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!!

Sky Building and Osaka Station City tour on Monday during Summer!!

Hello !
Osaka's Summer is killer....
We usually offer a Free Osaka Castle tour every Monday for staying guests however during summer, it is to HOT to do outdoor tour so we offer slightly indoor tour !!!

This year, Sky Building and Osaka Station City tour organize by Mikko and Mitchy  !!!

Both are very knowledgeable for Osaka and Japans Tourist Information and history background.
They both speak fluent English!

So I joined the tour last week : )

Lets leave Osaka Hana Hostel about 10:05 !
Here we go!!

 Traveling by local Subway yay!

Meeting the tour guides Mikko and Mitchy !
Tour is actual starting point at Umeda station  Meeting point Yodobashi Camera Exit 4 !

Great view from Osaka Station City !!
Even only little local Osakan knows about this spot : )

Going towards Sky Building with great chat !

 Here we are, getting there !

 Haha, Nice photo spot !

Underneath the Sky Building has a very unique and  retro food court called TAKIMI KOJI 
it has a really nice atmosphere and great food choice !!

Lunch break !! 
This time, we have TENDON (Tenpura-donburi) !

If you are staying at Osaka Hana Hostel including Monday during this summer, please join our tour!!

Kabuki @ Osaka Shochiku-za theatre in October

Have you seen Kabuki?

Kabuki is one of Japan's traditional stage arts started playing in the seventeenth century.
And it is performed by male only.
But some actor look so beautiful that I cannot believe they are male sometimes...

Few years ago, one of my friend asked me to come with her to see Kabuki,
I had not much interested in it that time, but once I had watched I'm into it, too!!
I saw Kataoka Ainosuke on the show and he was so good actor...

Kataoka Ainosuke
Now he is more famous actor for TV drama.

We don't have Kabuki all the time in Osaka, but it will be back from the 3rd to 27th of October!!
And my favorite actor Kataoka Ainosuke will be there !! I am so excited!!!

October kabuki

Date: October 3 (Fri) - October 27 (Mon), 2014 
Place: Osaka Shochiku-za theatre (15minutes walk from Osaka Hana Hostel)
Morning show From 11am 
Evening show From  4pm
Price (with tax)

How you get the tickets:

I hope you enjoy watching Kabuki !!!


Hi there.
Did you enjoy this summer?

I got a week off and have been to Bali.

I really didn't know much about Bali and didn't expected it that much.
But it was really great time!

Bali has beautiful nature like beach and forest and mountains.

And also it's famous for surfing.
The most famous place with famous spots such as Padang Padang, Uluwatu, Bingin, Impossible, Dreamland.

Those places are not for beginners (except Dreamland), waves are really crowded and some really dangerous (the reef is usually not far from surface). If you are beginner or inexperienced, go Balangan or Dreamland. 

If you go to Kuta beach there are plenty of surf-schools and it's a beach break, which means no rocks. So it is safer for learning, nevertheless the wave is pretty fast.

It was my nearly first time to try surfing ( I tried it before but I couldn't stand up lol), but I could stand up on the board after few try.

I felt like I caught the wave and so good!!

Ubud is famous as a spiritual place.
In Bali, there is a belief that gods and goddesses exist in the elements of nature, so for Balinese, the spirit world and the human world are constantly interacting. More than 90% of the population practices Balinese Hinduism (the rest of Indonesia is Muslim) and everywhere you look, women are making offerings of rice and brightly coloured flowers, blessing the things they interact with.

It is common practice for Balinese to visit a healer – or Balian – before, or instead of, seeing a Western-style medical doctor. Each village has healers who use medicinal herbs and ancient teachings to treat their patients, and most Balian specialise in a specific type of healing; from organ and bone health to emotional well being and combating black magic.

And there are nice Yoga studios too.
A lot of Yogis visit Ubud to practice Yoga.
I tried it as well and enjoyed peaceful and nice time:D


There are many things you can do in Bali!!
 Explore and find your favorite!

Hiroshima landslide

This is Mizzy from Hiroshima Hana Hostel.
How are you all doing?

Most of you may already know but Hiroshima was attacked by the heavy rain with lightning and thunder, flooding, and mudslides.

The rain started fallling in the evening with frequent lightning and thunder on August 19th.
At 2am on the 20th, the rain got harder and harder, and the thunder went louder.
I couldn't sleep because the rain hitting my house sounded like hailing and it was so noisy.
I was trying to sleep with covering my blanket over my head but then, I heard the thunder struck somewhere near my house.
It was so loud and I jumped up.
My dog woke up as well but she looked at me with a face expression of " I don't care" and went back to sleep.
And I was like "Wow...I respect my little buddy."

August has been spoilt by lots of rains and typhoons.
I have never experienced this kind of weather in hiroshima before.
....Very unusual.

The affected area is a suburb of Hiroshima and 52 people has been found dead and 28 are still missing.

I read so many sad stories about this mudslide and I couldn't help myself not to cry.

My prayers go out to the people who passed away, who lost the loved ones, and who are still missing...

Hiroshima sacrificed a lot in this tragedy.


Never give up!
Stand up! Hiroshima!


Travellers who have been planning to visit Hiroshima must be worried but please don't worry.
Since the central of Hiroshima is not affected at all and all the transportations (Trams/JR sanyo line/Shinnkansen) in the main area are running as usual, you have no problem to go see touristic sites such as the Peace Park and Miyajima.

Useless English Words Ever

It's a kind of universal common knowledge already that 'Japanese people can not speak English'.
Even legendary famous translator Natsuko Toda who always interviews Tom Cruse when he comes to Japan has made a lot of serious mistakes when she subtitles a movie in Japanese (and confuses us)...
Speaking other language (or own language) well is actually entirely dependent on your communication skill not techniques to control the words. No matter how much time we blame on our education system, we still are not able to communicate with people in English (or other languages) because the way which is considered as a good we communicate with others are different from other culture. Talking a lot is unpleasant habit in Japanese society. So we keep quiet and tend to listen to others even we know how to speak.
Here is a text book.

It is titled 'useless English words ever'.
I bought it since a lot of Japanese people admires this on Amazon. It seems quite a big hit among the people who keen to study English.
No wonder we are not good English speakers. Because we learn it from here. But we know tons of pervert words, and just try not to say those...

My memories in the U.K

 This is Yoshi. I’m now planning to visit U.K and have a reunion with my shoolmates during my short holiday in October.
 I had faced lots of difficulties during my stay there for 5 years, such as being bothered from preparing for my exams, difficulty in speaking English, having a disease and getting injured by doing karate, facing some series of problems caused by the terrorism in New York, London, and Spain… I was at the crossroad of my life there.
However, my friends helped me and I overcame these problems! I feel friendship is one of the precious things in my life, which leads me to become more energetic!

a facinating city, London!
 It was about two years ago when I returned to Scotland to meet my friends. I remembered precious memories with my friends in Scotland. It made me consider how I had spent my wonderful time with my friends.
My family also had helped me a lot during my stay in the U.K. I would not be there without any help from my family and friends. I think this trip will be the last to go to the U.K with my family since I have to consider my future this year.
My second home town, St Andrews in Scotland
 By the way, about the U.K, I often see Japanese articles and TV programs about Scots referendum this year. If Scotland becomes independent of the U.K, what will happen after that? I cannot imagine... I can understand and respect the sense of feeling among Scottish people with their unique culture, but I cannot say anything as this matter is complicated and will lead to Scottish future. I love all areas of the U.K!! It will be definitely worthy of notice this year!
 Please let me know if you have any good memory with your friends during your stay in any country, I would like to hear thatJ.
  Anyway, I will update some information for sightseeing in the U.K after coming back to Japan!

Takoyaki party!

We have an international party every Tuesdays★
It is not a big party, but homely and warm!

All guests who stay Osaka Hana Hostel can join, even though kids or babies...!
Participation fee is 300yen.

Usually we cook Takoyaki together! Takoyaki is a Osaka food :)
It is made by flour, eggs, water and various ingredients and is stuffed with diced octopus.
Some guests buy a special pan to cook Takoyaki to make them at home.

Anyway, it is a really good chance to get to know travel tips and other cultures as communicate with people from all over the world!


We are really good hostel especially for single travelers :)
We want all people to enjoy Osaka, Japan!!!

Osaka food, Ika-yaki !!

Ika-yaki, this is the best Osaka food for me!

Ika-yaki is broiled squid.
However Osaka people call thin pancake with squid Ika-yaki.
This is really delicious!

You can get this at Umeda, Hanshin- department.
Please, please, please eat!
Can't believe you do not try though you are in Osaka!!!!!

This Ika-yaki is very famous among Osaka local people!!

What I am interested in

Hello! This is Tomomi from Hiroshima Hana Hostel!

Are you into sports? Do you do any exercises on a regular basis?

I have played basketball for about 8 years when I was a student. These days, however, I really don’t play any sports. Recently, I was shocked when I was out of breath after climbing up the stairs…

Still, I am interested in yoga !

As you know, yoga is really good for one’s health and beauty. A few years ago, a friend of mine invited me to join a yoga class. It was a taught by a friend of hers and we were only three or four students. I really loved the class and the atmosphere. For six months I attended the class and I was always looking forward to it!

During class, there was mellowed music and a nice smell in the room. Also, it was a very calm and quiet place. When I went there, I did not need to think much and could just relax. Other times I could focus on only one thing, especially during slow breath exercises.

Sadly, one day, our yoga teacher left Hiroshima to study more about yoga and improve her qualifications as yoga teacher. After that, I didn’t do yoga for a long time. These days, however, I started again all by myself. With a yoga book I try to do the exercises at home, but sometimes, someone from my family starts talking to me or my dog and cat demand for attention. It can be really tough to find a quiet spot, maybe especially at my home.

So a few days ago I looked up some yoga classes in Hiroshima, but it takes over 6000 Yen a month on average. It is more expensive than I expected! So for now, I just do it by myself! I don’t mind that much anymore doing it at home ;)

Please share your favorite sport activities! I am curious to hear about it!

Traveling by car? Come to J-Hoppers!

J-Hoppers Kyoto has a new parking. It is right next to our hostel !!!
If you have a car, I highly recommend you to drive to Amano Hashidate and Miyama.
In Amano Hashidate you can see the great view and enjoy seafood.


In Miyama you can see traditional old houses. It is also nice to drop by local farmers market on your way back and cook in the J-Hoppers Kitchen!

Parking : 1000yen/day
*Bicycle and motor bike are free!
Please book the parking when you book your bed.

Handtube Firework Display

Hi again, this is Ian from Hida-takayama guesthouse. I had no choice but to cancel my plan to go dancing overnight at Gujyo-hachiman the other night. While you might think it was good news from the point of view of the hostel, given I would have had enough sleep and would not doze off at work. But my plan of overnight dance actually became overnight translation, on which I was very much behind schedule. I'm not sure which is more tiring as one is physical and the other is mental. But both involved sleep deprivation, so I'm indeed tired. But please be rest assured that I'm fully awake, as I'm writing this blog, and am delivering services to our guests to the highest standard as usual.

Enough introduction. Given my failure to participate in the Gujyo overnight dance, I will write about something else. Last week, I went to see the handtube firework display within Takayama city. I must say the performance blew me away. Each round three to four guys (I suspect there were female participants as well. Salute!) would stand by at a specific point holding a big tube. After being ignited, the tube would start shooting out sparks, which grew more vigorous in time until it ended all of a sudden in an explosion, sending the temporarily lighted up sky back to darkness again. That the handtube holders had to stand there all the way, during which time fire sparks appeared to rain down on their bodies, added to the thrill of the performance. Even though you well know that it must be very safe given they are doing it every year, I could not help but feel frightened that the final explosion might blow them to pieces, especially it turned suddenly pitch dark after the explosion that they seemed to have disappeared every time. I also wonder if it would burn you to a certain extent, even though it is not life-threatening. I would imagine if I were standing there, I would almost certainly humiliate myself by starting to scream, jump all around and finally throw the tube inside the river. End of story. This is surely a perfect demonstration of masculinity, which I am certainly lacking. Give me some time and I will work on it. Then maybe next year I can volunteer to take part in the event.     

Unexpected in many ways

Hello everyone :) This is Asuka from Kyoto Hana Hostel.

I planned to go to Nagoya on my holidays last weekind.
However, unfortunately, I did not make it due to the typhoon.
There are a lot of events in summer season in Japan, and a lot of typhoons occur.
Music events, some festivals, fireworks and so on.
People look forward to them every summer but we can not avoid typhoons coming.
Apparently, typhoons are named based on where they occur by the way.
I did not know that but it is just for youy information.

I was going to meet my friend who lived in Nagoya but we did not make it.
We changed plan and we would meet up next month!
My schedule for last weekend was clean slated.
However, one friend called me up and we met up. It has been long 6 months.
He was ruined his schedule due to the typhoon too.
Hence we could catch up and chatted lots.

The typhoon ruined my schedule but gave me other opportunity to catch up with my friend.
I did not expect it at all but I had fun after all :)

If you plan to come to Japan in summer season, please keep that typhoon may occur in your mind.
Though nobody knows when and where lol

Enjoy your rest of summer anyways ;)
See you around!

You can use an elevator at J-Hoppers Hida Takayama

Hi I am Matsu.

We finally can  use an elevator at J-Hoppers Hida Takayama 

I had been asked to get suitcase up to guest's room many times since it was open

Sometimes guests requested us to let them stay on lower floors.

You do not need to worry about this kind of questions any more.

I hope an addition of lift brings more guests to the hostel

We love Baseball

Hello from Hiroshima Hana Hostel, It's Kana here.
Typhoon was approaching to Hiroshima, but fortunately it didn't.
I hope all the traveller are having safe trip.

Japanese loves baseball, especially in Hiroshima. 
All men and women of all ages just love it.
Hiroshima Hana Hostel located only few minutes walk away from MAZDA stadium(Baseball) .
So the Hostel is full of baseball fan when there is a game.

Almost everyone dress up with the uniform and go to stadium, of course I do too.

We usually recommend to the guest who check in on the day of the game to go and watch the game.
Ticket is available from 1700yen!!
You will have great experience at stadium with local people! The game is held between Mar and Sept!! So do not miss this awesome experience!!

Mariano ! Thank you so much!!

Mariano practices Kendo, Japanese martial arts in his country.
I am so touched because he tries to learn Japanese culture.
He searched a local club on the internet and go there to practice Kendo.

On the last day, he showed us Kendo performance with bamboo sword called Shinai!
This is really amazing! 

I recommend playing Japanese traditional sports if you want to know Japanese culture.
Because it is important not only to master technique but also to discipline mind.

切磋琢磨 means working hard together

Nowadays Japanese cartoon and idles are very popular, but these are new culture.
Japaneses traditional culture is very beautiful. I am proud of our culture.

Thank you, Mariano!

It's new! Gion Ryokan Q-beh.

Finally! Our new branch 'Gion Ryokan Q-beh' opened last month.

It is really Japanese style and matches the atmosphere in the area. Kyoto Hana Hostel is like a modern style Japanese and Q-beh is traditional style Japanese.

The entrance,that makes you feel exciting to get in cause it is such like the entrance of old story. Greens, ornaments, the door, everything is a bit unusual.

Staff wearing a unique uniform as Japanese style will welcome you for your comfortable stay (hahaha). Have you ever stayed at old style Kyoto house? What the special thing for the old Kyoto style is 'thin and narrow building`. It's called 'a bed for a eel' as the shape of eels. Q-beh is the old style Kyoto house. You can find a tiny and cozy garden beside the hall way. As for my favorite, a common room on the 3rd floor. It will be perfect place to spend time nothing to do with silent environment and you can even look down the view from the window. Not many tall building but old houses around. The pond for the next garden makes the view great. You may feel like that you were back to old Japan. What I can recommend you to do there is spend your time as chill out. Also enjoy the environment,atmosphere in there and around there. It is the place for experience of unusual gorgeous stay.

Morning exercise and morning market

With an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables within easy reach in Takayama, it is hard not to succumb to their temptation, leading to overeating and allowing for the nurturing of a big belly. It is more often than not that I drop by the morning market, saying to myself that I will just take a look, but get carried away and end up carrying one or two bags of vegetables or fruit back home. In a bid to avoid a reunion with my big belly, which I happily bade farewell to ten years ago, I have decided to start a morning exercise routine.

After exploring the neighbourhood for a a few times, I have more or less settled on a route for my jogging exercise. The route will take me from my home to the Shiroyama park, from which I will enter the "Healthy Ten Thousand Steps Route", which ends somewhere near some tomato farms. Then I will jog along the Enako River until I reach the main street, and then cross to the Miya River morning market, where you can reward yourself with some fresh tomatoes or fruit. I am not sure about the total distance yet as I don't have internet access with my phone yet, but I think that should be good enough for a morning exercise, as it has some uphill sections, which will surely make you sweat a lot if you try to jog all the way through.

I will try to do this route three to four times a week, on days when I am off or on late shift. Today I was so happy to see the lady selling mini-tomatoes at the morning market as I still remember the delicious and juicy tomatoes I bought from her last autumn when I first came to Takayama. Apparently she was on holiday the past few weeks but I am glad she is back. And you know what you remember me! That was a pleasant surprise. And of course I bought a lot of mini-tomatoes from her. So sweet!

The Rhythm of Takayama

Hi all, this is Ian from J-hoppers Hida Takayama Guesthouse. It has been nearly a month since I came to Takayama from Hong Kong, and I would say I have more or less got used to living here, meaning I won't get lost anymore going home and know where to get good food so that I won't starve to death. Now that I have got my bearings here, my goal in August is to do as much hiking as I can!

Before embracing August, let me first rewind a little bit to my first few weeks here. I was lucky enough to find a house to share with a Japanese, thereby not only saving me the hassle of looking for a suitable place and filling up the empty apartment with stuff, but also giving me ample chance to practice speaking Japanese and to have frequent interesting cultural exchanges. We are now taking turns making breakfast, which definitely adds to the fun of sharing a house together.

Speaking of cultural exchange, I was invited by the mother of a Japanese colleague two weeks ago to a mahjong game, which happens to be a staple part of elderly entertainment and also a popular game among youngsters in Hong Kong. Itching to play the game after coming here, I jumped at the chance without giving it much of a thought. But what awaited me at the mahjong table amounted to a sort of cultural shock. In Hong Kong, we discard tiles by throwing it out to the centre of the table, usually with some force that signifies the tile is no longer needed. And no effort is made whatsoever to separate tiles discarded by each player. When I threw away my first tile, my colleague's Mum, despite trying to remain calm, was clearly quite disturbed by my move. It was only after a few more rounds of tile-discarding that she confessed her shock to me. Apparently in the Japanese version, every discarded tile is arranged 6 in a row orderly in front of the player, thereby allowing other users to go back to each player's previous move easily without having to rely on memory. But what struck me was less the rationale behind the practice, but more its embodiment of  "Japan-ness". Japanese like everything to be neat and orderly, and try to avoid any uncertainties. This characteristic is beautifully reflected in the game of mahjong. If I have to make a comparison using music, Japanese mahjong is like classical music and Hong Kong mahjong is more like rock music. Anyway, the difference was interesting, and worth a bit more research. I would love to play the game again, assuming that the Japanese lady have not been intimidated by my "barbaric" way of playing the game.   

Apparently I have dragged on too long about the mahjong shock, and I will wind up here. I have a lot to look forward to in August, with all the hiking plans, and I just hope that I will be blessed with nice weather, and that I won't run into any bears on my hike. I will bring along my bear bells and sing out loud or talk to myself while walking. Wish me luck!