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!

https://youtu.be/mixIvfqjiFQ

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)
 https://www.tripadvisor.jp/ShowUserReviews-g1022837-d1239443-r115593316-Takeda_Castle_Ruin-Asago_Hyogo_Prefecture_Kinki.html

 *The wall street  journal (The Mystery of ‘Japan’s Machu Picchu’)
 http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2013/10/17/the-mystery-of-japans-machu-picchu/

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS ALL!!


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

SANDANKYO

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!!♪



beautiful!
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!!



*Access*
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.