We were in Japan for a 16-day trip just over the last two weeks and more. Kyoto was our second city after having spend 3 days in Tokyo (our other stops included Osaka, Hiroshima, Miyajima, and Gunma). After reading mixed reviews about Hotel Keihan on Tripadvisor, I was pleasantly surprised to find the hotel exceeded my expectations. The hotel is located at the side of the station that is nearest the shinkansen and furthest from the bus terminal. The bus terminal is at the other side of the train station. After alighting from the shinkansen, look for the Hachijio East exit. It will bring you past the metro station and onto the street level. Before you leave the train station building, turn to the left and keep going to the end of the building (along the way you will see a MacDonalds on your right) until u see a ramen shop in front of you (the ramen here was tasty) and there is an exit just beside it. Getting out of this exit, there is a pedestrian crossing on the left hand side which will bring you to the hotel. This is the way to the hotel that will use the least no. of staircase and the way we preferred and only discovered on Day 3 or so. It's possible to get to the hotel through the underground passageway to Avanti, the shopping mall next to Hotel Keihan. If u reach the hotel via the underground passageway to Avanti, there is immediately to the left-hand-side just before you enter the mall, a long series of steps (more than 20 steps). Take the steps and you will reach the hotel. If stairs are not preferred, enter the mall and look for the nearest escalator and aim for the second or third floor. The hotel entrance linked to the mall is located southwest of the escalator when you arrive on that floor.
The hotel staff spoke relatively poor English (as compared to Tokyo) but still manageable. In Japan, all the hotels and ryokans that we stayed in were very strict on the check-in timing. We could only check in at the specified time and not earlier. But they always allow us to deposit our luggage with them if we were early for the check-in. The one-day bus and subway passes can be bought from the hotel lobby. We bought one-day bus passes that come with the bus map for Kyoto. Unfortunately the staff gave us poor advice on our first day to take bus 205 to Kyoto Imperial Palace. In the end we took more than 45 minutes to the Palace by bus 205 when we could have reached there in less than 15 min if we took the subway. Subsequently we took the Raku buses 100 and 101 for our sight-seeing which were infinitely more time-saving and more comprehensive (the wordings on the buses are bigger and a description for the stops were pronounced in Japanese, Chinese, English and Korean). The bus-passes can be used for the Raku buses.
The hotel was dated but it wasn't really a problem. The smokiness that some travelers experienced in the lobby was not that bad during our stay. Our twin room was spacious and overlooked the Shinkansen station. It was the first room nearest the lift lobby so there were some noise from people passing by talking in the morning but the sound was muffled so it was not an issue. The whole floor was non-smoking so it was not smoky in the room nor along the corridor. The standard in-room amenities were available (bedroom slippers, toothpaste and toothbrush, combs, shower gel, shampoo, hairdryer, bedroom slippers, hangers). There is a room along the corridor that has vending machines that sell drinks and issue ice. We still got lost within the station every now and then trying to get from the bus terminal to the hotel when we tried out new routes. It was about a 10min brisk walk through the station between the hotel and bus terminal. The area around the bus terminal was more happening with Yodobashi, Daiso and some eating places and there were some hotels right in front of the bus terminal. There were also a couple of higher-end hotels located right within the train station. Given another opportunity to visit Kyoto again, we would still stay in Hotel Keihan given its convenient location and spacious room, until we could find another better hotel (at the same price range).
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