Guest House Taro Café is a budget dormitory style hostel run by friendly staff in one of Kyoto’s traditional wooden townhouses. It is located about 8 minutes walk from Kyoto Station’s north central exit and is convenient for shops, restaurants, and local transportation. Nearby attractions include Kyoto Tower, Higashi Honganji Temple, and the Shosei-en garden. The hostel has a relaxed atmosphere, and is suitable for backpackers who are on a limited budget. Trains, buses, subways and taxis are all nearby so this makes for a good base from which to explore western Japan. If you need to catch an overnight highway bus from the nearby station then this an excellent location.
Rooms & Fees
All the rooms are shared dormitories which are separated by gender. Bedding is simple futons on wooden bunk beds. All the dormitories are non-smoking, but there is a designated space for smoking within the hostel. A bed for the night will cost you just 3000 yen, but the hostel has a special discounting system so guests who stay for 3 nights or more will begin to receive discounts on their room fees. After 8 nights the fee goes down to just 2000 yen a night, so the charges are worked out as follows
|Length of stay||Rates (JPY)|
For bathing facilities you can either use the hostel’s small shower room (a converted tea room), or visit one of the local sento style public baths. In the hostel towels are available for 100 yen. If you feel the need for a longer bath time soak, a convenient local sento bath is in the basement of the Kyoto Tower building and is called “Kyoto Tower Daiyokujo Yuu”.
Facilities & Services
Guest House Taro Café has a kitchen area with a microwave oven where guests can make coffee, tea, and simple meals. There is also a common area stocked with a refrigerator, TV and a large collection of manga comic books. The hostel has a wireless LAN internet connection and a computer that can be freely used by guests.
There is a washing machine and dryer in the hostel which cost 200 yen to use.
Rental bicycles are available for 500 yen a day. These are a great way to explore the neighborhood.
Check in time is from 3:00 pm and guests must check out by 11:00 am. However, the hostel has a baggage storage service for guests both before they check in and after they check out.
Guest House Taro Café, despite the name, is not a café, and does not provide meals, but the owners do run a casual bar which serves draught beers, takoyaki octopus dumplings, and a variety of smoked foods. It’s a cheap and cheerful place to get a bite to eat, enjoy a few drinks, and meet a few local characters. The bar is a 9 minutes walk from the hostel, on the other side of the Kamo River. Ask at the hostel for directions.
Guest House Taro Cafe Location Map
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.