If you are planning to go to Japan, you’ll know that accommodations in the country are crazy expensive. And that’s no exception in Kyoto. Since we were spending a full month in Japan during our year of travel, we needed an affordable place that met our basic needs.
We really lucked out with booking Stay Inn Koto, which you will learn why in this post. But I’ll tell you now, if you are travelling to Japan on a budget but want to be in a comfortable place, then this accommodation is for you.
I will walk you through my experience at this guesthouse and will share photos to help you plan your trip.
About Stay Inn Koto
This Inn is like a little guesthouse that is near the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine. There are two dorm rooms and nine private rooms with shared bathrooms in the four-story complex. While suitable for short trips, this place can also work for extended stays if you plan to be in Kyoto for quite some time. There is a kitchen, laundry and common areas for you to relax. I definitely felt like there was an apartment like vibe to this complex.
A word of caution before arriving to Stay Inn Koto
Branding is an issue at this inn as the names are not consistent depending on where you booked. For example, we received email confirmations from Guest House Koto while the listing has it as Stay Inn Koto. To add more to the confusion, if you google “Stay Inn Koto” and follow the directions on Google Maps, you’ll most certainly get lost. Those instructions will lead you to another place (tried and tested here). The best thing to do is to email the hotel for exact directions from the MRT and follow that map instead.
But don’t worry, if you end up following the wrong directions, you’ll just have to walk fifteen minutes to get to the right place.
The room and our floor at Stay Inn Koto
We stayed in room 303 on the third floor. There are no ensuite washrooms so we would have had to share the bathroom and shower with another guest.
The great thing is that the floor only has two bedrooms on the floor, meaning the toilets and showers are for two rooms. This floor also has a full kitchen and balcony, leaving us feeling as if we rented a little apartment.
Where we really lucked out is that the second room on the floor was vacant throughout the majority of our stay! It felt so nice to have the whole floor to ourselves!
The room itself is clean with lots of duvets.
There are lots of heaters to heat the room and hallway and showers. I was surprised at how chilly it can get in Kyoto. I often needed to run the heater in the hall before taking a shower because it was so cold!
The service at Stay Inn Koto
The service at Stay Inn Koto was great. They were kind enough to let us leave our suitcase for when we visited our ryokan in Kinosaki Onsen and helped us with general questions about the area. One thing to be mindful of is that the staff is only there for a limited time between 2 pm to 10 pm.
Another great thing about this accommodation are the free snacks that you can have. It is an honour system and you can pick something like 100 yen of snacks per person per day.
Pack light because there are no elevators
One thing we struggled with was how to get our suitcases up to the room since there are no elevators to our room. Carrying our large bag would have been a pain, but the staff was kind enough to offer to carry it up for us. However, I realized that we wouldn’t need our large suitcase and asked if we could leave it on the first floor. That worked better for us as we only packed what we needed in our small suitcase and brought that up instead. Much better than carrying the massive suitcase to the third floor!
The location of Stay Inn Koto
The best thing about this place is the location as it’s only a short walk away from Fushimi Inari. There is also a Lawsons convenience store, tons of Kimono shops and a ten-minute walk to the train station. You can even walk to Kyoto station if you wanted to as it is a forty-minute walk. There is also a very delicious ramen place called Fukakusa Ramen Toriton nearby, which I highly recommend if you stay here. We ended up going to the same restaurant twice because the ramen is delicious!
The facilities at Stay Inn Koto
The main floor has a common room that is cozy and colourful. There is a kitchen on the first floor and the third floor. Both kitchens come with cookware, cutlery, plates and cups. There is also coffee, tea and sugar for guests.
Our floor happened to have laundry facilities as well, which was nice since we didn’t have to go too far to do laundry!
The washer outside. We forgot about our laundry once while it rained and we had to wash everything again…
I really liked this guesthouse and would come back and stay here again if I ever go back to Kyoto. The price was great, as is the location and the coziness of the place. It definitely felt like we were renting an apartment.