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!!

2013

Hi there!


Year 2013 is finishing soon!!

It was really great year for me.

I have been to Yakushima island and did trekking there
And the other time I went to the third highest mountain of Japan!!
I enjoyed the nature and mountains a lot this year.


Also I got two qualifications.
I got a car driving license and passed the National Examination for certified Domestic Travel Service Supervisor.


Of course, I met great guests.
Really enjoyed the time with them!!
We had a Christmas party with the guest who stayed in J-hoppers last year and the other guests. It was great fun!!:D
I'm thankful to people whom I met:D






I'm excited to the next year!!



Bowling Party in Takayama!

We had a bowling party in Takayama!
We are really into sports party these days! It's good for heath and refreshing!!
This time, 6 guests and 4 staff joined the party. We separated into 2 teams and competed!!
This bowling place is very strict because we lose the chance if we step over the line. So we were very serious when we threw the ball.
It was very excited because it was very close fight.

<Ayumi's turn>                                            <My turn>

 <Aki's turn>

Unfortunately my team lost the game, so we treated winners to ice cream...
but I got first prize^^ (even I got 108 points...I am so lucky!) So I got lotto as a prize♡ Yay!!

Team game makes us excited and interesting! And we had warm friendly feelings.
We will definitely plan to have another bowling party for next time.
So please come to Takayama and fight with us if you have confidence in bowling^^ We are waiting for you! hehehe!

I hope  everyone has a happy new year***

Stay connected in Japan


Quite surprisingly, Japan is not the “all wireless” country you could think it is. When traveling you will most likely have more trouble finding free Internet spots than in most cities in the US or some other parts of Asia.
Even in Starbucks the task is not easy, to use their Internet service you will have to sign a contract beforehand a with telecommunication company... which is not easy when traveling. (They ask you to get access to your email to use their free Wifi, which makes zero sense.)

Situation need to be improved rapidly, given that Japan will host Olympic in the upcoming years. But thing won't be done easy, apparently..

So here are some tips to get Internet access in Japan.

*Japan Gide.com*
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2279.html
You can get many useful info here. Check it out before you head to Japan. This site covers pretty much everything in regard to Internet access in my opinion.

*Free Wifi in Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe*
HANKYU-HANSHIN WELCOME Wi-Fi starts from Saturday, December 21.
This is a free public wireless LAN service that provides a comfortable internet environment for foreign tourists.
A simple certification procedure allows you a free connection to the internet at each station of Hankyu Corporation and Hanshin Electric Railway, or at the group commercial facilities. In addition, those who purchased "HANKYU TOURIST PASS" or "HANSHIN TOURIST PASS" can get preferential treatments, such as using as you like all day. Please feel free to use this service if you have a chance to visit these spots.

Location: Each station of Hankyu Corporation and Hanshin Electric Railway, group commercial facilities
Reference: http://www.kansai360.net/en/?p=1652

Needless to say, you can get free Wifi at J-Hoppers/Hana Hostel :)

Having said that, I personally think travelers nowadays have been amazingly spoiled by stuff like smartphones and Wifi. People don't even know how to read maps (not google map, I'm talking about actual maps!) and keep complaining that there's no Wifi. ... You know, you have come all the way to a totally different country with totally different culture and language, in search of adventures and new experiences, right? Getting lost and having hard time communicating with locals are the highlights of your journey, don't you think. :) Why not stop checking your facebook page all the time and enjoy the moment with new people? Just saying...


Last trip of this year Arima Onsen

What is your favorite radio Station? 
My acupuncture doctor listen AM Radio. 
Whenever we visit his clinic I hear Kansai typical dialect.
My favorite one is FM COCOLO. I listen for alarm and BGM to sleep.  
It's my favorite time to spend nights. 
I started to listen this Radio Station because My favorite DJ moved there.  Nostalgic and memorable music at 60's or 70's bring me to other world. (Attention!! Even though I was born at 80's,) My favorite program is The Wolfman Show (21:00 to 23:00 Mon-Fri). This program was popular in the world on 60's. I love atmosphere of 60's.
Via Application Radico you can listen wherever you stay. 
http://cocolo.jp/

Other favorite thing is ONSEN.
Once a year I have visited to Onsen village with my best friend from Tokyo.
We decided Kansai Area this year. It says Arima Onsen  is Karuizawa (summer resort in Kansai)
This onsen contains mineral so Muddy brown color like a Miso soup.
From Kyoto station it takes only one hour and half. 
From Kyoto to Sannomiya Kobe 

Most important thing Delicious cusine
Practice my Camera D700


Enjoy my OMOTENASHI (Hospitality)

We will plant to visit IYA Onsen in Tokushima Prefecture 秘湯 secluded hot spring spot.

Happy winter holiday!

Say goodbye to year 2013 and welcome a brand new year 2014!!

Day trip to Onomichi

Konnichiwa from Hiroshima HANA Hostel. Its Kana here.
Can you believe that there are ony 14days left to new year!? I AM NOT READY FOR NEW YEAR yet...but can't be helped....

ANYWAY, let me introduce you one of beautiful city in Hiroshima. It is called ONOMICHI.
If you have JR pass then take shinkansen which takes 40 minutes, if you don't, take local train which takes 1and half hours.

Onomichi is flourished as town of sea port. Also known for its beautiful old town.
There are many exciting activities such as walking along the cycling road where it stretches 70km long, visiting art museums, art galleries, movie archives or location.

Onomichi is famous for RAMEN(noodle). There are many diferent Ramen restaurant all over Onomichi . You will have to wait at least 1 hour for popular restaurant, but it worth it.


Also many temples and beautiful ocean view from top of hill. Good exercise after Ramen!


You will see many statures on the way to the top which has poem written by Japanese famous author.


 I strongly recommend Onomichi for day trip from Hiroshima, enjoy good old days of Japan, Ramen and any kinds of activities!

Hiroshima Oyster Road

Hi this is Haya from Hiroshima Hana Hostel.
I went to “Kakigoya” the other day to have oysters. Hiroshima has 60% shares of all oysters farming in Japan. Hiroshima also promotes local production for local consumption, so we can have oysters at a reasonable price.This Hiroshima oyster road is located in the middle of Hiroshima Minato Park next to the Hiroshima port.
 To get to Hiroshima port, take No.5 tram all the way to the end of the line. Hiroshima Oyster Road is in the middle of Hiroshima Minato Park which is next to the Hiroshima port. 

Hiroshima Hana Hostel is just a few minutes walk from Hiroshima Station South Exit.

What music makes me excited?

I used to be into rock music when I was high school student. One of my cool class mates inspired me a lot in many ways. His drawing was so cool. His fashion was so cool. His thinking was so cool. And music that he loved was so cool as well. He inspired me a lot about music. I loved guitar pop music before I met him but I was getting into rock music once I knew some cool and nice rock music. After high school,ambient music attracted me so much during university. I often went out for clubs some music else rock. There were still many rock CDs at my place though. Nowadays I even do not listen music a lot as I used to. I don't know why but I just don't fell like I need music like before. However because of one thing happened to me recently and I suddenly got a feeling that I want to listen to rock music! It's a drama. Named 'Nodame cantabile' which is about orchestral music. There is a scene that people play Beethoven symphony no.7 with Jimi Hendrix style,like rock music style. It's funny and moved scene. Rock music has came back to my mind. Afterward I have been listening rock music,not only Jimi Hendrix though but also Strorks,Zebra head..any rock music and Blankey jet city,yurayura teikoku..Japanese rock as well. So that I play rock music at the reception in Kyoto Hana hostel The color of music there is really like a rock style now. Why don't you stay with us in Kyoto Hana hostel and talk,teach me about rock music!

How to do Zazen!!



I tried Zazen at Zennouji Temple.

It is a central practice of Zen Buddhism, a way to achieve tranquility of mind.

The goal is to gain fresh perspective on yourself and focus your thoughts in a certain way.

Sitting still, breathing through your nose, and taking repeated deep breaths creates the sensation of purifying the mind.

How to do Zazen?


Zennoji Temple

Everyday

Appointment necessary




大きな地図で見る

We love babies and kids!!!

All staff, especially I love babies and kids so much!!
Their smile make me very happy!
Please do not hesitate to stay here..! Let's have a great time together!!
We are a family!!

She stayed here about 1 week! Their parents are also nice!!

He has never cried! He always smile and calm!
He travels Kyushu to Hokkaido!!

She is also lovely! Big eyes and long eyelash are really charming !!



She is really powerful★ She can keep playing and talking forever!! Genki!!

Thank you so much for all guest and families!!
We are very happy to have a time with you!!

We try the best to be a really hostel for family, kids, all friends(*^^*)
Thank you so much!

Melbourne Trippppp!!!!

Hi there !
This is Chika from J-Hoppers Hiroshima guesthouse.
It suddenly get really cold and we enjoy the changing colors of autumn leaves!!
I think it's lovely season to travel in Japan now .
But to escape from such a cold weather,I took a week off and went to Australia :-)

I used to live in Sydney for a year.That's why I was planing to go there.
But one of my friend,she lives in Melbourne now.So I visited her and her boyfriend.


As soon as I arrived at Melbourne,We went to Rakusa restaurant near her apartment.
I have wanted to eat rakusa for a long time.
(Unfortunately,There is no rakusa restaurant in Hiroshima.)

It was so delicious and reminded me
for the days of Sydney.
There were lots of Asian restaurant where I lived in Newtown.



After lunch,we drove off to Rorne.
I was going to swim and have BBQ there,but it's 15degree...... freeeeeeezing!!!
Although there were lots of surfer but we could not to swim...so pity!!
But I could feed a bird by hand!!They are so cute and lovely.



During I stay in Merbourne,it was so cold everyday.
But We went to Music festival and had some nice food and coffee...
I really enjoyed and had a great time there.



Hope the weather will be amazing next time!!









New hot drinks

Did you already try hot ginger ale?

Coca-cola has started to sell hot ginger ale last month.
Coca- Cola has been working for four years to find a way to keep the ginger ale carbonated through the heating process.
The world's first canned hot fizzy drink.
I was so curious and of course already tried!!
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It's quit sweet, fizzy, gingerly, cinnamon and apple-flavored.
The bubbles are not too hush.
It is tasty.
I felt strange but maybe I like it.
Yes, I like it.
Every time when I pass in front of vending machines,
I always check it is there.
Am I already addicted to it?!

☆Go to a baseball game in Japan☆


                   Hello!I'm Hiro from J-Hoppers Hiroshima.

         Have you ever been to a professional baseball game?

 Baseball is an incredibly popular sports in Japan,and I really want you to go to a baseball game even if you're not a baseball fan!!

          
           I guarantee,you will never forget once you go there!



Once you get to stadium,you will surprise at the fan's passion for a game the baseball game,most of them wear the uniform of the team they cheering,and bring miniature plastic bats with team logos to make a noise for cheering.



They have a lots of cheering songs for the team and each players.
It is so hard to memorize every songs,but I will definitely learn them for next season!!
We have a professional team here in Hiroshima(Hiroshima Toyo Carp),and fans always fly a balloon during a game!




Next regular season will be started from end of March 2014 to end of September 2014.

Why don't you go to a baseball game in Japan if you have chance to travel during the baseball season?




         
          
       Let's go together whoever wants to enjoy a Japanese baseball game!!!







Travelling alone for shopping in Tokyo

I visited Tokyo to meet my friends who were my schoolmates in Scotland this month.
I left Kyoto for Tokyo by Shinkansen, staying in Ikebukuro for 2 nights from Nov. 7th.

In Ikebukuro area, there are a lot of shopping malls & entertainment around the station such as Sunshine City, Lumine, and Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre.

Before meeting my friends, I first went to Shibuya Hikarie, which is new department store opened last year, to buy some interia goods.  It was 10:00am....a wee bit quiet..., but I saw so many people shopping there before the lunch time!!
 
In front of Shibuya Station
I found a cute table in the resting room in Hikarie
 After that, I went to Shinjuku because I wanted to have a lunch at Freshness' Burger :)  I have not eaten any Freshness' original burger for 2 years since I worked in Shinjuku. Some Japanese girls feel shy when they go to some restaurants alone, but I think it is good for them to have a lunch alone there. Comfortable and relaxed...
Yummy!!


Then, after coming back to Ikebukuro, I still had enough time before meeting my friends. So, I went to the planetarium in Sunshine City. I waited for the opening time in the foyer. It was a great planetarium device which projected various images such as stars and the nature on the sherical screen with a relaxing original music!
Star-shaped sofers in the foyer!
 Then, I went to had a dinner with my friend in Hawaiian restaurant near the U.S Embassy, where I had delicious Hawaiian drinks.
I just went around the west area of Tokyo this time, but we have so many attractive sightseeing places in Tokyo such as Asakusa, Daiba, and Akihabara etc.
Before taking the Shinkansen in Tokyo Station



Sogi park (Sakasa momiji)


I visited Sogi park at Toki city.

Sogi park  

This park is famous for inverted maple trees

There are ponds in the park so you  see maple trees through the reflection.

It look as if  they  are downside up.

It is so beautiful.

Access: 1 hour from Nagoya city by train



inverted maple trees



Namba Parks

Namba Parks is a shopping mail in Namba.
It is a really good place to look around :)

Because this building structure is a kind of art! 
Good designed and modern architecture make us feel happy!

Please visit there : ) They have a Christmas tree now!
I recommend some stores. Namba Parks have really good restaurants.


★Movie cheater★
You can buy tickets on line. It is really helpful. You do not need to wait.

Le Petit Jardin
French restaurant. Launch time is cheaper! 1380yen ~

★ SENRYO★
Sushi restaurant. They have really fresh seafood!

★ Kagura Shokudo "KUSHIYA MONOGATARI"★
All you can eat. You pick up ingredients by your self.
You can eat Takoyaki, Taiyaki, ice cream also!!

■Opening hour
 11:00~21:00
■Restaurants opening hour
 11:00~23:00
 http://www.nambaparks.com/index2.html


Maple festival in MITAKI Temple!!

Hello!!

It is the best season to see autumnal leaves!!

Have you been to somewhere to see it? Japan has so many place where is famous for the

beautiful colored leaves.

I went to go to MITAKI temple to join maple festival.

It was quite cold day but  trees are so beautiful.

There is red maple, yellow gingko, orange liquidambar and so on.






 How beautiful it is!!!

 MITAKI temple is on the mountain. So there is so special ambience.

 It took about 30minutes by bicycle from Yokogawa station and the way to there is really heavy.

 But finally, You can see amazing view!!

There is good collaboration moss and water and stone figure.




I am interested in JAKI.

It is a kind of devil which is always stepped on Buddha statue.

I found really cute one.







This is so cute and charming!!!

I like taking notice in this kind of  JAKI.They are always charming.


After I saw Buddhist memorial service, The person who is working there gave me some ticket.

It was ticket for a lunch box!!

I did not know there is this kind of service. It is called 'OSETTAI'









It was great time for me.

How wonderful japan is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!






 





Takarazuka revue

Have you heard about Takarazuka?
Takarazuka in a big group of perfomers but all of them are women.
Even male roles are played by women dresses as men.


They are pretty famous in Japan even overseas.
I have seen many guests who are into Takarazaka, they come to Japan only for them.
The tickets are not cheap, the first and second rows are 11,000 yen.

To be the member of Takarazuka is very hard.
They have to go to school for 2 years and learn dancing, singing something like that,
the relationship between senior and junior is pretty strict though.
Thier show is not cheap but it's worth it!I have seen twice but both were amazing!
Bright and fabulous!!



School Festivals in Kyoto







GAKUENSAI is an annual event held by most schools in Japan, from universities at which their students display their artistic achievements.
People who want to enter the school themselves or who are interested in the school may come to see what the schoolwork and atmosphere are like. Parents may also want to see what kind of work their children have been doing. The festivals are usually open to the public.







Kyoto University 11/21-24 
http://nf.la/index.html





Kyoto Institute of Technology 11/23-25
https://twitter.com/mfc42nd




Doshisha University 11/26-28
http://eve138thkoho.wix.com/doshishaeve138









Is Japan getting wrong?

The other day, my friend sent me this link for the article about Japan titled "10 things Japan gets horribly wrong". I read it all, and nodded deeply for the agreement. It made me realized again, that the things we think are normal are actually not normal. Some are better to be corrected in any BETTER way. CHEESE!!Why is it sooo expensive in Japan? If you are Japanese, or foreigners who have been in Japan long enough, you will definitely enjoy it! http://en.rocketnews24.com/2013/11/06/10-things-japan-gets-horribly-wrong/

Kuromon Market!

I was born and raised in Osaka but I have never been to Kuromon Market.... maybe just because its always there or just for a glossary shopping, I couldn't be bothered.....

Anyhow, there was my opportunity to visit this week and I was so amazed with the atomothphere and valaety of goods you can purchase at Kuromon Market!!


The arcade has huge seafood monument hanging from the roof !!





There are many fish shop that offers seating so you go and buy fresh seafood and eat right there!








There are many fish shop that offers seating so you go and buy fresh seafood and eat right there!

Its about 600m stretch so, 1.5 hours to visit is enough !!!

All of you food lovers, If you ever visit Osaka, Kuromon Market is highly recomended!