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!!

Shirotori Dance Festival

I have come to associate summer in Japan with festivals, fireworks, yukatai. Indeed, everywhere you go in July and August, it is more likely or not you will bump into a festival or two in the local town. What I look forward to, in particular, is the dance festivals. So far, I have been to Gujo Hachiman for its famous Gujo Dance Festival, Ecchu-yatsuo for its elegant Owara Kaze no bon, as well as Johana for its Mugiya dance festival. This year, I have decided to experience something new, venturing to Gujo Shirotori, a neighboring town to Gujo Hachiman, for its less famous but no less exciting dance festival, which is held on specific dates throughout July and August, with a few nights of overnight dances in mid-August elevating the festival to its climax. In fact, having heard rave reviews about the festival from a number of friends, I have been yearning to take part in this dance festival for long, and this year I finally got the time to do so. Shirotori dance is known for the generally fast tempo for some of its songs, which demands corresponding fast dance steps. Same as in Gujo dance, people usually wear geta, or wooden clogs to the dance, without which it will be less fun. And last year, I have dutifully bought a pair of wooden clogs just for the dancing occasions. What makes the Shirotori dance more fun is the accelerating rhythm towards to end of the signature piece titled “  “, with the locals singing along and chanting.

Worrying that I might not be able to master the steps in one night, I have decided to stay there for three nights and danced on every one of them. On the first night, I appeared very awkward, at a loss of how to move my hands and legs. But on the second night, I began to master the steps somehow, and was able to enjoy the dance to its fullest. Shirotori will no doubt be on my to-go list next year as well. 

Little Treat for Yourself

What time is it?
Summer time!
It's our vacation!!

The rainy season (Tsuyu) is officially over in Japan, and the hottest season has come!
Now that we hear all the cicadas chirping, we cannot stop feeling the smell of SUMMER!

When the summer comes, there is one place I never miss to go every year.

An ice cream shop, "POLAR BEAR"!!

If you are a big ice cream lover like me, you gotta try this place!

It locates in the central part of the city of Hiroshima; one minute by foot from the Tram station "Tatemachi".
The big Teddy bear (or a polar bear?) sitting in front is the landmark of the store.

The building looks a bit old from its appearance. Yes it is. I'm not sure when they first started, but I've been their customer since junior high, which means over 10 years! (Now I'm surprised at my age... lol)

What makes them so special?
One thing is the SIZE of the ice cream!

 Can you believe you can taste the double cone only for 380yen?!

Another outstanding feature is.. its unique FLAVORS!


They have usual tastes such as Lemon, Strawberries, Macha..
but my favorite is Bamboo Coal & Soybean Flour!

I know it doesn't look so tasty, as I, myself never seen GRAY ice cream besides this.
I've tried many flavors, and they all taste super good!

They're sometimes sold out before noon even on weekdays!

When you come to Hiroshima, try some ice creams at Polar Bear!

For more information, go to their Facebook page.

go camping solo!!

Hello. This is Mayu from J-Hoppers Hiroshima.
Have you went camping by your self?
For me, not yet...


But I bought a motor bike last year. It's a Off-road bike.I can go for a ride
on any way!!! In the mountain, Forest road, on the river, and so on:)

So my plan is going my first camping alone with my motor bike!!
It must be amazing......

I started to get some tools for camping little by little.
Table ware, a cup,chopsticks, small pan.


I cigjijgu

I can't wait!!
In Hiroshima,There are some good camping sites.
I prefer a site by river side than in the mountain.

I can hear Babbling of the river and  song of  a bird...
How wonderful it is!!!

Are you enjoying the Summer??
There are so many way to enjoy it!
Japanese Summer is too hot and too wet now a days...

But you should enjoy it as much as possible:)
Let's enjoy a nature!!!!


I finally got...

Hi there, This is shiori from J-hoppers Hiroshima.

I finally got a DSLR camera 3days ago!!!


To be honest, I have no knowledge about camera and I still don't know how to use it .

I hope I'll take good pictures sometime soon.

Inari shrine

Kintai bridge
Tsunoshima Bridge

I'm planning to go to Tsunoshima island taking a camera next month:) 
I can't wait!! ♡♡

Summer festival at Fushimi Inari shrine

Hi there !

This is Madi from Q-beh.

Last weekend, I went to Fushimi Inari shrine for the summer festival.
Every 3rd weekend of July, this festival is held and it is my favourite day of Kyoto through the year :)

This festival is not so busy as much as Gion festival.
And it is the traditional festival like what we used to have.
You can see some Japanese drums performance.
You can join "Bon Odori" which is traditional summer dance.


Also the shrine is decorated by many red colour paper lanterns that makes shrine nostalgic.


This is the best part of this festival :)
This nostalgic atmosphere is just beautiful !
I can't describe well but it's definitely worth to see it !!!

If you are here in one summer season, I absolutely recommend to join this festival :)


I have never seen so many...

Hi. This is Shoko from Osaka Hana Hostel.

This is the first time to write this blog as a staff.

I am from Shizuoka where the Mt. Fuji is.

I used to live in Tokyo for 5 years but moved to Osaka last year.

People are nice and friendly, and food are amazing so I like Osaka!

I will try to update useful and fun information every month.

The other day, I went to Kotsuo Temple with my husband.

We did not know much about his temple, but it seems like that this temple is good to wish about 'winning/success'.

Because, there are sooooo many Daruma doll* in here.

*The Daruma doll is a hollow, round, Japanese traditional doll modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism

See? Daruma dolls are everywhere, aren't they?

I have never seen like this many!!

We did not really expecting but it was so much fun to look around.

This place is a bit far from center of Osaka city but it worth to visit.

Biei, Hokkaido

It is the first time for me to visit Hokkaido in July, the real summer!!! Biei and Furano are famous for flowers blossom in summer with plenty of lavender and sunflower. The extraordinary colors of the flowers together with the shape of the field are really stunning. I recommend you to drive around in Biei and Furano as you can stop by anywhere when the pretty views are in front of you. I highly recommend Patchwork Road in the north of Biei with rural landscapes. The best way to enjoy the beauty of Biei is to stay in the cottage house on top of the mountain overseeing the views far away. If you can get up early around 3:30-4:00, please do not miss the sunrise!!! 


After enjoying the drive, how about enjoying fine dining at French restaurant called Biei Senka?
It was a very cozy restaurant which uses fresh vegetable and food in Hokkaido. The signature dish is the assortment of 20 vegetables. Believe me, all of them are extremely fresh!!! There are several courses to choose from. If you are planning to visit this restaurant, please call them for reservation as it is a very popular restaurant in Biei.



Pokemon go finally has been available in Japan 4days ago.

I have downloaded it on the day it's released.

It's been for ages since I played Pokemon (Red, Green , Blue Game-boy ver.)
Pokemon used to be black and white back then but now every pokemon is so colouful.

I sometimes go out in the morning catching new pokemons or hitting a gym.
Then I see a lot of people are now playing pokemon go, too.

It looks a little crazy and surreal for me, although I am a part of them...

------------Got Snorlax on my pasta,, Gotya!

It's fun but it could become dangerous.

I saw two middle-aged bussiness men bumped into each other at Kyoto Station yesterday.
One said "Oh! sorryyyy" then another said "It's Ok...... Are you..... playing Pokemon Go?"
Then "Yeah.. hahah" ...

They greeted each other and walked away but still kept looking at their phone's screen....

I watched them and heard all of the conversation they had while playing Pokemon Go...

"Stay aware of your surroundings" that's what Niantic said.
"Don't play it too hard, sort your life out first" that's what I said.

sumo tournament

I went to Sumo tournament . Sumo is a national sport in Japan.
Currently we have foreign wrestlers too such as Mongolian ,Brazilian,Egyptian

This time Sumo tournament has been held at Nagoya.

The tournament is every 2 months.

I am a fan of Kisenosato who is top Japanese sumo wrestler.
 He has had  a chance to win this tournament .However he lost when I went.

If you travel to Japan when there is the tournament,I recommend you to see that!

Sumo tournament

Local summer festival at Shinsaibashi

Hi : )
This is Haru from Osaka Hana Hostel.

Have you ever seen or Joined the Japanese local festival ??
The festival is called ''Matsuri'' in Japanese,
there are up to 300,000 festivals throughout Japan.    

My co-workers joined the local summer festival at Shinsaibashi :)

In the festival, Japanese people get around the Mikoshi and carry it on their shoulders in order to worship Gods.

Mikoshi or portable shrine is a carriage for Gods.
While carrying the Mikoshi, the carriers yell ''Wasshoi, Wasshoi !!''.

Japanese people who carry a portable shrine wear ''Happi'' , and a headband with decorated patterns.

Happi is a traditional Japanese outfit with the Chinese character for the word ''祭(Festival)'' written at the back.

Well done !! : )))))))

Thank you for reading.
Have a good day.

Universal Studios Japan 2016

Me and my friends went to Universal Studios Japan (USJ).
First of all, we took a train from Kyoto station to Osaka, then changed to another train on the Osaka loop line that went direct to USJ (800JPY).

When we got off the train, we saw tons of people there although it was Wednesday.

First, we rode the Hollywood Dream (roller coaster), followed by the Flying Dinosaur.
We waited for 120mins to ride the Flying Dinosaur.

Actually, I have a fear of heights.
So basically,  I can't go up over 10m away from the ground but my friend told me if I didn't ride it, I would regret it.
So I was like "Better get my money's worth!"

While the Flying dinosaur was going up to the top, I was petrified and couldn't say anything.
Meanwhile, it got to the top, ready to fall down.
I don't remember what happened next.
I barely could open my eyes and think what if somebody riding in front of me puked.

Once we reached the end, I was so relieved but I felt so good and refreshed more than I ever felt before.
The flying dinosaur was great!

I overcame a fear... I think.

We also went to the harry potter's attractions.

We had a wonderful time at USJ!!

* We have a sister branch in Osaka close to USJ! Please check it out too :)

Hi, there.

Nowadays, I am into reading books either in English or Japanese:)

So this time please  let me introduce my recommendation! 

The title is 'BUSHIDO'

「英語と日本語で読む「武士道」 (知的生きかた文庫)」の画像検索結果

This book is written about Japanese Bushido( the way to live of Samurai) easy to understand.

I like this part as follows.

'The spiritual aspect of valour is evidenced by composure calm presence of mind.

Tranquility is courage in repose.

It is a statical manifestation of valour as daring deeds are a dynamical.

A truly brave man is ever serene he is never taken by surprise nothing ruffles the equanimity of his spirit.

In the heat of battle he remains cool in the midst of catastrophes he keeps level his mind.'

This is just only small part.

So please read all:)

Thank you.

Fancy retro night in Osaka


Me and my friends from uni met up for dinner in Osaka last week.
What are we going to have? That's the question that always annoys/excites us, and after long discussion, we decided to try French bistro in Kitahama this time.

On my way there, I stopped by Nakanoshima area which has a lot of historical buildings from Meiji period.

City library is my favorite spot to spend some time, reminds me a lot of Melbourne.

And walking through this beautiful riverside street

Got to the restaurant called "Kofuji shokudo" that my friend had made a reservation - so popular that usually fully booked up even on weekdays!

We first met in university back in 2006 and have shared great/crazy/fun time since then, it's always great to hang out with them even for just a coffee...just a coffee means hours of non-stop conversation about our lives, work or family, and kinda weird that we've known each other more than 10 years now and still feel like we're talking at the cafeteria in uni.

Their food is superb - course meal with a lot of seasonal best ingredients and creative dishes in cozy atmosphere.

Nothing can be better than quality time with beautiful girls and meal which amazed us a lot!

Highly recommended ;)