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!!

Christmas and Smoking......No not that kind of smoking.

This year for Christmas, as I was working, we decided to try our hands at smoking some food in an old Japanese style toaster I converted into a smoker. Just so I could have a smokey Christmas lunch box at work.

After removing all the electrical components, and anything that might get a little hot. I fitted an extra shelve  and modified the holes. It was really easy to be honest. Just took about 30 minuets to get it all ready. And it actually looks pretty cool. I left the timer on just because it will still come in handy, even if I cannot hear it going off in the garden.



So we brought some `Cherry Wood` chippings from the camping store, found a few recipe ideas on-line and away we went. As the small toaster can only hold a small amount, we started to experiment with small things first. Just a couple of sausages, two small marinated ham stakes, two small chunks of Camembert  cheese and some processed fish.

All in all it worked out better than we expected. The raw sasuages and the cheese took on a lovely smoky brown color and they tasted awesome. So any friends reading this now know what they will be getting as presents in the coming months.

Now the cat is out of the bag, we are going to try smoking what ever we can get our hands on. I might even dedicate a jacket to the job so I do not stink up all my clothes.

So watch this space and if you see me eating any smoky foods, then please do not hesitate to ask for a taste. Its a real treat.

Things to Smoke:

*Cheeses
*Oily Fish (Salmon, Mackerel, Sardines, Trout)
*White Fish (Cod, Haddock, Pollock, Black Colly)
*Shell Fish (Scallops, Oysters, Mussels, Whelks. Anything really)
*Meats (Chicken, Turkey and Pork, Bacon work best)
*Veggies (Onions, Garlic) 

This is where we are up too. If you have any suggestion then please share your ideas with us.



Art island, Sakushima.

If you like modern art, I'd like you to recommend small island called Sakushima,
is located in Aichi prefetcure.

Before explore the island, you must go to the fish market!!





















I tried fried squid, it was so good!!

It takes about 30 min by ferry to the island.





















There is the area you can see the black wood walls.
It is very beautiful. It is tiny island here, but it is like a maze!!

I don't know why...I found the toilet in front of someone's house...??

You can find many arts while you walk.

These are my favorite:)







































You can meet a lot of cats as well.





















They are bit shy but so cute!!





















You can collect cute stamps for stamp-rally.

I had a good time!!!

I hope you have chance to visit here.

Try Japanese drums!

Hi, how are you?
I have a good news for you! You must check it !

Japanese drums are kind of Japanese instrument.
They play it together with whistles and shamisen.

We know a good place you can try it.
They teach you how to play a drum in English.
Everybody joins this lesson :)

After your trial, they have a drum show.
This is really amazing!!

I was very excited and I started to do dance!
All people can enjoy this trial and show!
You must do it!

Lessons and drum shows are held on every Mondays.
19:00~ Trial drum lesson 3000yen

20:00~ Japanese drum show 3000yen

Set as above ticket is 5000yen. ( Recommended!)

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnL87kUthGw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzJ0pGbCN-M

Staff Information Board

Hello! It's been a while since I made it, but I want to introduce to you,
Our Staff Information Board

I started working here since July,
and this is the first thing I made in Osaka Hana Hostel.

When our manager asked me to make a staff information board,
I wanted to make it with lots of colors to attract attention.



What do you think? I hope you like it!
You can see it in the lobby.
It makes me happy when I see our guests are reading what we wrote
and remember our face and name.

Now we have a new clearning staff and more volunteer staff, so we will add more information !



One more thing in the lobby, we prepared winter slippers for kids!
My favorite is the frog one. We hope all kids like them.


It is a bit early but, I wish you a merry chirismas and happy new year!

Mt Fuji

I really didn't know that Mt Fuji is HUGE!!!!
Because I have never seen it before even I have climed up.

I went to Kawaguchi lake where you can see beatiful Mt Fuji over the lake and many guests from our guest house visit.

It's not easy to see complete view of Mt Fuji. It should be very perfect condition, no clouds and clear air.

It's just 60% of the probability that you can see it on December and it's the highest one!!!




The weather forcast said that it was going to cloudy on the day I would be at Kawaguchi lake so I almost gave up.


But…










from a train









 from a bus






 from a top of a hill







over the lake










I was lucky enough to see perfect view of Mt Fuji!!!!!!!



Dancing Salsa, My Life Time hobbie

Hello everyone,

By now, many of my colleagues know that I love dance....

Yes, I should stop asking colleagues and some of our guests.....'Do you want to go out for Salsa Dance tonight??'

Yes, I know that not all people likes to dance and Latin Music but just because I love them, I cannot help inviting other people!!

Good thing about dance, especially salsa is for all age group can enjoy.

I have friends as young as 20's to almost 70's through Salsa.


What is your image to Salsa (Dance)?
These are what most of Non-salsa people imagine or think when talking about salsa:

①You need to dress up with frilled skirts
②Too sexy
③Too much body contact

 
That is not the case most of the time at lease where I go  : )

It's a great fun, very good exercise and great social opportunity so why not try for one time and decide whether you like it or not?


So please please, If I ever ask you to go to Salsa, please don't look at me like I am a nut....


Here is my favorite Salsa Band 'Ponte Duro'  I see their live performance most of time since I came back to Japan and they are great!!

 




Our night duty staff Tsubasa is leaving.

It is getting so cold these days. We are already in December! And this is the month which our night duty staff Tsubasa is leaving Kyoto Hana hostel. She has been here over a half year and it is time to leave for her. I am going to miss her so much for sure. She often took me out to enjoy Kyoto and Osaka. We have been to... Osaka Nakanoshima for 'Suito festival', Toji temple for a flea market, Art dive which is a event for young artist and north part of Kyoto to see autumn leaves...and more.. Then we are going to somewhere in Kyoto as our last short trip day after tomorrow. Hopefully it is not going to be rainy. We are going out even if it is rainy though! I think I am going to miss her dish as well. She sometimes prepares me meal when I am starving. Her dish is just fantastic. I am a big fan of it.
I will never forget her and her cooking ;) She is my first Taiwanese friend!

We are the champions!!


We are the champions!!

Our local team ,Sanfrecce Hiroshima became a J-League champion on Saturday with one round remaining after a 4-1 demolition of Cerezo Osaka.It was Sanfrecce's first victory in 17 years.
 More than 32000 spectators came on a cloudy day at Hiroshima Big Arch last night.

I think the most popular sports in Hiroshima is baseball,and football is popular as well as baseball.
For your information, Hiroshima local baseball team is Carps! 



The numbers of guests who come to Hiroshima hana hostel to watch football game has been increasing recently.

A short while ago , Koh san from Malaysia bought a Sanfrecce's T-shirt at V-POINT Sanfrecce's official goods shop at DeoDeo electronics shop.


 Watching sports is a common pastime in Hiroshima.
Enjoy cheering for carps and Sanfrecce!!


Techniques to book a room when it is full :)



Today, I write techniques to book a room when it is full :)

Have you ever tried to book a room and refused? Because they are full.
Do you give up?  Or do you wait for a chance putting your name on the waiting list  ?

If you wanna wait , I advise you to do these 3 things as shown below.
These will help you to catch more chance!


First, contact receptions several times.

If you do this, staff know your situation more and more.
If cancellation happens, they might give you it earlier than others.
Communication is very important.

Second, wait for bed or room with less people and dates.

For example,  4 people wait for 3 nights cancellation....
Do you think they can get space easily ?
In fact, it is really difficult.

Almost all hotels have many single (dormitory) and twin rooms.
Therefore, you should wait for these rooms.

And only a few people stay long.
This means you should wait for 1 night or 2 night cancellation as much as possible.

I advise you to put your name on each days.
Then we can contact you even if 1night cancellation happens.

Third, Catch our contact and reply us soon.

We contact you when the cancellation happens and eventually you get a chance to stay!
Unfortunately some of you do not reply us soon.

We afraid you do not need this and ignore us.
Then we give this change to next waiting guets.

If you strongly need beds or rooms, please check our contact everyday.
Otherwise you miss your chance.

These 3 techniques are very easy but important.
Be patient and believe yourself.

Thank you so much.











:゚・☆Veronica and Tohi-chan:゚・☆

It's getting colder and colder each day. Missing Summer already..on the other hand can not wait to enjoy winter sport and hot spring!!
Hello from Hiroshima Hana Hostel, its Kana here.
We have regular party every Thursday at Hiroshima Hana Hostel.

The people who is in charge is....


Veronica from Italy and Tohi-chan from Japan!

 

They are really good at organising party and entertaining guests!
Popular dish is of course Hiroshima OKONOMIYAKI!
 

Every Thursday is full of people at Hiroshima Hana hostel.
Even you do not stay here, you can join our party! Please contact us for more detail if you are interested in!!


Veronica speaks 6 languages! She teaches English to one of our staff.
She studies Japanese now.! She study so hard work so hard. We are very happy to have her here.

Also Tohi-chan is really hard worker too. She is such a quick learner and very friendly to anyone!
She is growing vegetables at Hana and she served us really nice fresh Salad!


I am just very happy to work with them! Please come and visit Hiroshima! We are always welcoming you all!!

Israeli food

Which country's food do you like?
I like Thai food, Italian, Mexican, Indian, Korean and of course Japanese food.
The food is very important when you travel to other countries.
I can eat anything and I like trying something new even bugs!!(I tried them in Thailand)


One of my favorite food is falafel from Israel.
falafel is small croquette of mashed chick peas or fava beans seasoned with seeds.
I often ate that and kebab when I traveled to Israel.
It was really yummy!:)



 falafel












kebab plate




My coworker Meg told me that there was an Israeli restaurant in Kyoto.
I went there last week with my friend who has been to Israel together.

The restaurant has a small lovely garden court inside and room is decorated with pictures of Israel.
The food does not taste exactly same as a local one but still great!
It has become my favorite!

We had a really good time talking about our travel.

Now we are looking for a Jordanian restaurant.
If you find one, let me know:)





The view from the Kamo River





Autumn Leaves at Mitaki Temple

Hello everyone,
This is Masa from J-Hoppers Hiroshima.

The leaves are turning in Hiroshima and I enjoy seeing the beautiful color in town everyday. 

There are some good spots for those leaves in the Hiroshima area, and my favorite place is Mitaki Temple. It's located just outside of Hiroshima city and you can get there by train or by bike (about a 30-minute bike ride from J-Hoppers Hiroshima). The temple complex is great because buildings are in a natural setting on the mountain side. It's not like other temple gardens in Japan, the trees are less controlled and it feels like "real" nature but it's such a perfect combination. It's easy to forget that the temple is beside a big city.










 







Also there is a mountain behind the temple, 
and if you claim up to the top (about a 30-minute hike)...


  

You can see all of Hiroshima!







If you have an extra day in Hiroshima, this is the great temple to visit!

Universal Studio Japan! Horror night!

I went to Universal Studio Japan on November 10th.


It was horror night which is many zombies walk around in Universal Studio Japan after 6pm!
Because of this, I had to wait 180 minutes for 1 attraction.

There are some attractions which swith to horror virsion after 6pm, 
we rode JAWS, we waited for 90 minutes though, there were zombies!!!

After JAWS we walked horror area, there are so many zomies!


Here is a nurse!
It was scary but fun!
I hope I can go next year!

Korankei (Best spot of the Autumn leaves in Chubu area)

I went to Korankei in Toyota city ,Aichi Prefecture to see colored leaves

It is one of the top-ranked places for  colored leaves

 Every year visitors coming from in and out of Aichi prefectures keep increasing particularly to see the beautiful autumn leaves. The 4,000 maple trees covered with the colors of yellow and red is the best part.

 The trees have been illuminated  until 9:00 in the evening

香嵐渓(Korankei)→ 香嵐渓





Ayu making cups of coffee