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!!

The Ise Jingu pilgrimage!!

I went to Ise Shrine last week to say thank you for gods!

Among the thousands of Shinto shrines in Japan,

Ise Shrine is treated as one of the most sacred.
Actually Ise Shrine refer to a group of 125 different shrines in Ise city.

The official name of"Ise Shrine" is simply "Shrine"  (Jingu) only.
Ise Shrine is dedicated to the goddess of the sun, Amaterasu-omikami.

She is the major deity of the Shinto religion.
I visited "Meotoiwa (Wedded Rocks) " first to purify my soul.

If you touch your body with the circle is made of straw,
your body and soul will be clean!!!

Then, I went to "Geku (Outer Shrine)"and "Naiku (Inner Shrine)"

I could see beautiful sun shine everywhere!!

2014 was special year for Ise shrine, because it has held "Sengu" this year.

It is held to keep the holy environment pure and clean,

representing the everlasting power of the god.

People renovate the old shrine or build a new one to preserve

the god’s power. Ise Shrine has "Sengu" every 20 years.

To book rooms in Osaka Hana Hostel

Hello, everybody!

Our HP is renewed!! You can book rooms on our HP!
It is very easy to do it!

Check vacancy and click "Reserve".
You just fill your information... that's all!!
You do not need to pay any deposit.

In addition, our HP shows a lot of important things.
Please read them carefully.

If you have any question, please feel easy to call us!


Thank you very much! Happy new year!!!


Hi there! Do you enjoy winter?

I used to dislike winter because it's so cold and make me so lazy.
But now I started winter sports, snowboarding so I enjoy winter a lot!!

I went to Hakuba valley which is world famous and known as the place used for winter Olympics in 1998.

 I really recommend this place!

 The valley incorporates 10 ski resorts, over 200 runs, 139 lifts, huge towering peaks, a local village, ski /snowboard shops, a combination of traditional or western dining and Apres entertainment.

If you are really ski /snowboard freak, you can work there at restaurant or bar or gear rental shop and enjoy snowboarding anytime when you have free time!!

Time fries as arrow 歳月不人待 My review YEAR 2014

Hi! This is Kimie From J-Stay

It's Only remaining less than two weeks! 
We call December as rush month because even though monk needs to rush. At the same time it is the time for reviewing year.
So I want to follow this custom with pictures I took.

New family member joined us. My brother got married so I got sister in law. It was one of my dreams.

Ise trip with my dad
Home made food for New year 

February: big my birth day party 

Inmemorable birthday party ever!

Change to vegitarian !?

Joine Relay race with boss 

Ise trip with guest of shareouse I managed. 

May: Found rainbow circle by coincidence 

Guion Festival & BBQ party by J-Stay

TRECKING in Kyoto with my trecking partners

Set up Work Shop about stained glass artist from Kyoto and Spain September and Octorber 

OPENING Three sharehouse 

My first lecture about Guest House and Sharehouse in Osaka 

Trip to Nagano with my previous roommate in Mexico city on November 
First harvest Kaki in my farm 

My first Futsal Experience on December 

Thank you for every meeting I had this year, people, books, movies, art and time.

"All of us every single year, we're a different person. I don't think we're the same person all our lives." by Steven Speilberg

FIND new person next year. LET'S start cleaning UP, OSOJI



Heavy snow

It snowed a lot  across Japan this week.

It is very unusual this time!!

Takayama got 150cm of snow within this 3 days.

Trains stopped running and people got stacked.Many our guests could not come to Takayama due to snow.

I feel very sorry for them.

2014 - 2015

2014 is going to finish already...

New Year is the most important day for Japanese people and we pray to have a healthy and happy new year in a shrine. Even the shrine is packed, This is the peaceful moment.

What have you done in 2014?
And what do you want to do in 2015?

I try something new every year.

2012 : Traveling to India for 7 weeks and also singing "Beethoven Symphony No.9" with 10000 Choirs in Osaka.

2013 : Vippasana meditation for 10 days in 2013.

2014 : 8hrs climbing to Yakushima and also walking "El camino de Santiago" for 114km in 2014.
Now I'm thinking what I try for the year coming...

I really hope that you will have a happy Christmas and New Year!!!


New year in Japan

Konnichiwa!! This is Tomomi from Hiroshima.

It's already Dec 18th!!
We will have Christmas and New Year's soon!!! Time flies so fast...

New Year's is one of Japan's most important festivals.
Japanese people go to visit shrines for the first time of the new year, which is called Hatsumode(初詣).

On Miyajima Island, there are a lot of events around the new year and into the first weeks of January.

They will have Chinkasai Fire Festival on Dec 31st from 6PM. Groups of locals carrying huge flaming torches parade between the large stone torii gate at the end of the entrance of Itsukushima Shrine. 

The heat is so strong, you will forget the cold.

Itsukushima Shrine will open from midnight to 8pm on Jan 1st. Because it's SOOOOOOO crowded every year, the ferry runs every 10-15 minutes.

So, I recommend you go there around 1am to around 6am if you don't want to wait in the long line to Itsukushima shrine.

But it will be worth the visit!! Hatsuhinode(初日の出), which is the first sunrise of the new year, will be absolutely amazing.


Why don't you celebrate New Year's in Japan and go Hatsumode!?
You will have an unforgettable experience.

Nice Okonomiyaki Shop in Shinsaibashi, Namba area

Hello! This is Masae from Osaka Hana Hostel!

Have you had Okonomiyaki before? It's a savory pancake which is very popular food in Osaka.

My friend visited me from Okinawa, and her favorite food is Okonomiyaki, so I really want to take her to my favorite restaurant "Fukutaro" 福太郎.
There are 2restaurants around in Shinsaibashi, Namba area.
I took her the one in Takashimaya department (高島屋) store in Namba. 

They open from 11am to 11pm.(Last order is 10:30pm)

They have an iron plate (鉄板)in front of you and the end of the table is the place where chef cook.
So if you are seated in front of the chef, you will enjoy seeing chef cooking. 

If you go there please try their special menu  "Negi-yaki".
It is similar to Okonomiyaki, but it has more spring onion (negi) and it's very fluffy.
Okonomiyaki has got Okonomiyaki Sause (thick sweet sause) on the top, 
but Negi-yaki has got soy sause (their special blended sause).

My friend was so impressed with Negi-yaki and we ordered 2 Negiyaki and 1 Okonomiyaki.
I don't mind to eat it everyday.

Food is delicious and staff were friendly.
Chef seems enjoying his work and every time he brought the food to us, he offered us to cut our Okonomiyaki in half. It was so nice of him.
He cut 2 okonomiyaki in half and make half and half Okonomiyaki!
After we left, we walked toward to Kuromon Market (黒門市場).
We saw the main restaurant on the way. They open only for dinner.
Open hour is 5pm to 12pm (11:30pm)

I remember last time I came to this restaurant I had to wait for 30minutes to get in.
They are so popular!
Main restaurant in Namba
If you come to Osaka, please try Okonomiyaki!

There are so many Okonomiyaki restaurants and each one has a different specialty.

We hope you enjoy them in Osaka:)

Mt. Hiei

Hello, this is Asuka from Kyoto Hana Hostel.

It is getting colder and colder outside.
But I am active and I climbed Mt. Hiei last week :)

Mt. Hiel is very beautiful mountain and Enryaku Tepmle is adorable.
Winter is not good season for climbing mountain but still enjoyable :)

It took around 3 hours to reach the top of mountain.
However, we got the beautiful land scape and that was worth it !

Be active and go out side to get small happiness ;) haha

See you next time !

Shirakawa-go and Takayama painted in white

Despite the Japanese Observatory forecasting a warm winter with less snowfall this year, the beginning of December has witnessed a large part of Japan enveloped in snow. When it comes to snow, Takayama and the wider Hida area have not shortage of it. But the initial forecast did make me lose some sleep as it is my first year in Takayama and I am looking forward to a snowy and white winter. But it seems my worry was unwarranted. In fact, this December turns out to be a pretty cold one.

So you can imagine my excitement when snow started snowing in Takayama, and even more so when I arrived at Shirakawa-go, where there was massive amount of snow. I stayed there for one night and the next morning the snow was more than 1 metre deep! Given the large amount of snowfall at Shirakawa-go every year, I cannot help but wonder if residents there hate snow as I imagine it must be hard work clearing away the snow on the ground and on the roof every two hours! It is physically demanding and tiring. But according to the owner of a small restaurant I frequent at Takayama, they actually love snowball despite their complaining about the trouble all the time. The reason is that they can feel a sense of achievement whenever they finish removing the snow in front of the house, and it is clearly visible, plain for the eyes to see. Moreover, they get to exercise and they feel every more alive even during the cold winter. 

So stop hiding indoors during this winter! Come to embrace the snow and winter here in Takayama, and in Shirakawa-go. We offer half-day tours to Shirakawa-go every day, so we sincerely invite you to join us for some winter fun!

Okonomiyaki & surprise birthday party!!

Konnichiwa from Hiroshima Hana hostel. It's Kana here.
2014 is finishing in less than a month!OMG!!!!im not ready to welcome 2015 yet!!

We have Okonomiyaki party almost every Thursday. (We do not have one sometime).
Our Volunteer staff Mari for the party always make sure everybody have fun and teach them how to make Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki. She teaches how to make it, they learn and make own Okonimiyaki which is great fun and awesome experience.

She always pay attention for the guest and staff to make sure everybody enjoy the party, so Hana staff wanted to show the appreciation, so we organised surprise birthday party on the same day of Okonomiyaki party!

We all sang a song together for her and had BD cake and champagne!

Many many thanks to Mari and the awesome guest who joined the Okonomiyaki party and drink after that!

Epic adventure or how I was looking for a job in Japan.

Tokyo. July. It is +32 outside. I am walking to my next job interview. I can feel how drops of sweat are sliding along my neck. I am wearing black skirt covering my knees, white blouse and black jacket. This is, actually, called a summer suit. But to be honest I feel like a white bear that has reached equator.

All Japanese university graduates go through this procedure. Students usually start job-hunting on their 3d year. So when they graduate they already have jobs. I am foreigner so my way is little bit different. It is called 転職(for those who already have some working experience and just decided to change a company. My interview is taking place at Roppongi. One luxury hotel chain is looking for receptionists. While my `natural` make-up, made according all basic job-hunting rules, is gradually melting I am listening to HR manager talking about the company. This day is going to be tiring. There are about 100 people who came to get the same job. We all look the same way. Beside of the fact that I am the only foreigner. I am through 3 interviews (1 in English and 2 in Japanese) and a test. In 6 hours it was done. And I failed. Luckily, I failed.

My job interview with J-Hoppers was on Skype, as I lived in Tokyo. Skype interviews are awesome! As I could see my face on the monitor as well, it was much easier to keep smiling. And I am quiet sure it is the only reason why they hired me! One more good point is that nobody could see what I was wearing. So my top was a proper look, and down was just pajamas. The coziest interview ever!
Actually I got to know about J-Hoppers in 2013, when I stayed in Hana Hostel in Osaka for a night. I was surprised about things I saw there. People who do not know each other, people with different cultures and religions, from all over the world seat and talk at the lounge drinking and eating together. I felt envy, as I wanted to be a part of this not just for one night. And I was given that chance!
My 3 month trial period has finished! Now I am a part of great and very open-minded J-Hoppers Team. I am sure I will do mistakes and make people angry with me sometimes! But I will do my best to become useful and professional! I still can not believe that I got this job. Job that makes me happy and brings a lot of new people and ideas to my life! And one more thing! Kyoto is just amazing! I am in love with this city!