Upon deciding that we would head South from the capital of Japan, Tokyo. We decided we’d visit Kyoto, even if only for a short period of time. The journey from Osaka to Kyoto takes 13 minutes on the bullet train or around 30 minutes – 1 hour on regular JR trains (depending on where in Osaka you’re coming from).
As we planned to stay in Kyoto for just two to three nights quality wasn’t all that important, but the location was. Luckily we hit the jackpot and managed to get two nights in a room in the Hotel M Plus Shijo Omiya for a little under £80 for the two of us. This was just £10~ more than a capsule or hostel in the region, bargain!
When we arrived in Kyoto it was pouring with rain. Suddenly I became very thankful for one more of the major benefits to staying at Hotel M Plus Shijo Omiya, Kyoto – the location.
Hotel M is a Kyoto based hotel chain, with properties four hotels currently available;
- Hotel M Plus Shijo Omiya
- Gran MMS Kyoto
- Ms. Est Shijo Karasumaru
- Ms. In Higashiyama
We booked our stay via Hotels.com and paid with our American Express Platinum card for no other reason than it was cheaper here than any other booking website. We have found this to be the case a lot when in Japan.
I mentioned in the introduction that I was grateful for the fantastic location of Hotel M Plus Shijo Omiya. However, the location is so much more than just a quick escape from the rain while carrying your luggage after a long travel day.
That’s because Hotel M Plus Shijo Omiya is surrounded by convenience stores. Literally within 100m, you’ll find two Family Marts and a 7-11. Next door is a fantastic boutique style café serving coffee and lunch in the daytime (from 11am) and dinner and beer in the evening.
Slightly further afield you’ll find the likes of McDonald’s, Starbucks, Tully’s Coffee, Lotteria alongside independent Japanese restaurants.
Walk 2km away and you’ll find the major shopping district of Shioyacho with the likes of H&M, Zara, Disney, Book Off, Uniqlo and more. Within 2km you’ll also find major Kyoto tourist attractions including Nijo Castle and Nishiki Market.
We arrived at Hotel M Plus Shijo Omiya, Kyoto at around 7pm and reception was thankfully empty. After quickly being greeted by a hotel employee, a copy of our passport being taken and all the information about the hotel we could need to be relayed we were free to head to our room on the second floor.
We had zero interaction with the staff during our stay, and instead only handed in our key as we checked out. We tend to always be rather quiet during our hotel stays opting for the do not disturb sign on our door.
Despite booking the economy room (cheapest and the smallest of the rooms available at Hotel M Plus Shijo Omiya) the place was surprisingly spacious. In fact, it was the largest room we’d stayed in during our trip to Japan so far.
The bed was still pushed against the wall to save on space. However, it was a well presented double with two large and very comfortable pillows. At the bottom of the bed was a set of white pyjamas for each of us. This is a hotel perk we’ve seen throughout Japan and certainly something we could get used to.
The style of the hotel was echoed throughout the room. Which included cute over exaggerated pegs and an attention to detail in the design.
The hotel featured a small kettle, two cups and a range of different Japanese teas. There was also a small workspace and above it a large and modern TV. Above the bed is the remote for the air conditioning and heating as required as well three lights for the room.
Just as you enter the room to your right we found a small safe towards the floor. There was also a couple of coat hangers in an open plan wardrobe space. Perfect for hanging and storing clothes and suitcases without compromising the space within the room.
The bathroom was made up of a modern typical Japanese toilet, a large sink area with a mirror and a range of amenities as well as a bath/shower.
Complimentary continental breakfast is served in a large area on the ground floor from 7am until 9.30am
Unfortunately, we never made it down in time to experience the breakfast for ourselves.
As we were located on the second floor we were in a convenient position for the washroom. This room featured an ice machine, vending machine and two washing machines/dryers.
The WIFI in the room was typical of Japan and super fast (around 100mbps upload and download). We had zero downtime during our stay. The WIFI is available on all floors in the hotel without a password.