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!!

Summer '16

Still really hot in Kyoto but summer is coming to its end little by little....
Today I want to share some beautiful scenes that I have seen in this summer.


At Shinjuku-gyoen in Tokyo, was so green and refreshing.

The ocean close to Kamakura.
It was not perfect but I could see the sunset.

Sunset from the top of Mt. Inari. It looked more beautiful after a hike.

Sunrise from a cafe near my hometown. 
I woke up at 4 in the morning, drove for about 30min. and had super early breakfast there. 
Thanks to my parents for keeping my company :P

Maze Firework Display

Located near the famous hotspring town Gero, Maze is a small picturesque town nestled amongst the mountains. Ever year, on the last Saturday in August, a spectacular firework display will be held there. I have heard a lot of rave reviews about it, and this year, I finally got to chance to see it with my own eyes, and it is no exaggeration that I was completely blown away. I was born in Hong Kong, and I am no stranger to firework displays, but never have I been able to see that up so close and with hardly any light pollution, unlike in Hong Kong. I was immediately mesmerized when the first firework exploded in the sky after the count down. It was worth the long wait! We arrived at Maze to secure a good spot at five, and the firework display started at eight. There is talk that this might be the last year this event is held due to budget issues, but I do hope not. I would definitely like to go back and see this spectacular firework display again in the future!

Highschool Baseball

Hi everyone !

Did you enjoy your summer ?

For me August means "Koshien" the National Baseball Highschool Tournament in Japan.

Last year while I was living in Osaka I went to cheer the baseball player four times, that why everyone calls me a "Highschool Baseball Freak" ! Even my superiors asked me if I would be alright in Takayama because the baseball is not real famous here. Well I am fine with my TV !

This year was really interesting with some good surprises !
The loss of both Tokyo teams in the first round.
The defeat of Nara Highschool which won the Tournament in Spring.
The last inning come-back from Toho Highschool.
And the most surprising for me, the team I cheered for went to the finale !
Last year any team I was cheering for lost... once, twice, third time, fourth time... I though I was a black cat and some customers at Hana Sake Bar asked me to cheer the opposite team !

But this year I started cheering for Hokkai, the team from Hokkaido since I watched all their matches and like their play. Some of my coworkers called me a "Onishi fan", Onishi is the pitcher of Hokkai and I do like his pitching style. But I was fan of the battery more than the pitcher, and the shortstop/second combi too...

So this year was fun too, but nothing beat to be in the stadium and be moved by the brass band and cheer of the school !

Gujo Dancing Geta (wooden japanese clogs)

Time flies! The summer will be over very soon. What I love most in this summer are the memorable dancing nights in Gujo while it is the first time for me to wear the cypress-made wooden clogs to dance for 6 hours on the streets!!

For over 400 years, Gujo has been holding the dancing festivals in summer from mid-July to early September. Overnight dancing, the highlight of the festival, is held during Obon (from 13 to 16 August) every year while locals and tourists from all over the world can meet at Gujo and dance together. For all the dancing nights, the streets of Gujo is filled with sound of clip-clopping wooden clogs and traditional Gujo dance music. Can you imagine how amazing it is?

This summer, I stayed 2 nights in Gujo areas to enjoy the lovely dance festivals while I can rent the Japanese wooden clogs (Geta in Japanese) to dance. For the last night, I had a chance to wear the geta made by the local shop in Gujo-hachiman and it is the best clogs I have ever worn in my life!!!

The clogs made by the shop are all made by the Cypress in Gujo area while it is strong enough to withstand 32 nights dancing in a row!! While searching fro the website, all clogs are made by the owner for the belief of connecting the culture, human and the forest. I am deeply moved by his motive while making the good quality clogs in order to preserve the local culture of Gujo!!! The lively sound of wooden clogs are not only essential for dancing in the festival, but also help preserving a traditional japanese culture.

Let’s buy a pair of geta and visit Gujo for dancing next year!!!

For more information about the festival and clogs, please refer to the links below:

Sunflower Festival

             \ Hello ! Are you enjoying the summer ?  /

I found a flower with smiley face:)
Hi. This is Ena from Hiroshima Hana Hostel.
Last week, i went to Sera town 
which is in northern part of Hiroshima prefecture with my friends.

We went to the Sunflower Festival of Sera Kogen Farm.
Since Sunflowers are my favorite flower, I really enjoyed it !
They had About 50 species 1.1 million sunflowers !!
 It is one of the biggest sunflower fields in Japan.

Unfortunately, the last day of the festival was on Aug 21st.
However, you can enjoy Dahlia flowers next  from September 10, 2016 (Sat).
I also found some Dahlia flowers at sunflowers field. 
They were still small but beautiful!
I would like to go there for the Dahlia festival as well..!

<2016 Autumn Dahlia Festival>

Period  September 10, 2016 (Sat) - October 23 (Sun)
Closed days None
Opening hours 9:00~17:00
Entrance fee
Adults 800 yen, children from 4 years old to elementary school students 400 yen (group with more than 15 people will get a 1 person discount)
Parking lot 1,000 vehicles (free)
Other * Visitors may feel free to bring their own boxed lunches. 
             Please clean after yourselves.

We also did picking Nashi (Asian pears) and visited the Sera winery in Sera town.
It is quite far from Hiroshima city 
but I highly recommend going there if you have got a car .

My first time KOUSHIEN!!!

Few days ago I went to KOUSHIEN to watch high school baseball game.

It was my first time to be in KOUSHIEN, but I have read so many comic books about high school baseball boys since I am a little child, so I really have dreamed to be in KOUSHIEN one day for a long time!
I arrived KOUSHIEN at around 11a.m., though it was damn hot, to avoid to get dark, I wear a jacket with long sleeves and long was hot as hell!! But I got so excited! I watched 2 games, Saitama v.s. Tochigi and Chiba v.s. Hiroshima, though they are not my favorite(all teams I like are already lost...), I enjoyed the games so much, it is a surprise that I can see so clearly from the outfield bleachers much better than what I imagined.


Many people surrounding me were eating curry rice, I was confused about that until I read the guide paper, it says the original curry rice is a must-to-try menu of KOUSHIEN, so I had one too.......It was so so so so so so-so! Why everybody eating that! I felt be lied...!


It is so great to have a one-day trip to KOSHIEN, I will definitely go again!

Fishing in Sennan:)

Hi, there.

How is it going?

I am in the mood!
Because I finally went fishing♪

I have a crush on fishing,my friends too!
So I drove my pretty car to Sennan.

Actually my friends were worried about whether or not we could catch fish because it has been a whike since we went fish.

So before we went out ,my friend saying perhaps, we will not be able to catch any fish, will we?

I said to emphasize my words, No way!we can do that!

Also even if we can not catch any fish, it does not matter I'm happy just in being able to looking out over the sea:) You know, we from Nara(Island prefecture)

They said Oh poor country folks...

But,we caught a lot of horse mackerel and couple of mackerel :)



And we made Nanbantsuke and Fried Fish in horse mackerel :)

It was delicious!We enjoyed it:)


This is Tomomi from Hiroshima Hana.

Few days ago, I did Stand Up Paddle which is called SUP.
Since I live near Miyajima island, I've visited Miyajima many times but it was first time to go there without taking a ferry!!
It was SO FUN but SO HOT!!!

If you take a ferry, it will take just 10min to Miyajima island.
But it took us about 1 hour to go there and we could go through the gate.
It was really cool experience and I was so excited!!

And after taking a break on the island, we went back by SUP which was another hour.

It was really nice to see the great view of the gate in front of the island from the sea.

I would try it again at a different place next time!

Arts of Ghibli

This is a great news for someone a bug fun of Ghibli !!

Ghibli’s “three-dimensional constructions” exhibition is held from July 15 to September 25 in the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art. (Aichi prefecture)

You can explore materials and documents (such as background pictures and artistic settings) relating to the buildings that appear in Ghibli’s movies. A place of great interest for all age groups.

In this exhibition, there are about 450 original drawings (such as artistic settings and background pictures) of materials from movie productions, featuring the “fantasy buildings” seen in Studio Ghibli movies. There are also several 3D models of these buildings. Enjoy this exhibition space which mixes two-dimensional works with three-dimensional ones.

Term: July 15 – September 25
Location: Toyota Municipal Museum of Art (8-5-1, Kosakamoto-cho, Toyota city, Aichi prefecture, 471-0034 TEL: +81-565-34-6610)

If you are keen, check it out :-)

A short trip in Kansai

Konnichiwa from Hiroshima Hana Hostel, It's Kana here.
How's your summer going? I hope everybody is enjoying it.

I had short trip in Kansai area. Have you been to Awajishima and Kobe? Kobe must of sound familiar to many of you, how about Awajishima?

Awajishima is an island in Hyogo prefecture, in the eastern part of the Setp Inland Sea between the island of Honshu and Shikoku. and is the largest of the Inland Sea's islands.
I stayed in camping van and enjoy the great nature and quiet relaxing time in the mountain.
It's good to be apart from the city sometime.

After enjoyed great nature in Awajishima, stopped by Kobe and had specialty food which is AKASHIYAKI.
It likes TAKOYAKI which is famous in Osaka, but quite different. Contain more egg so more fluffy and light texture. Dip into the special soup and eat it. Was my first time,  really impressed...This is the one of my favorite food now.. Must try!

On the way back home I stopped by Himeji  to see the Himeji castle which is one of world heritage in Japan and finished big renovation this March.
Japan has many castle and I have seen many of them, but this was the biggest one I have ever seen.Must visit!

 If you have JR pass, you will be able to travel entire of Japan at cheaper cost, please visit one of place I have been to!
Enjoy your trip!!!

My beloved place to be

Summer in Kyoto is so much hotter than I thought it would be.
I had somewhere I need to visit.


It's been 10 years since my love for Taiwan found a place in my heart.

Taoyuan airport

And a big purpose of this trip was meeting up with my friend who is traveling in Asia for 7 months. We met 6 years ago, and we got to catch up multiple times in different location but this time in my favorite city!

hostel cat!

And also I met up with my other friends I used to work together in my town, Taiwanese American and Japanese couple who are absolutely adorable. They took us to one of their favorite restaurants in Taipei!

nom nom nom nom

desert time!

And after we split, we decided to walk around the town a bit, and found this super cool coffee shop in a tiny street of Yongkang jie.

Banana hostel - I've stayed in many different hotels/hostels in Taipei but so far, this hostel has been the best. Especially their location! 2 mins walk from MRT Dongmen station, which is only 4 stops away from Taipei main station, Yongkang street is just a stone's throw, convenience stores/supermarket nearby, CKS memorial hall area is just one stop!
And all the facilities are very clean and nice, staff members are so friendly and helpful. They provide free bath towel and even light breakfast (and nutella, omg)! Highly recommended!

nice rooftop :)

I woke up at 7:30 next day and it was already over 30 degrees (hot hot hot) but I went for a walk to see the area.

my extra breakfast

So we wanted to try Pingxi line exploring, which is slightly getting known by some famous attraction. And we met one American guy in the hostel and he decided to tag along.
We took local train to Houtong station which took one hour from Taipei main station, and this place is famous for its CATS. Cat village!

sleepy cat in the station

It's actually abandoned mining town which is related to Japanese era, and was really cool to see a part of their history. 

river swimming time

being cat can be tiring

We got a one day pass for Pingxi line that was so cheap (48NTD per person, about US$1.5), so we could just hop on/off at random stations. We visited Pingxi next, it was lovely small town with some small shops and restaurants. 

And we found some bomb shelters.

And secret tunnel with cave style rooms, so much cooler inside compared to outside of course!

And we took the train to visit this town called Shifen. Probably some people have heard of Jiufen which is very famous for it's red lanterns and Spirited Away looking town, and Shifen is well known for its annual lantern festival. You can still fly your lantern, so we are like WHY NOT?  

So beautiful. It was already a lot of people, and I don't wanna imagine how crazy the crowd would be on the festival day though...
It was such a nice day, visiting small towns and relaxing whole day. Eat when I'm hungry, walk to just random destinations, having travelers talk and sharing.

Can't wait to have another small trip to my beloved Taiwan!