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!!

KANIKAMA  SURIMI  CRAB STICK

KANIKAMA is one of the world wide food that first invented in Japan.
I've used it when I cooked sushi for my friends in many countries.
But I've had the really good one only in Japan so far. If I eat it with my eyes closed, I will believe that it's real crab because of the taste and texture!
Please find them in Japanese supermarkets!


"Otona no KANIKAMA" (KANIKAMA for adults)



Brazil or Netherlands or....

It is shige.

Now kyoto is getting hot day by day.
Summer is coming.... please come early because humid weather makes me down my feeling.
Summer is nice.
Beer,fire works,swimming and BBQ.

So usually I don't like June but this year is special!!!
Because of world cup!!!
All games are good and exciting, all teams and players are great.
Unfortunately Japan had a bad luck...but they did best play.
They need to improve everything then I hope they will revenge in Sochi 4 years later.

Now the world cup start the knock out round.
All of matches are more exciting and aggressive.

So I expected the champion is Brazil or Netherlands.
What do you think about it?

Nobody knows it but 2 weeks later  everyone know who is the champion.


This is my favorite goal at this moment.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq_Pkdmvo1k


Tonight Netherlands vs Mexico!!!!!
This game will be great match.
Do not miss it.






Drinking a Japanese beer near Kyoto Station!

This is Yoshi. It is getting hotter than before in Kyoto.
So, I often go for a drink with my friends these days.

We actually have some good areas for drinking such as Kiyamachi Street and Pontocho area in Kyoto.
However, there are many bars and restaurants near Kyoto Hana Hostel as well.
Recently, I went to YEBISU BAR in Yodobashi-Camera building near Kyoto Station.
YEBISU is one of famous Japanese beers :)

I love YEBISU beer and sausage there!

Then, it has a special Japanese beer called Rikyu (利休), which is kind of Maccha beer (green tea beer)! yummy! It tastes a wee bit sweet : )
I'm not sure why it is called Rikyu, but the word is named after Sen-no-Rikyu, the person who started "Wabicha (わび茶)" which is a style of chanoyu, Japanese tea ceremony.
It is a cool Japanese beer, isn't it?
Then, I ordered a white Japanese beer, sausages, and a fish and chips!


Anyway, please try Japanese beer when you will visit Japan!

ArigaTOKYO!

Hi, everyone!
How are you doing?
This is Mizzy from Hana Hostel in Hiroshima!

You know what?
I went to Tokyo 1 week ago as my own birthday present!
It took about 4 hours and half by Shinkansen Nozomi Super Express.

I used to live in Tokyo for 4 years but it's been ages to visit there and was very easy to get lost! lol

Oh boy...Things change so quickly in Tokyo and some shops I used to go were no longer there.
However, the only thing that never changes...is crowds.....
On a train, on a street...everywhere is so busy....

I left Tokyo long time ago and came back to my hometown, Hiroshima.
Hiroshima is not too small, not too big, and very peaceful.
Therefore, in Tokyo, I felt like I was a stray puppy in the herd of people passing by. Haha!

Oh well, a few hours later, my friend and I checked out some bars and I recalled how fun to be in Tokyo was!

First of all, we went to Shibuya and hopped into a rock bar.
They served me a surprise birthday cake and glow drinks.
After that, we went to a karaoke and sung until the dawn.

Hmm...I could have died happy! :D



 But I didn't want to die young so I'm still alive. lol

Secondly, we went to Asakusa and I saw the Sky Tree Tower for the first time in person.
But that was just another tower for me and we passed it by. hehe...
We went to an Izakaya and enjoyed great creative meals with all you can drink system.

Awww....That was soooo gooooood.....




Thirdly, we went to Ikebukuro where I spent the most of my time when I lived in Tokyo.
We visited a bar that I used to work when I was in Uni. but we had only 1 drink.
We were too tired and hangover...

Afterwards, we had Tokyo's local food called 'Monjya-yaki' in Ikebukuro.
It's just like melted Okonomiyaki but my friend expressed it as 'melted pizza' because we put some cheese in it.

It sounds weird but kind of fun to make it by yourself though!

We were planning to go back to our hotel to chill but found out there was a very interesting bar called 'Lock Up' near-by.
Yea, we couldn't miss it.

So...we opened the door and entered.....
But there was no bar but a narrow path... 
So dark...So scary.... It was like a haunted house with some zombie dolls, skulls, and some scary stuff.

I HATE HORRORS and almost cried.
I know I'm soft. :P

I tried to go back to the entrance but my friend laughed, pulled my hand, and led me to the forward....

I felt like it took hours to get to the bar section....
My heart was pounding so fast by the time we sat at table.

Finally, we saw a light and a cute girl in a police costume showed up.
She asked us ' Which one of you did a guilty thing today?' in Japanese.
My friend is Dutch and didn't understand Japanese so I pointed at my friend. lol

The police girl handcuffed my friend and guided us to a table.
OMG...Both of us couldn't stop laughing!

We sat at table that looked like a jail and then, the staff said, 'It seems like monsters were released! Please stay here. Be safe! ' and left.

We were like "WHAT?! WHAAAAAT?!"....looked at each other and laughed out loud.

All of a sudden, all the lights went down and warning siren rung.
Emergency announcement said something but I was in panic and don't remember what they said.

We closed the iron door of the jail and waited the monsters...
We had no idea what was going to happen, so we...waited...waited....waited....and.....
((((((BANG!!!!)))))
We heard a big unexpected sound.
I was so surprised and jumped in the air.
That was the sound of a monster hit our door with a wrench.

All the lights were turned on when the event was over.

"Whew...Finally, we can order...."

We took a look at the menu but as soon as the page was turned over, we got so confused.
Because they were so unique/weird (especially for drinks) and we had no idea what they could taste like.

Everything happened at this bar was very weird, yet fun experience I have ever had.

Gotta love Japan!
Gotta love Tokyo!





Ahhh, Tokyo was fun!
Arigato (Thank you) +Tokyo = ArigaTOKYO!




Ukai (Cormorant fishing)

I went to see Ukai at Nagaragawa river.





Ukai is an ancient fishing method catching Japanese trout by using tamed cormorants.

It is said that Nagaragawa ukai has been conducted for around 1,300 years

This technique has also been used in other countries but is currently under threat in China.
To control the birds, the fishermen tie a snare near the bird's throat. This prevents the birds from swallowing larger fish, which are held in their throat, but the birds can swallow smaller fish. When a cormorant has caught a fish in its throat, the fisherman brings the bird back to the boat and has the bird spit the fish up. Though cormorant fishing once was a successful industry, its primary use today is to serve the tourism industry. It is interesting to see it.

Acces15minutes by bus from Gifu Station
During 11th May ~15th Oct
Price :3100 yen

Ukai (Gifu)





Smartphone Otaku??


Hello, this is Tomomi!!

Do you know Snapchat??

A few days before, one of my friends asked me to download it, but I had no idea about the app at that time.






 

 
 






Snap chat is

A photo messaging application. Users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients.

 
These sent photographs and videos are known as "Snaps". Users set a time limit for how long recipients can view their Snaps( from 1 to 10 seconds), after which they will be hidden from the recipient's device and deleted from Snapchat's servers.

 
According to Snapchat in May 2014, the app's users were sending 700 million photos and videos per day, while Snapchat Stories content was being viewed 500 million times per day.

 

Surprisingly, Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook) offered to purchase it for 3 billion US Dollars and Google likewise offered 4 billion Dollars. Snapchat, however, refused. It is expected that they will sell for much more money in the future.

 

Snapchat is popular especially with young girls in America. It is not so famous in Japan yet, but I guess it is soon going to be popular like Facebook.

Now in Japan, almost all people use Facebook and Line, even elementary students. I think I am lucky that I did not have my own cellphone when I was young. Because now one of the social problems is that young people have difficulties in their relationship with their friends because of these social networking sites (SNS).

I, however, have to admit that I am also a smartphone Otaku.

Recently I lost my smartphone on a bus. (Luckily) I got it back at night, but  I could not use it for a whole day. Even it was a only day it really felt so inconvenient. I had no idea what I should do on the train or while waiting and I could not enjoy listening to music.

I realized that I use and stare at my phone too often.

But of course SNS have also some good points. They always help me to contact to my friends, especially the ones I cannot meet easily.

However, I do not want to be a smartphone geek! It is worth more to talk with friends in real life, read some books , do some sports etc... So from today, I will try to spend less time in using it.

 

How about you?

Do you think you are also a smartphone geek?

Gassho Hostel in Gokayama.

Hello, this is moco*
I'd like you to recommend to stay 300 years old Gassho House in Gokayama.
Gokayama is one of world heritage site, same as Shirakawa-go.

The tour company called "isite Takayama" has just released
"Gokayama stay package tour" from Takayama.

It is included  round bus trip from Takayama-Gokayama,
(Drop by Shirakawa-go observation point)













Gassyo stay and a light breakfast.
If you buy some food, you can cook in the kitchen by yourself.

This is the house you will stay in Gokayama.
They have Japanese style dormitory room and private room.



















You can have a great relaxing time....!!
The facilities are so comfortable.



















"isite Takayama" offers how to get to Gassho house. →Link

After or before your stay, you can walk Suganuma area.
It is smaller than Shirakawa-go, but still beautiful!!


 
















 I hope you'll enjoy more your stay here!!


Reservation


Fresh Tatami rooms are waiting for your stay

The tatami feels good, and it smells good.

We have 10 Japanese style rooms at Hiroshima Hana Hostel.
6 of them are standard 6-jo(jo: num. of tatami mats, 6畳) room with private shower that we call unit bath in Japanese(prefabricated bath). The rest of them are a little differ in width.




We refaced all the tatami mats of Japanese rooms at Hiroshima Hana since we opened in  2008.!(some have not refaced yet!).




Refacing tatami mats are suggested regularly to maintain the condition properly.


Since my explanation for tatami is not enough, so I would like to introduce one website writes about tatami:
http://www.deepjapan.org/a/1150

If you would like to try fresh tatami mat equipped room, stay Hiroshima Hana!!
Book now!!
Hostelworld: Hirosihma Hana Hostel



What's your travel style?


Do you like traveling?

Of course I do love traveling.



I read the article about travel sharing services.

One is about "Couch Surfing"
Couch Surfing is quite popular among young travelers.

If you become a membership of Couch Surfing, you can sleep in other member's house for free whatever spare space is available, floor or couch.

Of course you need to accept the travelers in your house too.

 
But you can save accommodation fee with this. This is a great system for budget travel!!
And you can meet local people and even stay their house!
It so cool :D

The service was started in 2004 and it's getting bigger.


I found other interesting service.

The name is "Meetrip"
Meetrip as an online travel sharing service, which started operating just two years ago from Japan, matches up travelers and local guides or counterparts.

It's expanding to the other 12 cities in Asian.


The basic concept of Meetrip is, “Travel with local people”. The local hosts will be taking you to travel spots in their towns or cities, usually non-ordinary places that you can't find in the commercial travel guide books or a travel package perhaps.


Seeing  and going the popular place where everybody goes is boring!!
This kind of service can make your trip more fun!!:D



What I'm into now.

Food.
This is what we need to live.

I believe that something delicious makes our life happier.
We can live as long as we have something to eat but I love eating and feel happy when I have something 'yummy :))'

What I'm into these days is cooking.
I can concentrate on even when I'm tired after work if it is for cooking.
Thinking about something delicious,thinking about eating something delicious and cooking something delicious and what I want to eat makes me happy.
Cooking is like a creating something.
I feel slimier as when I drawing,painting when I 'm cooking.
My friend laughed and said 'it sounds like training' as she heard my story.
I have been actually having fun to cook recently and practicing it is not training just interesting!

I have some cooking books now and I am thinking to buy a book of 'Harumi Kurihara',Japanese cooking expert.
My mother loves her recipes and cooks meal with her books often and it is really nice.
I am always happy to eat meals from her recipe books even if I eat them everyday.
Her cooking taste is something like this.



It is recommendable book if you get any chance to have a cooking book!


What we recommend to Eat when you visit Osaka/Japan

Hello and its Hideko again!

I love food, yes I love eating food and watching beautiful food.

Osaka is THE place you find cheap and good food!  Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, Kushikatsu, Ramen.....
But, if you visit Osaka or Japan, please try some of bellow:


1. Roasted Rice Green Tea with Maccha   (Genmaicha  抹茶入り玄米茶)
Its really nice green tea with roasted rice + Maccha powder.
Its got a slight nutty taste from Roasted rice and beautiful taste of Maccha.

You can enjoy this tea at Osaka Hana Hostel's Living room!















2. Taiyaki (タイ焼き)
If you like Red Bean past, or even if you do not like it, please try Taiyaki at Sazae (Daimaru Shopping Center B2F)
Its shaped like Sea Bream Fish and Red bean past, chocolate or custard cream inside!!
Freshly cooked one usually eaten hot!





3. Oshizushi (押し寿司)
Its not exactly the kind of Sushi you expect but Osaka is famouce for Oshizushi espetially Battera (ばってら) Oshizushi with Mackerel.
You can buy this at Super Market or eat at a restaurant
(Fukuzushi 福寿司 is very close to Osaka Hana Hostel! )





4. Tori-Tsukemen Soba  (鶏つけ麺 そば)
This is so amazing !!!!
Usually Soba is eaten either cold (Zarusoba) or in hot soup (Kakesoba)
But this Tsukemen style soba, served with cold soba and hot dipping chicken broth (Slightly spicy which is very unlike Japanese food)  is sooooo tasty that as I am typing my mouth is full of water.......
If you are in Shinsaibashi/Yotsubahi Area, its so highly recommended!
Restaurant name is 'Soba to Tori' (そばと鶏) and only 2 min walk from Osaka Hana Hostel!



















Writing this blog is making me so hungry!!!!