My husband and I went to Japan on our honeymoon in May 2009. We spent our first week in Kyoto, staying in a furnished apartment which we found through Kyoto Stay Club. As we're both vegetarians and were travelling on a tight budget, we wanted to be sure that we had a cheap place to stay with access to local shops so that we could cater for ourselves.
The staff at the Kyoto Stay Club office are really friendly and helpful. We had identified a couple of apartments from the site, but they turned out to have already been booked. The staff made other recommendations to suit our budget, and we ended up staying in a lovely top floor apartment in the Marutamachi area of Kyoto - near to the Imperial Palace.
Kyoto is a walkable city, and the apartment was close to Nishiki Market, as well as having a Co-op and a Family Mart just around the corner, so we were able to cook for ourselves. There were also two vegetarian restaurants nearby, so we could sample Japanese cuisine. We were across the road from the neighbourhood shrine, in a residential area full of friendly people, too.
We are going back to Japan in October and contacted Kyoto Stay Club again. We received a "repeat custom" discount and are hoping to stay in the same apartment, as it really was a home away from home for us.
I'd recommend it to anyone travelling on a budget (it worked out as costing around £30 a night each - although the current exchange rate (July 2010) means that this is now nearer £40 a night each).
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