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Reviewed November 25, 2012

The guesthouse is located in downtown Kyoto next to the main shopping areas, and a 15 min busride away from JR Kyoto station. The rooms are clean and well kept, the same holds for the shared facilties where you'll have shampoo and soap in the showers and tissues at the wash basins, which is not that common for this kind of accomodation. There is a common lounge with a kitchen and TV, as well as two washing machines (free detergent available) and dryers and free WiFi with a very decent bandwidth. Staff is friendly and speaks English well.
I am a bit less positive about the rooms as ours was not only small, but also impractical. There is virtually no space to store your belongings (some shelves and hooks would be really good!) and some of the valuable floor space is occupied by a desk nobody is going to use. The room does not get any direct day-light and is consequently dark and damp, with the only air coming in being the greasy air of the exhaust of some restaurant in the narrow alley next to the building. The walls appear to be made of paper as you can clearly hear every word your neighbor speaks. The beds itself are OK, long enough, but with rather thin matrasses. All in all I think it's a good place to stay for those on a budget, but there is certainly room for improvement.

Date of stay: November 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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3  Thank m1508
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2012

I usually stay at hotels, but with the autumn season in Kyoto, everywhere else was either packed or above 20thousand yen a night. I found this on Booking.com and I don't regret it one bit. I rarely enjoy rooms with no t/b but this has got to be the exception. (tips at the end)

Room:
Stayed at a double room for around 6k yen a night per room. The size is obviously small, the bed has springs, two memory foam pillows, thick blanket, was it down? I was too sleepy to notice. The was a small desk with three hangers on the side. Split type airconditioning worked perfectly. Verdict? Modern design room was very clean! Note that there is no ensuite toilet nor bath.

I peeked at the other twin rooms, they look exactly as they did in pictures.

Toilet and bath:
I stayed at the 2nd floor, and the floor had around 6 toilets, Japanese washlet installed! Very clean!
The showers were also around 6, and it is properly enclosed in a cubicle where you can freely change clothes before stepping into the shower. Shower was Japanese style, with perfectly strong hot and cold shower, and shampoo and soap provided. I was very impressed with it. I saw them clean around 11noon everyday.
They also had 5 or 4 sinks with around 3 hair dryers. One was for curled hair even.
Verdict: I have never been more impressed with a hostel's basic services. It was fully booked and yet I never waiting for the toilet nor the shower.

Other facilities:
The fourth floor had a kitchen, dining area, laundry and a lounge. It is really very clean. I actually made use of their free tea/coffee, stove tops, microwave, and common fridge although it was full of things. The thing I liked was how it felt very welcoming. Staff are all nice and really friendly, more than the usual I'm here to serve you if you need me type. The lounge is full of staff made lists of restaurants to try, places to go, much better than you could ever find on tripadvisor. These locals know what is best rather than all us tourists.

Other services:
They sell bus tickets, such as the free passes worth 500 yen. They have a ton of free maps, and even coupons, you won't need to ever print more maps than you would need. They keep your luggage until 9ish. Wifi is strong and free.

Location:
Location is the best I could say. Why? It is near the hankyu line that will take you to arashiyama. Near the keihan line that will take you to Fushimi Inari, aka the orange toriis on the cover of Lonely Planet. And near the bus stop at Shijo Kawaramachi where you will probably get on and off everyday. All within 10 min of leisurely walking. Add to that, you are walking distance to Gion, and right smack at the shopping area. Why is this good, if you're not even gonna shop? Because all forms of transpo may have ended elsewhere in Kyoto after 9 but you will not find yourself out of transpo if say you need to catch a very early or late train/bus. Teramachi area wins.
If you plan on going to Osaka, the Hankyu line has a direct line to Osaka(umeda) taking you there under an hour. Beats staying at other hotels, go to kyoto station, then go to osaka or nara.

Tips: if coming from kyoto station, buses are the easiest. But take note that the stop arriving and departing Shijo Kawaramachi are in two different sides of the street. Not the exact opposite, but the diagonal other side. Hope you can imagine that. Think of a typical window. Top left is where you get off from Kyoto, lower right is where you get on for Kyoto.

Kyoto station is big. Remember to get out through the central exit.

It is my fourth time in Kyoto, and for this trip I thoroughly enjoyed the autumn foliage, nov 17-19 2012. Arahiyama is beautiful. There are onsens right there where you get to enter by just having a nice expensive meal around 4 k yen. If not, ask the people at the hostel. A place called tenzan or tenzen was 30 minutes away from the hostel and is just 1000 for the entrance fee at the onsen.

Fushimi Inari is well worth going to. Also Kinkakuji or Golden Pavillion. The rest look the same :)) that is if you are not fond of temples that much. Tenryuuji in Arashiyama was very picturesque and unforgettable. I have been to around 10 other that I don't think deserve to be mentioned.

Sakura season in late march, last week of march is the most perfect time to see Kyoto. As well as the 3rd weekend of november for autumn.

Gion is pretty but is not a huge area full of old places. There are quaint spots and my favorite is actually the Shirakawa street, lined with sakura along the small stream. Beautiful. Geisha will be seen from sunset onwards around Gion and pontocho. They won't take picture with you in public unless no one else is around. Real maikos and geisha won't I think,it's just many Japanese girls dress up as maikos so you really wouldn't know. Those in pontocho will be real though.

Date of stay: November 2012
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
3  Thank japanweekender
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2012

Stayed at Khaosan Kyoto Guesthouse's Twin Room with Bunk Bed for 2 nights. You can also opt to sleep in the dorms for cheaper rates, but for older women who value their privacy and sleep, the private rooms were great too.

Rooms were tiny (as expected) but linens were provided and beds were clean. The good thing is that we could sleep at night because the hostel premises were quiet even though noise is usually a given at any hostel. Shared bathrooms were also well-maintained and clean, with separate female bathrooms provided. Don't expect them to clean your room during your stay though.

The staff were friendly and spoke English, which helped a lot especially when we needed directions to the heritage sites. Maru-san gave us very good opinions on how to travel from scattered destinations by public transport, while Kase-san (the manager) helped us to call our next hotel for late check-in when we were in a pinch. We were also lucky during our stay because the hostel staff cooked up a takoyaki feast that was free for all guests to enjoy.

Location is fabulous. It's 1 min. walk to Family Mart convenience mart and Promenade Cafe, 2-3 mins. to Teramachi-dori and Shinkyogoku-dori shopping arcades, Daimaru and Takashimaya shopping malls and Nishiki market, 5 mins. to Doutor Coffee, 10 mins. to Gion. Catch buses and subways easily by heading north to Shijo-dori.

Date of stay: November 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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Thank 912CharlieS
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2012

If you're looking for budget accommodation in the centre of Kyoto, near transport, shops and restaurants then don't look past Khaosan. 2 minute walk from the main street in Kyoto, 2 minutes from the train and buses and 10 minutes from Gion.

The hostel has a choice of single, twin and dorm rooms, provides kitchen facilities, free wifi, free computers to use and nice large communal areas to lounge around.

The english speaking staff are very helpful, and can advise some free walking tours from the hostel.

Date of stay: November 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled solo
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Thank Perthyte
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2012

This hostel is really cute, the staff is friendly, helpful and speak a very good english, rooms are small but clean and peaceful. The position is excellent cause it's near to everyting interesting in Kyoto, teramachi is jut in front, in Marutamachi there's all the bus and also the metro, by walk you can find a lot of typical place where to eat, Gion is just ten minutes walk as the philosopher's walk. Wifi is free in all the rooms. If you don't want to spend much but you need a comfortable place and in a good position that's the right place!

Date of stay: October 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank Andreasupertamp
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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