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Guest House Bola-Bola

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Description & Photos

Hostelz.com's Review
Guest House Bola-Bola offers dormitory facilities in a traditional Japanese style.

The Location

Bola-Bola is located in western Kyoto, just steps from a bus stop, across the road from the Randen streetcar station, and a few minutes' walk from the JR Uzumasa Station. It is a quiet area of Kyoto, with only a few restaurants and small shops nearby, but offers easy access by public transport to the main sights (many of which are in western Kyoto) and on foot to the Japanese movie theme park.

Rooms and Bathrooms

Dorm rooms are basic but clean and comfortable; each contains three beds (actually, they are futons -- fold-away mattresses on the floor -- but are very comfortable and have many blankets for extra warmth on cold nights). The rooms also have an air conditioning and heater unit. The owner allows groups of two or more to rent the dorm rooms privately at the same rate as dorm beds. Showers and toilets are downstairs and adequate with warm water, but the bathrooms are cold in winter, as they are not heated.

Common Spaces

The hostel offers free internet access, via one computer in the corner of the living room; there are cooking facilities in the adjoining kitchen where there is a microwave, hot water dispenser, and all the necessary cooking utensils. Coffee and green tea are free all day. There is also a traditional Japanese-style common area with a low table for sitting around on the floor. The main problem is that you may be sitting around on your own, as the hostel is often very quiet -- it is neither one of the cheapest nor most popular in the city. This does make it a good base for those who want a quiet place to stay after a busy day sightseeing, though.


Overall, the hostel is a perfectly nice place to stay, if a little quiet, as it is clean, comfortable, and convenient.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
March 2011
How is Guest House Bola-Bola rated on other websites?
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Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
4   Sweet and Homey -- The Real Japan It was March. It Was cold -- very cold. The washroom is not heated. That said, this is probably the most charming place I've ever stayed. It's in a nice little neighbourhood with the most wonderful bakery for breakfast. The owner is helpful and kind. I would highly suggest trying something like this for at least a couple of nights. Hotels are comfortable and easy, but you can really get a sense of Japanese life if you stay in a home. The house had a dog and a streetcar (tram) that starts running (and dinging), very early in the morning. Some people would find that annoying, but really this is the sort of experience you never forget. On the map the location seems a bit far from some of the sights. However there are some very interesting things to see and do in the area including the river boat ride (definitely not to be missed) and the JR station is very close by.  , Canada ()
1   Lots of room -- for smelly sheets! when I first arrived there, I was kind of happy since there was no space in Kyoto. The prices are ok, and the private room is actually big. One piece of advice, never smell the sheets! I did this once and after that i just wanted to avoid sleeping, I think they never wash them! No free internet, no internet for more than fifteen minutes, oh and the bathroom is like a bunker. The young guy at the reception is quite helpful, and the owner is just there. Kyoto's weather is really crazy, raining all day and kind of hot on summer. You just can't leave your bags in the hostel, so if you take the night train to Tokyo good luck with the rain! Bola Bola doesn' t care much about it. Once again, the young japanese guy with fluent english gets ten out of ten, the rest including owner and hostel -- failed!  , Germany ()

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