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!!

Great place to see Sakura in Osaka!


Hello!! This is Masae from Osaka Hana Hostel.

It is getting warmer and Sakura season has started in Osaka!! 

I went to see Sakura in my neighborhood yesterday.

I live near by "Kema Sakuranomiya Park" and it's introduced as one of the most beautiful place to see Sakura in Osaka on Japan Guide website.
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4018.html

Sakura was bloomed about 20% on the 29th of March around Kema Sakuranomiya park.
It should be much more Sakura by now!

These are some photos I took yesterday.


The both side of the Okawa river will be covered by full of cherry blossoms!!
My favorite path
I really love to see Sakura!
It was cloudy in this afternoon, but it was still beautiful.
Finally I could see the blue sky!!

The station I recommend to start walking around this area is
●JR Loop Line "Sakura no miya" station 
●JR Tozai Line "Osaka tenmangu" station
●Subway Tanimachi- Line "Minami mori machi(T21)" , "Temma bashi (T22) ", "Tenjinbashisuji 6-chome(T18)" 


Please enjoy Sakura in Osaka!!


 


Spring!!

It's getting warm and having more and more sunny recently.
What I like in this season is to enjoy flowers and trees.
When I smell Daphne, I feel spring is coming soon and
Mongolia liliflora start to bloom then Cherry blossom.
















Cherry trees come into full bloom at the end of March to the beginning of April.
We enjoy cherry viewing, eating and drinking under the branch with cherry blossom in full bloom to cerebrate coming spring.
My flower viewing still continue to the next beautiful flower Dogwood, Azalea, then my favorite Gardenia. I love to feel seasons from flowers and trees!! 



The Sumo Wrestling

Hello, I'm Shige from J-Stay.

What do you imagine the traditional Japanese things?

Sushi? Temple? Samurai ?
Some people imagine that things.But you forget one important thing . 
Yes, It is Sumo.It is the traditional and legendary Wrestling in Japan.
Everyone know that but not many people have never seen it at the live。.

So today I wanna show  some pictures of Sumo Wrestling because I went to watch the Sumo last week.



This is the entrance of Sumo arena.
Many flags are standing and the name of the wrestler is written on each flags.
And there is same entrance the Sumo wrestler and Visitors.
So you can see all sumo wrestlers near you.


This circle is Dohyo(Sumo Wrestling s ring).
I thought that is big but it was smaller than I thought.
And I entered the arena around 14:00P.M.That time is not strong and famous  Sumo wrestler time.
That's why many seats are empty.


This is Dohyo-Iri(The ceremony of entering the ring).All top wrestlers enter the ring.
From this time arena is getting busy and no empty seats.



On that day two Yokozuna(highest rank in sumo) lost each games.
That time arena was super excited and every one throw the own Zabuton(Cushion).
Unfortunately I could't take the picture of that moment because also I throw the zabuton, I did not have any chance to take a photo.


All kind of sports and shows can see easily on the TV and internet but I think the live is the best.Because I can feel special exiting atmosphere.
I just thought that after watch Sumo.
Next year I will go again.





Japanese Machu Picchu!!?

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

                  
                   Have you ever heard about Japanese Machu Picchu?

I think most people don't know about it, but it's getting become a popular tourist attraction recently.

                           
                   Here's a picture of it!! What a beautiful!

                                     

It's actually castle ruin(Takeda castle ruin) on the summit of the mountain which only 353.7meters high and is famous for its stone foundations and walls.
I wonder how people built such extensive walls on the summit of the mountain.


I didn't know about this castle ruin until a guest told me.
She has visited many castles in Japan but she said this one is a complete contrast to other ones.
Oh... I have no idea what it is like...!

So I thought the best way to know about this place is just to go there by myself.
That's why, I decided to go there next month!

I heard there are SAKURA(cherry blossom)trees on the way to the summit, it must be awesome if the SAKURA trees are blooming there!

I'm sooo excited!!!



Address:
Takeda, Wadayama-cho, Asago city, Hyogo-ken

Admission and time period:
http://www.city.asago.hyogo.jp/0000003452.html

Access:
http://www.city.asago.hyogo.jp/0000003314.html

Inquiries:
Takeda Castle Ruins(079-672-4003)



Saijo SAKE breweries

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



The other day,Saijo Sake breweries Art festivail in Saijo,Hiroshima.
Have you had SAKE before??
Saijo is one of the famous city of  sake breweries.

It takes about 40 minutes by JR local train from Hiroshima staion to Saijo.
You’ll see eight of Saijo’s breweries, learn about sake brewing, do a bit of tasting, and have a chance to purchase sake and other products.





At the festival,We could see some art exhibition in several sake breweries.
All exhibition was for free and we tasted new fresh Sake for free!

Sine I visited Saijo,I did't really taste the difference of  sake actually...
so if you do not really like SAKE now.It's highly recommended that visiting Saij.

Saijo SAKE Festival is held in every Nobember.


The festival is also nice,but if you would like to enjoy SAKE and have a chance,you better visit there avoid the festival.





Sake Festival!!

I went to Watanabe Brewery sake festival in Hida Furukawa last weekend.
Watanabe Brewery is known as "Horai" for locals.



















We enjoyed "Sake tasting" " Free food" "Quiz event" there.




















30th March, there is another sake festival in Hida Hagiwara, near Gero.

*******************************************************************
Tenryo Brewery Sake Festival

Date: 30th March
Time: 9:30-16:00
Access Map:http://www.tenryou.com/company/map.html

★You can go there by JR train:)
If you buy 100 yen sake cup, you can try sake tasting!!

*******************************************************************

Signal the coming of Spring

Time flies as an arrow.光陰矢のごとし


According to our traditional calender spring started from yesterday

So I want to share my favorite stuff of Spring. 

1)Sakura Ice cream by Haagen Darz. The best combination is with macha. Its my secret one  for not hanging over. :)

2) Imperial palace Visiting
My favorite place to visit on April is Imperial palace during public open on April.
From the 9th April to 13th April the public visit will be open. 
http://www.kunaicho.go.jp/e-event/kyotogosho.html

In Japan there are some events each season. Two special events are the signal the coming of spring for the Japanese People. 
One is OMIZUTORI at the Nigatsudo Temple of the Nara-Todaiji Temple in Japanese and the other is Kasuga Festival at Kasuga Shrine which is nearby this temple.
Omizutori means watar drawing in Japanese. At this festival monks draw water from well in front of the temple and purify with "sacred water" Juichimen Kannon standing statue in the early dawn on the thirteenth of March. the principal image of the Nigatsutdo-Hall.
And then monks hold fire torch walking hallway of the hall ate the night. 
It means for the Japanese people t able  to confess all bad things of year and purify with small spark of fire torch. 




This festival have inn more than 1,000years from 752.
It was not stopped on the end of the end of Warld War II though. 




The othe festival is Kasuga Festival in Kasuga Shrine at the 13th March. This festival has been more than on thousand year. 
At this festival the imperial messengers make parade with traditional costume and followers offer foods for the gods praying for productiveness  of grain and stable condition of Japan. There are three big festival at Kasuga Shrine (in Nara) on the 13th March; Aoi Festival from Imperial palace to Kamigamo Shrine on the 15th May and Iwashimizu shirine (Kyoto, Yawata) on the 15th September. 






On 17th March we found yellow full moon with our three top of J-hoppers.

My friend is clearly having fun in Japan

My friend and I discussed about this music video of Katy Perry the other day and we both ended up having an agreement; This freaks us out.


After we watched that, I have just remembered a picture I saw.
This is it.


A tourist came to Japan sent this photo to his friend and he uploaded it on some web page. People who saw this picture gave their comments then.
You can read it from here (if you want). But please note that I do not take any responsibility for wasting of time of your precious limited life.
Then go ahead.

http://imgur.com/ngQYzdW
http://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/1av8ko/my_friend_jay_is_clearly_having_fun_in_japan/?limit=500


というわけで、新宿にはロボットレストランというのがあるそうなんですが、そこを訪れた旅行者の写真がネット上で話題になりました。海外の2ちゃんねるみたいなやつなんでしょうか。よくわかりませんがもう一度載せておきます。


これをみた海外の反応の和訳(?)もあります。
http://labaq.com/archives/51784684.html

日本って楽しそうな国ですね。これをみて日本に来てしまった方々とお友達になれるかはまた別の話ですが、今年もたくさんの人に訪れてもらえたらいいなと思います。


A KIND OF NEW YORKER


Hello!! I'm MAYU from Hiroshima!!

It's going to be Spring now in here. How's going your life?


I went to New York for 5days last week.

I've been thinking that I would love to go to New York

in some day since I was student.

And many my friends say that 

"You should go there while you are young"


Why? Because It so exciting and hot. So I should feel that when I still young.

So... I am 30 years old... It's time to go there!!!

It can be last chance to go there I thought!!!!!!


In actuality......

 It was super nice and cool place!!!!







I went there by my self. I have only one regret at this time.

That is.... I'd better to go there with someone... My friends...

I like traveling alone. But this place is good for group trip.

It can be better. But any way,,,

I was a kind of cool New Yorker when I was walking in

central park with hot coffee and shrug and put my hands in my pocket.

I was absolutely cool because of  It was in New York!!!






Times Square was too bright in the night It was like the big fireworks display in Japan!!

I enjoyed Broadway musical "The Chicago" and "The Lion King".






It was happiest moment for me!!!!!!!

I also went to many museum in New York.

It can be ART in any kind of something If it's in New York.

Because That is really cool place and everything 

has freedom and own identity.

I would love to go back there when I get old.

Maybe 50? 60? 70?

I think I can enjoy a lot even I am old.

So... It doesn't matter the age to go there.

This is my conclusion.

But You should go there while you are young at first time.

It can be more exciting!!!!!!











Sushi rolls in Galapagoz, Japan

Have you seen this kind of sushi roll before?





"Deco Sushi" is what they are named meaning decorated sushi roll.
This kind of way of enjoying sushi rolls with its process of cooking is getting more popular
especially among young females of Japan.

There are soooo many variations, and they could represent seasonal atmosphere like these:

Hinamatsuri version (girls' day March 3rd)


For Mamemaki Festival ( Devil-Throwing Festival) on 2/4

 
Christmas tree! Which is not really a roll anymore...but never mind.


It always surprises and sometimes awes me when I find how Japanese people loves developing the original stuff into something really unique and unusual. There is even am association for Deco rolls, I learned.
It is part of Galapagosization?

Anyway, if you are interested, here there are videos of "How to Deco rolls"! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DifMmNPixFI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7bIxlAY4KY

일본의 술술술 공부해보아요!


안녕하세요!
후쿠오카 하나 호스텔의 유노라고 합니다.

오늘은 일본 여행에서 절대 빠질 수 없는,
술술술에 대해서 얘기해보아요 ㅋㅋㅋ

일본 이자까야에서 마신 나마비루<생맥주>가
너무 맛있어서 깜놀하시는 경험들 없으신가요?

그럼 간단한 일반 상식편 시작합니다!!



1.일본의 술자리에서 주류 소비량 1위는 맥주.*약 62퍼센트*

  자리에 앉자마자,
  아무튼 생맥주로~ (토리아에즈 나마데!) 하고 주문을 시작하죠.

  개인적으로 제일 맛있었던 일본 맥주는 삿포로클래식(맥아 100% 몰트 비어, 전분 등 타재료 첨가를 삼가하여, 오리지널의 맛 그래로 재현)이지만, 북해도 한정판매를 표방하고 있어서 구하기가 힘듭니다.홋카이도 가셔서 드셔보십쇼.




일본은 엄격한 주류법으로 유명하죠. 맥주는 맥아(麦芽), 홉(ホップ), 효모(酵母), 물 등 규정된 원료를 사용해야 하며 그 중 맥아의 사용비례는 66.7%이상(즉 3분의 2이상)으로 규정.

따라서 술세법에 있어서도 67%이상 맥아를 이용한 녀석들만 맥주입니다.
67%이하인 술은 핫포슈(発泡酒) 라고 하며 가격도 맥아 들어간만큼 저렴.
(맥주가 아니무니다) 뭔가 맛이 깊지가 않달까? 하지만 가격이 저렴해서 마실만하달까?

  대표적인 핫포슈들


2. 사케는 쌀로 만든 일본의 전통술, 정종이라고 불리는 녀석.

   차게 하거나, 따끈하게 데워서 마십니다.

   한국에 있는 이자까야에서 판매하는 가격 보면 눈돌아감.
   슈퍼에서 헐값에 파는 녀석들이니 한국에서 너무 비싼 돈 주고 드시지 마세요 ㅠ_ㅠ
 
   그럼 사케의 등급은 무엇으로 나뉘는걸까? 사케의 기본 원료인 물, 쌀, 누룩!
   주원료인 쌀의 표면에는 단백질 등의 영양분이 있는데요, 이들은 주조과정에 방해꾼만 되므로, 깎아내는 과정이 필요합니다.
  이러한 정미 과정에서  쌀눈을 50%이상 많이 깎아 만든 사케라야만 최상품이라고 합니다.

  준마이 다이긴조
  (순쌀로 제조, 완성도가 높아 젤비쌈)

  다이긴조(완성도 높은 술)

  준마이긴조(순쌀로 제조, 마시기 좋음)

  긴조(정미율 40%, 향이 특히 좋은 사케)

  준마이(순쌀로 제조)

  혼조조(정미율 30%, 전통적인 제조법)

무슨 말인지 하나도 모르겠네요~

어찌됐던, 가장 중요한 건 맛이죠. 맛을 나타내는 <니혼슈도>와 <산도>로 라벨만 보고도 대충 감을 잡으실 수 있는데요. 니혼슈도에서 +는 입 안에서 드라이한 정도를 나타냅니다.

 +숫자가 높을수록 드라이! 일본식으로는 카라구치라고 말합니다.
 -수치는 반대로 단맛을 뜻합니다. 수치가 높을수록 아마구치의 사케라고 합니다.

 이 정도만 대충 아셔도 당신은 사케 전문가!!!

3. 소주<焼酎>하면 참이슬! 뿐만 아니라 여러가지 있는 일본.


대표적인 소주, 비쟌클리어(쌀)랑 이치코(보리)
   
증류주인 소주.

증류:액체를 끓여서 생긴 증기를 식혀 다시 액체로 만든 것.
단순히 말하면 일본술을 증류시키면 쇼츄의 일종(쌀 쇼츄)가 됩니다.
이처럼 맥주를 증류시키면 위스키, 와인은 브랜디라는 것이지요.

한국과 달리 고구마, 밀, 수수, 흑설탕 등등 다양한 재료로 만든 각양각색의
소주가 사랑받고 있습니다.


















순한 쌀의 풍미의 고메쇼츄,
개운한 고구마의 단맛이 나는 이모쇼츄,
보리의 구수함이 특징인 무키쇼츄등 만드는 이가 재료의 맛을 최대한 살려서 제조한 쇼츄. 자연의 무한한 맛을 즐길 수 있는 것입니다. 

그리고 일본에서는 소주 원샷을 안합니다!!!
물, 녹차, 탄산수, 보리차 등에 섞어서 약하게 마십니다~
여러 가지 과일 맛의 탄산수에 섞어서 드실땐 이름 뒤에 ~하이라고 붙습니다.
레몬 하이, 라임 하이 기타 등등.

*이모 소주는 한국사람들에게는 인기가 없다?
- 그 이유는 아마도 참이슬에 익숙해져 있는 입맛때문인 것 같습니다.
다른 소주에 비해서도 고구마 소주는 특유의 향과 맛이 강한 편이라,
처음 접하게 되시면, 에 이거 맛이 이상해.....리액션.

하지만 좀 더 여유를 가지고 음미해보시면 특유의 맛과 향에 반하시게 될거예요.
우드 틱한 간지의 소주라고 할까, 조금은 무겁습니다만,
그 매니아 층만해도 무시할 수 없는 스고이나 이모 소주!!!

간빠이~






Greeting the Goddess who shines heven and whole universe (Amaterasu-Omikami) in Ise Jingu

As I age, more I want to visit Shrines and Temples.... don't really know what it is but my heart is drawn in to it and find peace in myself.

I read that this year is one of my last Yakudoshi (bad year) according to Japanese Fortune telling book and decided to do 'Yakubarai' (receive a service for removing a bad luck) in Ise.
*Many Japanese people do Yakubarai.

Ise-shrine is believed that Amaterasu- Omikami, the Shinto goddess of Sun who shines heaven and whole universe stays there for 11month of every year.
It sounded like the perfect place to remove my bad luck and I was set!

I was kind of ready to visit Ise for a Yakubarai Service however, a few days before my visit, my lovely sister advised me that my bad year was actually last year....!  So I no longer needed ''Yakubarai - service''
How I made this big mistake!?!?! the book counts age in the different way than normal so I was totally mistaking the year.
Well, for my good luck, my bad year is finished without notice, mmmmmm..... I thought I was having a very good year last year so wow! I will have even better year than last year meaning lucky 2014 for me for sure!
(Yakubarai cost 5000yen so I saved it to start my good luck!)

Any how I visited Ise and had lovely time : )

 Naigu



Meoto-Iwa (Wedded Rock)


Though it is not commonly introduced area, I reccommend Ise for a visit !

Haikyo -Abandoned Places-


We humans are explorers by nature. The quest for discovery, both old and new, is part of what separates us from rest of the animal kingdom. Since the world we live in has been largely mapped and plotted, we urban adventurers turn our sights toward the relics of old and the ruins of the recent past…



If you are a kind of person who finds beauty in urban decay, in the crumbling and abandoned places of yesteryear, you’ll probably love this list.

Here are just a few of the most amazing, beautiful and creepy abandoned places (aka Haikyo) in Kansai region, Japan.




1. Nara Dreamland
Nara Dreamland is the epitome of many haikyo dreams; an abandoned theme park with all its roller-coasters and rides still standing. I’ve heard many stories of haikyoists arriving only to be either deterred by the cameras, sensors, alarms and fines, or actually physically expelled by the furious security guard. - See more at: http://www.michaeljohngrist.com/2010/09/nara-dreamland-japans-last-abandoned-theme-park/#sthash.8RLiatts.dpuf
Nara Dreamland is the epitome of many haikyo dreams; an abandoned theme park with all its roller-coasters and rides still standing. I’ve heard many stories of haikyoists arriving only to be either deterred by the cameras, sensors, alarms and fines, or actually physically expelled by the furious security guard. - See more at: http://www.michaeljohngrist.com/2010/09/nara-dreamland-japans-last-abandoned-theme-park/#sthash.8RLiatts.dpuf

Main Street in October 2010

Waiting cable cars


Nara Dreamland is the epitome of many Haikyo dreams; an abandoned theme park with all its roller-coasters and rides still standing. I’ve heard many stories of “Haikyoists” arriving only to be either deterred by the cameras, sensors, alarms and fines, or actually physically expelled by the furious security guard. I personally am dying to go in, but nope.. I don't think I can be crazy enough to take all those risks, for now.


2. Atago Cable Car Station

 




Nestled deep in the forest of Atago mountain, Kyoto, the beautifully rusted-out cable car station steals your breath. Even better, you can enjoy hiking along the way to this amazing site, only if you can find the way.


3. Maya Kanko Hotel

http://haikyo.crap.jp/image_spot/3/2.jpghttp://inolab.jp/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/DSC07099.jpg


Although it looks pretty close to this "sanctuary" from the city of Kobe, the access to the hotel is not easy and even legal. I strongly recommend you to do some extra online research before you hop on a train. Still it worth paying a visit, that's for sure.


4. Tomogashima island

http://inolab.jp/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/DSC05488.jpg

http://file.dragate.blog.shinobi.jp/DPP_0356.jpg

Tomogashima islands

For those who do not want to take any risks to appreciate Haikyo, here's the thoroughly legal way to be out of touch with the world we live in. Apparently, the island was inhabited and used for diverse purposes ranging from Buddhist rituals to World War Fortress.
Access to the cluster by the public was strictly prohibited by the Imperial Japanese Army up to the end of World War II. But thank god now we can truthfully enjoy the 20min ferry ride from from Kada in Wakayama City. It will cost you 2,000 yen for a round trip.
Trust me, this little island will never let you down.



As you may already know, we have quite a few “old and historical” sites here in the ancient capital of Kyoto, which attracts so many people from all around the world throughout the year. Sadly though, I hear some people say “I got sick of temples and shrines” now and then.

Cool. Why not appreciate the forgotten beauty of the abandoned places, before nature reclaims them forever? I dare you, if you think you are the true adventurer.



Note: These abandoned places are roped-off areas. I hear on the grapevine that some people have actually got arrested on the charge of trespassing.

Please take full responsibility for your actions…
Abandoned Places | We humans are explorers by nature.  The quest for discovery, both old and new, is part of what separates us from rest of the animal kingdom.  Since the world we live in has been largely mapped and plotted, we urban adventurers turn our sights toward the relics of old and the ruins of the recent past.  If you find beauty in urban decay, in the crumbling and abandoned places of yesteryear, you’ll want to read on.  Here are 10 of the most amazing, beautiful and creepy abandoned places in the modern world. - See more at: http://www.thecoolist.com/abandoned-places-10-creepy-beautiful-modern-ruins/#sthash.bojfTF5a.dpuf
Abandoned Places | We humans are explorers by nature.  The quest for discovery, both old and new, is part of what separates us from rest of the animal kingdom.  Since the world we live in has been largely mapped and plotted, we urban adventurers turn our sights toward the relics of old and the ruins of the recent past.  If you find beauty in urban decay, in the crumbling and abandoned places of yesteryear, you’ll want to read on.  Here are 10 of the most amazing, beautiful and creepy abandoned places in the modern world. - See more at: http://www.thecoolist.com/abandoned-places-10-creepy-beautiful-modern-ruins/#sthash.bojfTF5a.dpuf
Abandoned Places | We humans are explorers by nature.  The quest for discovery, both old and new, is part of what separates us from rest of the animal kingdom.  Since the world we live in has been largely mapped and plotted, we urban adventurers turn our sights toward the relics of old and the ruins of the recent past.  If you find beauty in urban decay, in the crumbling and abandoned places of yesteryear, you’ll want to read on.  Here are 10 of the most amazing, beautiful and creepy abandoned places in the modern world. - See more at: http://www.thecoolist.com/abandoned-places-10-creepy-beautiful-modern-ruins/#sthash.bojfTF5a.dpuf