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 go to the tresure hunting!!

Have you heard about "Geocaching"?

It's a kind of tresure hunting game, using "GPS".

I went to "Nomugi pass" to find one of

cache with my friend.

On the way to adventure.













This is "Mt. Norikura"

There is some hint about cache on the website.

He is trying to take care to serch in the trees.











Finally, we found something!!




But it went wrong >.<










It was not cache...it was just.....


Σ(゚д゚lll)

The first mission....failed!!!

But it was so fun!!

I think traveler has many chance to try this:)

So I would like you to have a try!!

Yohei Koike presents Wii night in J-Hoppers Kyoto

Let’s Play Wii Tennis !!

J-Hoppers Kyoto Guest House holds a special party on 2nd of June.

The title is ‘Wii Tennis doubles knockout competition party @ J-Hoppers Kyoto Ariake coliseum(3F living room)’

Open : 18:30~

Start : 19:00~

Entrance Free, Enter Free

This is the one of big tournament, like a French Open Tennis Championships(?)….

He put some effort into training against for the tournament like a Best Kid!?.





Gifu butterfly 

Hi I am Matsu from J-Hoppers Hida Takayama.

Do you like hiking?

The hiking season has just started in the Japanese Alps in places like Kamikouchi,Norikura….
Many people have gone hiking to Kamiko-chi since then.

For me, this season reminds me of Gifu butterfles
Gifu butterfly was found in Gifu prefecture in 1883.



My dad was known as a butterfly professor and loved butterflies.
He kept some pupa of the butterflies in my home last year.
My father passed away last year suddenly.
My dad taught us the preciousness of life through butterflies.


My mum and I felt that we have to let the Gifu butterflies emerge from a pupa
We looked after them carefully. We managed to do it .


I think my dad would be happy with what we did.





















Yano Party!


The 4th yano Party!

Mr. Yano is really good at joking! look at everyone's face.
They laughed a lot. I didn't remember what he said though.







I stopped by here how it was going but also I wanted to just hand in my shift for next month. ( I got a morning shift this day)

me, I just stayed there like 20 mins but everyone seemed enjoying. Mr. Yano absolutely made this party.

He is always saying "I'm learning English every day very hard"

I also feel I gotta study hard as well. ti prometto qua.
I'll study Spanish and become fluent within this year. Mr. Yano inspired me! lol

Spanish. Erika san, ensename, por favor!

Just got married

We got married about 2 weeks ago, and had our wedding ceremony in my hometown, Kagawa.

This shrine is very old and everyone loves it, and we always get together there when they hold autumn festivals.

However, because of a heartless person, the main part of this shrine burnt down about 4 years ago, and we were so sad..
but many local people donated and then they could finally rebuild it this March - yeah, we were very lucky, they let us to have the ceremony in this super new and beautiful shrine as the first time, though we had never planned it so!

We've thought that the timing has been perfect for us and let us come to this stage(marriage), and even on our ceremony, still god was always on our side!!


The place where we had the reception afterward was that I played so often when I was a child.
It's a famous and beautiful Japanese garden, but for me, it's still filled with my memories of my childhood friend.





1 week later, we had a Big BBQ party on Yodogawa river, and it was crazy busy but it was so fun!!
Especially, my friends made it much more special, because they bought a huge wedding cake without telling us!!


How hard to bring it to there.. there were about 50 people there and we shared it, but we couldn't finish it!!
I had never thought to do typical events such as "first bite"etc. in my wedding, but thanks to them, we could.. we had to...?!! anyway, I was grateful for them from bottom of my heart.

He gave me a bigger one... evil husband!!


Through all of preparations and parties of our wedding, they made our relationship much more stronger, but more than that, I've got big love for our families and friends, and realized how happy we are.


My words can't describe enough, but thank you so much for everyone.
We've just started our new life, and we will make it better and better.

Holiday in Australia.

I had a long holiday in this month.

I've always missed Australia ...and finally I could go back to Australia with my family.

I have been married for 1 year but we haven't had a ceremony yet.
We went to Australia for my wedding ceremony.


We have visited Cairns , Ayers Rock and Sydney in 5 days.

My father's favorite "Kuranda Train".


We had wedding ceremony at Ayers Rock Resort.


My wedding dress got the evidence of "Red Center"


This trip was only 5days. So, it was very tight schedule.
However, my family and my husband's family enjoyed this trip.
We (6 people) took 4000 photos...

I would like to go back to Australia again.


And I would like to say thank all my colleagues for letting me
take a long holiday.

Thank you!!

Parties @ J-Hoppers Hiroshima!!

We had a Takoyaki Party last night at J-Hoppers Hiroshima!

A group of University students in Hiroshima organized the party this time. They are interested in the other cultures and always want to do some exchange with international people. So it was a good opportunity for it!

Unfortunately I had to work last evening and couldn't join the party much, but I could hear happy laughter at the reception! Many guests joined the party and seemed like they all had lots of fun!


We also has another "exchange" dinner last week.
We made a group from the hostel and went to an Okonomiyaki restaurant together last Saturday evening.

There were 14 people and they were from USA, Canada, Australia, Belgium and Japan. It was such a fun night and had good time together.

We plan parties and eating-out with guest once in a while.
Please check the informations on our Blog, Facebook Fan Page and Twitter(JH_Hiroshima)!

We hope you can join us next time!

★1000 Paper Cranes★

We had made 1000 Origami Cranes for Tohoku-Kanto Earthquake victims.

We traditionally send them for people with a disease or injury.
They help to recover from illness because cranes are a symbol of the long life.

First of all, we folded 1000 Origami Cranes.
Secondly, strung them ( the cranes are assembled as 25 strings of 40 cranes each.)

We finished up them a few days ago eventually!
Thank you very much for all guests who folded them!

We had put feeling into each cranes and made beautiful 1000 Paper Cranes !
This lady and man strung them up !!!




She is Shiho. She has been staying here over 2 months.
Don't worry, she done not hide here to escape from the police or run away from home. ha ha
She helps our job sometimes.

He is Mr Shimizu. He take care of Shiho, ha ha.
Shiho is very talkative and love to talk to him.

Both Shiho and Mr Shimizu are our guests who stay here very long.
Our owner, Mr Iida got her mixed up as a cleaning staff once. ha ha ha





↑They are completed 1000 Origami Cranes. Thanks to them!
( I could not imagine how long it takes to make them if they would not help us・・・)

Actually Shiho had just moved her mouth to talk, not her hands to fold them.




Each of cranes are a bit small, but one group of 1000 cranes is so big!!! :) Yeaaah!!

!!!FUCHU YAKI!!!

The most famous food in Hiroshima is OKONOMIYAKI. We do not call it as Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki but just OKONOMIYAKI.
If you visit Hiroshima, you must try Okonomiyaki for sure but I strongly recommend to try FUCHU YAKI too.
FUCHU YAKI is also Okonomiyaki but slightly different from original one. It from FUCHU city in Hiroshima.
It looks pretty much similar but texture is quite different.


Differences are:

  1. Use Beef or Pork Mince (usually pork back ribs for original Okonomiyaki)
  2. No sprout (so that there will be less watery and become more crispy)
  3. Press hard!!
  4. Crispy out side but fluffy inside
yummy...YUMMY!!!It is just...awesome...I usually go to "TOSHINOYA" (FUCHU YAKI restaurant near by J-Hoppers Hiroshima). When I had it at very first time, I just kept on going for next few days for lunch. I was addicted to it..even still now..

Please try FUCHU YAKI when you visit Hiroshima! It's worth trying it!!!

▲Fire training at J-Hoppers Hiroshima▲▲



Hi there!!
We had a fire training on the 9th of May.The firemen came to our hostel and taught us what we should do in case of a fire.
We learnt how to use a fire hose and how to help people escape by giving them direction.




We train the fire training at the hostel regularly.But we are always reminded of importance.
Besides,We have lots of the earthquake in Japan.That's why we are making a guidelines on issuing evacuation.

We are trying to do our best as all our guest can stay at the hostel safely and comfortably!!

Spritual Place in Kyoto

Hello from Kyoto :)
The weather here gets warmer and a bit humid.

Did you know about "Golden Week"?
It's a long holiday and combined with different public holidays.
So, we(Japanese) made up the holiday called " Golden Week" as a special and
today is the last day of the special week.

One of my best friend visited me in Kyoto last a few days.
This time we discussed what we want to do here because she's been here more than 5times.
Therefore, we made up our mind for something different not like going to poplar and busy places.

Then we decided to visit " Spiritual Places" where a mystic force provides energy,
good luck and healing to a person who stands there.


First, we visited " Rokusonno Shrine"
It's located in near south entrace of Toji Temple.


There is a bridge, and it is called as tactics of love.
This place is not known for many people,but nice to visit.



Then next we went to "Kibune Shrine"
It takes about almost 1hour from Kyoto station.
KYOTO (BUS or KEIHAN line)→ IMADEGAWA (EIZAN line) →KIBUNE



This shrine is also known as fulfillment in love.
It's in the mountain ,and you could feel fresh air.

In Kibune Shrine, there is a famous paper fortune.
The detail will come out when you put the paper on the water.
It was very exciting and curious.
Mine was middle luck which is not very good and bad.

You should try if you have a chance to visit there!

On the way and back from Kibune Shrine,you can take this retro train.
The seats inside of the train settled outside, so you could
have a look the view from the train.

We've visited many places but can't explain all in a blog.
I'll update new information later.

By the way,we've found out a very traditional taste of restaurant.
It's located in Imadegawa st. x Omiya st.


It normally costs from 8,000yen for dinner, but fortunately
they provide very tasty "Oyako don"( chicken and egg rice bowl) for 800yen at Lunch time.


It's a good deal and great taste.

More information about spiritual places and good restaurants
at J-Hoppers Kyoto Guest House.
Please feel free to ask AZUSA :)




I am one of them on the photo above.
Please find me out !

Ciao

My first matsuri... from inside !

Two weeks ago I could participate to a traditional japanese festival. As I couldn't take pictures I will make an effort on text this time.


It was the first time for me to enter inside the world of Matsuri, and it's not been by the softest path ! I had to carry a Mikoshi, a big wooden structure used to transport a deity spirit out of a shrine. It's more than one ton and we carry it on our shoulders. It's really painful, but fun !
In the morning, children and girls have their own parade with very small and light replica of the Mikoshi. Men get ready by wearing a traditional vest, the happi, a scarf printed with rice wreath pattern, and traditional shoes, the jikatabi. Shirt and pants were also worn, cause it was still very cold. But some used only a loincloth. Choice in dressing looks quite free but everything must be completely white, as a sign of purity, and the scarf and happi are mandatory. Some uses also shoulder protection : a kind of coffin set up around the neck and the back.

Then, after drinking some sake, we head from the gathering ground to the shrine. On the way we sing and shake above our head one of the handles of the Mikoshi. The handle by itself is quite heavy, and it's only a very small part of the Mikoshi. It gives a strong impression of what will follow ! As we approach the shrine, other groups join us, singing and shaking their handle as well. There was four groups in total, each one from a different district in the surrounding of the shrine, each one having is own Mikoshi.

Once we all gathered in the shrine precinct, it becomes a big white crowd waiting in front of these majestic Mikoshi. A priest start a prayer in front of each one, and bless us. At the instant when he started to pray a violent storm occurred ! The coincidence was so strange. We were completely soaked and frozen and frightened to think about how slippery the road has become, or even by thunder falling on the Mikoshi ! But the festival can't be stopped and we started moving the Mikoshi outside the shrine. Fortunately the weather got progressively better.

The procession last until evening and it would be too tiring to carry the Mikoshi all along. So much of the trip is made by pushing it on top of a small stand with wheels. But I've heard that in the past there was more volunteers to carry it and it didn't need to be rolled so much. The trip follows a tortuous itinerary near the shrine on both avenues and small roads. Every few hundred meters we made a stop to rest and ate food prepared by volunteers of the district. It was really good, varied and abundant ! And of course a lot of alcohol ! While rolling the Mikoshi, everybody sing and clap his hands loudly. This is for the fun part.


For the painful part ... when the Mikoshi is not rolled, we have to carry it on our shoulders and back. There are space for only 20-30 persons at a time and as I said, the Mikoshi weights more than a ton. Moreover it must be shaken as much as we can, as a sign of power, health, vigour. The point is, first as I was taller than most of the other carriers I endure much more than them, secondly there is no real synchronization between carriers and if you have the bad idea to be on the top of the curve when most of the others are on the bottom you end up enduring most of the weight alone (actually you don't and simply get smashed down to the bottom of the curve where others are ! ;-) ) !! It's extremely painful for the shoulders and the back and the neck and the legs and ... Well everywhere indeed !

Of course it's kind of dangerous and everyone must take upon himself to do it seriously or everybody would get squashed. I could felt a strong cohesion between everyone. As a foreigner and a beginner I made a lot of mistakes but never got reprimand. More experienced ones explained a lot when to enter or leave the carrying, where to put my hands, where to be on the pole, how to move to push efficiently. It was very heart-full. The rotation between carriers occurs extremely fast because we cannot stand a long time under such a weight, it's better to switch between carry/rest very often. There is no really rules on when to switch and with who to switch. It's just as you feel and it was very pleasant to my messy french spirit ;-)

The rotation is done like this : the new carrier touch the previous one to signify he's going to enter, then he comes above the pole right in front of the previous one, the previous one embraces him strongly so they get together in rhythm and is sure the new one is ready to carry, then the previous one move out. In reality things don't go so smoothly of course but that's the idea ;-)

Another big moment is when we move the Mikoshi at top of our heads. In this case as many carriers as possible come under the Mikoshi. Those under push it at the top of their head as high as they can, but doing this they have no more balance and would fall. So all the others gather around and hold then strongly by the chest. It becomes a impressive human pyramidal structure. Then those under the Mikoshi don't worry anymore about balance and just jump on their legs as crazy people. Wow, that's something to be done once in the life for sure ! :-)

Finally we came back to the shrine, put back the Mikoshi inside, and the priest made another prayer for it and for us, and everything was done. I've used four layers of clothes plus one folded towel under it to protect my shoulder but it was completely blue because of bruises. It took two weeks for the flesh to regenerate but it wasn't so painful, I think I would do it again ! :-)