Shin & friend's place is the definition of 'simple and budget' and we chose it because of its incredible location and price. A huge thanks also to Kazu, who was the most helpful and understanding person during a very change-heavy booking process on our end and who helped us with this.
*Our booking was slightly different than the listed apartment (Room 510) which I booked on AirBnb, due to special circumstances but I believe Shin's listed rooms should be in the same building as the one described.
The apartment building is a quick, five minute walk to Kinkakuji and, by extension, a decent walk to Ryoanji and Ninnaji.
It's a fairly quiet area otherwise. There is a convenience store maybe 8min up the road, chemist about 2min down, a handful of diners and a McDonalds if you keep walking, and a small cafe run by one of the kindest people I've ever met in between.
All the small diners and shops seemed to close quite early in the evening so if you're looking for a vibrant Kyoto nightlife, this is not the place.
The elevator, unfortunately, was broken and there is no lift to get up the stairs to the Level 2 landing so we struggled quite a bit with our large suitcases getting up to our 4th floor rooms. Luckily, Shin and his friend arrived to help us out. Hopefully the elevator will be fixed for subsequent guests.
We got two tatami rooms with the private showers, which were small but very clean. As such, I'm not sure what the communal showers are like.
The apartments are definitely a 'no frills' space, but it did provide a sink, heater, towels and speedy Wifi, which was much appreciated and, really, all we needed. The cupboard next to the entrance is big enough to store two big suitcases.
We spent two nights in this hostel, enough to spend a day temple-hopping and just soaking in the fresh air and simple quiet.
Great place if you're on a budget, want to visit Kinkakuji and the surrounding sights and/or need a few days break from the frenetic city pace.