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!!

Osaka hip walk

Osaka - still overwhelming busy city, especially to me who is from very rural small town and currently live in Kyoto.
Me and my friend decided to have "small alley day" finding secret spots and exploring deep Osaka the other day.

Started from this amazing hipster coffee shop called Brooklyn roasting company.
〒541-0041 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Chuo Ward, Kitahama, 2−1−16

Coffee with river view. The best morning. And their soy latte is beyond amazing.

After we had lunch at a Thai restaurant, we visited a small photo gallery which had a nice exhibition by 5 old gentlemen.

And we decided to go for a walk to get to "oasis of the city" and found this super old school game place right in front of Nankai Namba station.   

And we got to Namba parks which has nice garden space outside, had coffee again at chilly sunset time.
〒556-0011 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Naniwa Ward, Nanbanaka, 2−10−70

Osaka is actually quite nice for city walk, avoiding all the crowds. It can be quite challenging to find your favorite spots as it's big, but still very charming and energetic and fun!

Me encanta Takayama

In the last few years, we have been receiving more guests from Spain, and I decided to start learning Spanish two months ago! Let me try to introduce myself and Takayama in simple Spanish. Pardon my grammatical mistakes! (sorry for the missing accents as well)!

Hola! Me llamo Ian. Trabajo en J-hoppers Hida Takayama Guesthouse. Soy de Hong Kong pero ahora viviendo en Takayama, una ciuda pequena y muy bonita. Queiro aprender espanol en parte porque me gusta los idiomas y en parte porque hay muchos turistas en Takayama y me gustaria poder hablar con sus en espanol. Takayama no es tan famosa como otras ciudads mas grandes como Osaka y Tokyo pero es interesante igualmente. Lo que mas me gusta de Takayama es la gente local que es muy amable y las calles tranquillas. Por supesto me gusta las vistas hermosas tambien. Ahora es otono in Takayama y los colores de otono son muy bonitos. Suelo salir con mi bicicleta en los dias libres. La comida local de Takayama es muy deliciosa tambien, como ramen y la carne de vaca. Debes visitar Takayama!

Kimono Festival

I went to Tango Kimono Festival with mother wearing kimono.
My hometown is in Tango Province which is northern part of Kyoto Prefecture facing the sea.
Amanohashidate, one of the three most scenic spots of Japan is the famous tourist spot in this province.

Tango Province prospered with textile industry.
The festival has been held every year since 17 years ago for regional revitalization.
People who wear kimono can get discount at some shops around the festival venue.

As a tradition in this province, my mother brought many kimonos as bride's household articles.
Luckily, I am about the same size as mother so I can wear her kimonos.:)
I used to belong to the tea ceremony club when I was in school and I have worn some different kimonos of hers.
I chose this light orange kimono this time and it has not even untacked!

It is great that kimono is taken over from generation to generation and we can keep it for a long time if we take care of it.

It was a very beautiful day and we had a nice view of Amanohashidate from the mountain.

Road Trip in Hokkaido....

Hello! This is Ena from Hiroshima Hana Hostel.
This month I took a trip to Hokkaido to see my friends who live there.
Since Hokkaido,which is located at the north end of Japan,is known as the biggest prefecture in Japan,we decided to do a road trip around Hokkaido this time.

It was late autumn and chilly in the middle of Hokkaido so we could see autumn colors near Mt.Tokachi-dake.Was AMAZING! 
Blue Pond (Aoi-ike)
Also,have you ever heard about  a blue pond? It is a famous pond in Hokkaido with beautiful blue color and its picture was chosen as the desktop wallpaper of  the personal computer of Apple Inc.Though I heard the color was lost due to great typhoon before my trip,when I got there, it was BLUE! I could not help taking pictures...!
Best SUSHI...!

 If you go there, don't miss local food of Hokkaido. Hokkaido is famous for seafood ,soup style curry and milk products.I really enjoyed them. Especially,SUSHI was absolutely fabulous!  I would like to go there again and stay longer. Also,I want to watch a baseball game in Sapporo next time~!

If you are interested in food I had in Hokkaido,please refer to the links below. ◎Sushi: Hanamaru Sushi 花まる寿司(English)
◎Soup style curry:SAMA Soup Curry (Japanese)
◎HUGE Paste-like sweet potato:Cranberry Obihiro(Japanese)
◎Ice cream with cookies:Rokka-tei六花亭(English)

Enjoy your trip!

Festival of Age

One of the well-known festivals in Kyoto ,"Festival of Age"was held this Saturday.
This is the anniversary of foundation of Kyoto and about 2000 parade people dressed in authentic clothes representing famous figures in Japanese history.

It took nearly 2 hours to watch the entire procession pass by.
The entire route of the parade stretched about 5 kilometers.
Crowds become most dense at the Imperial palace and on the approach to Heian Shrine.

This festival take place every year on 22nd October.
If you are keen on Japanese historical costumes or Japanese history, this is the one !

Sight seeing in Kyoto

Hi, there: )How is it going?

My best friends came back to Japan from Australia on the 30th of September!

It is been six years since the last time we met in Brisbane.

Finally we could catch up in Osaka!

My friends and I went to Yasaka Shrine and Kiyomizudera Gion in Kyoto for worship.

It was awesome!

There still left so many things that we would like to do in Kyoto!

We want to come back there soon: )

Thank you very much for your reading.

Have a splendid day!


This is Tomomi from Hiroshima HANA hostel!

Do you know  'MOMIJI MANJU'?

It's a maple-shaped Manju Cake and a popular souvenir from Hiroshima.
If you are in Hiroshima, you can find a lot of MOMIJI MANJU shops especially at Hiroshima station and on Miyajima island.
When I visit Miyajima, I always buy the ones with cheese taste:)

Since Oct 3rd, only in Hiroshima, you can buy also
KITKAT  with MOMIJI MANJU taste!!!

I'm note sure if it is tasty, but I will try it!!
And the maple mark on it.  Cute!

As you might know there are various flavors of KitKat in JAPAN.
Why don't you collect a lot of  them as  souvenirs and also try the one with MOMIJI MANJU taste during your time in Hiroshima?

Hikking debut in the Japanese Apls

Hello everyone !

It is starting to get colder those past days, but at least it is not raining like last month... Then, if it is not rainy I can hike ! For the past two months I get stuck with bad weather... Such an "ame onna", woman calling the rain, as the Japanese say.But then I got two days of good weather and flew to Kamikochi !

On the way to the volcano !

Yake-dake reflecting in Taisho Pond
First day I went to climb Yake-dake, a living volcano. I hiked from Naka-no-yu bus stop. I climbed 4h to reach the top. There you can feel the volcano breathing ! White smoke coming from the hearth of the mountain spread in the air. And it is quite... smelly ! The view from the top is quite amazing as you can see Azusa river bank on one side, Yari-dake on another and the southern Alps too ! I did not climbed to the top as I was not sure to last until Kamikochi. I needed 2h30 to reach the valley, and my legs were really shaking during the last part. But it was such a relief and joy to realize that I did climb this mount !

Kamikochi from Yake-ake summit
I spend one night in the valley. I booked a dorm near Kappa-bashi where they also served dinner and breakfast. The dorm is an annex to a main hostel and I could relax in the bath after my loooonnnnnngggg hike.

Hotaka Range view from Kappa-bashi area
The second day I kept walking down the river. I firstly headed to Taisho-ike and Tashiro-ike. Then I get back on my track and walked to Kappa-bashi then I continue on the east cost to reach Myojin-bashi. Myojin-ike is a pond situated inside a shir\\rine so you have to paid to enter it, but it was such a great view ! Even if this year the change of color of the leaves is not the most beautiful the pond was really impressing ! Then I went back to the dorm where I left my backpack.

Myojin-ike in Autumn colors

To be honest my legs are totally dead ! Just the though of stairs is hurting...
I my have been to greedy for my first hike in Kamikochi, but it was so refreshing ! Now when I recommend to the guest to go to Kamikochi or to hike Yake-dake I know what I am speaking about.

UMEBOSHI (Plum pickled)

Konnichiwa from Hiroshima Hana hostel It's Kana here.

Summer is already over and it's getting colder and colder everyday. How was your summer?
I hope everybody had good one.

Summer is one of busiest season in Japan and also Hana hostel as well. We  welcomed many people from all over the world everyday.
What I did this summer is....

I made 

Umeboshi or dried ume is pickled ume fruits. Ume is a species of fruit-bearing tree in the genus Prunus, which is often called a plum but is actually more closely related to the apricot.
Umeboshi is typically traditional Japanese pickled food. In Japan, it is used in various dishes as side dishes with  breakfast, rice balls for lunch, boiled and seasoned for dinner. 

Umeboshi is getting known as one of healthy food in the world. It contains a lot of good nutrition.

So even in other country has it just like supplement for the health.

I salted many Ume in June and leave it about 2 months. And picked the best day in August which has to be sunny 3 days in a low to dry them up!

 and Put them in a bottle and leave it for another few months! so either this month or next months is to be ready to be eaten!!!

It is my first time to make it I can't wait
!!! Hope it will be awesome Umeboshi and I enjoy with my awesome colleague at Hana hostel!

Please try Umeboshi if you visit Japan!! You might be really like it!

Watched new movie called " Kimi-no-nawa"

Hi, this is Shoko from Osaka Hana Hostel.

The other day, I watched  "Kimi-no-nawa" at the movie theater.

This movie is very popular in Japan these days.

The story is about love, but you can expect more than normal love story.

I strongly recommend to watch it if you understand Japanese.