23 Sep 2016

Doburoku Festival Bus Tour

Doburoku festival is a Shinto event held in Shirakawa-go every Autumn. Doburoku is a milky white, unrefined sake made by rice, rice malt, and water.  It is brewed from January through to October; the festival is the first day that we can drink the NEW doburoku!! Once you buy the sake cup from the festival, you can drink as much as you want!!!  Except drinking, there are also traditional dance such as lion dance, folk song performance and local food stalls.  The tour will also bring you to the observation point of Shirakawa-go to capture the excellent view of village (Ogimachi). No matter whether you are a sake lover or not, it is a valuable chance to experience a traditional Japanese sake festival by drinking, tasting the Japanese snacks and enjoying the cultural performances. Let's join us to enjoy the memorable sake festival in a world-heritage village- Shirakawago.  Bus tour will be organized for the festival, details are as follows:

Date: 14th –15th October, 2016 (Friday and Saturday)
Departure time: 13:20 p.m.
Meeting point: bus stop in front of JR Takayama Station
(NOT Nohi public Bus Terminal)
Tour Fee: 4,400 yen per person / 3,900 yen per person(J-hopper Takayama Guesthouse Guests only)
Fee includes:  - Round-trip bus tickets between Takayama and Shirakawago (50 mintues by bus)
                        - English-speaking tour guide


13:20 Depart from JR Takayama Station
14:10 Arrive Shirakawa-go
14:10-14:30 Observation point
14:30-17:00 Walk around the vilalge + Doburoku Festival
17:00 Depart from Shirakawago 
18:00 Arrive at JR Takayama Station

Enrollment and inquiries: email to tour@j-hoppers.com or call at 0577-62-9545

19 Aug 2016

2016 Amazing Bus Tour of Maze River Firework Festival

2016 Amazing Bus Tour of Maze River Firework Festival



A spectacular fireworks display is going to be held in Maze River on 27th August, 2016. Surrounded by heaps of mountains, you will be amazed with the boom of firework while enjoying traditional Japanese food and drinks! We had heaps of fun with our guests last year. It is the most memorable firework that I have seen in my life. Please check on our pictures here:




Do not miss the last chance to indulge yourself in this memorable Japanese summer event! Check out the bus tour details here and register with our lovely staff:

Date: 27th August, 2016(Saturday)

Departure time: 15:30 p.m

Meeting point: J-hopper Takayama Guesthouse

Tour Fee: 3,500 yen per person

Fee includes:

 -Round-trip bus tickets between J-hopper Takayama and Maze River  

(1.5 hour by bus) 

- Entrance fee

- English-speaking tour guide

         - A bento with Japanese rice ball and 1 non-alcoholic drink

         - A small fridge will be provided. Please feel free to bring your own


Schedule of the event: 

17:00-20:00 Firework Festival Event  + Free time to explore the Japanese food stalls

20:00-21:00 Firework

21:00-22:00 Bus back to J-hopper Takayama Guesthouse

Enrollment and inquiries: email to tour@j-hoppers.com or call 0577-62-9545.


  • Due to the influx of tourist to the event, guests will arrive to Maze River around 17:00 p.m. However, the return time may be delayed due to unexpected travel congestion.

  • Free seating. It is recommended to bring a portable chair or leisure sheet to cover the ground.

  • Bus tour will be postponed to 28 August, 2016 due to poor weather condition.




日期: 2016827(週六)

集合時間 :下午330

集合地點: J-hopper高山旅館

費用: 3,500 日圓(1人計算) ,包括來回J-hopper高山旅館到馬瀨川花火大會的巴士車費(車程為1.5小時)、馬瀨川花火大會入場門票、英語領隊、日式飯團便當及一枝不含酒精飲料。旅行團會提供小冰箱,自備飲料。


17:00-20:00 到達會場,品嚐地道的日式小食時間

20:00-21:00 煙火表演

21:00-22:00 由會場出發返回J-hopper高山旅館

查詢及報名: 電郵至tour@j-hoppers.com或致電0577-62-9545.




19 Jul 2016

Mascots in Takayama and Shirakawago

In Japan, you can commonly see the cute mascots representing each town or city, for example, Kumamon from Kumamoto, Kyushu. Except Sarubobo in Takayama, there are also Hidachi and Shirakawago Kun representing Takayama and Shirakawago. They also have the identity cards in Japan!!

ひだっち (Hidachi)

Let me introduce briefly about Hidachi!
Body Length: around 3 pieces of rice dumplings (actually around same height as human)
Weight: Like a red turnip
Strength: Getting rid of bad luck
Hidachi has a fluffy face and a little stomach. When I first met Hidachi in the festival of the weaver in summer, I find him super cute with the smile. He is actually taller than me and it is so comfy to touch Hidachi. Hidachi usually walk around the street during festival. Please say hi to him and don’t forget to give a hug to him!!



しらかわGOくんShirakawa-Go Kun
Body Length: 170cm
Weight: 40 kg
Hobbies: make-up, enjoying street food during travel, singing
Dream: Become the spokesperson of Gifu prefecture and introduce the stunning views of Shirakawago and Gifu
Shirakawa Gokun is the mascot of Shirakawago whom has a hairstyle of the Gassho-house roof.
He is a guy who loves make-up and wears modern clothes with the Japanese clogs. Could you see his sparkling eyes? He is a bit busy during weekday and you may see him sometimes during weekend especially in the observation area of Shirakawago. Don’t forget to take a picture with GO Kun if you meet him next time!!! :)

24 Jun 2016

Kyoto by the sea

Last week, we conducted a 2 days 1 night tour for a family group from Malaysia 
and US in Kyoto Tango which is located at the northern part of Kyoto.  
It is a valuable chance for us to enjoy the spectacular view of Amanohashidate
Ine Fish Village and Miyama village, tasting traditional Japanease cuisine and 
at the same time visiting local seafood markets. 
It is the raining season in Japan now but we are lucky to have a super sunny day 
for the first day.  Our restaurant is next to the famous rotation bridge of Amanohashidate. 
Right before our lunch, two large boats passed through the rotation bridge and we could 
see the bridge rotated twice!  Everyone was so excited!!!  We then enjoyed a fresh sashimi 
and tempura set at the restaurant by the side.  We went up by taking the chairlift in order to
capture the panoramic view of Amanohashidate and the ‘bridge to heaven’.  On the way, 
we could also see pretty blossom of hydrangea as well. After that, we visited Ine fish village
and also the popular sake brewery in Ine.  We enjoyed tasting the special sake and
non-alcohoic ice ceam in summer!!  While filling up our stomach with yummy sushi as dinner,
we stayed in an onsen hotel that night while some guests tried their first hotspring in Japan!! 
The next morning we visited Maizuru Tore Tore Center which is a seafood market and
 the oysters are enormous and fresh!!!  Our last destination is Miyama, the rural village 
of north Kyoto.  After having a nice soba (buckwheat noodles), we had free time walking
 around the village and luckily we tried the gelato which is made by fresh milk from Miyama 
on the way back to Osaka.  Everyone was satisfied with the expereince of countryside in 
Kyoto and also the fresh seafood+ice cream in Japan.  It is sad to say goodbye but hope
 to see them in Japan very soon!!    


26 May 2016

Jazz dream outlet + Nabana no sato

In early May, I have visited Nagashima resort as a day trip from Nagoya.  Nagashima resort is highly recommended for family and couples as it involves amusement park, outlet, spa land and garden with plenty of flowers. 

Combo tickets are sold in the Nagoya bus center where you can first stop in Jazz Dream outlet for half day and then from outlet, you can take another bus to visit the garden.  I have been looking forward to see the winter illumination of ‘Heidi, Girl of the Alps’ for a long time.  Therefore, I bought the tickets and head to the garden after visiting the outlet. 

My friend and I are amazed with the colorful flowers in the garden and greenhouse.  The flowers in the greenhouse are presented in a special way that I have never seen it in my life.  There are also a café inside and would like chill out there if we had more time that day.  The outdoor garden is also stunning with pretty flowers in all season.  Now, it is the time of Rose!!!

After visiting the garden, we passed through a blue and green light tunnels and arrived the place of the illumination.  This year, the theme is Heidi in Alps and it presented 4 seasons in Switzerland even with Sakura in spring!! J  Although the winter illumination is only till early May, it is the time of firefly now!! Flyerflies come out around 20:30 every day and if you are planning to visit it by 26 June, you maybe able to see the flyerflies like the picture shown below.

Fore more information, please check the link below:

24 Apr 2016

Takayama Festival

To deepen the understandings in Japan, the best way is to experience the local festival.  Do you know there is at least one festival held in Japan every day?  The city that I live is called Takayama where is embedded with rich Japanese culture.  I have been looking forward to this year Spring Takayama festival as it was cancelled last year due to heavy rain.  At that time, I realized that weather is so important for festival as the floats do not come out in order to protect the colour and good shape. 

Then, the good weather came on 14 –15 April this year.  What’s more?  The global warming brings the cherry blossom earlier this year.  In the day time, we saw beautiful floats and at night, we waited for night parade for 1 hour as the floats were decorated with lanterns lit by candles.  It is said that the traditions of this festival started 300 years ago.  Unlike the festival in big cities in Tokyo and Osaka, Takayam festival is one of the festival that we can see closely and enjoy the beauty of the floats.

Don’t wait!  Please join us next year!

For more information, please check the website below:

31 Mar 2016

When tour meets Sakura (cherry) blossom

Due to global warming, Japan is warmer than last year.  This year, the sakura season comes a little bit earlier than before.  In March, our tour visited Kansai area where we could see pretty sakura in Kyoto, Nara and Yoshiyoyama.  Every April, the influx of tourists comes to Japan to enjoy the Sakura blossom.  Many customers are surprised that the sakura is not pink while it is pale pink instead.  In fact, there are over 600 varieties of sakura in Japan.  The most common sakura is called Yoshino sakura and it is a pale pink while Shidarezakura is also pale pink and all around Japan. 

Would you like to visit the best places for pretty cherry blossom? I recommend you to check the blossom schedule in the below link:

The most memorable moment for me to see the pretty sakura is to see the sakura at night.  In every city of Japan, it has some light up events during the week of cherry blossom.  The pictures shown here are all taken in Nijo Castle, Kyoto light up event. If you have a chance to visit Kyoto, please do not miss it.

30 Jan 2016

Okuhida Onsen Winter Festival

Do you fancy going to winter festival in Japan?  In Okuhida onsen, there are quite a number of illumination events at night. 

Okuhida onsen is about 1 hour 30 minutes by bus and it would be a lovely night to drink a nice sake in igloo and go for a sleigh ride.  To attend the event, it is necessary to stay 1 night in Okuhida onsen area, e.g. Hirayu onsen, Shin-Hirayu onsen, Shin-hotaka onsen etc.  And there is a free shuttle bus that guests can travel around easily. Last year, I had a wonderful experience over there.  It is never too late to purchase a flight ticket to have a fantastic winter journey.

Shin-hirayu onsen light up event

Date: 22 January, 2016 to 29 February, 2016

Igloo festival

Date: 1 February, 2016 to 14 February, 2016

Hirayu waterfall festival

Date: 15 February, 2016 to 25 February, 2016