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!!

Matsuzakagyu Yakiniku M

I went to one restaurant which is called "Matsuzakagyu Yakiniku M".
I'm not a big fan of beef but this restaurant is OMG sooooooo good!!!!!!!

Price was pretty expensive, but it's totally worth it!
It was my birthday dinner so we had premium course, it was just so good!

All of staff can speak English because this restaurant is on the Trip adviser.
Many foreigners must go.

This is the link.
http://www.matsusaka-projects.com/english/

If you want to try really really good beef, I totally recommend this restaurant!

Just try :)


Setsubun

Hi there!This is Chika .

Today,I will introduce  one of Japanese culture which is called "Setsubun".
Setsubun literally means "division of seasons."
"setsubun" has now come to mean the day before the first day of spring only.
It usually occurs around February 3rd.






On the 3rd of Feb, in a custom called mame-maki, people throw and soy beans inside and outside their houses while saying,

"Oni-wa soto,Fuku-wa uchi"

(Get goblins out of the house! Invite happiness into the home!)
,I just looked up how we say "Oniwa soto,Fukuwa uchi" in English.
That's so interesting :-)


After throwing the beans, people  eat one roasted soy bean,for each year of their age, and pray for happiness throughout the year.

and then,we have a lomg sushi roll which is called "Ehou Maki".
We eat all in one go on the night of Setsubun, while facing silently toward the year's "lucky" direction with your eyes closed, wishing for perfect health and praying for prosperity of business


If you are in Japan now,you might have seen this advertisement or posters at the shops :-)
Why don't you enjoy Setsubun night on the 3rd of Feb??





TAIWAN♡

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

I took a vacation for a week and traveled to Taiwan last week.

It's only 2hours and half flight from Hiroshima to Taipei.
I've heard that January is the coldest month of the year in Taiwan but for me, it was not so bad and I enjoyed that kind of weather there.

I spent 2days in Taipei and I had only 3more days left to stay, but I wanted to visit major cities in Taiwan as much as I could, so I bought "Taiwan high speed rail 3 days pass"(around 8000yen)that valid for overseas travelers to Taiwan.
This pass allows unlimited rides on the bullet train for 3consecutive days.
I think that's a good deal for traveling in a limited time frame in Taiwan!

On the third day, I moved to southern part of Taiwan.
The weather was really great in this season, especially Tainan city.
On arriving at the Tainan station,I fell in love with this city!
People,weather,atmosphere of the town.....
Everything there was just perfect for me.
If you have a chance to travel to Taiwan,Tainan is definitely worth a visit!!

There are still so many places in Taiwan where I must visit and I met such a great people who helped me in many ways during my trip!

I will definitely go back there again!!!










We have postcards !!


All Hana Hostel and J-hoppers sell post cars sets.
.It is pretty difficult to find them and 70yen stamps (for abroad) in Japan.

This is special postcards of Osaka.
I like them especially the castle one.


320yen for 5.


We sell stamps also!
But we do not do posting service. Please do it by yourself :p

 Thank you so much(^^)

Where is a good supermarket in Kyoto ?


Some new residents of Kyoto ask this to me.

Unfortunately there are not many good (means good variety and good deal) supermarkets in Kyoto-city. I guess because there is not enough space to built since Kyoto is the old city, and FRxxCO, the most famous supermarket in Kyoto, which is pretty expensive and they don’t have good variety nor quality, are everywhere like a monopoly.

So my answer is… Takashimaya!
Takashimaya is a posh department store which is located in downtown, so my young friends believe that their grocery section is expensive. Actually it’s not!
For example I found Japanese broccoli for 100yen which was 230yen in the FxxSCO in the same day. Also petit tomatoes were 290yen which were 100yen cheaper than the FRExxO. See?!
Takashimaya is proud of their quality and service so their fruit and vegetable are also really good!

In addition, their bicycle parking is free for 3 hours if you buy something.
So I park my bike then I just buy my favorite 198yen ciabatta bread of Peck, the cool Italian bakery that they have in underground, and walking around downtown for 3 hours!
This is a tip for new residents of Kyoto! 

 

Coffee shop

Hi from coffee geeky Meg.
Let me introduce one of my favorite coffee shops in Osaka.

There are more than 10 different single origins coffee and 3 or 4 blended coffee.
They served great hand drip coffee using Kono method.
They also have coffee tasting and hand drip coffee lessons.
If you are a pour over lover, please try their coffee!

HIROFUMI FUJITA COFFEE in Tamatsukuri.

HIROSHIMA oyster cabin



Hello!!  This is MAYU from J-Hoppers Hiroshima:)

It's too first that the days come and go!!

Have you heard OYSTER CABIN??

 Hiroshima is really famous for oyster☆☆






I went there last week. I love an oyster☆☆

You can enjoy seafood barbecue in there♪♪

Staff will tell you how to grill an oyster.  


There are abalone,scalloper,conger,and so on...

You will enjoy all of seafood from Hiroshima!!

And also you can  drink almost all of kind of alcohol

Beer,Japanese sake,wine,,,,.








Here is an information of oyster cabin in Ujina Port.

Let's enjoy Hiroshima oyster♪


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

OPENING HOUR: 10:30-21:00

ACCESS: 20-30minutes from Hiroshima station by tram

PLACE: in Hiroshima minato park

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


There are some oyster bars as well in city centre:)








Eat well and work out hard.

Both eating good foods and doing exercise are one of my favorite daily activities.
However, even though I try to work out regularly, it is difficult to do exercise more than other seasons such as spring, summer and fall. I know it sounds like "an excuse" though, I'd like to say it is due to heavy snow this year.

Despite of it, I lately tried a sea of  yummy stuffs at restaurants in Takayama.



Toast with colorful and fresh vegetables


Salad with baked camembert cheese

Hida apple crumble with vanilla ice cream and rum
 
 Pot-au-feu


Every time after these tasty foods, yes of course, I do exercise to prepare for my next appetite. 


"Into the Wild"


Snowshoeing in the wild.




I find that this cycle "Eat well and work out hard " keeps me stay healthy both in mentally and psychically. So, I think I should make more efforts to attach more importance to "working out "in order to keep balance between two of my favorite daily activities.







Meriken Park and Kitano area in Kobe

Hello, this is Yoshi! How was your New Year's Day?

I recently visited Kobe. This town is so fascinating as there are so many shopping areas and restaurants together with the beautiful harbor and the airport in the town!!

Meriken Park
You can see airplanes flying in the sky from the park.
We found the ship. Luminou Kobe 2,  here!!
I took JR train from Kyoto Station to Sannomiya. I guess it takes about 1 hour to get there by JR.
In the north area of Sannomiya Station, there is a beautiful area called "Kitano-ijinkan"area (北野異人館) where there are western style residences mostly for early foreign settlers built during the end of the Shogunate and the Meiji era.

In that area, there is also an interesting museum of the famous Japanese baseball player,  Yu Darvish who is now belonging to Texas Rangers. You can play some game with "this player" there!

In the south area, there is a famous area called "Meriken Park.” In this area, you can go for shopping in the male, MOSAIC. I recommend you to go there especially at night as we can see some night illuminations there!!
Why do not you visit Kobe??

MOSAIC



Yummy egg sandwich!

One day,I found egg sandwich which looks really nice on TV. That is a specialty of an old cafe Nippori Area in Tokyo according the information in the TV show. Some other menu from other cafe and restaurants were introduced as well at the time but the egg sand in the cafe sounded the best! I imagined how I can cook it by myself as I remember what I watched and heard. It looked really simple as the ingredients is only egg. No vegetables,meet and seafood. The taste should be simple as well so,I thought. Talked about it to coworkers to make it by myself and I told them that I will cook it with the recipe which we thought out. However something happened by chance. The recipe was found in a cooking book which my coworker borrowed at a library. What a lovely accident it was! I and the coworker talked that it happened because we wished that want to cook delicious sandwich from our bottom of heart:)). It is made with egg,bread,butter,mayonnaise,mustard and a bit salt according to the recipe. The point is using a lot of butter to make stumbled egg much fluffy. I finally made it then and it was really yummy! Only one thing what I should improve for the next time is my skill to make eggs more fluffy. It was enough delicious for the first time one though. You can try cooking it with the recipe and will love it if you are a big fan of egg!

Predicting the Year Ahead

In Japan, we visit a shrine (some people visit a temple) usually in the first three days of January.
Generally, we wish for the new year,  get new omamori(charms) and draw omikuji(a written fortune).
I visited the shrine in my hometown but I couldn't draw omikuji because many people were lining up at that time.

So I went to Fushimi Inari Shrine on the other day to predict this year.
There are two stones called omo-karu ishi (heavy-light stone).  You lift the stone after making a wish. It is said that if you feel that the stone is lighter than you expected, your wish will come true.
I tried that instead of omikuji and I felt that the stone was heavier...

The next day I visited Kifune Shrine and drew omikuji hoping to get a good one.
Their omikuji is different from a typical omikuji. You float a paper on the water, so that the letters will be appeared.
I got 末吉(Ending blessing) and these things were written,

願事 (wish or desire) – may be bothered by someone
恋愛 (romantic relationships) – may be bothered by someone you haven't expected,                                                             should refrain from everything
旅行 (travel) – shouldn't travel

...well, 
it's up to me whether believe or not, right?;P

Cute monkeys reveling in the luxury of mountain hot springs

I almost never come in first in any kind of tests, examinations or competitions due to my very average ability, but there is one but sadly the only one thing that I am confident in grabbing the number one seat. Don't boo me, but my special talent lies in getting up really early and being the very first one to arrive somewhere. In a world where very few people respect punctuality, and where many people regard waking up early as a kind of torture, I see this as a precious virtue. As the common saying goes, the early bird gets the worm, and this time round I congratulated myself for being the first person that morning to arrive at the snow monkey park in Nagano prefecture, thereby enabling me to enjoy some quality time alone with these hotspring blessed monkeys.

You actually have to venture quite deep inside the mountains if you want to pay a visit to this monkey paradise. You have to walk around 25 minutes, mostly on the snow, from the nearest bus stop. Apart from being an early riser, it also helps that I walk really fast. As expected, I was the first visitor arriving there, and it was breakfast time for the monkeys. It was interesting seeing monkey babies riding on the back of their parents, all heading to the 'breakfast table'. After breakfast, some monkeys began to dip themselves inside the hotspring to keep themselves warm.








What is so amazing and special about these monkeys is that they are completely unafraid of humans. Some will simply walk right past you without a slight bit of hesitation, and some monkey kids will fool around, chasing after one another, right before your eyes. Those hanging around the edge of the hotspring pool are even more unperturbed by the presence of human beings, likely because they are simply feeling too comfortable inside the hotspring. I literally saw one monkey dozing off inside the pool, with a facial expression appearing to say 'I am now in paradise'.

It amazes me to see such familial and communal spirit displayed within this small monkey community. There were one monkey family apparently enjoying the hotspring together, with the dad and mum on either side of the kid, and from time to time, the kid would demand attention and a hug from his or her parents . Some playful kids would take a big jump from the side, trying to land on the back of their parents. 

I think I do not have to say any much more, as the photos pretty much speak for themselves. They are just so cute. That is all I have to say. Enjoy the photos, and do pay them a visit if you have a chance. And remember to be early!



Himono Onna 干物女

January… I don’t know what you usually do when it is freezing outside like these weeks, but I buy as much food as I can carry, in particular pastry, ice-cream and chocolate. Turn on heater, make cocoa, hide myself under the blanket and watch films.
It sometimes happens when you read a book or watch some film and recognize yourself being very similar to a main character. It is nice when you have something in common with a brave or beautiful hero. In my case, it is a little bit different. I saw myself in Japanese series called干物女 (Himono Onna). This combination is a mix of two words: dried fish and woman.  I didn't even know that this type of woman like me existed. But that Japanese dorama just showed things as they were in my life. It will take ages to retell the plot of the series. In few word, HimonoOnna(main character) is young and good-looking woman who is very busy with her work. So that when she is back home, she eats some bento from super market, drinks beer and falls asleep at her terrace covering her body with newspaper like homeless. She is not interested in wasting time on men. Weekends she spends eating in bed and drinking beer.



This is what wikipedia says how to recognize Himono Onna:
  • replies messages in a very short way and with a delay
  • eats standing at the kitchen
  • does no makeup and wears no bra at weekends
  • doesn't visit hair salon more than once or twice a year
  • doesn't shave her legs in winter time
  • goes to bars on her own
  • doesn't fall in love
  • has a terribly messy room
In the end, of course, Himono Onna met her Prince Charming who accepted her as she was. I just wonder if there is any possibility to end up like that???
Reality is very cruel though. So my New Year Resolution was to keep my place clean and make an effort to get out of the bed at weekends. Today is 16th of January and I am doing well so far, spending yesterday day-off at home eating pizza in bed and reading books doesn't count. 
Wish me good luck!
PS I hope it won’t be too much of a shock for me when time to wear bikini comes.

Christmas party @ Osaka Hana Hostel 2014 !!!

Happy New Year 2015 to everyone !!!!

Hello from Osaka, its Hideko : )

Hope everyone had nice Christmas and Happy new year 2014-2015.

We hosted a Christmas Party on the holy 25th of December at Osaka Hana Hostel.

As you all know that Japan is not the biggest Christian country and we celeblate our Christmas with out too much of religious reason. (more controlled by commercial side.....)

Unlike Christian county, In Japan  we spend Christmas more with friends and boy/girl friend  and spend more time with Family for New year/ New years eve.
 

However, our Osaka Hana Hostel's Christmas Party was more like Family occasion as all our guests and staffs are like our family !!!!

Thank you so much for joining our Christmas party, we had Santa-clouse and Santa-clusette  visiting Osaka Hana Hostel and brought us much happy time !

hohoho.......


Hope to celebrate together this year again !!!!


Picture with Hana Staff and edible Christmas tree !!!




2015 mo  yoroshiku onegai shimasu!!!