Name: Hostel Mundo
Address: 596 Tenbin-cho Shimodachiuri agaru Higurasidori Kamigyo-ward, Kyoto city, Japan 602-8105
Tel: +81 75-811-6161
Nearest Bus stop: Horikawa shimodatiuri (Take Bus number 9 or 50 from JR Kyoto Karasuma-chuo-guchi Bus bay B1 or B2 )
Nearest Railway: JR Kyoto Stn or JR Enmachi Stn
Nearest Attraction: Pretty close to Arashiyama
Price/night : varies according to date & room type (1667 Yen – 3500Yen)
They offer 4 beds dormitory and Private rooms of various sizes. None of them have toilets attached and all the rooms have tatami mat.
Check out their website for more details.
For my stay, I stayed at the only single private room and really liked it. Most of the room is tatami mat flooring with some wooden flooring. Your bed is a Japanese mattress (futon) you have to lay down yourself before you sleep.
The room has an electronic fan and an air conditioner that functions as both a cooler and a heater. There is a small wooden table, a foldable chair with no legs and a table lamp. There are 2 electrical outlet but no cabinet. The only thing to hang your clothes is some wall hooks.
The futon mattress was thick and comfortable and the quilts kept me toasty. But I'm picky with my pillows and found theirs a little too soft so I slept with a scarf under it.
There are around 2 toilets and a single shower room at the back of the building where all the sinks and mirrors are located. Hair dryer is available and you can bath anytime you want. One thing I quickly noticed in the chilly autumn was that there was no heater in the washing area. That made every wash up session a teeth chattering period for me.
Satisfactory and nothing for me to jump on :)
Amenities & Facilities:
Hair dryer available. The kitchen with microwave , stove and hot water is available for all guests to prepare their meal. Coffee and tea is available the whole day. Take note that Credit Cards are not accepted.
The lights out time seemed to be 11pm. I haven't tried going out of the place after lights out though so I'm not sure how things work.
No food is provided but there are 2 supermarket around (most notably Fresco that is along the main road) and you can get a lot of prepared food at pretty affordable prices.
Staff & Misc:
I stayed there for only 2 nights but very much enjoyed the coziness and Japanese setting of the place.
The staffs were friendly and Midori-San was nice enough to lend me a towel. They own a big black dog called Tidus too and he was very obedient. For the 2 nights I was there, there always seemed to have some sort of gathering at the living /common room .
Travel Directions :
Getting to the place can be a little confusing especially if you are coming after dark. From JR Kyoto train station, go to the bus interchange ( it's right outside its main entrance) , take either bus 9 or 50 from bay B1 or B2 and alight at Horikawa shimodatiuri. According to them, the journey usually takes about 24 minutes.
Your landmark for alighting is Fresco; a supermarket with red signages on your right side.
To see the above Google map, click here http://goo.gl/maps/YcSdk
Walk down the small road on the left and keep going until you spot a bicycle shop on your right . It's really hard to spot it after dark but I guess you can look out for a shop with a mirror signboard going vertically down in the middle. That's the bicycle shop. On seeing it, turn right and Hostel Mundo is the 3rd building on the right. They usually have a small red light in front of the porch.
Every night the guests would gather in the living room to chat or have a party. The vibe going on every night is fun and enjoyable, highly suitable for travelers who enjoy mingling with others. Unfortunately for me , I never managed to hang out with them because I was always busy with something in my room #foreveralone. And I could hear their joyous bustling loud and clear much to my dismay ( I'm so missing out T_T! ).
Like many of the other reviewers on hostel.com I agree that the walls are thin and does not trap sound well. Towels are not included and it was not stated but midori-San was nice enough to lend me one T. T
To be honest, the location of the hostel is not exactly the best. The nearest JR station is Enmachi and you have to take 2 bus to reach it (220yen from Horikawa Shimodachiuri to Horikawa Marutamachi then 220yen to Nishinokyo Enmachi ). Enmachi the station itself is so well hidden it took me a loooooooooong time to find it =_=; I did however, discover that Hostel Mundo sort of have a straight bus to Arashiyama!
If you stay at Hostel Mundo and intends to go to Arashiyama for a day, you can walk to Bus stop Horikawa Marutamachi (just a few streets away), take bus 93 and it would take you straight to the heart of Arashiyama (Bus stop Arashiyama Tenryuji-mae) . One important point though, Arashiyama is outside of the Kyoto City Bus One-Day Pass zone so you cannot use that. The bus ticket should be 240 yen, which is slightly more expensive but worth it for the time and effort saved. Some websites did highlight that during weekends or holidays, Bus should be avoided due to traffic jams.
The entire building is made to look traditional and authentic which is its main attraction to me. If you are traveling in a group I highly recommend the private rooms because they looked so spacious and comfortable. Toilets are not ensuite but for the price, authentic Japanese setting and space, I'd say its a good deal !