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!!

Murin-an with unique vision of Yamagata san

On a quiet night after busy cherry blossom season, some of J-Hoppers crew decided to go to Okazaki area to experience night cafe at Murin-an garden.

Murin-an was built as a villa for Aritomo Yamagata who served as a prime minister twice, and the garden is now designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty in 1951.
Always looked stunning on the flyer we get, and interesting that they sometimes have traditional performance or workshops.

This time of the year (back in early April), they had Spring Night Cafe event which gave us chance to know how unique the garden (and Mr. Yamagata's taste) is, and how they maintain it, how different they are now from what it used to be before, and some other trivial stuff about the buildings, garden and even the surrounding area.





First, we had seats in the main villa building to join the lecture by the garden craft-man who takes care of the garden, and had a cup of tea they served.
It was so nice to know more of Japanese garden in general, and Yamagata's own point of view when it comes to beauty, I seriously don't want to spoil you so please go try it yourself!

We checked the details of the building, and went outside for a night stroll in the quiet garden.







BEAUTIFUL WARM LIGHTS and all we could hear was sound of stream and singing bugs. You can check their event schedule and more on their website.
Highly recommended!

https://murin-an.jp/en/

If there is 'golden temple', there should be 'golden shrine'

 Kinkakuji temple (Golden Pavilion / Golden temple) is one of the famous temple in Kyoto. Then, how about golden 'shrine'? You might not have heard of it, but there is a golden shrine in Kyoto as well, which is Mikane shrine.
 It's located in a normal residential area, which seems pretty odd for most of the people (except who lives in Kyoto). Look at the gate, it's totally gold!
If you see the roof, you can find a Kanji letter is written on tiles. That means 'gold' as well.
 These days it's getting popular among the people who wishes good luck for money related things (business, investment, lottery, increasing salary, etc.). If you are one of them, why don't you visit there?

Mikane shrine
Address: 618 Oshinishinotoin-cho, Nishinotoin-dori Oike-agaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto  (near Nijo castle)
Admission fee: FREE
Business hour: 24 hours

Artistic day ~Forever Museum~

I visited Forever Museum Contemporary Art.
One of the famous Japanese artists, Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition is going through at the moment.
You can enjoy about 700 pieces of arts (60% of them are by Kusama)

I felt most of the visitors are from overseas and they seemed enjoying the atmosphere as the art galleries are in tatami floor rooms which help to create a good combination of traditional and contemporary culture.

I also watched maiko and geiko performance in the museum.
They organize 5 shows a day and they played 2 songs.
It was enjoyable enough to get to see them so close and sitting on tatami mats.


Loveale Laksa!!

Hi there,this is Ena from Hiroshima Hana Hostel.
The Sakura season has gone so fast and I could not go for HANAMI after all since this year it boomed much earlier than usual. Hopefully,I can see it at its peak next year. It was really sad for me but I had a little good news this month instead.

Have you ever seen this cup noodles in Japan?
Laksa Cup noodles from Nisshin

Honestly,I am NOT a big fan of instant noodles but I LOVE it!
Last year,our manager Kana-san gave me this.(She knows well what I like.)
It was not my first time to eat Laksa.I had eaten it when I was in Australia because the owner of my shared house who is originally from Singapore often used to cook it for me.The cup noodle reminded me his Laksa.
After I had the cup noodle one once,I have been crazy about it and bought a BOX of them at Amazon.com.

However,it is seldom sold in Japan and it was not anywhere to be seen after that.I had not eaten it for almonst a year,but this month when I opened my drawer,I found this as a gift from her again!
YESSSS!!!!!!!!! I really really appreciated her again.

Although I finally could get it ,it is still so scarce.
If anybody find it,please....Please let me know!
 

Inuyama Festival



On 7 April, 2018, I visited Inuyama in Aichi prefecture for the first time as there is an annual big event-- Inuyama festival. Inuyama is similar to Takayama where I have been living for 3.5 years.
Inuyama can be easily accessed by Meitetsu train from Nagoya and it only takes 30 minutes.

Inuyama is famous for its castle -- Inuyama Castle, one of the national treasure in Japan. It was built in 1537 and one of the wooden-built castle in Japan where you can see the panoramic views overseeing the Kiso river. I am very lucky to visit Inuyama in sunny day where the view is so spectacular that I will never forget.

What I like Inuyama the most is the old town where you can try a lot of local snacks and also visiting local shops vending various kinds of products. It seems that I was walking in old Japan!
My favorite snack is Dengaku, the roasted tofu with sweet soya sauce. Please try if you are visiting there.

The highlight of the festival is the night parade while each float is lit by 365 Japanese lanterns with the sound of the Japanese flutes and drums. The float is carried by at least 30 young men. It is quite scary to see how the floats turn at the corner while one side of the men (about 20 people) need to lift the floats up one side by themselves. It is a parade which requires a lot of labour and energy.

How about visiting Inuyama as a day trip from Nagoya?
I recommend it if you would like to experience the old Japan!

Reference:




View from the Inuyama castle

Kiso river (view from the Inuyama castle)

The festive float in the night festival parading along the streets


A local snack- Dengaku

Moka Express

I recently drink coffee brewed by Moka Express.

 You can easily make espresso by this small thing.
 And tastes very good.

If you drink latte, try making it by Moka Express.
It is fun to spend some times on making coffee!!

OHANAMI

Konnichiwa from Hiroshima Hana hostel.
It's Kana here.
Did you Enjoy Full bloom SAKURA (Cherry blossom)  who stayed in Japan in early April?

If you did,

Did you try OHANAMI??  Ohanami is " Cherry blossom Viewing" in Japanese.
What we do is we enjoy eating and drinking with family, friends or coworkers under the fully bloomed cherry blossoms.


Nice and super relaxing!
People who did not know about this one of beautiful Japanese culture "OHANAMI", Please try next year!
Sakura bloom such a short period...like 2 weeks..
So Don't miss it!
(After 1 week...)