Dec 14, 2013

Hostel review: A-yado Gion (Kyoto, Japan)

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Name:
A-yado Gion Hostel
Address: A-yado Gion, 3F Sakura bldg, 244-2, Nakano-cho, 2 chome, Shinm, Kyoto, Japan
Tel: +81-75-531-5489
Email: 
info@ayado.net
Website: http://www.ayado.net/english/
Nearest Bus stop: Gion. Take bus 100 or 206 from JR Kyoto Karasuma-chuo-guchi bus bay D1 or D2  
Nearest Railway: Keihan Gion-Shijo St
Nearest Attraction: Hanamikoji Street (this is where the Geishas work) & Yasaka Shrine
Price/night : varies according to date (1250Yen – 2500Yen)


Rooms:

There are only dormitories available and they are separated by gender. It is all double deck beds and each dorm have 10 beds. I'd say the room is pretty tightly packed and if you have big luggage like me, you'll be a little embarrassed to be taking up the limited walking space. However this is a dormitory and that is to be expected.


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Not the best photo but I guess you can tell how cramped the place it. By my feet is my big ass luggage taking up the already small walkway , it’s the silver one btw, not the black/blue backpack. Behind me are 3 more double deck beds.

Each dormitory also have 2 shower rooms inside, they are on my left in the photo above, see the door? There are 2 wash up sink and mirrors inside the dorm and are separated from the shower rooms. Which is excellent when you need to share space :)

The toilets are in a separate room altogether. As you can see from the photo, there is an air-con/heater available inside.

Beds:

Pillow case and bed sheets are changed once before you check-in and will not be changed again unless you request and that comes with a cost of 300yen (if I remember correctly ) .

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The mattress is soft and comfortable with a nice layer of quilt blanket and blanket. Keeps me very toasty in the autumn I was there. Not like that was super necessarily though as all the rooms also seemed heated. Did dry my skin a bit though ^^;

The pillow is a little too soft and thin for me so every night I sleep with a folded scarf underneath my pillow for added height.


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The bed frame is made of wood and as you can tell from the photo, I stayed at the top bunk. The bed frame is stable and does not make any sound when I climb.


Toilets & Shower:

There are 4 toilets are level 3, just beside the dormitories. 2 cubicles are for Men another 2 for Ladies. I like how they are a separate room from the dormitories altogether . Makes for better hygiene.


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There are 2 shower pods within each dormitory. Body Soap, Shampoo and Rinse (i don’t know what that is LOL) are complimentary. Hot and cold water is available.


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Cleanliness :

Each morning the shower rooms are cleaned up and I presume the toilets too. Generally everything looks very well kept and clean in my standards xD


Breakfast:

A slice of bread that is 1 inch thick can be collected at the service counter on level 3. The communal/living room is at level 5 so you bring your bread up to eat there. Margarine is available for free but anything else is payable. There is however, a free flow of red tea and coffee.

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Beer, instant noodles, snacks and other food are also available for a very affordable price. Just in case you are interested, there's also a microwave, hot water dispenser and toaster.

The communal room opens from 7am - 1am.

Amenities & Facilities:

You can borrow a pair of free slippers upon request.

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Hair dryer is available. You can also wash your laundry for free from 8pm -10pm though putting them through the dryer will cost you 200yen. Seek permission and help from the staff before dumping your clothes into the washing machine :)

Microwave, toaster, hot water , coffee and tea is available as long as the communal room is open.

Staff & Misc:

I honestly had a very pleasant time the 4 nights I was there. The staff were all pretty fluent in their English so it was easy to get directions. On top of that they were also very friendly. It was very pleasant to see their smile every morning xD

Miki-san was very helpful and gave very good advice and directions for my touring. She asked everyone who happened to pass by the counter where they were going and gave useful tips. I told her I wanted to go Osaka and was thinking of taking the bus to Kyoto and then take the JR line. But she then recommend that I walk to Gion-Shijo subway, take a subway to Tofukuji then take the JR line to Osaka. The subway cost 150 yen while the bus cost 220 yen. 70 yen saved !

The staff will change everyday and I'd say that's a good thing too since they start work from 7am and ends at 1am.  Tough job eh?


Access:

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From JR Kyoto station, you go to the Bus terminal that is just in front of the station and take bus 206 from the Bus Bay D2. According to the website, you can also take bus 100,  but they say it takes a bit more time.

I highlighted the Bus bay in red because when I first came, I took the bus from the wrong bay and took near an hour to reach Ayado. So TAKE NOTE !!!!!!!


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The bus terminal is just in front of the JR Kyoto station. See the blue tiled building at the background? That's the train station.


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The nearest train station is Keihan Gion-Shijo Station

Summary:

I stayed at Ayado for 4 nights and much enjoyed my stay there. It's a simple and small hostel but its cozy, well facilitated, situated in an awesome location and most importantly comes with a very very affordable price tag.

Some of the major attractions are literally just walking distance. 



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I saw a Geisha at Hanamikoji Street (Gion)!


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The really beautiful and big Yasaka Shrine that is opened 24 hours and is well lit at night!


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One thing though, it is in the middle of a red light district.

While it is generally safe and I didn't see anything restrictive, walking alone past midnight should be avoided. ( I say that but I still went to Yasaka Shrine at night ^_^|||) 

I took the wrong train one night and ended up coming back after midnight. I was approached by a man right after I exited the train station. After that another man chatted me up and asked if I wanted to grab a drink. Overall, nothing happened and I was able to smile my way out of it but walking alone at night there might not be for the fragile females. 

Overall a very good stay for the budget conscious and I look forward to going back again if I ever travel alone.





8 comments:

pastamusume said...

great insight on the dormitory rooms! seem's pretty fair!

lol also rinse is the alternative word for 'conditioner' haha! term is used in korea/japan ^^

Kaika ( aka Elpheal) said...

Pastamusume: OIC! Thanks for the tip and comment ^^

Sese Ramirez said...

I didn't get the rinse part either lol :))

And woman ;A; why u walk in the night in Gion all alone ajd fghfdjsbs

I saw that post of yours in FB and my brain went haywire ;A: I was sooo worried -.-

Kaika ( aka Elpheal) said...

sese: Ahhh thanks for being so concerned but i'm fine don't worry^-^

ET said...

Hi, I just came across your blog through google. Trying to find out about the safety of solo girl trip to Kyoto. You did exactly what I am contemplating of doing this December. I have read from elsewhee that there are scams around and that it is not that safe in Kyoto as compared to Tokyo. Not sure how true this is. Would like to know if you felt it was not safe for a girl like you to be alone over there. Thank you! :]

Kaika ( aka Elpheal) said...

ET: Japan is generally a safe and travel friendly country if you know Chinese (like me).

However that said, never take safety for granted and remember to always keep off the isolated & dark paths. Of my 4 trips to Japan (Tokyo, osaka, kyoto)I've only ever felt slightly scared when I was in Osaka & Kyoto. Not because of the city but because I was alone at night at places that doubles as a red light district (such as Dotonburi & Gion). I'm pretty sure there are similar places in Tokyo too but I was never at those places alone at night.

Other than keeping out of sleazy places, also be sure to exercise discernment when people approaches you. There are A LOT of pimps/ host clubs/ pubs/ clubs/ KTV staffs out on the streets touting. Unless you are very well versed in the language to understand and make an educated choice, I'd say just reject them politely. Regardless of how cool the place they sell might be, it's not worth the risk (both physical & financial) when you are alone.

Other than the night life places, Kyoto is a very peaceful place and tourist attractions (shrines) closes before 5pm. I'm absolutely in love with Kyoto and is somewhat addicted to travelling solo because I enjoy the absolute freedom . I can't wait to visit the country again.

ET said...

Thank you for sharing your tips with me. I have been to Tokyo, thought that it was 'survivable' being alone there as there were plenty of things to see, even at night. For Kyoto and Osaka, I am surprised to hear about tourist attractions close before 5pm. Oh what would I do after that! Being all alone and cold just don't help much either. And, I did read about the safety in Kyoto. Hmm.. after some thoughts, I guess I may try something else. Thanks again for replying. :)

Kaika ( aka Elpheal) said...

ET: You can visit Osaka at after 5pm hahaa. That's what I usually do.

Osaka's a big bustling city much like Tokyo but not as well, happening.