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!!

Tour guide in Takayama

Hi everyone,

It is Nana from Takayama.

Two weeks ago, I went to Osaka and not only for fun this time. Well, it is always fun to hung out with my previous colleague from Hana Hostel and Hana Sake Bar, however this time it was mainly for work.

Do you know that we run tour to Shirakawa-go here in Takayama ?
Shirakawa-go and the Ogimachi village is the a must-see touristic spot from Takayama. The village is registered as the UNESCO heritage list. The village is surrounded by beautiful mountains and still have a lot of typical houses : Gassho-zukuri.

Our team is, time to time, accompanying the tour, and if it is more for the Tour team, some receptionist does this job too. However, to escort the group here in Japan you need to pass a licence... That the reason why I was in Osaka.

The licence is delivered just after you pass the test. The test is divided in two : 30min about law and ordinance, and 30min about common tour guide knowledge. Both test take place just after the lesson, and for Japanese and fluent reader it should not even be a problem to pass it.

However, in my case I was really stressed ! If I speak fluently write and read is different. Specially when it is written with quite strict and not so use Japanese word and grammar for law. So the first test -about law- was a really nerves breaker... The geography part was fun, but I do regret my mistakes during the test...

And well, I passed it ! I still have the in-site test...

If you join our tour, who knows, I may escort you.

What is Teru Teru Bozu

Hi! This is Ena from Hiroshima Hana Hostel.
The rainy season started in Hiroshima in early June and continues up to the middle of July.
Last Saturday,the baseball in Hiroshima was called off due to rain.Some of our guests with sad faces came back to our hostel on the day and I made a"Teru teru bozu(てるてるぼうず)" which is a doll made of white paper for the next baseball game on last Sunday. In a Japanese custom, people believe that if you hang this doll by windows, it will bring good weather for the next day.May it will be fine when you stay in Hiroshima!

The day before the game was rained out,I also went to watch a baseball game with my sister.
Of course,we cheered  Hiroshima carps up and won the game!Carps scored 13 points and Tigers from Osaka took 3points.We have been to the baseball stadium to watch the game many time.However,it was one of the most impressive games we have watched!We sang a winner song a lot.If you have an opportunity to come to Hiroshima,why don't you enjoy watching baseball games?

Since watching baseball games in Hiroshima is really popular,we recommend you to buy tickets in advance.
Unfortunately,all the 'reserved seats of carp side' have been sold out for this season.
However,there are some games available that you can buy tickets of 'none reserved seats' or 'Visitors seats(You cannot wear the Carp T-shirt.)'. 

Hiroshima Toyo Carp HP(ENG )
 Check available seats !(JPN)

<How to buy tickets>
*Advance tickets sales 
@The front tickets office on the first-base side of the Hiroshima Mazda baseball stadium
(ONLY 5min walk from Hiroshima Hana Hostel)

On Game day :From 11am to 30min after the game is over
None Game day: From 11am to 4pm

If you do not have free time in Hiroshima,you can also enjoy it in Osaka,Tokyo and Fukuoka....!
Please check it out before you go.

How to spend rainy season in Kyoto?

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:)

An unique bar in Kyoto. 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?