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!!

Kugrass cafe & shisha OPEN

"Kugrass cafe & shisha " is just-opened cafe & bar near Peace Park.
He was used to worked at another Shisha bar in Hiroshima.
But Finally he could have his own cafe and bar :-)

As Kugrass is located  along a river,so you can smoke Shisha gazing into Park and river.
(There are so many cherry blossoms in Peace can enjoy it at this bar.

(A hookah, also known as a waterpipe or Shisha (which refers specifically to Egyptian hookahs) is a single- or multi-stemmed instrument for vaporizing and smokingflavored tabacco  called shisha  in which the vapor or smoke is passed through a water basin (often glass-based) before inhalation. Depending on the placement of the coal above the shisha, a hookah can be used to produce smoke by burning the shisha or used to create water vapor by melting it at a lower temperature. )

The do not have any food at this moment.
                             So I recommend you going there after lunch or dinner to chill out.
                                       You might find a hammered dulcimer play or band live there.

                                            This  is one of my favorite bar in Hiroshima.
                                          If you visit Hiroshima,Let's go there together !!!!


SETSUBUN(Feb 3rd) means the day starts spring according to the old lunar calendar.
It is celebrated in ways all meant to drive away bad luck and bring in new good luck.
Most of the traditional rituals revolve around beans, because beans are considered to be very lucky.  But there is another way of celebrating!
Eating big, long, uncut sushi roll called ehou-maki. (It’s a Kansai region custom.)
There are basically three rules:
  • It must contain seven ingredients, because seven is a lucky number.
  • It must not be cut, because it might cut off your luck.
  • You have to eat it while facing the lucky direction, which changes every year! This year’s lucky directly is east-north-east on a regular compass. 
  • Finally, you must eat the whole roll in total silence.
We have SETSUBUN PARTY around 7:30p.m on Feb 2nd.
"Oni wa Soto   Fuku wa Uchi"



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

1 month will already pass since year 2014 started!!Time flies very fast, don't you think!?

There are so many kinds of traditional events in Japan, and today, I'd like to introduce you one of a big event in Japan!


                                Have you ever heard about SESTUBUN?

The meaning of setsubun is the day between 2 seasons((節(setsu)=season,分(bun)=parting.))
There are 4 seasons a year in Japan, so there were 4 times a year for setsubun in ancient times but the most important setsubun was the first day of spring, so nowadays we celebrate setsubun only in spring on the 3rd of February.


                                 What do we do on February 3rd?

☆Mamemaki(Bean throwing)
We throw soy beans at home in the evening of setsubun.
We throw them inside and outside of our house shouting "Oni wa soto, Fuku wa uchi!!"("Devils out, Fortune in!!")

When I was child, at my house, my father had to act as an Oni and my sisters and I threw beans at him to make him run away.
And after oni was gone, we ate the same number of beans as our age and wished for good health.

☆Ehou-maki(Sushi roll)
 Eating Ehou-maki is one of traditional event these days.

But there are 2 attention points to do this!!

1. You must eat it facing the lucky direction of the year(The lucky direction of 2014 is east-northeast.)

2. You should NOT speak until you eat all!!

If you speak any words, then the good fortune will be gone...!

I really want to do this at J-Hoppers Hiroshima with my colleagues this year, but I'm sure that we won't be able to stop laughing and will miss our good fortune for this year so I decided not to do this with them!!

The setsubun festival will be held in Miyajima!!
If you will be here in Hiroshima on February 3rd, why don't you go there and join the festival to get the good fortune for 2014!!?


Hi, this is Meg!
I would like to introduce a bakery ”porcini".
It is quit popular around Fukushima area.
The most popular bread of this bakery is ”salt focaccia” but it's not my favorite one.
I like "cream buns" bread dough is wrapped in a custard cream.
It is so soft and fluffy so I can't even use tongs to take.
Plenty of sweet custard cream is filled inside.
The flavor of sweet custard cream spreading on my tongue.
Why don't you have a bite of a cream bun?
You'll be filled with joy!

☆a short trip to HAKATA☆

I went to HAKATA and had a big fun!!!

I was living there for one year two years ago. So I have some friends in Fukuoka.

I met some of them at this time. There is some place

 which I would like to recommend!!! 

First, HANA hostel Fukuoka of course!!

I stayed in there one night. It was my first time to stay other J-Group hostel.

It was so nice place!! Clean, spacious, friendly, end so on...

I enjoyed staying there very much!!!

On second day, I went to botanical garden and zoo in Minami kouen.

I was great zoo. There is good interpretation to enjoy it more!!

 I love a Panther. So cool!!!!

There is also some kind of margay.

It's out of common in Japan. I had precious experience.

In  botanical garden, They have wide variety of cactus.

And in the night, I went to one restaurant in Daimyou.

It was amazing!! There is two big ship (kind of ship) in front of restaurant.

You can enjoy fishing by your self on there. And they cook it.

So, You can try very fresh fish. I hooked conger!!!

I enjoyed Hakata very much. I would like to go there again and stay longer.

I want to go out for drink with staffs in Hakata hana hostel!!!!

Snow Monkey!!!

Finally, I went to see "Snow Monkey" to Nagano.

Actually, they are not famous for Japanese people.
I always wondered why they are so famous for foreign tourists.
I found some information about them on the internet.

It was 1970.
In June 2014 is 50th anniversary of them!!

They are all "wild monkey" in the nature.
If you won't follow the rules, they will attack you!!

But they are so cute!!! 
I'll show you my monkey collections!!!

There is information desk in the park,
you can know more about the monkeys.

I recommend to go to Nagano after Tokyo.
Because it takes about only 100 min by Shinkansen.

Nagano→Yudanaka (50min by Nagano Dentetsu)
Yudanaka→Kanbayashi Onsen (15min by bus)
Kanbayashi Onsen→Jigokudani Yaen Koen (30min by walk)

Feeding bananas to monkeys is good not not?!

We have the idea which is ”monkeys = bananas” and I though they always eat bananas and good for them.
But one Zoo in England realized the high calorie and sugar content of bananas grown for human consumption which are sweeter than those found in the wild are bad for the monkeys' health and can rot their teeth so they stopped feeding bananas to them.

Their diet has calmed them down and made their groups more settle and their hair gets very smooth!

I'm wondering how Japanese zoo treat monkeys. Do they feed them bananas as well...?
The answer is No!  The Zoo in Japan feed them vegetable and sunflower seeds!
Then why do we have the image which is monkeys eat bananas?

What do you think?
Some people said it because of "Curious George."

We have many stereotype or image, but if we think another way, we might find different answers.

Sandera mairi(three temple visit)

Santera Mairi or Three Temple Visit is held annually on January 15th. Traditionally, it was used as an event for young men and women to meet. Currently, the event has become as a temple visit to wish for a good relationship.
Many snow candles and lanterns are lit in the town, creating a dreamy and romantic atomosphere. Many visitors during this time rent a kimono and walk the town for a memorable evening.

I went to see the festival with our guests.All of us rent kimono and joined the event

We wrote our wishes and placed them on the river to flow with the river's stream

 Santera Mairi or Three Temple Visit : Annually on January 15th

 Place: Hida Furukawa (20 minutes from Takayama)

 Sandera mairi

Once in Every 20 years! Ise Sengu Festival

This is Kimie from J-Stay. 
Did you set of  your New Year goals already?  
One of my goal  is try to Surf.  Yeah Surfing!!
My customer from Malaysia introduced me one instruction video of surfing. 
For now I spread my imagination for this summer. For short step to stand up on waves I practice push-up for make muscle growing bigger.
My new world will be discovered and I would like to go around as horse year. 

My special event of New year is visit to ISE Shrine with my family.
Yesterday I visited this Japanese Top of Shrine with my father and brother.
Early  bird gets worms! As this proverb our departure time was 6:30 in the morning.
On the high way we arrived our destination 8:40. It takes only 2 hours and an half.

Changing  the topic of conversation, I am learning tea ceremony class. We found one decoration as mini-partition in the first class this year. It's picture was for visit to Ise Shirine. It was used for wall partition in one Japanese Hotel 400 years ago. 
My teacher added explanation "how was important ISE Shrine for Japanese."

In the Edo period (400 years ago) it was forbidden for people to leave their villages except for on one special day of the year when a few people were selected to visit "Ise Shrine". They would go there at sunrise for they believed that at sunrise for they believed that at sunrise the sun has the most power. They would go there to seek this power. Even now people still visit Ise Shrine to attain power.

At Sunrise because they believed that the sun was at its most powerful, that it's energy was at its highest at this time of day. 

When we left it was raining I was worrying about weather. But It was sunny day when I arrived Ise Shrine. I felt I really attained power.

New Main Hall of Ise was shining. 

Previous Main hall after 20yeas ago.

After visit two main Hall of Shrine one big lunch in this itinerary is UNAGI.

May you get succeed in this year 2014 and achieve all your goals you have set!


Best Udon in Osaka

Udon is Osakan No'1 Soul food for sure! 
Who will stay in Osaka Hana Hostel, Please try this :-P
There is Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shopping Arcade near by and you can get all the kitchen tools here. Why don't you eat well and cook well Japanese :-) 

--- KAMATAKE ---
Open: 11:00-16:00
Holiday: Monday
(15 min walk from Osaka Hana Hostel)


I got Otoshidama!!! - お年玉-

A Happy New Year to everyone!!

New years in Japanese customs are very different from many of other county and I would like to introduce some of it : )

1. Nengajou (年賀状)
-its a New Year Card like Christmas Card in Western society.
but incredible Japanese Post, if you post a Nengajo in between 15th and 25th of December, all of it will be delivered on the 1st of January morning.

2. Osechi-ryori (おせち料理)
-Japanese people eat a special selection of dishes during the New Year celebration called osechi-ryori  It developed a long time ago when we did not have refregelator and no shop were open during new years holiday so many of these dishes are sweet, sour, or dried, so ut can be kept without refrigeration.


3. Otoshidama
- Usually given to family children with small envelope (Pochi-bukuro) with some money (in between 1000yen -10,000yen)  in it.
so many adults are now days avoid visiting family with children during new year time......big expense!


My family, we usually have a get together either on the 1st or 2nd of January and have dinner.
People in my age, would need to give out Otoshidama and i have given  a couple of Otoshidama to my nephews, however my elder sister gave everybody a pick of Otoshidama and I actually won 10,000yen!!! (out of 15 envelopes, there was only one 10,000yen and two 5,000yen rest were all 1,000yen !!!)
It was a very good start of the 2014 for me and I wish all of you a very Happy year ahead!!



A Happy New Year!!
This is the first blog in 2014!

I cannot believe time flies so fast.
I found my notebook which I wrote when I was around 18 years old.
It says " I will be ..... in 5 years, will be.... in 10 years."
How come it pasts already!?

By the way, 2013 was a nice year in Japan!
The economy was developing little by little.
Wage pay was up, the number of job offers was up!
In addition, there is nice news for you!
Japanese government allows you to stay here maximum 1 year, not 90 days as sightseeing.
Not for all people though, please check JPN government web site.

I am very happy many people visited in Japan last year.
I am proud of my country so much! We have really nice places, food, culture, and people.
Please come here and feel with your body!

I appreciate all visitors!


Happy New Year from Osaka Hana Hostel!

A Happy New Year, Everyone!

This is Masae from Osaka Hana Hostel.

It's been a year and a half since we opened Osaka Hana Hostel!

I have to say that it's been a great year and I'm so happy to work here with my lovely colleague.

                       ⬆︎Me, Ranna and Hideko at our Xmas party with sake from our friend.

We will do our best to make our guests happier this year as well.
I hope you will have a great year!

We are waiting for your visit!!