Hostel Name: Piece Hostel Sanjo
Address: 530 Asakura-cho, Kyoto, Japan.
I stayed at the Piece Hostel Sanjo in Kyoto. This was my first time to Kyoto so I didn’t have a feel for what the best area would be. After a little research it looked like the area west of the Kamo River looked like a good spot, so I picked this hostel.
I booked a private room with bathroom for the rate of ¥5433.33 per night ($51.55 USD). I didn’t want to stay in a dorm or a capsule, so that was about the cheapest room I could find that had a private bathroom. I didn’t know what to expect for that price as the last time I got a cheap room in Osaka it was run down.
Another reason for booking this room was to be close to public transport. It was about a ten minute walk from the metro station to the hostel, and the metro goes directly to Kyoto Station.
The hostel is in a typical side street where there are no gutters or sidewalk and you walk on the road. The hostel is is a modern structure that is about 3 times the width of the little houses on this street.
I liked the vibe of the building the moment I walk in.
The reception area is bright and spacious, and at the front there is a mini-sunken garden which leads to the basement cafe lounge (where breakfast is served).
At the reception there are printed maps with a list of restaurants and essential services. The map had recommended ramen and sushi places, alongside vegetarian options. I arrived in the evening and I was dreaming of having ramen for my first meal back in Japan. This saved a lot of time on wandering around the wrong streets in search of food.
I wasn’t expecting much space in my room so I was surprised to see how spacious my room was. I was thinkin of the room I stayed in last year where there was barely enough room to place my bag.
The room had a double bed with a smaller bed on the bunk. The mattress was so soft and comfortable that I was in danger of just staying in my room and chilling out when I was meant to be out exploring. I actually lifted the sheets to find a mattress label, but I was too lazy to lift the whole bed over in search of the answer of who made this mattress. It was the best mattress I’ve slept on this year.
At the head of the bed is a little area to place items, and there is a power outlet and reading light. There is free wifi in the hostel, and I got a good connection on every floor I visited.
I was happy with the bathroom as well as it had a good walk-in shower, and no awkward Japanese bathtub.
There is also a Japanese toilet, or as they say here – a toilet. This shouldn’t be a big deal but I’ve stayed in places that don’t have the fancy toilets and I’ve felt let down by not have this quintessential Japanese experience. And that place I stayed at in Osaka last year had a squat toilet.
To save space in the bathroom area they have put the sink outside the bathroom, opposite the bed. I don’t mind this, but the floor directly below the sink should be tiled and not carpeted.
In the hallway there is a shelf full of spare pillows and slippers.
There is a free breakfast service consisting of basic western and Japanese options. It was good to start the day without looking for breakfast before sightseeing. They only had instant coffee though, so I went to a cafe a few doors down for my coffee fix.
The breakfast area doubles as a bar and hangout area at night, and they had live music while I was staying there.
There is a rooftop bar and chill-out area, “Piece of Sky”. It wasn’t the best weather when I was there so I didn’t see it in full operation.
Overall this was a great place to stay in Kyoto. I’m a fan of staying in private rooms in hostel, as you get the privacy of a hotel with the options of meeting travellers if you want to be social. I was very impressed with the purpose-built building as well. This modern and spacious building felt like I was staying in a cool hotel. It’s a good location for tourists as well, being walkable to plenty of cafes and restaurants.
My trip report is here: Notes on Kyoto – temple hopping and urban wanders.