If you are in need of cheap, clean and convenient lodging in Kyoto, check out You En Me House. Run by the friendly host, Toru, and his assistants, You En Me is a 13-person guesthouse located at Omiya Gojyo and is a 10 second walk from the bus stop.
Now, no lodging is perfect, so let us get the cons out of the way.
For starters, there are no doors in the bunk-bed rooms. You do get a curtain, but the translucent cloth does not really do much for your privacy. Even the Japanese style rooms with shoji doors are think and does very little sound-proofing. But hey, if you wanted your own little shoe-box, you would have gone to a hotel anyways right? Worry not, the kind hosts have taken the snorers into consideration and offers free ear-plugs so you will not end up sleep-deprived the next day.
Next, you will be sharing the sole shower and toilet with 13 other people in this house. This sounds more daunting than it actually is. In my stay, I only ever had to line up for the toilet once, and getting a turn at the shower was never a problem. If you are huge on hygiene, fear not, unless you are clinically OCD, the toilets and showers here are very clean. Also, the showers include body wash and shampoo and if you did forget to pack your towel, you could rent one here easily. Though really, if you are in Kyoto, you should try going to a bath-house at least once. (In fact there is one right at Kyoto Tower!)
Now, onto the pros!
Though small, You En Me House has almost everything a traveler will need. There is a washing machine (detergent provided) that costs ¥100 per use. They have a kitchen complete with cooking utensils and appliances should you have the urge to cook. The all-important Wi-Fi is free and speedy, the front counter is full of informative brochures (and free drinks) and the staff are all very helpful. But You En Me House’s biggest appeal is its convenient location.
As stated before, it is a 10 second walk from the bus-stop and a 10 minute walk from the Shijo-Omiya train station. You can even buy the one day bus pass at the house itself so you do not have to scramble for your wallet on the city bus.
After a long day, it does feel somewhat like coming home as when you step through the door, there are always people in the living room, ready to welcome you back. Conversations over snacks and dinner in the living room is common and if you are the sort to swap stories in other travelers then even better! Sometimes, the host even holds small parties at the house, allowing you to meet locals and get engaged in the Japanese culture of ‘Nomikai’ (drinking party).
So if you are ever looking for a place to stay at in Kyoto, do not forget to check out You En Me House!