Urban Hotel Kyoto Shijo Premium

Very affordable comfort in central Kyoto

By Peter Sidell    - 2 min read

The sights of Kyoto are pretty spread out, so wherever you stay, you won't be close to everything. With this in mind, looking for a hotel I just wanted to be near some sights and near some transportation links, as well as it being inexpensive and modern, ideally with a sauna. Demanding, me? Yes, but this hotel fitted the bill very neatly indeed.

Straight away they made a good impression on me; I arrived at just 1:30pm, but the room was ready so they let me check in there and then, and gave me a sheet of information in English. By the lobby there's a pleasant, airy cafe looking out onto the main road, and it's here that the buffet breakfast is served; my notes also say drink service, which I think means there's a machine dispensing free coffee and tea.

Relax in this space near reception
Relax in this space near reception

My twin room was comfortable, and size-wise sufficient for one person, but it might be a bit cramped if there are two of you with a lot of luggage. Like the whole hotel, the design and fittings here are sleek, minimal, and modern, all beige and deep greys, very soothing to be in. The bathroom is properly built, rather than molded plastic units standard in many other hotels, with textured tiles to prevent you from slipping as you step out of the shower.

Small though it was, it had everything I needed; there are USB and LAN sockets and free WiFi, the codes for which you get from the TV, which provides information in English, Chinese and Korean. You can also use the TV to check how busy the gym, laundry room, and public bathroom are. The only niggle is that the blind over the window didn't effectively block the light, so the room will become light with the sun.

Work out with a view of the street
Work out with a view of the street

The public spa on the 2nd floor was a nice place to relax; I'd go each morning and evening, listening to the mellow music being played as I steamed in the sauna and soaked in the bath. There's also a small fitness room, which costs ¥500 plus tax for each day that you use it.

Getting there

It's not impossible to walk from Kyoto station, but it took me around 20-25 minutes, though all on main roads so it wasn't a difficult walk. It's just a few minutes from Shijo station on the Karasuma Subway line, Omiya station on the Hankyu line to Osaka, or Shijo-Omiya station on the Randen Arashiyama line.

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Peter Sidell

Peter Sidell @peter.sidell

I came to Japan from Manchester, England in 2003, and have travelled a lot since then, around Japan and in Asia. When I'm not working, I write satire and perform stand-up comedy in and around Tokyo. Check YouTube for a taste.

Join the discussion

Sleiman Azizi a month ago
You are definitely the hotel man.
Peter Sidell Author a month ago
Aye, I used to stay at backpackers a lot, but for more or less the same money I can get a nice hotel, so why wouldn't I?