My husband and I traveled to Japan with our 3 year-old daughter. Finding reasonably priced hotel rooms in Japan large enough to sleep two adults plus the floorspace to put an inflatable toddler mattress was not so easy. Then I saw the review by another family about the Ark Hotel, so I thought I'd give it a try. The rate was quite reasonable, so I was apprehensive about what we'd get. Well, the room was nice. Not the fanciest or most modern room I've ever been in, but it had a double bed, desk and nightstand, small table and two chairs, fridge and TV. It had sufficient floorspace to put a toddler mattress, and most importantly, it was clean. The staff were friendly (that's sort of a given in Japan), although we were surprised at how little English is spoken in Kyoto (that's true for the whole city, not just the hotel).
We had the Japanese breakfast one morning, and while my husband liked it, I preferred the Tully's 2 blocks down the main road. The area is mixed commercial and residential, so there's a real grocery store a few blocks away, and also plenty of restaurants. With a small kid in tow, the grocery store was a lifesaver!
We never bothered with the bus. If you don't have too much luggage, it's about a 15-20 minute walk from the train station to the hotel. Since we sent our luggage ahead (Japan has an overnight luggage delivery service which is *definitely* the way to go if you can - any hotel can arrange it for you), we found the hotel to be a nice walk from the station. On the way back to the train station we took a taxi and it was less than ~$20 (worth it to not haul our luggage around).
I would certainly stay at the Ark Hotel again. They have good specials on their website, and a multi-night stay can cost well under $100 a night, even for a family.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC