Hostel chain for backpacker in Japan / Budget accommodation / Enjpy an international exchange !!
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Basis for J-Hopping

Local food is always a big fun on the road. Let us introduce a budget version of Japan's specialties. We are J-Eaters !

Budget places to eat

Name What is it? Price zone Eat
Packed lunch. You take it away. 300-700 Yen/box NG OK
Beef bowl. In kyoto, 4 major gyudon chain stores are in fierce competition. 380 Yen /bowl OK OK
Noodles originally from China and highly-developed in Japan. 500-800 Yen/bowl NG OK
So-called Japanese Pizza. But completely different besides its round shape. In some okonomiyaki restaurants you can make it by yourself if you want. 500-800 Yen/plate OK
It's Golf-ball sized light food and tako(octopus) in it. More popular in Kansai area. 300-600 Yen/plate OK
Chinese food is very popular also in Japan. It's almost like our local food. 500-800 Yen/set meal OK
As you know the origin is India. But our curry is a bit different. 400-800 Yen/dish OK OK
There are much better hamburger shops than Mcdonald's 80-300 Yen OK OK
Barbequed chicken on a skewer 100-100 Yen/piece OK NG
Izakaya Japanese style pubs. A good variety of food and sake await you. 2,000 Yen/dinner OK NG    
Supermarket Most supermarkets sell Bentos (lunch boxes) and some kind of prepared meals - NG OK
Department store The basement floor of a department store is usually for food shops only - NG OK
Onigiri (rice ball), Bento(lunch box), Bread etc ...
Oden in Winter
Meat shop Some meat shops sell Freshly-fried croquettes and pork cutlets. 50 yen - NG OK

Oh, it's too...

Natto - Oh, too sticky !


Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans, popular especially at breakfast. A rich source of protein, natto and the soybean paste miso formed a vital source of nutrition in feudal Japan.
For some, natto can be an acquired taste due to its powerful smell, strong flavor, and sticky consistency. In Japan natto is most popular in the eastern regions including Kanto and Tohoku.

Nare-zushi- Oh, too smelly !


Narezushi is the very prototype of the present Japanese sushi.
River fish such as carp are mixed with rice and are kept under heavy weight without air.
It is lactic-fermented in months or years and turns sour. Also, it becomes smelly very strongly.
There are some kinds of narezushi in japan (Also, this type of sushi can be seen in China and Southeast Asia). Funazushi in Shiga pref. is the most famous narezushi.

Sushi History

Horse Sashimi - Oh, too meaty !


Horse sashimi is raw horse meat dipped in soy sauce with ginger, garlic or sliced onion. sashimi of horse. Kumamoto Pref. is the most famous place for horse meat.
The taste is unexpectedly light for the normal basashi (Pink color). The mane part (white color) are fat and a delicacy
About meat sashimi, torisashi (Chicken sashimi) and Gyu-sashi (beef sashimi) are much more popular and you can try them at some izakayas or buy them in the meat shop.

Beef/pork Stomach - Oh, too unwasted !


If you like beef, please try Yakiniku.
Some yakiniku restaurants serve some unique parts of its stomach or something other than the main parts..
There are a lot of parts to eat with a cow. Actually, it seems nothing to throw away.
We call innards of cattle or pigs "horumon" or "motsu".
tsurami (face), harami (midriff), mino(rumen), hachinosu(reticulitis), senmai(3rd stomach), aka-sen(4th stomach), tecchan(large gut), himo(small intestine), kashira(temple), tail(tail), leba(liver), hatsu(heart), urute(cartilage of tube), mame(kidney) korikori(aorta), teppou(rectum), Shibire(spleen), Necktie (gullet), Basa(lung), and so on ...

Sea cucumber - Oh, too chewy !


Sea cucumber is called Namako in Japan. It is a kind of invertebrata living in the sea.
It looks grotesque but it tastes good and light. It is chewy, too. Normally it is eaten fresh with vinegar and soy sauce.
You can try it in some izakaya restaurants or you can buy the sliced one in the supermarket.

Yokan - Oh, too sweet !


Yokan is a thick jellied dessert made of red bean paste, agar, and sugar. It is usually sold in a block form, and eaten in slices. There are two main types: neri yokan and mizu yokan. "Mizu" means "water", and indicates that it is made with more water than usual. Mizuyokan is often chilled and eaten in summer.

Shiokara - Oh, too salty !


Shiokara is a food in Japanese cuisine made from various marine animals that consists of small pieces of the animal's meat in a brown viscous paste of the animal's heavily salted, fermented viscera. The raw viscera are mixed with about 10% salt, 30% malted rice, packed in a closed container, and fermented for up to a month. Shiokara is sold in glass or plastic containers. The flavor is quite strong and is considered something of an acquired taste even for the native Japanese palate. The taste of shiokara lingers in the mouth. One method of enjoying it is to consume the serving at one gulp and to follow it with a shot of straight whisky. Some bars in Japan specialize in shiokara.

Fresh Oyster - Oh, too risky !


Oyster, which is called kaki in Japanese, is a popular food especially in winter. Normally we eat oysters deep-fried (Kaki furai), as a ingredient of Pot dish (Nabe-mono) or as vinegared oysters.
As long as it is cooked, oysters are safe.
However, you had better avoid eating them fresh. Although it is very tasty, it is possible that you are infected with norovirus and you might suffer from terrible stomachache and acute nausea.

Kobe beef - Oh, too expensive !

Kobe Beef

Kobe beef is considered the most exclusive beef in the world.
Technically speaking, there's no such thing as Kobe beef, it is merely the shipping point for beef from elsewhere in Japan.
What is called "Kobe beef" comes from the ancient province of Tajima, now named Hyogo Prefecture, of which Kobe is the capital.
Real beef connoisseurs, however, still refer to it as Tajima beef. This beef comes from an ancient stock of cattle called "kuroge Wagyu" (black haired Japanese cattle).
Today they are raised on only 262 small farms, most of which pasture fewer than five cows, and the largest of which run only 10 to 15 animals.
Each animal is pampered like a spoiled child. Their diets are strictly controlled and during the final fattening process, cattle are fed hefty quantities of sake and beer mash.
Each animal gets a daily massage. The theory is that mellow, relaxed cows make good beef.
by Ask the meatman
If you cannot afford it, please try Kobe croquette instead (100-200 yen). It is also good and much cheaper !

Wanko soba- Oh, too much !

Wanko soba

Morioka's famous local dish is "wanko-soba," which is eaten in a very interesting way. As soon as you finish a bite-size portion of soba in a lacquered bowl, a server calls out and tosses the next portion into your empty bowl. Once you become full, you announced that you've finished by placing the lid back on the bowl. But remember, it isn't proper to do so when there are still noodles left in your bowl. This style of eating, unique to the region, was developed long ago in order to serve many customers at once.

Ike-zukuri - Oh, too cruel !


Ikezukuri is a method of preparing sashimi. It requires a living fish. The sashimi is cut directly from the fish. The fish is then laid upon your plate in the order that it is cut. The internal organs are also replaced. This method is somewhat more difficult than the "basic" method of cutting sashimi. Sometimes the fish is still alive or somewhat alive at the end of dinner. This practice is banned in Australia, as it is seen as cruelty to animals. Germany has banned Ikezukuri of shrimp only, as unlike fish shrimp can sense pain.

J-Hoppers Hostels

J-Hoppers Group Site

Hostel in kyoto

J-Hoppers Hostel Kyoto

The hostel opened in Kyoto in 2002. It's an 8 minute walk from JR Kyoto Station. There are many important historical sites such as Toji Temple or Fushimi-Inari Shrine. The nearest bus stop is right in front of this hostel , which is on the quite convenitnt bus route to access to other major sights such as Kinkakuji, Kiyomizudera or Gion.

Hostel in Hiroshima

J-Hoppers Hostel Hiroshima

The hostel opened in Hiroshima in 2006. The builing used to be a Japanese style ryokan and most guest rooms are Japanese style with tatami matts. Located near the Peace Memorial Park and A-bomb Dome. You can also go to Miyajima, which is one of the 3 most scenic spots in Japan, by tram.

Budget hotel in Osaka

J-Hoppers Hostel Osaka

The hostel opened in Osaka in 2008. It's just about 15 minutes walk to JR Osaka station, which has extensive travel links to everywhere. It could be a starting point for all sightseeing places not only Osaka but also Nara, Kobe, Koyasan and Himeji.

Guesthouse in Hida Takayama

J-Hoppers Hostel Takayama

The hostel opened in Takayama in 2009. It's just 3 minutes walk to JR Takayama station. Takayama has preserved the feeling of a castle town. There are lots of historical spots such as Histrorical Govement House, San-machi-suji lined with stores selling the traditional wares and craftman's workshop and Hida Folk Village.

Sharehouse in Kyoto