Guesthouse Urban Kyoto

Guesthouse Urban Kyoto

Our accommodation in Kyoto is ‘Guesthouse Urban Kyoto’. It’s a 8~10 minutes, 650m walk from the Kyoto train station and is on bus #5 route. Right in-front of the apartment is the bus stand to Kyoto station whilst bus coming from the Kyoto station stops just before the apartment. A taxi ride to/fro Kyoto train station cost +/- ¥650.

Guesthouse Urban Kyoto Station

Frontage of Guesthouse Urban Kyoto. Our rented apartment is at the top right. Unit #302, 3F (2nd Floor). The ground floor consists of a Pharmacy & a cafe.

Guest House Urban

Map showing Guesthouse Urban Kyoto relative to the Kyoto train station.

The ground floor of the apartment is occupied by a pharmacy and a cafe. The entrance to the apartment is via a side door behind the pharmacy. There is no elevator and you’ll need to climb a narrow staircase, not something an elderly or a traveler with heavy begs would cheer about. Access to the apartment is by entering number codes at the main entrance as well as to your unit. So, it’s rather a key-less entry system, no worries about loosing your keys or entry card. There is no manned counter and entry information will be e-mail to you prior to your arrival. Check-in is 15:00 and check-out is 10:00

Guesthouse Urban Kyoto Station

The narrow and steep staircase. Hauling a heavy beg is a challenge.

Guesthouse Urban Kyoto Station

Apartment #302 in the centre. A mechanical keypad is used for entry.

Our apartment is a corner unit which is bigger than the rest. I wonder how small the others are, as our apartment meant for 3 guests, but only occupied by two of us is considered compact. (The owner also has 2 guests apartments in this building). The kitchen is small however we only used it to heat instant meal packs. The bathroom is tiny, it’s difficult not to bump against something inside. Even for us small size Asians, movement is restricted in the bathroom. During our 4 nights stay, no rubbish collection nor room cleaning was done. Booking of this apartment can be made through hotel aggregators.

Guesthouse Urban Kyoto Station

Mini kitchen with an induction stove.

Guesthouse Urban Kyoto Station

Water kettle, microwave oven and a small refrigerator.

Guesthouse Urban Kyoto Station

Multi drawer cupboard and small LCD CTV.

Guesthouse Urban Kyoto Station

2 single beds side-by-side. A foldable mattress under the bed for a 3rd guest.

The apartment has an air conditioner cum heater and if you need to do some laundering, at the ground floor you’ll find washing machines. A 7-Eleven convenience store is close by the apartment. If only an elevator is installed, this apartment would be a recommended option to a hotel.

Guesthouse Urban Kyoto Station

The VERY tiny bathroom. Even the wash basin and bath tub is half size and the WC is positioned at an angle to optimise space.

Kyoto attractions

Downtown Kyoto Attractions

Right after Nomura Tailor, we headed for Shinkyogoku  & Teramachi Shopping arcades, followed by a visit to Nishiki Market and Hanamikoji street in Gion.

Parallel and side-by-side, Shinkyogoku & Teramachi shopping street makes it the heart of Kyoto’s main shopping area. These covered shopping arcades, are packed with shops and restaurants that sell day-to-day clothes & goods and draws the younger crowd from the more upscale stores of Shijo street where both the Shinkyogoku & Teramachi street starts.

Kyoto attractions

OIOI Kyoto Murai department store at the intersection of Shijo main street.

Kyoto downtown attractions

Attractions we’ll be visiting. Click to enlarge.

Shinkyogoku street is a much newer, narrower and crowded street than Teramachi street, It tends to attract the younger crowds with a wide range of appealing fashion & cosmetic shops, souvenir shops, game arcades, restaurants and cinema. The products on sale here are more to the liking of the younger generation as the prices are catered for their segment.

Shinkyogoku Shopping Arcade

Entrance to Shinkyogoku street from Shijo main street in the background.

Shinkyogoku Shopping Arcade

A section of Shinkyogoku street. Free wi-fi available.

Shinkyogoku Shopping Arcade

You’ll find fast food outlets and chain stores like Daiso here.

Shinkyogoku Shopping Arcade

Street with products appealing to the teens as well as to the elders.

Teramachi Shopping Arcade

Nishiki-Tenmangu shrine about mid point of Shinkyogoku street sharing it’s frontage with other stores.

Teramachi Shopping Arcade

Lanterns at the entrance of Nishiki-Tenmangu Shrine. This frontage can also be seen from across the mid-point of Teramachi street.

Teramachi street is altogether a more refined spot, with a variety of fashion shops, bookstores, art galleries, souvenirs shops, pharmacies and tea shops which makes it popular with tourists.

Teramachi Shopping Arcade

One of the entrances to Teramachi.

Teramachi Shopping Arcade

More of local brand stores at Teramachi.

Teramachi Shopping Arcade

Clean and airy with a sizable crowd too.

Teramachi Shopping Arcade

Shoes & handbags in this section.

Teramachi Halal

Mezopotamia, Halal Turkish kebab, mid-point along Teramachi street. We had kebab for lunch here.

Teramachi Halal

They have Turkish ice cream too.

Nishiki Market branches off Teramachi about 100 meters north of Shijo Street, is a colorful narrow food market famous for its street food. The market is clean, and the dry walkway makes an interesting walk to explore what’s new.

Nishiki market

One of the entrances to Nishiki Market.

Nishiki market

Walkway inside the market.

Nishiki market

Notice that sign. “No eating while walking”

Nishiki market

Clamps almost as big as a child’s fist.

Nishiki market

Skewered seafood.

Nishiki market

¥200 at the market, ¥160 from the vending machine, cheaper still at roadside shops. This is the Coca Cola Kyoto limited edition.

After covering three attractions along Shijo street, walk or take a short bus ride to Hanamikoji street which is one of the most popular streets in the Gion district. This narrow street is made of large stone bricks instead of asphalt, indicating a departure from the main road. There are no sidewalks, thus the first time visitors would have the impression, it is a pedestrian street. However, vehicles are allowed into this street and they maneuver through the crowd of tourists, ruining what would otherwise be, a cool pleasant stroll in autumn.

Hanamikoji street, Gion

Left for Hanamijoki street .

Hanamikoji street, Gion

This is the reality. So be weary of traffic when taking photos or selfie.

A walk down Hanamikoji street towards Kennin-Ji temple, will transport you down history. Here you can marvel at beautifully preserved wooden buildings, quaint road signs and traditional tea houses that makes a nostalgic sight.

Hanamikoji street, Gion

Hanamikoji street, Gion

Hanamikoji street, Gion

Hanamikoji street, Gion

Hanamikoji street, Gion

Hanamikoji street, Gion

Hanamikoji street, Gion

Hanamikoji street, Gion

Along the street, the old charm is still very well preserved all these years. The fact that the establishments here are still operating, adds an extra element of thrill and a feeling of walking back into old Japan thousands of years ago.

Hanamikoji street is the end of the day’s itinerary and we again took the bus back to Kyoto station to pick-up our begs and then headed to our apartment.

Hanamikoji street, Gion

Hanamikoji street, Gion

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor – Kyoto’s Fabric Outlet

Bus stops are located just outside the Kyoto train station. With our luggage stored, we took a bus to explore Kyoto’s downtown attractions. (We’ll detail how to understand and use Kyoto’s bus services in a future post). However, before doing so, we dropped by a well known Kyoto fabric outlet.

Located in downtown Kyoto, Nomura Tailor, at 362 along Shijo street is a fabric outlet stocking comprehensive tailoring requirements. About everything you’ll require from fabric to needles is available in this 3 storey building. Although Nomura Tailor isn’t a tourist attraction, it was actually listed first in our itinerary. Knowing my wife passion for fabric and sewing, it was a delightful stop for her before we really started visiting the tourist attractions.

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Entrance to Nomura Tailor fronting Shijo street.

We spent easily more than an hour browsing the store from the exquisite fabrics to tailoring accessories we never imagined before. Need a circular scissors, choose from the varieties and sizes they carry. Need an apparatus to plant ‘stones’ onto your fabric, they have them too. Require the stones themselves, choose from the quality of glitter you fancy.

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Wife starting to inspect the fabrics.

Nomura offers varieties of fabric from the reasonable priced right up to the standard of Liberty’s. No doubt, the Liberty range of fabric here, matches the price as you would expect in Regent’s street. Even for a husband who know next to nothing about fabric, I know a Liberty when I see one. Their design, color, precision print, and quality of material sets them apart.

Although I’ve little interest here, the beautiful design and pattern of fabric rolls and cut pieces stacked side-by-side makes interesting photography subject that kept me occupied. Would you believe, a husband was inside Nomura for more than 1 hour ? Wife actually felt guilty taking up time here, she hurried her purchases.

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

For those keen on handicraft, you’ll find tons of material and accessories to keep you busy. Be it cross-stitch, weaving, knitting, T-shirt dye, repairing or upgrading your handbag’s handle, strap, buckles, zippers or whatever you can think off. Since this isn’t a topic I’m well versed, let the photos do the talking instead. For more information, visit Nomura’s site here. (In future posts, we’ll be visiting fabric outlets in Osaka & Tokyo as well).

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Nomura Tailor Kyoto

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