OK, so the location of this place means that it’s a slightly longer walk to some tourist attractions, restaurant and entertainment areas than it would be from hotels on the “right” side of Kyoto JR Station, but this hotel is cheaper, relatively new, and the location is still very convenient. It’s also a great place to stay.
If you are arriving in Kyoto by train, keep an eye out for the Avanti building. It’s a landmark that visible when you’re arriving on most train services, and - being only several blocks from the hotel - will help you navigate there. The Avanti building is on the same side of the station as the Shinkansen tracks, so if you’re arriving by Shinkansen you won’t have too much walking ahead of you.
I have seen several different descriptions for getting from Kyoto station (JR or Kintetsu) to the hotel, but agree with a previous poster that the East Hachijo exit is the best way, although it does involves quite a few stairs. This exit takes you under Hachijo Street (“hachijo-dori”). (If you find yourself at street level on the Station side of Hachijo-dori, you’ll need to find the stairs that take you back down to the subway that goes under the road).You’ll end up on the other side of Hachijo-dori, below street level but in the open air, in what appears to be the forecourt of Avanti. With your back to the station, choose the stairs that take you towards the right hand side of the Avanti building (not the left). Once you reach street level, walk alongside the Avanti building, still with your back to the station. At the far corner of the Avanti building, you’ll reach a set of pedestrian lights - turning neither right nor left, walk through them (and - this being Japan - observing the lights), still keeping your back to the station, and when you reach the next set of pedestrian lights, you’ll see the hotel directly in front of you. That’s only four or five minutes from when you left the station exit.
Check in time is 2 pm; check-out is 11 am - that’s as good as it gets in Japan. I arrived half an hour early, but my room was ready and I was able to check-in and go straight up. Service at check-in - and elsewhere - was friendly and helpful.
Wifi in the room and lobby area is free, fast and doesn’t require a password, symptomatic of hotel management that wants to make guests’ stays as user friendly as possible.
Apart from a double bed with the head and one side pushed up against the walls, I also had a bench along the window with TV, and plenty of room for using my laptop, making a cup of tea or eating a snack. Apart from the bed, and the bench, there was a swivel chair, a stand for my bag, and wardrobe hanging space near the door. I had a view over the street but there was no issue with noise - just a view of street life.
The bathroom: small but functional, with a deep bath and a regular bidet/toilet. Like most Japanese business hotels, you’ll find separate shampoo/conditioner/body lotion/hand wash, plus the normal razors, toothbrushes and toothpaste, etc.
I was expecting to walk over to the other side of Kyoto station each morning and eat a “morning service” breakfast, but I found myself returning to the hotel’s buffet breakfast instead, even though it was more expensive, and I ended up eating more than what I normally would.
For Y1030 (just over $US10), you get a choice of western and Japanese dishes. My appreciation of breakfast improved each day as I added more Japanese items to my selection. The hot western fare is nothing special but there are goodies such as natural yoghurt served in small square ceramic containers, and a range of breads which tasted better once I heated them in the toaster oven.
The Japanese food included quite a few salad items, some of which I had never seen before. There were also some dishes which sounded suspect (“tofu refuse”) but which tasted fine, to this reviewer, at least, and without ill effects.
I very much appreciated that (a) there was a coffee machine for guests to use, and (b) it offered a choice of “Coffee” and “Weak coffee.” I chose the “Coffee” option every time - the coffee didn’t taste fantastic but it was reasonable strength.
At breakfast, I noticed that quite a few people lingered on in the cafe area after they’d eaten their breakfast, staying on longer than what I might have expected. I eventually put this down to the ambience - it’s a relaxing and enjoyable place to be, even if the view of the outside area is nothing special. This is not an expensive hotel (my room rate was around $US70 per night, booked through Expedia), and there’s nothing formal or grand about it, but a lot of thought has gone into the design features of the lobby and adjacent cafe area - in my opinion, a pleasing use of shape, texture, and color, especially when seen from the cafe.
I occasionally used the vending machines on the second floor - the drinks are fine (Asahi beer from as little as Y180 per can), but look elsewhere for food - there’s little to recommend here, and nothing if you’re craving chocolate. There’s also a microwave if you want to heat up meals you’ve bought in local convenience stores.
I didn’t use the trouser press that was fitted in my room. Likewise, I didn’t use the washing and drying machines on the fifth floor, but was glad that they were there if I needed them. I didn’t try the nearby bicycle rental, either, but I think bikes would be a terrific way of getting around.
I’m glad I chose this hotel (largely on the recommendations of many Tripadvisor members before me). I probably won’t stay here again, however. It’s a matter of location: this trip, I’m primarily here to visit family and the restaurants around my son’s house in downtown Kyoto offer many more choices than the area around Kyoto station. It’s horses for courses. If I were using a rail pass to travel around Japan and if I were using Kyoto as a base, I would stay in this hotel again in a heartbeat.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Just 4min walk from KYOTO STATON.Very convineence to sightseeing,dinning,shopping.There are huge shopping center near the hotel.From Airport(Kansai-Osaka) 80min by Limousin bus.Japanease-Kyoto style design hotel.English available ... more less
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