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Reviewed 30 April 2011

This is a beautiful guesthouse - I very much enjoyed staying here. Although aspects of it were challenging to a Westerner, we were made so welcome here it didn't seem to matter and I felt much less awkward and clumsy than at another traditional guesthouse we stayed at. The owners had excellent English and were very charming and warm and open to conversation, and so were the other guests - it had a very friendly and pleasant vibe about it.

It seems to be a new or recently renovated house, and was airy and bright and immaculately clean. For some reason I particularly adored the wallpaper in the upstairs toilet - black textured paper with a silver pattern on it. The room was a good size, with the bedding stored against the wall during the day. An extra layer of firm foam was provided for Westerners unaccustomed to sleeping just on a futon, which I tried to be tough and to do without at first, but quickly succumbed to.

The shared bathroom was accessed through the communal area downstairs, which meant greeting breakfasting people while wearing one's robe and without one's face on. There were two showers, and somehow there was never any waiting for them, so it was the best possible shared-bathroom experience.

Wifi was free. A well-appointed kitchen area and fridge for food storage was available to guests, which we thought we probably wouldn't need - until we went to Nishiki market and bought a swag of fabulous stuff to eat at the guesthouse.

And I'd highly recommend renting a bike for 800 yen a day to explore Kyoto! I hadn't ridden a bike for about twenty years, and it was the last thing I'd thought of doing, but a Dutch couple talked us into it, for which we were very grateful. Kyoto's one city where bikes work very well.

Location-wise, the guesthouse is quite a walk east to downtown, but this means it's not inundated with tourists and it feels more real and local. At the end of the street is the long covered market of Sanjo-dori, which we loved - every morning for breakfast and coffee, we went to the very cool Teramachi coffeehouse just around the corner.

One thing to be aware of if you're coming straight from the nearby Omiya station, though, is that the instructions given on the website for reaching the guesthouse aren't very clear - it took us hours of wheeling suitcases to find it, while ravenously hungry. One problem is that there are several barbershops on Sanjo-dori west of the park rather than just the one referred to on the map, and we went up the wrong street and got very lost.

Once you're there, though, Roujiya is a delight, and at a very reasonable price - I think under AUD$100 a night for the room.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank toscorlando
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2011

I stayed there for 3 nights and really fall in love with this lovely guesthouse.
Everything is extremely clean and I really enjoyed the Japanese style with a tatami room.
It's surprising to know that the owners of the guesthouse designed the house by themselves. I really love the Japanese architecture style: simple but elegant.
The owners are really lovely ones who always warmly greeted us when we came back after long sightseeing days.
Honestly the location of the guesthouse is not perfect (not central) but we found the bus stop and train station are both within walking distance and everything becomes easier.
I would like to say that this guesthouse is the perfect choice for those who want to experience homestay in Japan with the most affordable price. I will definitely stay there again if I come back to Japan, and make sure to make reservation at our soonest as the rooms are very limited (only 2 private and 2 dorms). We were lucky to get the tatami room after someone's cancellation due to the earthquake.

But finally, it was out BEST choice of our trip to Japan.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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9  Thank Lien_Ta1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2010

I have travelled quite a bit around Asia and the Pacific, though it's always a pleasure visiting Kyoto in Japan. As always I enjoy comparing different accommodations in the affordable price range. My last visit to Kyoto however made an impression for life.

I had chosen for this accommodation because it was located near beautiful Nijo castle and on walking distance from down town. Unlike European stations the central station of Kyoto is not near the city centre. Roujiya is located in a traditional neighbourhood with real Kyoto locals. If you're interested to learn the Japanese language you might pick up some good examples of the Kansai dialect here.

Besides its great location this guesthouse is the cleanest I have encountered so far. I should place a side comment that the guesthouse just opened a couple months ago (but this doesn't influence the atmosphere negatively). I enjoyed talking to the owners Kaori and Naoya. This couple have travelled many countries themselves and know how put their experience in practice. Besides a social chat they gave me some great ideas for visiting places I hadn't seen before (even after been to Kyoto at least 6 times).

It's great having been here, I wished I could have extended my stay! After this positive experience I'm sure that I'll end up staying here again!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled solo
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10  Thank jsteenderen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2010

I could pretend to be an anonymous traveller writing a 'real' review of the Kyoto guest house, but the reality is that I met Nao (the co-manager with his wife Kaori) back in Brazil in 1999 when I was travelling in South America. We had an amazing time travelling together in his smashed up Ford car for a really short while back then - so I was very happy to hear that he had opened this guest house in Kyoto -when coincidentally I was travelling to Japan.

After more than ten years of seeing him - he is still the same mad man. But I also discover now - that he and Kaori have really travelled all over the world, every continent, every language, and they have a massive amount of experience of what makes a place interesting for tourists. Which is one of the reasons he knew that it would be interesting to open a guesthouse in a much less visited part of Kyoto - which in reality is one of the most interesting places in the city. It's right within a dense suburban area, right next to a really busy market area, right next to the most amazing tool shop in the world, and also, best of all, next door to the largest 100 yen shop in Japan. It's really not your average touristic location, but is a very 'real' place - and Nao and Kaori understand that today tourists want something a bit more special ( by the way, they also have bicycles so you can easily visit all the normal touristy things too ).

I stayed there for just a few days with my friend, and Nao and Kaori showed us some really amazing places - that the guide books simply don't know about.... (I'm not going to list them here) and because of this Kyoto was in the end my favourite place I visited in Japan. I know that for international travellers this is a really good option.

(oh, and the hostel itself is super nice too! Very modern, great dorms etc - but also with very old architectural features)

Thanks Nao and Kaori, hope to see you again soon.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled on business
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7  Thank PeterMarigold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2010

Great location of the guesthouse, in the heart of Kyoto, not overcrowded with tourist, good spot to feel the ancient heart of Kyoto.
Easy access to train stations.
Nice neigbourhood with coven garden, public bath, shops, mini-bar,...

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank chrismillet44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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