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!!

New Year's Resolution 2017 (1)

To tell you the truth, I totally forgot my new year's resolution for 2016. But I would say 2016 has been a fruitful year for me, and I will try to look back at the past year in another post, but for now I would like to focus on the future - the coming year, and put down some goals to get myself motivated (at least for the first few months, I hope..)

I started learning Spanish a few months ago, and if I am given permission to take two weeks off next year (please!), I would like to travel to Spain to put what I have learned into practice. My goal is to be able to get through the whole trip using Spanish only, pretending to be able to speak Japanese only. I am also planning to sit for the DELE B1 level exam. A lot of work to do! To show my determination, I have switched my mobile phone to Spanish, and I have made a few friends in the Spanish speaking world too. If only they can speak more slowly!

Separately, I would also like to challenge myself to become a licensed guide in Japan, but I have heard the exam is notoriously difficult, but I will not let that deter me of course. You can sit for two foreign languages in one go, and the obvious two for me are of course English and Chinese. Though not likely, if I make super good progress in my Spanish, I might try to pick Spanish.

I have a few other goals on a more personal side, so I will keep them to myself.
Before I sign off, I would like to wish everyone a fruitful year ahead!







Japanese garden

Murin-an is one of the nice places to relax.
Murian-an is a Japanese villa and garden built by Aritomo Yamagata in Meiji Period.
It is in Okazaki area, close to Nanzenji Temple.

Yamagata preferred "motion" so the garden has a waterfall and a stream, and that can be called a pioneer of the modern Japanese garden.



It is nice to have a seat and gaze at the garden from the building.
Blankets are provided so you can stay and relax as much as you want!:)






Life recently

My room became a small gallery!🐤 
 

A walk around Kyoto City🐰


 

Wish you all a good good year. 💛🌄💛💛

" Katsuo-no-Tataki "

Hi ! This is Ena from Hiroshima Hana Hostel.
 Last week,I had a short trip to Kochi prefecture,located on the south coast of Shikoku to eat this cuisine. It is called Katsuo-no-Tataki ( カツオのたたき). "Katsuo"stands for skipjack Tuna(bonito) and "Katsuo-no-Tataki" means Seared skipjack Tuna in English.

Usually,we dip it in soy sauce or ponzu vinegar and eat it.
However, in Kochi they taste it with salt, wasabi and some sliced garlic since fish  is super fresh there! I had not known the fact until last month.
A month ago,one of my friend showed me a picture of its cuisine, told me that.
Then I could not help eating it and went there to try it .

My Friend who lives in Kochi booked an Izakaya restaurant for me. I tried it with Bijobu (美丈夫),Japanese Sake from Kochi.

Was....Just Amazing!!!
This is the one that you must try when you get there.
(Though you will get a strong bad breath from garlic....)
Since I liked Seared Tuna of Kochi SO much,I also bought its  postcard .
△POSTCARD of  "Katsuo-no-Tataki"
We enjoyed not only Seared Tuna also visiting some spots,meeting dolphins and turtles there! I definitely want to go to Kochi again.

                                                 \ Happy Holidays ! /

 

Thank you 2016 , hello 2017

Hi, this is Saho from J-Hoppers Kyoto guest house.
Looking back 2016, I was really blessed with people and work environment.
I appreciate people I have met throughout the year who made my life more cheerful and upbeat :-)
I hope you all happy , well-being and successful 2017 :-)

My objective 2017 is not to talk to myself on the street ( I admit I do now...)
I want to be less weird next year ...>< !!

Happy Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year !


Photos are from Christmas party at J-Hoppers Kyoto.
Thanks a lot for your contribution , Kazzy-chan :-)♡ We are now team crapes !


Kinosaki road trip

Road trip is always fun - driving a car, seeing beautiful scenery, stopping by interesting spot, chatting or singing with friends. Me and my friends decided to leave Kyoto for a weekend to take onsen (hot spring) and relax.

Kinosaki is located in a north part of Hyogo, famous for its Onsen and amazing (and expensive) crabs in winter. We decided not to take toll way as it seemed close, and got to Kinosaki after 3 hours of fun driving!






Seafood lunch was simply amazing with local fish and seasonal stuff, we all became really full and started strolling around the area.




And we got onsen pass that allowed us to take 7 different onsens in the area, of course we didn't take them all but tried two of them and they were great with different atmosphere and layout, outdoor bath and saunas.






We stayed in a Ryokan (Japanese style Inn) in Takeno which was 20 mins away from central Kinosaki town by car, and that was probably the most exciting part of the trip for me in a way. Driving through pitched-black mountain was so thrilling and fun, and we got to see a big wild-boar which reminded me of Princess Mononoke! And we were all so pumped when we got to the Ryokan which was right in front of Takeno beach. Ryokan was small but nicely decorated and staff were friendly. We played some card games, talked a lot, and decided to go to bed kinda early to see the sunset.

THAT WAS THE BEST CHOICE.

The morning was crisp but air was so clear.





Beautiful morning glow and hot coffee on the beach, what else could we ask for...






Took a morning walk and had a breakfast at a tiny local cafe. That's what we wanted.
Kyoto is an absolutely amazing place all year around, but we sometimes need to get a fresh air in the nature, charge our energy, to be away from tourists and busy lifestyle especially at the end of the year.
I'm glad we made it and found another great spot of Kansai region!

Happy holiday!





Bonen-kai!!


Hi! This is Tomomi from Hana hostel!

It's already Dec 17th.... New year is coming soon!
Did you have a good year? 

In Japan, we have a year-end-party which is called "BONENーKAI” (忘年会).

At bonen-kai a party is held sometime between the middle and the end of December every year. People gather to share and shake off the hardships they experienced during the past year and to prepare for the coming year with renewed resolve.
Usually parties are organized among company colleagues or friends at restaurants and the participants enjoy drinking alcohol and eating delicious food.

Few days ago, we had "bonen-kai" with the staff of Hiroshima J-hoppers and Hana hostel. We went to two restaurants and it was really fun to talk, drink and eat a lot! I emphasize: Yes, we ate A LOT. But I forgot to take pictures of the food...! Anyway, I'm really happy to work with my colleagues and always I really appreciate them. 
Hope you have a happy new year!!😉





Ukiyoe in Shinsaibashi

Exclusive premiere exhibition of Osaka prints from Edo era

A time during which Chikamatsu and Saikaku were the undisputed masters, And the Dotonbori district had an atmosphere not unlike Broadway today.
In 1730, the rice Market established by the government, makes Osaka the rice loft of Japan. As early as 1662, The Dotonbori district with its 6 Kabuki theaters, 5 Joruri puppet theaters, 7 Sekkyo puppet halls and one mechanical puppet theater was a cultural center as well as a commercial center where merchandise flourished.
The delicacy of Ukiyoe prints was inspired by the Kabuki actors they depict.

Originally, prints represented (all male) Kabuki actors that were much appreciated by a predominantly female audience. Although in Kabuki worn by men only, the kimono were very much admired by the audience.
As much as 80% of the prints depicted actors, somewhat comparable to todayユs movie and fashion magazines .
Edo (todayユs Tokyo) was the cradle of Ukiyoe prints, nevertheless, Kamigata(todayユs Osaka) was also a very industrious and creative area. Where Edo represented style and elegance, Kamigata stood for delicacy and sense of humor, sometimes almost caricatured, showing a desire to render the actor’s personality. The patterns of the kimono also testify of that refinement .
The beginning of this new century offers us an opportunity to reconsider this art which is still surprisingly contemporary and realistic.


The third floor and the flat roof are dedicated to rice growing. The roof has been converted into a wild rice field.
Rice history is longer than 10000 years and it is the staple food of numerous Asian coutries, including Japan.
Osaka was also the first place where a rice Market was established.
An activity experience for making 4-color, woodblock, Ukiyoe prints.
Making Ukiyoe prints using 4 colors of woodblocks.
The completed Ukiyoe will be about postcard size.
Take it home with you.
Please choose from one of the three courses
BEGINNER’S COURSE
Fee500 yen per person
Estimated Time RequiredAbout 30 minutes
INTERMEDIATE COURSE
Fee800 yen per person
Estimated Time RequiredAbout 30 – 45 minutes
ADVANCED COURSE
Fee1,000 yen per person
Estimated Time RequiredAbout 45 – 60 minutes

Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum
ACCESS5 minute walk from NAMBA subway stations.
In front of the west gate of HOZENJI temple.
OPENTuesday to Sunday from 11AM to 6PM
ADMISSION500 yens
ADDRESS1-6-4,Namba,chuo-ku,Osaka
You can check more information from the link below!

http://kamigata.jp/kmgt/english/


JLPT

Hi everyone, it is Nana in Takayama.

Last week I went to Gifu to take an examination : the JLPT !
As known as the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. 

This test is done to evaluate your Japanese level, but it does not include conversation skill ! As I can somehow speak freely in my daily life, my reading and writing have a lot to improve... so did I apply for the N3, the intermediate level. The JLPT as 5 levels, the N5 is the easiest one and the N1 the strongest one (even Japanese people seems to fail this test without preparation...)  The test is divide in three part : vocabulary, grammar and reading, listening. The whole test last about 4hours.



It has been a long time since I did not take such a test, and the room was full of people younger than I. But I was not the oldest either, and even a Japanese girl took the exam. Some of the person took the exam for the first time other for the third... A lot of Vietnamese was there, and... a french woman living in Takayama too ! Such a coincidence and we took the same one too ! We stayed together until boarding our bus back to the mountains' foot.

Now I have to wait until end of January to get the result. However my next goal is the N2 as this level start to be useful in Japan to get other qualifications, as guide etc. Let's start studying again to July examination !



DO you know "IQOS"??

Hello this is Kana from Hiroshima Hana Hostel.
It's getting colder day by day, hard to get out from the bed every morning.
Somebody please give me  some tips that  how to get up without thinking excuse not to get up.

DO you know "IQOS"?? It is called as "real tobacco e-smokes".


The iQOS is a tobacco stick that is heated just enough to produce an aerosol but not combust.
A pack of 20 HeatSticks sells for 460 yen, the same as regular Marlboro cigarettes.

Obviously IQOS is much much much less harmless than regular cigarettes.
For people who are getting interested in it, who started considering your own health, why don't you try that??

IQOS priced at 9,980 yen, appears similar to other e-cigarettes in that it is pen-shaped and battery-powered, and is heated to release tobacco vapor. 

IQOS is sold only 6 prefecture in Japan.

Umeda, Shinsaibashi (Osaka),  Sendai, Hiroshima, Harajuku(Tokyo), Nagoya, Fukuoka

 How I got it;

Shop is opened at 10am so be there at 9:30am! There was already looooong cue. 

Got numbered ticket (Limited stock everyday)
Took 3 hours to get it!!! Because each consumer needed to have explanation by sales staff which is about 10minutes. There were 4 of staff, so you can guess how many people were there before me.

There is a one of brunch in Hiroshima!
If you are interested in , just give it try! It must be great experience for the smoker!





Bonsai

Hello this is Shige from Jstay.

I hope you are fine.
Time flies like an arrow, it is already December.
One year is really fast.

I have been the Bonsai-Daikannten (Bonsai Big Exhibition) last month.

I have never seen the good and nice quality bonsai before.
This time they had that exhibition at Okazaki area.
It was nice timing to see the bonsai.
There have so many bonsai and every trees were really nice quality.
It looks like real big tree but that on the small bowl.
I have had good experience to touch the Japanese historical hobby culture. 




I've became conscious of motor bike!!!


Hello. I am MAYU from J-Hoppers Hiroshima!!

I've just became conscious of motor bike now a days.....!!

Do you know enduro?

It's a motor bike race which is on the forest road and unpaved  road.

「エンデューロ バイク 」の画像検索結果


It's so cool!!!!  I 

Motor bike has a lot of capacity of traveling on many kind of

road. You can go anywhere with that  even if there is no road.

That's enormously exciting fo me!!!!

「エンデューロ 林道」の画像検索結果




I'm planning to go for a touring in South of America next year.

So I need more comrade, technique and knowledge

about a motor bike. Of course Spanish language too(´▽`)

I have many thing to do in a year.


「エンデューロ 林道  旅」の画像検索結果 

practice... practice... practice...

I am going to get a second motor bike in this month.

I can't wait riding !!



「YAMAHA セロー 225」の画像検索結果



Short trip to Tokyo

Hello everyone !

Some days ago I went to Tokyo !
From Takayama it is a 5h30 bus trip to reach the capital.
There I stayed in a great place that my friend recommended me : NUI.


.
.
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I was really lucky on my trip as I a witness of the 1st November snow in Tokyo since a long time ! If for the people living in Tokyo it was suddenly cold I just did not realize the change of temperature as it is already really cold in Takayama.




So I went to the museum to learn more about Japanese history :


.
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The second day I went to Yanaka-cho with my French friend Ines. Yanaka-cho is a really old district in Tokyo which survived both earthquake and war. Even in Tokyo you can find these kind of place feeling the history. Then we walked to the Sky Tree to take a train to Omotesando and join her company party. There a big surprise awaited me : Ellie ! We met at Osaka Hana Hostel about 2 years ago ! Such a surprise.

For my last day I spent sometime studying then went to the Tokyo-Edo Museum. I got the chance to see acrobatic art performance and beautiful miniatures. The museum is well down and I did not have enough time to enjoy it fully...  

If you go to Tokyo I definitely recommend you these places to stay and enjoy Tokyo !

Birthday Shopping in Brand-new Mall!

As my sister had her birthday on the 22nd (don't ask how old she became lol), she and I decided to go out for shopping together with our mom!

We picked a local shopping mall just 20 minutes away from our parents' for her very first shopping as 27 years-old. (I said it lol)
 
 EAON MALL Hiroshima Fuchu SOLEIL

The mall had just reopened after renovation on the 18th of November.

They say they newly opened 82 stores and a half of them are the very first stores in Chu-goku and Shikoku areas. We definitely gotta check 'em out!!

One of our favorite stores, Flying Tiger has finally arrived in Hiroshima! Yayyy!

Flying Tiger from Denmark
Evrything in the store made us feel happy.. :D

Bought some cute napkins for the birthday dishes :)











Another store I'd wanted to visit is... American Eagle!
American Eagle Outfitters

I personally like Aeropostale more but I guess there's only one or two stores in Japan.. so it's okay! I'm still happy to have AEO in such a small town like Fuchu.

They happened to be holding a super sale and everything in the store was 20% OFF on the day! I bought three pairs of jeans. But still cheap! Plus they are very comfortable to wear! I think I'll be a regular customer there :P

We got the mall in the early afternoon but kept shopping until around 8pm!
I was actually planning to buy her some birthday gifts but I ended up spending all my money on my own stuff. Well, we sure will go back there so I'll save the opportunity until then :P

There are way more new and exciting stores in EAON MALL Hiroshima Fuchu.
It's best to go shopping in such a rainy day like today!

↓Visit their website↓
http://hiroshimafuchu-aeonmall.com/

Kazuko and Kyung's Birthday Party

The other day, we celebrated our receptionist Kazuko and Bar staff Kyung's birthday.
They have already been working here for over 1 year !!


We had lunch together in living room at Osaka Hana Hostel.
























They got beautiful flower from our manager Masae and her husband Mark.




























Happy Birthday Kazuko and Kyung!!




I love working here because our boss care about all of us.






















Even our birthday,  health, personal problem..


Such a nice place to work!!