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“2 peaceful nights in this quiet Guesthouse !” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Guest House Bola-Bola

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Guest House Bola-Bola
25-17 Uzumasa Horigauchi-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-8152, Japan (Arashiyama / Uzumasa / Takao)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #69 of 232 Specialty lodging in Kyoto
Paris, France
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“2 peaceful nights in this quiet Guesthouse !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2012

We spent two great nights in this pleasant guesthouse, sleeping in à traditionnal Japanese room.
Our host was real welcoming, the hood is quiet and we just felt at home in his house.
Not exactly in the centre of Tokyo, but we didn't regret our pick.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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38 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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    4
    1
    0
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Durham, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

This honestly felt more like a hotel than a hostel. We didn't see any other guests but once in the early morning, and except when we arrived, we barely saw the owners. Said owners are very nice and speak excellent English, and the woman who greeted us gave us several helpful maps with nearby food and sightseeing spots. We were even able to do some laundry while there.

The hostel is wonderfully located, only a few JR stops from the center of Kyoto, and walking distance from lots of delicious food (I especially recommend the German bakery, WELZ). Our ryokan was large and comfortable, and the futons were better than some beds I've slept on.

I sleep like the dead, so this did not bother me, but I DO NOT RECOMMEND this hostel if you are a light sleeper, because trains go by several times a night and the track alarm is very loud. Also, if you are a young (or older) traveler looking to meet lots of new people, Bola-Bola won't provide - it's very quiet and caters to small groups. On the other hand, it is a lovely, clean, and spacious place to stay (GREAT shower room!) and is wonderful for a couple of nights near Kyoto.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Montreal, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2012

If you are looking for a real Ryokan experience, this is the place to go. Note that there is no heat and it gets very cold in winter. The shower room is the worst part of the house and the toilets are on the first floor. The owners are nice as long as you don't arrive too early in the morning. You don't really see them though.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Independence, Kentucky
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2011

We stayed in Kyoto in 2008 at Bola-Bola. It was great and everything we had hoped. It is very affordable, inviting family, spacious rooms, and decent location. The owner pointed out a nice nearby onsen after our late arrival. It was a great stay. I will stay here again when I visit Kyoto next time.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
melbourne
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2011

friendly, clean very comfortable even though tradtional mattresses on floor. lovely family. great restaurant in walking distance. easy to get around kyoto from there. stayed before sept 10

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2011

I'm the kind of person who plans things on the fly, and my girlfriend is not. We were staying in Tokyo and decided to take a two day trip to Kyoto without advance reservations and we ended up finding Bola Bola because of a tour book she bought. We picked it because it was one of the cheapest places that looked nice, and because there was a room open. :)

Our experience was wonderful! We took the Shinkansen to Kyoto station, and once we called Bola Bola, the girl on the phone told us to take the train to Uzamasa station and just ask for the map. I'll admit we were a little nervous about that, but the folks at Uzumasa station knew exactly what we were talking about and handed us a custom map (in English) which told us exactly where to go, which is only a 10 minute walk or so.

Once we got there, the guy who runs the place (I'm still kicking myself for not remembering his name) was super nice. He showed us to our room, which had a fan, it's own air conditioner, and it's own lock with a key. Then he gave us a tour of the place and handed us another hand drawn map (in English) with all kinds of great suggestions for places to visit, eat, and get supplies. When we decided to stay another night, they just moved us to a different room upstairs which was every bit as nice as the first one.

You can't beat this place for ¥5000 a night for two people! It's clean, safe, you can feel secure leaving your stuff there, and it's in a convenient location to get to the sights in Kyoto.

Room Tip: You should call in advance, though we booked on the fly and lucked out.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seoul, South Korea
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2011

My boyfriend and I went to Kyoto on a vacation from our jobs teaching English in Korea over New Years '10-'11. We originally booked this place because everything else was already booked since it was New Years, but I feel like it was destiny that this was the case. This place just gave me the best feeling and when I think back to my vacation, I think of the sight and smell of this place and just get so nostalgic. There is something very special about it. It is really cozy and smells like wood. Everything is immaculately clean. It was winter when we were there so I thought that I would be too cold using the outdoor shower but taking a steaming hot shower outside in the cold was the most refreshing shower I've ever had. The area is really peaceful and it gives you a good idea of what life is like in Japan outside of the touristy, urbanized areas. There are tons of places to eat around there and the train station is close. There are also a few grocery stores around. I didn't think that the location was inconvenient at all and the noise from the train wasn't loud at all - it didn't bother my boyfriend and I one bit - actually we found it soothing. The owner is extremely kind and helpful and will give you a ton of maps and information. Kyoto is a beautiful place and is now one of my if not my favorite city. If it weren't for the maps and info he gave us, I wouldn't have had any idea of where to go or what to see. The low price is unbelievable, too. This is the cheapest and best accommodation in Kyoto.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Guest House Bola-Bola

Address: 25-17 Uzumasa Horigauchi-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-8152, Japan
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Arashiyama / Uzumasa / Takao
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #69 of 232 Specialty lodging in Kyoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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