Quick Review: Pocket Hotel Kyoto, Japan
Our 2019 Japan trip ended with four nights in Kyoto and we chose to stay in the Pocket Hotel in Shijo Karasuma. This is a quick review of the quirky little hotel/hostel hybrid.
We chose the Pocket Hotel because I had the stereotypical idea to visit Japan during the popular cherry blossom season and this hotel was one of the more affordable options. Some of the hotels literally tripled their prices, so I was happy to find an option on booking.com that had great reviews, reasonable prices, a central location and private rooms.
The room we stayed in was a “Hollywood Twin Room with shared bathroom” at a cost of 56,400 yen/ £393.29 56,400.00 JPY / 358.72 GBP or 7,050.00 JPY / 44.84 GBP pp per night. What did they mean by a Hollywood twin room?
It meant this interesting step-up bed option:
I think you can see why the room was so affordable; the bed took up approximately 60% of the room and there was around three square metres of flooring for our suitcases and feet. There was no space for the standard hotel amenities such as tea and coffee, a table or a fridge. This caused issues when we had no space for our Rikuro Ojisan cheesecake from Osaka. Fortunately the staff were friendly enough to lend theirs. The limited space was was for a tiny shelf and separate USB ports at the beds, a shallow cupboard and a small cubby hole for suitcases.
There were many positive points to the hotel: the Pocket hotel was open for around a year when we stayed, so everything was very modern, clean and brand new. The beds were firm enough for my taste and there was a tablet in the room which controlled the room lights, had internet access and showed us all the unoccupied showers in the building.
The showers were shared but the main bath area was so spacious this wasn’t awkward at all; it felt more like a swimming pool changing area than anything else. There were abundant amenities and hotel pyjamas and towels were available on a shelf in the ground floor. To protect your privacy the room card key serves as bathroom keys restricting you to the rooms appropriate to your gender.
The hotel as a whole made good use of technology and we needed to check in and out electronically from machines. There was no café but vending machines, luggage storage and a Japanese style communal area was available on the ground floor.
Location wise we were right next to Nishiki Market and in the heart of downtown, so affordable dining options and things to do were everywhere. This meant that we spent very little time in our room which was just as well.
The Pocket Hotel is a great option if you just need a clean, affordable and convenient place to stay in the expensive city of Kyoto. I enjoyed the technological quirks of the hotel, but please be aware of the lack of fridge for those who enjoy bringing food into their rooms.