The old maxim in booking accommodation for all travelers is location, location, location. Find out where you want to spend the majority of your time and then book something accordingly. Well when it comes to Kyoto the undoubted place to be is Gion, the city's most famous geisha district. Gion is Kyoto's spiritual hub, home to a myriad of small alleyways and tiny eateries and where all travelers should try and base themselves for their trip to Kyoto. With that information in mind, consider JAM Hostel & Sake Bar set in the heart of the Gion district.
JAM tends towards a more basic style of accommodation, primarily offering dormitory styled bunk rooms however a scattering of private rooms exists for those who prefer a greater degree of privacy.
Whilst not trying to escape its tag as a hostel, JAM is well kept and relatively clean. Sitting on the banks of the Kamo river and facing eastward the hostel gets an abundance of natural light in the morning making it feel well-lit and welcoming.
The hostel co-exists atop of a popular sake bar which is a popular place for guests to relax and enjoy a variety of rare sake. The sake bar acts as the hostels reception and is owned by the same people.
The hostel itself offers a variety of facilities- luggage storage is provided as are valuable lockers. Free city maps are available whilst the knowledgeable local staff act as de-facto tour guides. Guests are also welcome to take advantage of the free coffee and teas available in the small communal room however there is no place to cook. Laundry services are offered however are not included in the room tariff.
The dormitory style rooms are large, cleaned daily and have access to a balcony overlooking central Kyoto. The single rooms are slightly smaller but what is forfeited in space is rekindled in privacy.
Prices for the dormitory styled rooms begin at around ¥1,800. Expect to pay around ¥5,000 for the private room, however prices are known to fluctuate significantly depending on the season.