxy Tab has been infinitely precious. If I couldn't check my way I would have probably gave up for safety, because it was getting too late. And I was wondering how I would come back !
And finally, I completed slowly the last meters of the course and reached the Enryakuji !

I took once again a long break, ate and drunk a lot, and enjoyed fresh air and peaceful atmosphere of the place. But I had to come back and couldn't loose time. Also I was taking care that my body doesn't get cold or it would have killed me on the way back.
Being very tired I haven't taken the good decision about how to come back. I first thought about using a taxi to bring me to the entrance of the driveway. It would have been easy for me to ride down to Kyoto from there. However there was no taxi at all, I wonder if I called someone would come, and what would be the cost because of the charge for the driveway. So I changed my mind and went to the cable car. At first the man refused to let me enter with my bicycle, but as it is a small foldable one, and because it was clean, he has been kind enough to accept me.
And so I went down by cable car to Otsu.

I said it wasn't the good decision, because once I get back home and look again to the maps, I got convinced that going down through the hiking courses on the west side of Hieizan would have been a much better option. This is shorter to reach Yase, the steep is probably less difficult than what I've climbed, I would have been on the good side for the sun so would have been less worry about getting late, and it would have been a much more pleasant course to ride both side of the mountain. Also, it was too hard, I don't think I would do this itinerary again, then I've missed the chance to do it. Yet I feel more comfortable now to try the climb on the west side only.
Thanks to the cable car I reach Otsu quickly but I still had to climb once again half the mountain up to Hieidara, and then finally down to Kyoto. But there was no difficulties anymore, so I took my time, taking break, eating, drinking. The way between Otsu and Hieidara is not nice to climb, traffic is dangerous. But on the other side, this is a very long and pleasant slope. Curves are smooths and road is in good condition, I could let the speed increase a lot. It gave me a lot of pleasure to end up the day, before entering back into the bustling, noisy, dirty, stinky city...
Estimation of the ride : 7 hours and a half, a little less than 50km long, around 1.400 meter of ascent.


Do you know about "Keichan"??
It is Chicken BBQ and flavored with the use of Miso
( sometimes soy sauce ), and local food around here!
I went to Keichan conference last weekend.

There are many kind of taste of Keichan around here,
especially Gero and Gujo is famous for it.

I tasted 12 different type of Keichan!!
They used original Miso and seasoning and sometimes
different part of chicken.

I recommend beer if you have Keichan,
but it was conference so I couldn't have beer>.<

Instead of it, there were free riceballs!!

The rice was taste so good!!
because it is made of "Ryu no Hitomi"
(It means Dragon Eyes in English!!)

It is kind of brand rice and uses it for making Sake!!

If you come to Takayama, Gero and Gujo,
Let's try "Keichan"