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!!

GO!GO! Shimanami Kaido Cycling ♪

Shimanami Kaido became one of popular tourist destination in Hiroshima.
 especially popular activity is  Shimanami Kaido Cycling.
"Shimanami-Kaido route" that is from Onomichi to Ehime.

You can rent a bicycle at JR onomichi sta.
Rental Fee would be 500yen (one day) for adult / 300yen (one day) for Child(Elmentary Student and under)

JR Hiroshima sta to JR Onomich sta

It takes about 90 min from Hiroshima sta to Onomich (sanyo lne) for 1450yen.

 In the city of Onomich, myriads temples and houses to the mountain slops.
climb up narrow,steep passages between houses or hop on a rope way gondra to visit the senkoji temple on the mountaintop.where the breath-ranking view of the seto Inland Sea rolls beyond the rows of traditional tiled roofs.

 Let's GO!GO! Shimanami Kaido Cycling !!

Visit a real Submarine!!!

Hi there!!This is Chika from J-Hoppers Hiroshima.

Today,I recommend you a good place for a day trip from Hiroshima city.
Kure is a city in Hioroshima prefecture.
It takes around  50 minutes by JR local train and cost around 480yen .
But if you have a JR rail pass,you don't need buy a ticket!!How nice :-) 

There are lots of places to see and visit in Kure which is like JMSDF Kure Museum,Yamato Museum,
snd if you walk down the river side,there are lots of stalls in the evening!!

*Yamato Museum
The Yamato Museum is a nickname of the "Kure Maritime Museum" in Kure.
The museum opened on April 23, 2005. It is nicknamed the Yamato Museum due to the display in the lobby of the large model ship Yamato Hiroba, a 1/10 scale model of the Japanese battleship Yamato.

*JMSDF Kure Museum 
The museum is free and covers the mine sweeping and submarine missions of the JMSDF. At the end of the tour of the displays you can go through an actual submarine. 

Besides,they have some specialty food in Kure,like Kure reimen(Noodle),Fry cake(deep fried doughnut)

Even is you are not really interested in submarine and battle ship, I think you can enjoy it!!

Questions in the world.

We made this book to know and compare with culture difference.

We have many guests from all over the world.
That's why we though it is a good place to share our own culture!
You are also interested in, aren't you?

Please leave your comments or answers too.

We ask many questions in this book as shown below.
About food, life style, educations.....anything!

Please enjoy culture exchange too !
You can read this at Osaka Hana Hostel.

Ikebana in the Home. Me and mostly the wife. xx


Ok so we are not professionals, but our mother is, and she give us some advice now and then. She suggests which plants to use and which colours go together well. 

When we gather all the materials from the garden or where ever we can get the, we select a vase and get chopping. Always cutting the stems under water helps them stay fresher for longer. Can you see the little snake next to the vase on the left side. He a finger puppet >.< これは一番好きです。色のコンビネーションはとてもきれいだと思います。小さい蛇さんを見えますか?蛇さんがしたを出しています。SSSSSSsssss。。。。。

This one was done in the spring time. You can probably see the blossoming flowers.  

And this one was arranged during Summer. Just a few flowers which grow in the garden every year.The white ones are every where. But they are very pretty. : D

Birthday party

Hi, this is Meg from J-Hoppers Osaka.
We had a birthday party for Keiko and Ayaka with all the girls staffs.
Our night staff Masayo found a really nice restaurant called Ailes near Fukushima Station.
It looks a secret hideaway, like a someone's house.


It was nice and relaxed. Of course good food!
(Good job Masayo!)

After having meal, we surprised Keiko and Ayaka with a cute bear cake.

Thank you Keiko, always attentive to us!
Thank you Ayaka,  always make us laugh! 
I'm so glad to work with them:D

Shirakawago light-up

Shirakawago light-up started last weekend.So I went there with our guests.

There are lots of visitors from everywhere. It was snowing hard.Full of people at the view point tried to take  good photos as many as they can

Our guest accepted an interview from local TV.She said in the interview that Shirakwago looked a place like fairy tale.I am proud that I was born and bread here.

Light-up schedule is below
Light-up time(17:30~19:30)

* 26th January (Sat)
* 27th January (Sun)
* 2nd  Feb. (Sat)
* 3rd  Feb. (Sun)
* 9th  Feb. (Sat)
* 16th Feb. (Sat) 

View point

Nice reflection

Our guest accept an interview from local TV

They are from Thailand

Which is attractive? Invisible world or creative world?

This is Kimy from J-Stay. 

New Hostel in Fukuoka will be scheduled to open in March!
So one of new staff for Hakata Hana Hostel (NANA chan) takes on-the-jop training from this month here. 
On the other hand for start up our boss makes frequent business trips to Fukuoka. Whenever he come back Kyoto, he explained us numerous delicacy of FUKUOKA. 
One of them is the greatness of Squid sashimi there. It  is unbelievable yummy because of the geography. (Close to ocean) 

Thanks boss! I got one fruit of serendipity from you.
How many people did look at the first discovery of Giant Squid last Sunday?
NHK TV broadcaster presented the World first filming of Giant Squid in deep ocean among different researcher team USA and Japan.
One Japanese oceanographer has been researching about their life of mode 10 years ago near the Ogasawara Islands. 
No one had encountered Giant Squid being alive in deep ocean until then.
In the 500km of deepth ocean Giant squid  appeared suddenly in front of deep submergence vessel (looks like Time Capsule of DORAEMON!!)
And then bite into prey (1 meter Squid bait) It was brilliant like gold and jewel. They have developed eyes for figuring out prey in darkness,( the size is 30cm!!)
There is still a lot of mystery.
How many year can be alive? 
How can they grow up so huge even though the lack of bait in deep ocean. 
It's invisible world. This great accomplishment inspired I had a dream to being oceanographer in my childhood.

Resource: How huge is the size!! Image of battle sperm whale vs. Giant Squid

After invisible world,today I got one creative world.
Thanks for my job I have many opportunities to meet people have different type of job from different countries. It's one of my pleasure. One client invited me salt demonstration art exhibition. 
Salt art? I can not imagine how to draw works. Salt means purification for Japanese so in temple, shrine and some house you can find small mountain of salt on the corner of entrance. 
The artist does not make drawing in advance. He draw layers of cells and net and line with simple plastic bottle for BBQ source as well as monk draw calligraphy or ink painting. 
In this time he draw without a moment's hesitation the size of 1.82m×25m during one week. 
After exhibition the salt he use (tons!), he bring back the most near ocean. I agree to his concept. The beauty is just instance.
After viewing this work, my energy was burn out at the same time my five senses are inspired too. I love art.

Seacret Oyster Lunch in Miyajima

Miyajima is one of the most famous and fabulous sightseeing spots in Hiroshima. Itsukushima shrine is beautiful and Mt. Misen is great for a hike. It's so nice to get away from a busy city and get relaxed on the peaceful island. I've been to Miyajima so many times, but I still love it so much.


the another reason why I love about Miyajima is FOOD!

Miyajima has many delicious specialties such as conger eels caught in the Seto Inland Sea, steamed Hiroshima Beef buns, Momijimanju (sweet-bean buns which are shaped like a Japanese maple leaf) and lots of food stalls everywhere for yummy food.

And you cannot miss Oysters!
We have the biggest oyster farm in Japan and you can enjoy oysters throughout the year on Miyajima, but the best season is from around October to April. My favorite oyster restaurant there is KAKIYA (牡蠣屋). It's located on the main street and a modern and stylish oyster bar.

I always have "Kakiya Teishoku (Kakiya Lunch Set)" there.


It's actually their secret menu, so you cannot find it on their menu at the restaurant. In this lunch set, it's 2000yen and you can have little bit of all their oyster menu - barbecued oysters, deep-fried oysters, oyster rice, oyster miso soup, oil-packed oysters. It's so delicious and how they barbecue oysters in the front of the restaurant is pretty cool as well.

I hope everyone enjoys Miyajima and the local food as well! :)

Gotta Try them!

It's already in 2013 now.. I still feel like in 2012. Gotta make my new goal for this year.
I will........stay healthy!
Hello from Hiroshima Hana Hostel, its Kana here. I guess I've gain few KGs due to new year drinking and food. Can anybody PLEASE tell me how to lose my weight.
I have discovered some nice restaurant near by Hana Hostel. They all located only 5 minutes walk from here, reasonable price and DELICIOUS.

The first place is Wine Bar "Django"

Prawn and Broccoli with Olive oil (On the above) is 580 yen, and and selection of appetizers is around 700yen. Red/White wine is from 490 yen!

 Second one is Japanese traditional restaurant "GENZO"

Lunch Set Menu "Sashimi Teishoku"  is 780 yen.

At last, Japanese IZAKAYA "NAMIHEI"

Really Really fresh Sashimi and seafood, also nice local  SAKE

I am really sure that you will enjoy them and love them, too! I will let you know how to get there.
I will keep on discovering nice restaurant for you and myself!!

I'm addicted to....

We are now in the season of freezing cold WINTER in Japan.
As we sit at the reception just in front of the entrance, the cold air comes through the interstices of the door.  
How we keep myself warm during our work, I would do ①dashing up the stairs, ②talking and talking with guests OR ③bite into snacks

For the 3rd option, i recognized Chocolate is the best to warm the body. It approaches to my brain first (gives some king of energy!) and warms myself.

One of our lovely guest brought the big BOX of chocolate(it should be actually regular size of the box in their country but it is very big for us;))  !!   
Me and Mio were very excited at the reception!
See the big smile! 
You know girls always love Chocolate♪

Hana Cleaning Staff

At Kyoto Hana Hostel, there are 5 cleaning staffs.
Everyone has a different color, but looks good as one. 

Chi-chan is from South Korea, studying economics at one Uni in Kyoto. She so tender and charming that Miou(one of the receptionists) thinks of Chocolate brownie from her. She loves Kase Ryo (Japanese actor) . So do I.  And likes Sakurai Sho the most in Arashi (Japanese super idol group). So do I! Good taste:)

Da-chan is from Vietnam, studying sociology as a uni exchange student. She is really really hardworking and PURE. You don't even need to go to temples or shrines to purify yourself anymore. Just come here and worship her if you want to:)

Yuririn is the newest cleaning staff here. Her height is really small but she is really powerful at cleaning. I still do not know much about her as I haven't got much time to get to talk to her unfortunately, but the newest information on her I've got is that she likes macaroons.

Omukai-san is from Kyoto, been working here more than one year. She loves eating especially snacks. The idea that she would not eat rice anymore in her entire life if she has to choose between snacks and rice amazed me. The call  she made to me this morning that she asked me if I needed some fresh mushrooms amused me. FYI, mushrooms were real good.

Konitan is such a lovely and charming lady that always makes our  heart warm.
She loves cooking and making her own recipes. Her dishes always make our seasonal parties much more valuable. One of my favorites from her dishes is the meat balls she made for one farewell party last summer..Or it could be steamed bread with chocolate-chips in? Could be Omuraisu (chicken rice inside omelet). Love them all after all!

These lovely cleaning staff are waiting for you at Hana:))

It is a bit belated, but Happy New Year 2013!

Japanese traditional food for New Year’s Day

We had a party on the 4th of January.
It was Ozoni party, Ozoni is Japanese traditional food for New year's day!
Our boss came and cooked for us!!!!!
It was sooo good, he made salt and soysauce taste!
This is Ozoni
Rice cake、 vegetables and chicken!!!
Actually the taste and how to make is depends on where you from.
Some area use white Miso, lookes like this.
This is Kagawa prefecture's one, they use red beans!That's weird for me though.
There you go! Here is our boss!
So cool!!!!!!!!
We can't wait to do this next year again!!!!!

How to worship

Happy New Year everyone!
How did you celebrate the New Year?

The beginning of the New Year, oshogatsu, are the most important annual holidays for Japanese people. There are several traditional customs we perform during oshogatsu, and hatsumoude should be ranked at the top of the must-do list. The term literally means "first visit". People traditionally make their first visit of the year to shrines and temples.

If you've ever visited temples and shrines in Japan, you might have noticed that the way people worship is slightly different depending on where they make a wish. If you haven't, don't worry, even some Japanese people don't give a damn about it.
This time, I'd like to show you how we worship at shrines and temples... with pictures!

STEP 1:  Wash both of your hands and rinse your mouth at a chouzuya to purify your body before approaching a god or Buddha. Don't forget to purify the handle of the water ladle at last.

STEP 2:  Put a money offering into an offertory box. (No amount is set) If there is a bell hanging down, ring it.

In the case of a shrine...

STEP 3:  Bow deeply and slowly twice.
STEP 4:  Clap your hands twice.
STEP 5:  Pray with your hands together.
STEP 6:  Bow deeply once more.

In the case of a temple...

STEP 3:  Bow deeply and slowly once.
STEP 4:  Pray with your hands together. (Do not clap your hands!)
STEP 5:  Bow deeply once more.

What is the difference between a shine and a temple?

This is actually a good question that many Japanese may struggle to answer (in a foreign language, especially). They could look pretty similar and even be built within the same area (literally next to each other). The answer to the question is easy and simple: a shrine is a place for Shinto (Japanese indigenous religion) worship, and a temple is a place for Buddhist worship. So the question is equivalent to asking the difference between a church and a mosque. So clear and simple. Unfortunately though, the simple answers may not always be the best answers. Some historical complications can explain the ambiguities of the differences between those two religious institutions.
OK. Let me try to break it down next time. Explaining this kind of religious stuff is so hard, you know...

Happy New Year, everybody♪ It is the beginning of a new year!!

Happy New Year, everybody♪ It is the beginning of a new year!

How did you spend your Christmas and a Happy New Year?

 When midnight arrived we ate 'toshikoshi' soba noodles.
Eating toshikoshi soba at the end of a year is a popular custom in Japan.Many people eat soba noodles while listening to the bells, and wish for health and longevity in the year to come.

and then some of our guests and us went to a shrine and prayed.This is called hatsumode, the first visit to a shrine.Many Japanese people visit a Shinto shrine during the first three days of January in order to make traditional New Year's wishes for health and happiness.It was very crowded then It took about 20 minutes to the entrance of Shrine.

One of our regular guests "Mr Banzai Bean" has returned to Hiroshima Hana hostel to spend a new year holiday.

 He went to Miyajima 2 days ago and brought a  Hiroshima speciality souvenir " Shamoji" (Rice-spoons) .The cost was 530yen .He recommends all visitores to Miyajima buy the same souvenir.

 Me bean and the staff of Hana hostel Hiroshima wish every body a happy new year all the best for 2013!!!