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!!

music which playing at the reception

We play music at the reception. What we are listening could be a good start to have a conversation with guests. Actually I get questions which is like 'What is this song??' from guests few times especially when I'm playing Japanese music. What I've got asked before are>> Gen Hoshino(星野源) UA Ukulele Gibri(ウクレレ ジブリ) Maria Takeuchi(竹内まりあ) Qululi(くるり) Tabito Nanao(七尾旅人) Halcali(ハルカリ) Fishmans(フィッシュマンズ) Hanaregumi(ハナレグミ) and more.. It is fun to know what they get curious, cause they find something feel good in the music without understanding the lyric meaning. I feel like weird that I've ever and never be able to listen Japanese music like they do. Have you ever got any like this experience(becoming like some music without knowing the meaning) when you were in other countries,by the way?? I have had one. I got a CD which include a song I loved when I was in China but I still don't know the song story. For now,it would be nice to ask the meaning to my friend who speaks Chinese or it also would be nice not to try know it and just enjoy the music.

Ohanami party is held on the 6th of APR (SAT)

Join our Ohanami party on the 6th of April :)
We enjoy seeing Sakura, eating lunch and drinking  together  at Utsubo park!

Sakura is very beautiful!
Then we eat lunch under the trees..!
 
Fee is free, we serve lunch for guests, but please bring your own drink.



Please come to the reception by 12:00. Then we go together.
If you miss this event, please come to Osaka Hana Hostel on Tuesdays.
We have international party every week!


coffee!!

Hi, this is Meg from J-Hoppers Osaka.
My co-workers already know that I am super crazy about coffee.
I've been studying and researching for a long time so
let me write little thing about coffee.

Do you know how many cups of coffee a single coffee tree can make for a year?
It is only 450g that means only 45 cups of coffee.
It takes at least 3 year to grow and to be ready for a harvest from a baby plant.
The coffee bean comes from the cherry or berry of the coffee plant
which is actually plant’s fruit.
It is produced after the withering of a white flower.
Each cherry consists of two seeds (beans) surrounded by pulp and skin.
The cherries are green at first and turn red when they are ripe.
They take 6 to 14 months to ripen, depending on the species of tree.












 




I usually drink at least 2 cups of coffee for a day.
That means 730 cups of coffee for a year.
I need more than 16 coffee trees just for me.
How about you?
A total, there are 10 million hectares of lands and 15 billion coffee plants in the world.

Did you know there are coffee farms in Okinawa and Ogasawara.
I don't know it is tasty or not.
Well, I let you know when I try.






















I'm grateful for nature's blessings and farmers.
It is hard work!





Tatami Mats

Tatami Mats are Japanese traditional floor mats are thick, and made of bundled straw and covered with tightly woven rushes called igusa.

Japanese people started to using over 13 hundred years ago.


Do you know the size of tatami(one piece)?
It is usually about 190 centimeters long by 95 cms wide, and 5.5 cms thick.

We often indicate the room size as "how may pieces of tatami mats could be placed? " instead of using "square".  I personally think it is more complicated but can not change in most of the situations because this culture is strongly taken the root in Japanese life.

(let me inform you all floors of the private room of Kyoto Hana Hostel are covered by the 6piecies of Tatami:))




The patterned fabric tapes are stuck on the edge.
 Older Japanese people sometimes say not to step on the edge of tatami, but Why?

I found this reason today, in old time, family emblem are designed on  fabric tapes. Those emblems symbolize their ancestors are believed as they could protect their home and family.

It is always interesting to research one thing  that I've already know about.
Knowledge does not end!





Where are you come from?

We have a "WHERE ARE YOU COME FROM ?" map in our cozy common space like many other hostels.



Shall we look at the map. 
Mmm..... Looks like many travelers came from Asia and Europe.










WOW ! ( ゚Д゚)
Travelers from Melbourne made it like 3 dimensions map !!!







I hope the map will be totally red one day !



The most beautiful (and busy) season has come in Kyoto.
We always welcome travelers from all over the world. (*゚▽゚)ノ

Sumo in Osaka

 
We went to watched Sumo Tournament
 at Osaka Gymnasium yesterday.

When we got there, so many people were waiting outside.
So we asked a gentleman what he is waiting for.
He answered
"Yokozuna (grand champion) "Hakuho" is coming soon!"
How exciting!!!!!

 We waited for a while....
His disciples are waiting for his arrival as well

 Finally here he comes!!!!
He looks absolutely great and shining...
He is such a dignified person.


Inside the stadium, there are life sized photo of Hakuko (West Yokozuna).
I was so excited even he was made by paper.
 
East Yokozuna - Haruma fuji
There are many people and I saw many foreigners too.
It was first time for me to watch professional sumo match

Rules of Sumo are easy to understand and each match is so quick.
Normally I don't watch them on TV, but it was so enjoyable!

The boy with fan is a big fun of "Kyoku Ten Ho".
He was soooo excited to cheered him!!

One of wrestler's (Koto Sho Giku) juniors came to cheer him!
The last match of a day.
Hakuho VS Kise No Sato
I got goosebumps when everyone shouted to cheer them.
It was a beautiful moment...


Me and Hideko really enjoyed watching Sumo!
I will go there to see it next year for sure!



Today (the 22nd of March) Hakuho became a champion.

But there are 2more day left, so I hope he will won the championship
with a perfect record!!

 

Tsunoshima Island in Yamaguchi

Hello there!
It's Masa from J-Hopprs Hiroshima.

The weather has been lovely with spring sunshine these days, so I had a day trip to an amazing island the other day. The island is called "Tsunoshima" and it is located in the north west of Yamaguchi Prefecture (4 hour drive from Hiroshima city). I heard a lot of good things about the island, so I have always wanted to go there... It was much more beautiful than I expected!










The 1,780 meter long bridge to Tsunoshima from Houhoku Town crosses over the shallow emerald ocean and brilliant white sand that separates the island from Honshu.







There is a long beach on the island, so you can enjoy swimming, BBQ and camping in summer time!







I had a seaweed flavored ice cream. It was... okay!





It would be really nice to come back in summer time.
I would definitely love to have a camp next time!

Shinto shrine


Hi there!This is Chika from J-Hoppers Hiroshima guesthouse.
It is getting warmer and warmer lately which means spring is around the corner.

The Japanese spring is extremely beautiful and full of cherry blossoms.
There are lots of good places for cherry-blossom viewing  in Hiroshima.
My favorite place is Miyajima island.
It takes around 1hour from Hiroshima city .But it is worth to visit there.




When you visit the island, you would see beautiful cherry-blossom and a huge RED TORII gate at Itsukushima shrine.



 For your in formation,when you visit to shirine,
Visitors wash their hands and rinse their mouths at the wash-stand of a shrine.
Ladle some water and then wash your left hand,right hand,and then the handle for the next person.
(The water is not drinkable!!)

In the from of the sanctuary,ring the bell or gong softly first.
Then,bow twice ,clap your hands twice,and pray while pressing your hands
together in front of your chest with your eyes closed.

Bow again to finish.Keep silent in front of the sanctuary to show respect.   

if you have a chance to visit shirine in near the future.
Please try this method at the shrine!!


 

 
 


 

J-hoppers Hana Osaka drink party

We had a party to celebrate the successful completion of our dance performance on a company trip.

J-hoppers and Hana hostel Osaka members made an effort and took a lot of time to practice the performance!lol

We all enjoyed it very much and miss the time.

I hope we can have another trip in the near future again.








Also it was so much fun to drink with my coworkers.
Looking forward to the next party^^

Sarubobo doll from Hida Takayama

 When you are traveling, do you buy doll as a souvenir?

This is one of famous souvenir from Takayama.




◆Hida's Sarubobo doll◆
"Sarubobo" literally means monkey baby in Hida dialect and
Sarubobo doll was named for its resemblance to Japanese monkey.
It is said that grandmothers in Hida region used to make
Sarubobo dolls for their grandchildren to play with wishing that
the dolls would bring happiness onto children's lives.
Now Sarubobo doll is known as a good-luck charm and believed
that it wards off evil spirits.

If you would like to know more about Sarubobo doll.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarubobo

Crazy japanese mascots


  If you visit Japan, you might be confused about how often you stumble on cartoon characters here and there. Many kids are crazy about cool characters from cartoon (aka Anime) series and lovely mascots like Hello Kitty and Rilakkuma are popular among people regardless of age and sex.

  In Japan, mascots called "yuru-kyara’' are rapidly taking over the nation.

  Yuru-kyara (literally means “loose characters”) are the character mascots designed for promoting just about anything you can think of–cities, prefectures, companies, brands, projects, events, sports teams, products and more. Well I think it’s not surprising anymore that in Japan, the land of cute and cuddly, pretty much everything has a fuzzy mascot.


  In January 2013, 141 yuru-kyara from 25 prefectures across the country gathered in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, to make their mark on history by becoming the largest group of mascots ever to do the same dance together. If, during the 5-minute song, less that 5% of the characters were out of sync or made mistakes, they would get a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest group of mascots that perform a synchronized dance.


  Although the yuru-kyara earnestly and enthusiastically shook their tiny arms and bulbous bodies to the music, they twice failed meet the requirements. However, 134 mascots put in a flawless performance on the third try and succeeded in setting the record! I watched the video of this historical moment on YouTube. Congratulatory music played and the characters jumped around hugging each other, completely lost in the moment. Could there be any happier sight on Earth than more than one hundred of giant cuddly creatures dancing and embracing? I think not. 

 
  There is even "Yuru-kyara Grand Prix" held every year. After winning the title of Japan’s most popular mascot of the year 2011, Kumamon, the bear character of Kumamoto prefecture that has big round spooky eyes and red cheeks, has been by far the coolest mascot in Japan to date.

 
  I have never been into any kinds of characters for as long as I can remember, but I have to admit that this half-deranged, drug addicted, potentially violent bear is somehow irresistibly adorable. His simple style and strong personality make him the ideal character mascot in Japan.

  Since his release in March 2010, Kumamon worked hard to publicize the attractions of Kumamoto in many events in different areas (he even tried bungee jumping), to draw tourists to Kumamoto with the opening of the Kyushu Shinkansen, or a new bullet train line in the southern Japanese prefectures in 2011.
 
  The strategy paid off. Riding on the wave of his popularity, Kumamon’s image is now everywhere and he has made a number of appearances in the media The effect of advertising for 2010 was estimated to have generated around 640 million yen for Kumamoto, and the sales of the related products for 2011 were more than 2,500 million yen.

  Unfortunately for diligent Kumamon fans though, he relinquished the title as No.1 yuru-kyara to Barii-san last year. 


  He is the kind of simple mascot that people like, complete with an adorably stupid kind of huggability. Acting as the mascot for Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture, he is apparently a portly bird of some sort, and his accessories represent local Imabari products: the haramaki stomach band is made from towel material, as towels are a major Imabari product, and the ship tucked into his haramaki represents the town’s shipbuilding industry. FYI, he also won the yuru-kyara Sumo Tournament too. As you can tell from the picture above, he's pretty huge. He carries all before one with his unfair tackling.

  Luckily, I managed to get Barii-san mascots in Ehime prefecture when we visited Dougo Onsen as a company trip the other day. I felt like I contributed somewhat to the boosting the local economy by buying stuffed cuddy animals. 



  This situation, where people can get so crazy about cute and sometimes creepy mascots throughout the nation, may seem childish to some (or most) people. I believe, however, that these characters can sometimes be a great way for getting people to know about and become interested in the companies, organizations or areas. 

  Why not focus on these characters next time you come visit Japan?  You may realize that although they look "loose" at first, they're actually working pretty hard in their job. (But I just hope they don’t work too hard in sweltering summer heat)




Thank you Aki-kun!

Osaka Hana Hostel's Volunteer staff Aki-kun joined our International Exchange Party for the last time before he leaves to Singapore.

He started to help our reception last December and helping our party every Tuesday too.

He was very helpful and we all are so grateful for his help !

Best of Luck AKI-kun for your future in Singapore !

I have wonderful time last night at the party.



 
And we finally to became part of our JHO48 for one second.....: )


Our Every Tuesday's International Exchange party became very popular and it is so much fun!
Please join us if you are staying with us!!