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!!

Wishing for a snowy new year

It is an unusually warm winter, as every one can feel it, but still in Takayama temperature drops to sub-zero. What is more troubling, though, is the lack of snow this year, which without doubt disappoints tourists coming see the white landscape (the locals seem not the least bit troubled by it as the absence of snow means less work clearing away the snow). A few days before, knowing that it would snow during the night, I woke up early hoping to see a white Takayama. I was not disappointed. It did not snow much but I was excited nonetheless. I went out for a walk and left my footprints on the ground for the first time year. I do hope that the weather can return to normality somewhat next year. I am sure this is the wish of most tourists coming in the next few months!

Do you know a cat cafe in Kyoto ?

Do you like cats ?
Then Here's the place you should go !

This is called cat cafes ,It's a popular place for all generation people .

The place I visited was a kind of huge ,
Floors are made by Tatami ,and you can see more then 15cats!

All cats are used to touched by people so they are friendly !
Most of them were sleeping all the time ,but once you get a food to give them (it's 100¥),you would be so surrounded by them !lol

After enjoying with adorable cats,you can move to a cafe space which is just located next to the cats area .

Cats are not allowed to be in this cafe,
So everything is so clean and comfortable!

I would recommend to get your face down on some cats chilling out like this ⬇︎

Ahhh,so relaxing !!!!
However ,after you do this ,Cats definitely 
Try to run away though .

If you liked it ,you should go !!

This is something about Christmas

Last year we had a lovely White Christmas.  Due to the global warming, Takayama is very warm this year.  I would like to share some interesting findings in Japan which are different from where I come from.  While I was reading the local magazine, there are many advertisements about Christmas cakes and at the same time I saw that the Christmas cakes are sold in supermarkets and convenient stores as well.  The most interesting thing is that the cakes will become half-priced during 25 December late night and 26 December.  I was very surprised as I have a feeling that 26 December, 2016 is the boxing day which should be considered as Christmas.  My colleagues explained that Japanese consider 26 December, 2015 is not Christmas and as New Year in Japan is 1 January, thus Japanese will change their mindset to looking forward to New Year on 26 December, 2015.  There is also an old saying that women over 25 years old are the half-priced Christmas cake on 26 December 2016.  I find it very funny!! 

Last but not least, Santa Claus in Honmachi, Takayama also changed to beckoning cat
(招き猫) on 26 December.  I feel a little bit sad of seeing the beckoning cat on boxing day and always hope that Santa Claus can stay a little bit longer on boxing day…..



funny Japanese band

Hello, this is Nao from Kyoto Hana!

What kind of music do you listen?
I normally listen to rock music, but like many kinds.
I go to a live concert at least once a month.

This week I went to see a Japanese band that is called "REKISHI".
Their music is very catchy and have so funny lyrics about Japanese history!

This song is about Murasaki Shikibu who is a famous historical author.
The music video made me laugh so much!!
It was filmed at many places in Kyoto even at Kenninji Temple which is close from Q-beh!
So the scenery is very familiar for me.

Their concert was so fun!!
For the concert goods, they sold ears of rice because it appears in the lyrics of a song.
Many audience had it during the song.
Even though I've seen so many bands so far, their concert was the most unique and funniest concert :D

Japanese Machu Pichu ?

Hi,this is Ena from Hiroshima Hana Hostel.

Have you ever heard about Japans Machu Picchu?

One day when one of our guest from Australia leaves HANA, I asked her about next destination after Hiroshima.She said

I am going to the Japanese Machu Pichu!!!!!

And she explained me about it.
When she stayed at a hotel in Kyoto, the receptionist told her about it.
 It is Takeda castle which is one of the famous castle in Hyogo prefecture.

I knew that there is a castle as known "a Castle in the Sky".
However, I did not know it also called Japannese Machu Pichu .
(I checked it out on the internet and found that not only the Takeda castle but also there are some castles called Japanese Machu Pichu.)
Movie[Castle in the Sky/LAPUTA]


Takeda Castle
 The Japanese Machu Pichu is really beautiful but we can hardly see it.....
It needs satisfies some conditions(Whether,Temperature,Time.....).
It said until the end of February you might see it.

I hope she could see it on that day.....

If I have chance,I want to go there to have a precious experience!

*****How to get to Takeda Castle*****************************
Take JR to Takeda station about 3 hours by local train from Osaka.
Walk along a mountain road about 1 hour.
 *Trip Adviser (Japanese Machu Pichu)

 *The wall street  journal (The Mystery of ‘Japan’s Machu Picchu’)



This is Yui from Kyoto Hana.

How was your Christmas this year?
Do you have any good memories for Christmas day?

When I was little I wished Santa to give me game machine or software every year.
GAMEBOY, Nintendo 64, Pocket Monster, Mario Kart...

By the way, we had Christmas Party on 24th.
It was such a wonderful eve.

Best wishes to you for a happy christmas and a wonderful New Year!!!

One of the biggest illumination in Japan "Nabana no sato"

I had a wonderful Christmas at Nabana no sato in Mie prefecture.

Nabana no Sato is a theme park known for its flora, but also for its four month long illumination  from November to May. 
This illumination is one of the largest illumination events in Japan!!!


The park is illuminated with around 8 million LED lights, which turn it into a winter wonderland straight out of a fairy tale. 

The main display of this year is a representation of "Heidi, Girl of the Alps." Created with lights, fabric and music, it is transfixing.  


The park is quite large and does involve a lot of walking, so you will be glad to hear that there is also an “ashiyu” (foot bath). The foot spa is free to use and is a welcome relief to soak your tired feet as well as to warm up from the cold!

Home party at New Sharehouse, Kagura Oka House

This is Kimy from J-Stay. 

Today is Winter solstice according to Wikipedia. 

Winter solstice is an astronomical phenomenon marking the shortest day and the longest night of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere this is the December solstice and in the Southern Hemisphere this is the June solstice. From Wekipedia

So in Japan we eat pumpkins which contains Vitamins and Carotene to avoid catching cold. And as another custom  it is better to have a bath with Japanese citrus (YUZU YU) because it is making us feel warm. 

Please keep warm and have a happy Christmas day! 

This year we opened two sharehouses. 

Kagura Oka is the old name of Mt. Yoshida. It is one of the natural landforms in Kyoto that is believed to protect the city from bad luck from the "demon's gate".

This house was opened from the end of October. Our target of guests are student from Kyoto University. But it was surprising for us to have guests from different universities and tourists.
We had have 7 guest so far from HongKong, Belgium, Taiwan, Hiroshima, Tokyo. We have good comments about this house. 
I heard from one of the guests that they usually have night parties with two guests play like DJ's using a mobile app. So last December 19, I organized a pot luck party for all of our guests.

I used to organize party when new sharehouse is open. So this time I really love cooking. 
Menu was  showen below.
#Pattai thai fried vegetable and chicken rice noodle. 
#Potato & Brocoli salad, 
#Grilled Chicken. 
#Wrapped Teriyaki Chicken and onion with Japanese basil  Yum YUMY!!
Bill board in Kitchen 
We started from 8PM. And my request was dancing with music by DR LLS and STV who live in there. We really enjoyed dancing drinking, eating and having good conversation with DJ. 

Full body of red wine was gone during 1 hour!!!
Started drinking without waiting them :P


Hello. This is Tomomi from Hiroshima Hana!!

Do you know Sandankyo Gorge ?

Sandankyo is an 11.5km long ravine in northwestern Hiroshima that runs along the Shibaki River. 

We arrived at the entrance gate about two hours away by bus from Yokogawa station.(there is also a bus from the bus center in downtown)
Lets GO!!♪

The Autumn leaves have already fallen down, but it was still beautiful.

After about one hour of walking, we arrived at the place where we can take a boat.
But unfortunately, since it was raining in the morning, the boat was not being operated!!!

Before we left there, we had lunch near the gate.
We talked a lot with a woman who works at the restaurant and she gave us a lot of information about Sandankyo.

We will visit there next spring again and take the boat!!

1. Get on a street car (No1. No2 or No6) at Hiroshima Station and get off at Kamiya-cho Higashi. (Pay 150 yen when you get off.)

2. Enter the Hiroshima Bus Center which is located on the 3rd floor of the Sogo Department Store.  Go to the No.7 bus stop and get on a bus bound for Sandankyo Gorge. About 5 minutes later, the bus also stops near JR Yokogawa Station. That bus stop is located 5 minutes on foot from JR Yokogawa Station; if you wish to catch the bus at that location, you should ask someone for directions.

3.Get off at the last stop, Sandankyo Gorge Entrance, after paying the fare.
  *Bus Fare & Time Required from Hiroshima Bus Center
     Express bus: 1,400 yen (one-way) / an hour & 15 minutes
     Local road bus : 1,200 yen (one-way) / 2 hours

    *There’s only one express bus service from Hiroshima City in the morning,
      leaving Hiroshima Bus Center at 8:18 a.m.  There’s also one express bus
 service in the afternoon, leaving Sandankyo at 3:00 p.m.  After this,
there’re three local road bus services for Hiroshima Bus Center.

Beautiful maple trees!!!!!!

It's been weird weather this year...
Usually it's already cold in November in Fukuoka but it was very warm so we finally saw the beautiful maple trees in early December!!

I went to the Hakozaki-gu in Fukuoka city.
Never been there even I'm from Fukuoka!!
It was worth to go there!!!!!!
Hope you can see these beautiful trees when you visit Fukuoka next November!!

Many many Thanks to all the guest who shared the time with me

It is already in December without noticing....I just can't stop surprising how fast time goes...
2015 is almost ending...
I have met many many wonderful guest throughout this year. We had drink together, we cooked dinner together, and went out for the clubbing together and so on.

I can't thanks enough to all those people who shared the time with me.

We have received one parcel couple days ago. We had no idea where it came from and what's in it until we opened up.

We have such a wonderful gifts and letters from guest who stayed here for 7 days in Oct. They were from America and treated all of us so nicely and I even felt like talking to my grandparents. It was sooo comfortable sharing the time with them.

They were so nice to us all the time while they were staying here and we all missed them a lot when they leave. And After few months, they still remembered us and gave us such a wonderful surprise.
I just really really appreciate to get to know people like them. And I strongly determined that I will try to be nice person who has warm heart

like them. Don't know how yet but I am really glad to meet someone that who I want to be like.

Hope to see Kiyoko and Ray in the future. Many Many Thanks.

Legendary movie is coming soon

This is Shige from Jstay

Kyoto is getting cold day by day.
It is difficult to get out from futon everyday.
I think you too.

So time is December, you know this December what will happen.

Yes!!! Star Wars new episode is coming!!!
I'm so exciting to see it.
I already have watched old episodes for prepare to new one.

My girl friend had never watched all of them( it is unbelievable things).
But now she became kind of freak of Star Wars.
Because she watched it together and I have taught her how Star Wars is awesome.
She is also waiting to see it.

Please watch and feel the force if you have not experienced Star Wars yet.

Goodbye to frozen face

First snow fell in Takayama downtown on Nov 27, finally. The date might sound early given December was still a few days away but in fact this first hint of winter usually descends upon Takayama in mid November. Thanks to such a slow start to winter, I have a bit more time to get prepared.

I live in a wooden house with very poor insulation, so my first winter in Takayama last year was a very tough one. This year around, I am resolved to exhaust all my means to ensure I can enjoy a much warmer winter. For example, I stuck bubble wrap onto the windows, installed wind-stopping boards by the windows, and pampered myself with a thicker futon. The last piece of the puzzle, I think, is to install some thicker curtains for even better insulation.

Let’s see if I can save myself from waking up every day feeling my face frozen this year…

No music No life!!

Hello:) This is MAYU form J-Hoppers Hiroshima.

It's getting cold day by day in Hiroshima.

I like winter very much♪ It has clear sky,

beautiful snow ,and delicious sea food!!!!!!

So, I'm in a great mood now a days:)

Then,I am so happy now because I went to

a music live of Tamio Okuda!!

It was at the MAZUDA STADIUM.

This is a new stadium in Hiroshima city centre.

It was the first time to have a music live in there.

Tamio Okuda. Do you know him?

He is from Hiroshima. So, It could come true in there.

He is cool and loves a travel,motor bike,American car.

I feel freedom when I listen to his music.

 He has special atmosphere.

laid-back music but It has big passion.

I've had an impulse to take off on a journey!!

Thank you Tamio and his music!!

Jizo's knit cap

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

When you are traveling some other country,
Most of people realize some cultural differences,I guess.

I've asked the same question couples of time in last 3monts.
The question is,,,,

"Why Jizo statues wear a red knit cap?"

Oh,that's good question!
As Jizo is so familiar to me sence I was a child,I didn't think about it....

About this question,I could find out the reason.

Jizo is one of the most popular Buddist bodhisattvas in japan.
Jizo is belived to be the guardian of the Earth who saves all living things after the death of
Budda,before the appearance of the benevolent bodhisattva.

Many Jizo statues wear a red baby's cap and bib which people offer
because they belived Jizo helps dead children go to the Buddhist equivalent of Heaven.

mmm.....That's good to know!!
There are still lots of things that I don't know in Japan.

Sumo!! dosukoi!!

I went to see Sumo for the first time recently!
I had never been since I went to this one!
Can you believe it?

It was held in Fukuoka Kokusai Center 
which is 20mins from Fukuoka Hana Hostel.
I finished work at 2PM and went there with my friends.

we got chair sheets which is 2100JPY!

There were like 3tornament and Sumo player(Likishi) 
are divided due to their strenth.
We watched the last tornament which is the strongest level one.
Sumo was cool and interesting but We were so hungry and sleepy so left there without finishing. lol

I just regret.
We should have brought Sake and food there.  
That would be the best!
「相撲 福岡」の画像検索結果

For any those who will go to see Sumo, bring sake and food!
This is my advice ;)

New Year is coming soon!!

Hello. This is Hiro from J-Hoppers Hiroshima.

It is the end of November already!We have only a month left this year!!
Are you ready for 2016??

In japan, New Year's Day is the most important holiday. So in late December is the busiest times for us as we have a lot of things to get ready for the coming year.

One of the most important thing to do is writing New Year's cards.

Have you ever heard about Nengajo?

Instead of sending Christmas cards, we send special postcards called nengajo to our friends and relatives. Nengajo should arrive on New Year's day so we must finish writing and post them by December 25th and the post office will stocks them in late December, and delivers them on January 1st all at once.
The most popular design of nengajo is illustrations of the animal for the coming year under the Chinese zodiac,which moves in a12 year cycle.
(rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, boar)
Next year is year of monkey!!!

Recently many people creating original cards with their personal computers.
But we can buy them at post offices or stores which already decorated.Or we can also decorate by ourselves using a lot of decorating items(colore markers, stamps, stickers etc.)

One thing that we have to be careful is.. Not send to people who have had a relative pass away during the year.
In this case, we send a simple post card to friends and relatives to let them know about it, so they won't send joyful New Year's card.

If you have a chance to go to the post office or stores where they sell New Year's cards during your stay in Japan,just go look them!You may know why nengajo is so important for Japanese people!!

Fall Foliage Hunting(Momojigari) at Aterra-keikoku

This autumn’s weather is perfect here.  One of our colleagues saw pretty pictures in FB about a place called Aterra-Keikoku (Aterra valley) in Nagano prefecture and thus we decided to visit it during our day off.  We also invited a guest who stayed 16 nights in J hopper Takayama to go together.  I was told that the journey takes 2.5 hours and due to the pretty autumn colors on the way, the time passed quickly.  We first went to a temple near to the entrance where the god of the nature lives.  We began by appreciating the god of nature there and started to walk along the valley.  The valley aims to remains as natural as it is and no phone signals could be received for all the trails along the way.  The air and river are extremely fresh and clean.  The changing color of the autumn leaves are amazing, we could not stop shouting out kerei (beautiful) along the hiking trails.  The red, yellow, green and blue colour mix together with the sound of the river and smell of the grass look like a lively-4D painting in front of us.  The water there is called `beauty water` which we can drink and bring home.  I drink some and brought 2 bottles home to make nice tea.  I love its purity and naturalness while I could not find it in my home country.  Do not forget to drink the beauty water if you visit there!

All you can eat Pizza, Pasta and Salad!!!!!!!

I went to all you can eat Pizza restaurant at Canal city!!
It is called Shakey's and located in East building 2nd floor.
They are really good!!!!!!  You should go there if you are starving!! lol

Opening hours for all you can eat
Lunch time week days 11am-3pm, weekends and public holidays 11am-4pm
Dinner time 5pm-10pm

All you can eat lunch
week days 1180yen
weekends and public holidays 1540yen

All you can eat dinner
everyday 1650yen




Recommended souvenir of Osaka : ) vol.1

Hello !!
I'm Haru from Osaka Hana Hostel : )

If you come to Osaka, what would you like to buy as a souvenir??

Must buy is a steamed meat bun called ”Butaman” at 551 Horai and a cheese cake at Rikuro-ojisan.

Or some snacks flavored with Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki.

Nowadays they are very famous as souvenirs of Osaka!!
But I would like to introduce another good products to you : )

Kakitane kitchen

《Price》 1Box : 368yen / 9boxes sampler : 3,308yen
《Where》 Osaka Takashimaya B1F, UmedaHanshin B1F etc...
《URL》 only)

Japanese people love Kakinotane snack.
Kakinotane is one of the famous snacks of Japan, it is a spicy rice cracker which looks like persimmon seeds.

You can buy normal Kakinotane at the supermarket and the price is cheap!!
But Kakitane kitchen sells the high-grade kakinotane to you!!
Taste is more luxury than normal one and it has a lot of flavors.

Would you like to eat???
Kakinotane go with beer so please try it !!

Thank you for reading !!

To be continued...