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!!

October. Autumn, my favorite season.

Here is the lovely Matsutake mushroom we got from our friend who found it in the mountains. And to think that this would cost the same as a 10 kg joint of beef in the UK. It was tasty though.

Looking at this picture, my nose looks a bit like a mushroom. All be it an upside down one.

The trees are slightly changing color. Not long until we see some
red maple trees at Mikati Temple.

And here's some of our dried Kaki (Persimmon fruit). I almost look french.

never never never surrender !!

Hello!! every football fan!!
This is minasyo in the exciting Kyoto SANGA Stands.

We are getting to the good part to go back to the devision 1!!
We still have 5 very very easy games and maybe we will get 15 win points !!...
We believe that we can jump up to the 3rd place on the devision2!???

Why don't you join us to watch the exciting game ?
We still have 2 home games in Kyoto (Nov 12th and Dec 3rd)
Unfortunately we still have many many seat ... we cannot fill up a lot of seats in stands (even in the supporters seat...)

And I hope someday I want to see the stands full of fans.
Like the Hanshin Tigers(Baseball team) Koshien Stadium

We never never never surrender !!


Hello from Kyoto!

It has been pretty warm at daytime around 25℃ though I know winter is coming quite soon.

The other day, I got some days off and went to Tokyo with my co-worker Shizuka.

Our plan for Tokyo was going to Shin-Okubo (little korean town).
It is getting popular for middle aged women about Korean dramas and idols as like my mom.
Unfortunately, I'm not much into the idols though I do love Korean food.

That is fabulous for sure ! I love Higashi kujo(little korea) which is in J-Hoppers Kyoto as well.

Most of my firends are in Tokyo, then we did a kind of small reunion at one of Korean restaurant. It was so much fun with talking about resent life and girls stuff.

We did not have enough time to talk !!! That's how girls like chatting :)

After that fun night, I went back my hometown.
Every time I see Mt. Fuji, I feel like home sweet home.
I miss it deeply which means I could do my best here in Kyoto.

Ciao ! :)

Have You Ever Seen The Rain?

Someone told me 3 days ago
There’s a fire festival in Kurama Village
I know;
It’s been coming for
What if it’s raining, so they say;
It’ll still go on;
I know;
It’s a very sacred festival

I want to know; Have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know; Have you ever seen the rain
Coming down on a fire festival?

Yesterday, and days before,
Sun is hot and rain is none,
I know;
Been that way for all my time.
'Til forever, on it goes
Everytime I go to the festival,
I know;
It can't stop, I wonder

I want to know; have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know; have you ever seen the rain
Coming on a fire festival?

Well, we (I and my new flat mates) went to see the fire festival in Kurama village on Oct 22nd.
The weather forecast kept telling us it’ll rain heavily in the evening for last 3 days.
I thought if it rains, the festival would be canceled or postponed for another day.
However this festival is so holy stuff and it is meaningless if they held it on another day.

When we got the village, the rain had already started.
I could see only the umbrellas.
No fire, no smoke.

The rain got gentle, then men wore Fundoshi (loincloth) walked down the street with torches. We were so glad to see the fire and smoke. It was the highlight of the festival for me.

After 5 minutes, the rain started again and became heavier and heavier. The men still came on the street, but the fire on the touches was almost gone.
Even in that hard rain, they did not stop the festival.


Burritoooos tacooos.
oh man, can't help eating Mexican food. it's legendary!!!
soooooo gooood. the other day, when i was downtown, I got a call from my stomach saying gimme a burrito and tacos, amigo! so, I was like yes, sir.

I went to El poncho in shinsaibashi. it's a pretty much authentic Mexican restaurant. stll not as good asSan Diego burritos though.

ok, it's random but I'm gonna be a Mexican guy for Halloween this year. the party is this Saturday.
I got a sombrero, un pancho y mustache! Also 2 water guns that tequila inside haha
people might appreciate me.

I'm so psyched!!

▲Autumn festivals▲

Hi there!This is Chika from J-Hoppers Hiroshima gusthouse.
The other day,Some autumn festivals ware held in my area.
That's why I went to the festival with my friends!

There were some stalls around the shrine and there was a stage for Kagura dace.
Have you heard and seen Kagura before??

Kagura ("god-entertainment") is a japanese word referring to a specific type of shinto theatrical dance—with roots arguably predating those of Noh. Once strictly a ceremonial art derived from kami'gakari ( "oracular divination") and chinkon ( "spirit pacification"), Kagura has evolved in many directions over the span of a millennium. Today it is very much a living tradition, with rituals tied to the rhythms of the agricultural calendar, as well as vibrant kabuki-esque theatre, thriving primarily in parts of shimane purefecture, and urban centers such as Hiroshima.

I have seen the Kagura many times since i was a child.
Every time I see the performance,I was so impressed.
If you haven't see Kagura yet,I really wanna you to see it during you are in Japan!!

The food festival will be held this weekend near Hiroshima castle in Hiroshima.
If you haven't decided your plan,come and see Kagura!!

Kanazawa trip !!

I went to Kanazawa to see exhibition last weekend.

I stayed 2 days in Kanazawa.

⇒ Or-ita is the name of the tool to bend cardboard

⇒It looks like The Leaning Tower of Pisa
(Artist:Makoto Orisaki)

⇒The cow is made of cardboard

The exhibition was great!!

I also enjoyed Kanazawa town:)

At the Ohmicho-market

⇒You need to try fish if you go to Kanazawa, so Fresh!!

⇒I found "okara" doughnut!!
( Okara is Grounded soybean curd)

At the Higashi Chaya District

Chaya means Geisha-house in Japanese

⇒There are lot of shops here.

I found nice cafe at Kazue Chaya area.

At Cafe Tsuchiya

⇒You can enjoy sweets with Wajima
Lacquer ware.

⇒He is the owner:) He renovated old tea house.

⇒Beautiful river view from second floor.

Big Map

⇒You can find information about cute Machiya style cafe and shop.

⇒I stayed "Pongyi" guest house, and made
cranes with guests

⇒It is called "Hanton rice" , the local food in Kanazawa

As Kanazawa can be reached in 2h 30 min by bus from Takayama,

so many visitors drop in after visit to Takayama.

A day to Fukui

Hi ,I am Matsu from J-Hoppers Hida Takayama.

I went to Fukui prefecture last month.

What is Fukui famous for ?

Eiheiji temple and Toujinbo are ones of the famous places to visit.

Eiheiji, the "temple of eternal peace" is one of Soto Zen's two head temples and ranked most influential Zen centres in the world . It is located deep in the mountains, not far from Fukui City.

Tojinbo is on the coast about 25km northwest of Fukui and a series of interesting and bizarre cliffs on the sea of Japan.

Tojinbo is also a well-know place to commit suicide.According to statics 25 people commit suicide annually

When I went there ,I didn't feel that way. Tojinbo is very peaceful place

Since motorway between kanazawa and Takayama was completed 5years ago ,you can travel to northwest easily.
I am so happy to travel to any place I haven't been to .I am wondering where I am going to next.

The Kannonsho temple

Yesterday we visited another temple of our pilgrimage : the Kannonsho temple in Azuchi city (Google map) near lake Biwa. You can go to Azuchi by train from Kyoto using the Biwako line in 50mn. It costs 740 yen. From the station there is a nice hiking course up to the temple in the mountain. It's not very difficult but some part in the woods are quite steep and it takes 5h30, without visiting the Azuchi museum and the castle ruins. You can see the hiking course we followed here :,0x60017eaba3e13773:0x27b90de8555238f0,0&msa=0&msid=211452046396621152072.00049f5ff9eb81a3dedc6&z=15">,0x60017eaba3e13773:0x27b90de8555238f0,0&msa=0&msid=211452046396621152072.00049f5ff9eb81a3dedc6&z=15

Here comes some photos :

The mountain from Azuchi city, around 400meters high.

There was a lot of insects, in particular a lot of manta.

This guy seems to have a very difficult life ...

The main hall of Kannonsho temple. The legend says Kannon appeared here as a mermaid. Inside you can see an impressive statue of Kannon with all of her 1042 hands, made of rare Indian tree.

The course is easy to follow, except when you go out of the temple (when you hike the itinerary anti-clockwise). The road out of the temple leads toward a parking, but you have to get out of the road and enter a very small path in the wood approximately halfway between the parking and the temple. There is a small board but not easy at all to see.

This one was making beautiful sound by vibrating his wings.

The second half of the hike is blessed with a permanent view on lake Biwa (on the foreground) and lake Nishinoko (the "small" one in the middle). Ensure to hike the course anti-clockwise or you will loose the best part.

Japan The Strange Country

Here is the interesting video..
It was made by the Japanese student in Japanese, then translated in English.
It's cute animation and funny, but telling sometimes shocking facts for people who doesn't know yet

Japan The Strange Country

English Version

Japanese Version

Lion Dance

Hello, this is Papi from J-Hoppers Hida Takayama Guest House.

I went to see "Lion dance" in Syokawa.
There are many lion dance in Japan but this is special!

30 lions dance together.

At the end of the dance, the lion "bites" the heads of some watchers, to bring luck.

It was the first time to see the tongue of the lion.
I hope it bring luck too.

It's Autumn!!!

I had a great time last weekend!!

There are a lot of things to do around here.

I enjoyed Food, Sake, Festival, Onsen and Autumn leaves:)

⇒Go driving to Hirayu!!
⇒Choshi waterfalls
⇒Hirayu Onsen
⇒Natural Onsen, Hirayu Folk Village

⇒I went to "Doburoku festival" at night.
⇒Lion Dance!!
⇒Doburoku is kind of sake, the yeast is still alive:)

These are the pictures of
"Lion dance and food festival in Kamioka"

⇒Japanese Drum!!
⇒Lion dance from Toyama
⇒He gave me so many candies:)

⇒Near Shinhotaka no yu
⇒Mountain view footbath
⇒Autumn leaves!!

⇒Shinhotaka Ropeway
⇒That way!!
⇒He pointed this mountain, Mt.Nishihotakadake!!
⇒Sunset from observation deck

It's still not too late for enjoying Autumn leaves,

Please come to Takayama and let's enjoy day trip!!

Welcome Back!

The other day, I got a call from Yuko (Tom's beautiful wife) and she asked me to dinner that night. She told me that her friend, Kalpesh was in town for the first time in 4 years and she was thinking about taking him out for dinner. I have not met him before, but it sounded an exciting plan.

We were supposed to meet at 6pm at J-Hoppers Hiroshima and when I arrived, I heard a familiar voice calling my name...

It was Miyoko !!!!!!

She used to work at J-Hoppers Hiroshima but she moved to Australia 3 years ago. I worked with her just for a short time, but she is such a funny and sweet person and I really like her. So it was a big happy surprise that she was there!

And I met Yuko's friend, Kalpesh as well. He was from England and he stayed in the hostel for 3 weeks 4 years ago. He seemed very happy to be back and see his old friends in Hiroshima.

So Yuko, Miyoko, Kalpesh and I went to Organza cafe bar for dinner. It is a very cool and cozy place and it is J-Hoppers Hiroshima's favorite as well! Tomoko (the manager of Hiroshima Hana Hostel) joined as at the restaurant and we all enjoyed catching up for many hours... Then we went back to the hostel to drink for a few more hours with Chika.

It is always great to see people again at the hostel.
That is why I like this job!