No matter if you are going to Kyoto during the Sakura season (chery blossoms) or not I advise you to book your accommodation quite in advance.
We felt that it made more sense to do it through AirBnb if we were travelling with a baby. We could cook breakfast or dinner for Noah, we could do laundry, which we needed after a couple of days on the road. And, theoretically, we’d have more space for him to crawl around in. It was hard to choose where to stay in Kyoto, but picking the right place for us came down to location, availability and a careful reading of the reviews that almost always accompany each house’s listing
Alternatively, you can check out HotelsCombined for more accommodation options in Kyoto
We stayed in Kyoto-Shi and we felt like we were part of that little community. We waved to our neighbours and even had tea with them.
The exterior is not charming, but real- we were in a real neighbood, not made up for tourists. We were the only foreign people there and that’s why we loved this apartment. It felt real! The interior was clean and bright. We loved the size of the living area, which was huge for Japanese standards!
The location was great, nestled near train, bus and subway.
And the whole house has its own strong WiFi network. You could also use the portable WIFI during your stay.
Our host also provided a few guide books for guests as well as a detailed instruction manual for living in the area and a great house manual.
She also included suggestions for a neighboring cafe for breakfast, a local supermarket and a great dollar shop called DAISO.
The house had everything we needed – a fridge, workable kitchen, a massive big wardrobe
When I stay in houses I’m always curious to see how they are built. I find it amazing how their bathroom and toilets, (I know I have been through this several times, and if you checked my Facebook page you could see plenty of photos of them..) but they are so interesting! The bathroom in our apartment in Kyoto is one plastic unit from floor to ceiling, including the bath. The toilet in this place had all the electronic gadgets that a Japanese toilet NEEDS to have plus a tap over the flush cistern to fill the water after every time you flush. This confused us the first time we each saw it. Paul and I were both wondering if we were to was our hands there, in a space-saving effort by the Japanese architect, or if this was part of the many extra design features of Japanese toilets…And of course the bathroom could not be complete without special slippers to go in the toilet! LOVE it!
In this apartment the lounge room was massive compared to other places we stayed in Japan. It was great for Noah to crawl around. The other great thing was that we could easily block off any areas that we didn’t want Noah to go in. The bathroom, toilet and laundry area were all closed in which was very good.
The bedroom was also big and had a very big wardrobe to fit everything in there… Everything!
But the biggest bonus of this place was definitely the location and the neighbours. We felt that we were part of a little community. Everyone would say hello while curiously try to play with Noah. In the afternoon old ladies would sit at the front of their place to have a chat (unfortunately lucking out with us as we were only could for the language of arm movement and facial expressions). We got through no small part due to our little man who somehow knows, even before 1 year old, how to flirt and smile sweetly for a range of age groups.