One Man Walking

006 – Kyoto City Center Hostel SUCKS!

April 6th, 2008 · 12 Comments

Tonight Oliver Gilmour, the manager of Kyoto City Center Hostel, the rudest hostel manager I have ever met, threw the two of us out on the street. It was after 10pm and it’s a Sunday and Kyoto is full. What on earth did he think we were going to do? The trouble began this morning when I found the kitchen was out of bounds because he had filled the hostel so much that people were sleeping in there too. There must have been over 30 people in just a three bedroom house with only one shower. He went in and out to get our bags of food but there was no way we could eat there. I asked him in front of the long queue for the shower if I’d be able to use it tomorrow morning. He got really defensive and told me not to make him feel guilty. So I quietly agreed and left for a great day of sightseeing (I’ll write about that when I am in a better mood).

When we got back tonight he came to see me and I asked in my best Japanese (though he is Brazillian and speaks perfect, but rude, english) if I could eat there in the morning. He said ‘perhaps’ and then launched into a tirade of how rude I had been to ask him and that if I didn’t like it I could leave. Lorraine tried to say that a kitchen was listed on the website but he blankly told her not to speak to him, he was only prepared to talk to me. And I mean to me, he wouldn’t listen. And then he told us to leave right then and there. I stayed as calm as I could. Seated on a stool and not pointing or doing any of the aggressive body language he was. But it didn’t work. He just got worse. I didn’t even raise my voice until, as he stood over Lorraine watching her pack, he said “don’t cry, I’m not smacking you or anything”. That made me angry. We left and called the wonderful K’s Hostel who have taken us in for one night only. Tomorrow we have to find a new place and I need to get to the immigration office.

Let me make this perfectly clear. Never, ever, EVER, stay at Kyoto City Center Hostel. They are small, under equipped and staggeringly rude. If it wasn’t for K’s Hostel I’d be sleeping in the park tonight. I’ve written reviews on the sites I can find in the hope that it will save other backpackers the hassle of staying at that horrible place.

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Goat // Apr 7, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Thanks for the tip, I’ll spread the word. Check out Arashiyama, it’s a beautiful part of Kyoto. One interesting feature of Hokkaido is that it’s so relatively ‘new’, there are very few temples and shrines compared to the ‘mainland’. Anyway, time for a shave and some laundry.

  • 2 Anna // Apr 7, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    Oh Craig, that’s terrible! I hope you and Lorraine are ok; that’s a very stressful thing to happen in a strange country. In Japan of all places, when the actual Japanese are so hospitable! Hopefully things will look up, in the mean time I’m sending positive good luck vibes.

  • 3 Alison // Apr 8, 2008 at 2:47 am

    What an unpleasant experience for you and Lorraine. Thank goodness for K’s Hostel. Hope today brings back the fun in your travels.


  • 4 nipponii // May 26, 2008 at 4:24 am

    You are not a only one! Kyoto City Center Hostel is the worst hostel in Kyoto and mr Oliver is the rudest hostel manager of the world.

  • 5 lorii // Jun 8, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    The worst place of the world.

  • 6 Brendan // Jul 14, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    We had the same problem with that pig. He kicked us out before we checked in, because we tried to cancell our 5th night (they only ask for 48hrs notice) Its hard finding a hostel in Kyoto at the quietest of time, this was a Sat night, He did the same thing, accusing us of everything under the sun, and even pushing my girlfriend, i tried to remain calm but he is so frustrating. I have written to all hostel websites complaining and they have seem to have taken him off the lists, i hope he has gone out of business, In a year of travelling that was the worst experience of our trip.

  • 7 Brendan // Jul 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Just looking at your comment we were there on the 5th of April, Didnt have any room so it was easier to get rid of us. haha what a joke

  • 8 satoshi // Aug 20, 2008 at 5:23 am

    Never stay at Kyoto City Centre Hostel Oliver is the most rude and underhand person i have ever met, this review is late as if i had wrote it sooner it would have be worse, be warned, there was no kitchen/cable TV (unless you call a kettle a kitchen) location is good if you can find it. rooms are small and get really hot, when i was staying there, there was no aircon. only one shower, if you come back late at night expect to get a really hard time from Oliver even tho there is no lockout time, also when i was staying there there was no lock on the front door which opens into the common area where your bags will be left if you check in early in the day.

    that being said, Osaka Downtown Hostel is also ran/owned by Oliver but is a lot safer, also the staff that were there when i was were really nice and helpful, it only seems to be Oliver that is the problem.

    in my time at Kyoto City Centre Hostel i saw 2 english guys kicked out for no reason at all, and was kept awake the night before by oliver shouting at them to leave for no reason at all, i wasnt woken by them getting ready for bed untill Oliver started to lose it.

    just think everyone should know what they are getting into then they stay there,

    ohh and the beds suck too.

  • 9 One Man Walking — 2008-09-17 Going slow in Kyoto // Sep 18, 2008 at 9:25 am

    [...] now we’re back to Tokyo, and without even taking to Kyoto City Center Hostel with a match. But if he continues the way he does it won’t be long before someone does. [...]

  • 10 Andy // Jul 30, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Found this old post about Oliver GIlmour by chance.
    My brother and two of his friends just stayed at Kyoto Globetrotters Hostel, also owned by Oliver Gilmour. And also had bad experiences. After staying the first night Oliver told them they were not allowed to use the aircondition because they had been given a minimal discount. This wasnt mentioned at all when my girlfriend booked room for them a few weeks earlier. And a few days later he also became aggressive towards my brothers friend who had used the internet but was not aware that he had to pay for it immediately. When he wanted to pay for the internet and took out a 1000 yen note, Oliver went on a moral lecture about not acting smart with money. WTF. What an asshole. Fortunately they were not thrown out. I have been doing my best to tell travellers not to stay at this place.

  • 11 Simon Green // Jul 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    the oliver story continues…

    This time the hostel is “kyoto bed and breakfast hostel”. i suspect he frequently changes the name to avoid the bad reviews. This was in kamigyoku,jofukujidori. The map on every website was wrong so we had to get a cab and spend an extra 1,200 yen. Then he made it out to be our fault that the maps were wrong.
    He then got incredibly hostile when i said that i wanted my change and was not willing to get it from him later (this being 10pm already). In everything that he does wrong he always makes you out to be the bad guy. Later, he pulled out the race card. “Dont worry, you can go online and tell everyone about the scary black man in Kyoto”. What a joke. He’s not scary just a rude, obnoxious little man.
    No AC, no breakfast, mouldy shower, dirty sheets. we had to vacate the room at 10pm so he could put up a blind. He made other guests move rooms with no notice.

    Avoid this place like the plague.

  • 12 Jessie // Jun 1, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    I totally agree. Oliver is the rudest hostel owner in Japan. I will never ever stay at a hostel he runs again.

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