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Peace House Sakura (Sakura House)

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Description & Photos

Hostelz.com's Review
Peace House Sakura (Sakura House) is a great option for travelers who are on a budget, especially in a relatively expensive country.

The Location

Sakura House is relatively strategically located -- about a ten-minute bus ride from Kyoto station, fifteen-minute walk from downtown and the food market, and within walking distance from a few smaller temples and one of Kyoto’s major tourist attraction. The other popular destinations -- such as the palace, Zen garden, and Fushiminari shrine (where a scene from the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha” was shot) -- are about an hour’s walk away. However, they are relatively reachable through the somewhat complicated subway system, and there is a subway stop just a five-minute walk from the hostel. The hostel is hidden away in one of the narrow streets off the main street, but the directions provided with the reservation makes it easy to find. In addition, there is also a hundred-yen store near the subway station with a variety of items for those on a budget.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The private rooms appear to be clean and well maintained. Some of the rooms have a traditional Japanese feel to them (decorations and the lack of beds), while others are more on the Western side (beds and television). The one coed dormitory (six beds) is located in the basement. The bunk beds are a little shaky, and due to the lack of air circulation (in the winter, the one door to the outside had to be kept closed), the room is a little stuffy, but nothing overbearing. There is a nightlight available and a round tent-like structure on two of the three upper-bunks that provides a little privacy. There is also plenty of luggage storage space, but no locks are provided.

There are bathrooms located on every floor except for the basement, and they are clean. Although not guaranteed, the shower has shampoo and body wash for use. The one shower downstairs does not have a curtain, but is located separate from the toilet and sink with plenty of space to change in. However, there is only one hook for your towel and clothes, and the mirror is placed in an oddly low position. There is also a blow dryer and iron for use.

Common Spaces

The common area consists of an equipped kitchen area, dining table, and two computers for common use (one Mac and one Windows). Guests cook and eat meals there at all times during the day, often chatting with the worker/owner of the hostel. Although a bit small and compact (as are most things in Japan) and not the tidiest, the area is homey and comfortable and perfect for a nice gathering of old and new friends.

Although welcoming and comfortable, the atmosphere is appropriately subdued. Heating/air-conditioning is only available in the common area and the rooms, so although it's nothing unbearable, it can get a little chilly when traveling between the areas during wintertime. Despite the common area being a little messy from constant inhabitants, overall, the house and rooms are tidy and decently maintained.

On the top of the building, there is also a balcony where you can see a view of the tops of houses located in the area. Smokers have to go outside, so the inside is smoke-free.

Check-in is a bit late in the afternoon (around 6 p.m.), but you can stop in anytime to drop off your luggage and if you’re lucky, your room will be available for you. Laundry is also available, and help can be provided for those lacking experience. The lady who works there, Youie, is extremely helpful and friendly. She will try her best to answer any questions you might have about the hostel or Kyoto and mark where to go on your visit on a map. There are also bikes available for hire. Unfortunately, they do not accept credit cards, so make sure to come prepared with cash.

Summary

While not the ideal hostel for those expecting an extremely neat and spacious accommodation, Sakura House is probably one of the best hostels -- if not the best -- you will get for cheap, competitive prices.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
July 2011

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
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Location/Contact
How is Peace House Sakura (Sakura House) rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
HostelBookers  
79%
76%
78%
80%
77%
84%
Hostelworld  
Not listed on Hostelworld.
Hostels.com  
Not listed on Hostels.com.
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
79%
76%
78%
80%
77%
84%
Peace House Sakura (Sakura House) Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
5   One of Kyoto's best hostels I had a really happy and unforgettable experience in Peace House Sakura. The manager there was very helpful and friendly. She gave me detailed info about the transportation, dinning and sightseeing. She also brought the guests out to shrine celebration and other outdoor activities. The hostel is in a perfect location where I could visit many surrounding tourist spots on foot or on bicycle. It is near train station and has various shops nearby including supermarket and restaurants. It is also clean and tidy with good facilities. I did enjoy happy 4 nights there. I will probably live there if I visit Kyoto again.  , age 23, China Hong Kong ()

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