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!!

Rainy season ?

Hi there !
It's Madi from Kyoto Hana :)

This month, we are supposed to have rainy days almost every day but no rain at all. weird. and not happy :(
That is because we Kyoto Hana reception team made this ↓


Often people who visit say there is nothing to do on rain day so the ream gave and shared many ideas. And we made this then no rain !!! 
So sad :( :( :(

But on the bright side, we can enjoy Kyoto even it is rain :) Positive !

Nagoya's new face

I went to discover Nagoya's new major asset, "Takashiyama Gate Tower Mall",built over JR Nagoya Station.

There are approximately 150 shops and restaurants including some new existence in Tokai region.
For instance, "Maison de reefur" produced by Rinka(梨花), is a second shop in Japan after she launched her first shop in Daikanyama,Tokyo.

I had dinner at "MEAT YAZAWA"is wagyu beaf specialist, came from Tokyo.
I spoiled and indulged myself in food.

If you ever have chance to visit Nagoya,why don't you go to Nagoya's new shopping attraction:)

Lumberyard bar

Kyoto has so many unique bars including magic bar, monk bar, beach dining bar...

I always wanted to go to a place that my friend recommended me, and finally got to try it on a sunny day.

It's called "Ikura lumberyard" - yes, it's literally a tiny lumberyard where you can smell freshly chopped woods.
And they also have semi-door standing bar space people feel the summer breeze, and social with other friendly customers who are always up for good chitchat at the shared table.

We had already had dinner so just decided to have some drinks and snacks.
Usually standing bars have small snacks and cheap drinks, but Ikura offers more than that - they have a grill outside right next to the tables, to cook their fresh fish, juicy vegetable and meat. The smell from the grill is absolutely their "trap" that makes everyone attracted and stop by from the street.

And their drink selection is great and very creative - I got to try made-in-Japan rum called Rurikakesu (Garrulus lidthi) from Amami island. It was very tasty!
And they also have some drinks with Mirin (rice wine) such as Mirin-lemon, which was very easy to drink and good for summer night!
And their sake selection is also very impressive - I asked "the most dried one" and the guy brought a bottle of sake from Hyogo pref. which was smooth and decently dried not too much!

Always fun to explore new places with friends' suggestion or just random find, let me know if you have some recommendations!


Typical Ice block Sweets in Kyoto June and my tea time

Recently Kyoto its summer days like 31 or 32 degree C after noon.
We are melting easily. :p

We say June is Minatsuki (水無月) according to traditional Japanese calendar, which means lack of water because strong sunlight in summer.
So Kyoto it is common to eat typical sweets whose name is "Minatsuki."
Triangle form sticky rice cake sweet red bean on top.
This triangle form is shape of ICE.It was difficult to get ICE in the past for normal people. They did not have fridge.
The Japanese tried to feel coolness from the sweet. And Top of beans mean kick off devil because Beans (Mame) is the same sound. And Red beans contains of lot of protein.
Minatsuki there are 3 types of taste, White is normal, Green is green tea and blown one is brown sugar.

SENTARO is the Japanese sweet shop at Isetan Department store at B1 floor.
They have many different type of sweets seasonally. Because of new sweet it is nice to feel season.

My tea time one June 
Kuzu roots powder sticky rice covering boomboo leaf 

They have 3 types of Minatsuki This is typical one 

Enjoy and survive this season!


Tokae in Nara

Hi, there this is Kazzy from Osaka Hana Hostel!!

Today,I would love to introduce about Tokae: )

Tokae is being held in Nara every August.

About 20,000 candles are lit up by its participants and volunteers around the Nara park for ten consecutive nights.

Nara Park is surrounded by magnificent nature and beautiful World heritage sights such as Todaiji-Temple , Kofukuji-Temple and Kasuga-Taisya Shrine.

'Toka' refers ti the flower-shaped remains after a candle wick burns out.
These remains are believed to bring good fortune hence the event was named after it.

There are several ritual ceremonies related to fire in Nara that stretch back to ancient times

Ancient people believed that they could look deeply into their hearts through fire and prayed to their deities.

Tokae has passed down this sprit and each flame represents a wish for world peace and well-being.

900,000 people join the event every year and it continues to rise in popularity.

Nara is renowned for its long history.

The city is quiet and dark at night.

Therefore, candle flames glowing at night in the park create a magnificent and spiritual atmosphere that helps visitors hear and feel warm.

This scenery is quite different from day time.

You can check the information about it from the links below!

Do you like Ramen??

Hello this is Kana from Hiroshima Hana hostel.
Without noticing, it is already in June. We about to have rainy season...After that summer will begin!! Good to chill out at the beach with cold beer!!!

Do you know RAMEN? I guess quite many people are aware of RAMEN.
It is really becoming famous Japanese food in all over the world.
Ramen has many different flavor depends on where it originally made.
Like Northern Japan HOKKAIDO famous for MISO ramen. (Like miso soup).
Southern Japan, FUKUOKA has TONKOTSU ramen (Ramen noodles in pork broth soup).

and YES WE HAVE in Hiroshima !! It called " ONOMICHI RAMEN"
Onomichi Ramen is well known throughout Japan. Many tourists come to Onomichi with the intention of enjoying the city's famous noodles for lunch while taking a break from sightseeing. Itis made using a soy sauce based broth and pig's fat, which differentiates it from other areas that use miso as its base.
They are so good that the city has countless numbers of ramen shops and at some of the most popular, there are literally over 100 people lining up waiting for their turn to get a seat inside.
That what I did last time when I visited Onomichi. But it worth is.

This is one of really popular Onomichi ramen


Since after Onomichi trip, I am really into Ramen and what I do for my day off these days searching ramen shop which I have never been to and also has good review.

This is my recent favorite


The have Chicken broth instead of soy sauce based broth and pig's fat. So it tastes lighter and heather (I hope)

Onomichi is only 40minutes by Shinkansen from Hiroshima Station. If you are sick of Okonomiyaki which is one of Hiroshima's specialty food, Why Don't you try Onomichi Ramen instead?

Aki Hiroshima Busho-Tai

Hello. I'm Mayu from J-Hoppers Hiroshima.
Are you interested in Japanese culture?
Especially on the age of provincial wars "SENGOKU JIDAI".

Hiroshima was called "Aki" on this age.
There is a influential leader.
His name is Mouri Motonari.

On this age, Hiroshima castle was builded.
There is a group of Sengoku Busho for PR castle.
We call them "Hiroshima Busho-tai".
The central guy is Mouri Motonari.


They hold a Samurai performance with songs,plays and sword shows.
You can enjoy it every Sunday from 13:30 and 15:00 at Hiroshima castle.


And They make a parade every Saturday and Public holiday
13:00 to 15:00 around Hiroshima castle.

You can also get a free commemorative photograph
taken with the Samurai!!!

If you are lucky, You might can try a costume of
samurai with them (*^▽^*)


May first Expo’70 Commemorative Park

Hello. This is Shoko from Osaka Hana Hostel.

I went to Expo'70 Commemorative Park for the first time last Sunday so I would like to report about it.

You need to get a entrance ticket for 250yen to get in.

After the entrance, you would see the symbol of the Expo Park "Tower of the sun".

It is about 65 meters high and each of its arms is about 25 meters long. The tower has three faces; the “Golden Mask” is on the top, the “Face of the Sun” is on the front and the “Black Sun” on the back .

 The Park is about 260 Hectares. In the huge park, there are a part of facilities of the Expo’70, such as the Japanese Garden and the Japan Folk Crafts Museum, Osaka.

Parking lots at that time were converted into sporting facilities and recreation spots. The site of theme pavilions is forests and seasonal flower gardens now. The park is known as a cultural park embracing natural environment.

This park seems like central park in NY.
Highly recommended to relax with your family or friend.

I would like to visit to see Autumn leaves next time.

Traveled in Southeast asia☆

Hi there, it's Shiori from J-hoppers Hiroshima.

Finally I took a big holiday and went to Cambodia and Thailand this month.


I've wanted to visit Angkor Wat in a long time.
The scenery was magnificent with sunrise.


I didn't have enough time to visit many places by myself so I joined 1 day tour each country.
In conclusion, it was so efficient! And I could learn about history in Japanese.

Thanks for everything, kero-san in Cambodia and piccha-san in Thailand.


In Shem reap、I've met up with Hana-chan who worked at J-hoppers Hiroshima last year .
As usual, she is so cute♡ I wanted to take her in Japan. (But she will be there for 9month) She might back to Japan to be stronger and I hope her visit at J-hoppers again in 9month :)
Anyway, I had a fun time to chat a lot !! I miss her already.


He accepted my many requests in Phnomphen. Thanks to him, I could visit killing field and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum within a time limit.

Traveled alone each other in Thailand.


When I lost my way during heavy rain over 1 hour, they talked and helped me a lot.

Transit in Inchon airport, my friend Jessica came airport to see me taking  2 hours by bus(´;ω;`)
It was for the first time in 4 years.
I am so lucky I had such a nice friends泣

Though this experience, 

I can not thank you enough though, I want to say THANK YOU VERY VERY VERY MUCH EVERYONE I met in Cambodia and Thailand, Korea. 

And I really really appreciate to Ma-san and Chi-chan who was working a lot instead of me at J-hoppers Hiroshima during my traveling.


Toyama trip with my sister

My sister came to visit me in late April and we went to Toyama prefecture for a short trip. I have been longing for seeing beautiful tulips for a while. After checking the official website of the Tonami Tulip Fair 2017, we decided to visit it as almost all tulips is in full bloom at that time. The Tulip Fair does not disappoint us and we enjoy so much walking around the park. The park is unexpectedly huge with plenty of tulips. We are surprised with the numerous varieties of Tulip presented in the park. We feel like ourselves in Amsterdam!! :) We also tried the famous Tulip ice cream although we found that the taste is like vanilla. :P Since it is still in late April, we are able to see both cherry and tulip blossom at the same time. It is so unforgettable to pass through the tunnel with both pink cherry and yellow tulips!!!


On the second day, we went to Takaoka’s Kito Kito Seafood market to eat the fresh seafood from Toyama sea and see the crab afternoon auction. It was fun to pick our own fish and shell fish and eat them right away (sashimi). The crab and sashimi are soooooooo fresh and delicious that we were very full at the end. On the way back, we jumped on a local Doraemon tram heading back to Takaoka station. It was a lovely tram ride where we can hug the cute Doraemon and Dorami on the tram. The decoration is also fancy that we do not wanna leave. The creator of Doraemon was born in Takaoka city and you can easily find Doraemon near to the station.

If you would like to have more information about Tulip fair and Kito Kito seafood market, please refer to the below link:

"Walk in Yukata & Sake Tasting Party" on May 28th(Sun)

Hi there! It's Chippy from J Hoppers Hiroshima Guesthouse.

Have you tried wearing Yukata?
When the summer season comes, it's time for us to wear Yukata and go to festivals!

If you are interested in dressing up in Japanese traditional costume and enjoying the best Sake in Japan, there's some BIG event you never want to miss!
"Walk in Yukata & Japanese Sake Party" consists of two parts; Yukata experience and Sake tasting. You can choose to join either event or both of them.

They held a Sake tasting party last month, and this time the participation fee is knocked down to 2,000yen from 3,000yen!!
Also, if you join both events, you'll get another 500yen discount! That's awesome!

To get more details and buy tickets, visit their website;

Walk in Yukata & Japanese Sake Party

Date: May 28th (Sun)
Hours: Walk in Yukata : 2:00pm-5:00pm
         Japanese Sake Party : 5:00pm-7:00pm
Fee:    Walk in Yukata : 1,500yen
        Japanese Sake Party : 2,000yen
      Walk in Yukata & Japanese Sake Party : 3,000yen
Place:  Yukata walk : Peace Memorial Park
          Sake party : Future English Hiroshima (10 minutes walk from the park)

Tickets are available online;

If you talk to the reception staff before you obtain your ticket, you might be able to get extra discount...or not :P

Takayama - una ciudad que no debes perderte la oportunidad de visitar

Hoy me gustaría presentaros la ciudad donde vivo que se llama Takayama. Takayama no es tan famosa como otras ciudades en Japon como Tokyo o Kyoto pero es muy bonita y tiene mucho que ofrecer. 

Quizás este hecho os sorprenda, pero de verdad Takayama es la ciudad más grande en Japón, tan grande como la prefectura de Tokyo. Pero más del 90% de la tierra es bosque y su población es solo de 90,000 habitantes. Por eso, si vas fuera del centro, hay mayor probabilidad de que veas animales como osos a que veas personas. Si no quieres chocar con un oso en el campo, lo mejor es que te traigas un silbato contigo. No es una broma. De verdad hay osos en esta area aunque por suerte nunca he visto uno. 

Takayama es elevada y montañosa por eso en invierno hace mucho frío y nieva mucho aquí. Pero en verano hace un poco menos de calor que en otras ciudades de Japón. Puedes disfrutar del impresionante paisaje durante las 4 estaciones. Hay muchas actividades y festivales interesantes que puedes hacer o en las que puedes participar aquí también. Si vienes en verano u otoño, puedes hacer senderismo en las montañas y ver los fuegos artificiales mientras que en invierno puedes esquiar o visitar un pueblo famoso cerca de Takayama, llamada Shirakawa-go para ver las casas tradicionales cubiertas en nieve. 

En el central de Takayama, hay un área mas famosa con calles y casas antiguas. Las tiendas en este área están abiertas hasta más o menos las 5 de la tarde. Durante el día esta área está lleno de turistas pero por la noche está muy tranquila. Por eso merece la pena pasear allí por la noche también. Takayama es famoso por su sake, el alcohol japonés, también porque la calidad del arroz y el agua en esta área es excepcional. Hay 6 fábricas de alcohol de sake aquí y puedes probarlas allí. 

Por la mañana, puedes visitar lo mercados, en los que mujeres mayores y amables venden vegetales y frutas frescas y de temporada, y productos hechos artesanalmente. No debes perderte la oportunidad de probar las manzanas y los melocotones de Takayama que son riquísimos! 

Por último, pero no menos importante, las personas que vivien en Takayama son bastante simpáticas y aunque no hables japonés, están dispuestas a ayudarte. Creo que esta será la cosa mas memorable durante tu estancia en esta ciudad. Hay un frase que me gusta mucho en Japonés: Ichi-go Ichi-e (一期一会)que significa un encuentro de sola una vez en la vida. Seguro que "Ichi-go Ichi-e" esta esperandote aqui en Takayama.

New Recipe

It is always a good fun making a time-consuming cuisine.
Especially when it is a new recipe, it feels like you are doing sort of an experiment.

This time, I made "Chicken-breast Ham".

I got this recipe from our night-duty staff A-Chan the other day.

First off, I put some sugar and salt on the chicken breast (200g~ ) then left it in the fridge for a half day to one then soaked it into a bowl of water for about 30 minutes to wash out salt and sugar completely.

After I desalinated checken breast, shaped it like a candy with cling film and tossed it in a pot filled up with hot water. Then turned off the heat and left it for around 30 mninutes.

And put it back in the fridge and left it for 10 minutes to cool it down.

I forgot to take a picture of how its inside looked like...

It looks like row chicken so a bit weird to tasted it for the first time but it was actually well cooked inside and tasted good!

If you are interested in making " Cheicken-breast Ham", tell me the result.

Playing tourist/guide in Takayama

Hi everyone, it is Nana from J-Hoppers Hida Takayama Guesthouse.
This week some of my friends came to Takayama.
I took some day off to show them around, and it was quite fun to play again the tourist here.

My friends stay three nights so I got two days to go around Takayama.

About 13km Loop
As the first day seemed to be not rainy we decided to walk a lot ! A LOT !
We start by eating a big breakfast at Hosoheya in front of the Jinya. This place open early and offer a Japanese breakfast : rice, miso soup, raw of fried egg, nori, cooked legumes and pickles ; for 650 yen, but I recommend to take the Komo-dofu as a side dish, a lot way of eating tofu, for 250 yen.  Then we went to the morning markets and reached the Kitayama park for it view on the mountains and city. From there we headed to the Shiroyama walking course through the graves and forest, my friends was nice enough to follow me... Then we get a lunch at Dining Bull before leaving for the next destination : Hida Folk village. We must have spent two hours there before going back to J-Hoppers where we rested and choose our dinner place, which change because the place was close and finished in Chapala, a mexican restaurant.
The Hida Folk Village

The Showa-kan Museum
The next day we went the Museum of Art and History of Takayama. This museum is a free entrance one and is nice because it presents all most every aspect of Takayama since its beginning under Kanamori and the Edo period. The first rooms have a lot of English explanation and sometimes volunteer guide can also show you around. We left the Museum and had a look to the Library which is an ancient school. Then we get soba at Daikokuya, near the Enako river less crowded than the Yasugawa avenue. Then we visited the Showa-kan museum, a nostalgia museum, free entrance is 800 yen. Afterward we walk along the old streets and enter some cute shops. Quite tired we got some rest in at Coffee Don and pay a visit to the Kokubunji temple and its Ginko Biloba, a giant tree. For the night we went to Heianraku a Chinese Local restaurant absolutely delicious and comfy.
Cute crafts and shops in Sannomachi

For the last morning we took a breakfast near the Kaji bridge and spent some times at the morning markets before splitting in front of the Jinya.

Morning market and breakfast
It was really a while since I showed around Takayama to some friends. It was also really nice to spent those two days with my friends who are starting there working holiday in Japan.
And who knows I may show you around Takayama next times, but from now I have some learning to do...

UNESCO registration festival in Takayama

Hello everyone, it is Nana in Takayama.

As you may know Takayama is famous for its festival normally held twice a year once in spring and once in fall. 

However, this year hold a special edition to celebrate the registration of the floats to the UNESCO patrimony. For this edition both fall and spring floats where gathered in the city. You can enjoy all the Karakuri story on one day and two different lion dances as spring and fall have different one. Most of our guests did not know about the event and got really excited with it.

I got to see the spring floats once again and more of the night festival than the spring edition during which I only watched the start.