When I am about to moved to Japan, I had to chose a dormitory as a temporary place for me to live. At that time, I put Satsuki Dormitory as my least preference. My considerations are; Satsuki is quite expensive compared to other dormitory, it is not Kyoto University's dormitory (it is Kyoto Prefecture's), and there are barely pictures or review from the residence in internet. So when my sensei's secretary announced that I'll be placed in Satsuki, I kinda worried - can I stand to stay in this place for one year? Should I ask to change place? etc, etc. But when I arrive in Satsuki, and now been living here for 6 months, my worry proved wrong.
Satsuki Dormitory is located in Ogawa-dori, Kamigyo-ku, near to Horikawa-dori in Kyoto City. It has 4 levels with 45 rooms for international students which mostly are study at Kyoto University or Ritsumeikan University. The rent price per month is 32500yen, but you will also be charged for changing sheet, which cost 1080yen. Thus the overall rent price is 33580yen per month (excluding electricity fee).
|Satsuki Dormitory from the front|
|Satsuki's Main Gate|
|The lobby with a vending machine|
In Satsuki first floor, there is a common room, where students can gather to cook, eat, watch movies, and do other activities together. Not necessarily for gathering though, sometimes you can just sit and working your own things, while say hello to others that may do the same. This room also useful for those who wants to save for electricity in their room (and spend it here instead :p).
|Kitchen in Common Room|
As for rooms, the first and second floor is men's floor, while the third and fourth floor is women's floor. My room is on the third floor, and here is what it looks like (when I just arrived). The size of the room is about 12 m2, and you can see from the picture that they provide it full furnished. Each room has its own wi-fi modem.
In Satsuki, we use share kitchen, share toilets, share shower room, and share laundry for everyone. Each floor has share kitchen and share toilets, but shower room is only available in the basement and laundry is only available at the first floor. They differentiate between men and women for each facility, even we (women) have a special key to enter women's laundry room and women's shower room. But, there is a space in the rooftop on the fourth floor where people can hang their clothes, and it can be used by both men and women.
|Rooftop space to hang your clothes (4F)|
|Share kitchen with microwave, water boiler, and three gas stove (3F)|
|Share kitchen with sink to wash your face and brush your teeth in the morning|
|Share toilets, 3 available (3F)|
|Coin-laundry, 3 washing machines & 3 dryers for each gender (1F).|
Washing cost 200yen and drying cost 100yen.
|Shower room in the basement|
|There are 4 rooms available|
|Inside the women shower room. It cost 100yen to shower for 15 minutes. |
Time counted every time you pour down the water.
As for access, the nearest bus stop is Horikawa Shimodachiuri and the nearest subway station is Marutamachi. Unfortunately using bus and train from Satsuki to Kyoto University is kinda complicated, you have to walk around 1km to reach the bus stop to Kyoto University and for subway it has a complicated route because we have to transfer. But no worries, we're here in Satsuki (like most other Kyoto citizens) often prefer to go everywhere by bike. I usually bike to Kyoto University for around 15-20 minutes (about 3 km distance). Here is bicycle parking lot in Satsuki which located in the back of the building.
|Bicycle parking lot|
Other than good facilities that they have here, I also lucky to meet friends from all over the world. Satsuki itself has Student Advisor (SA) and Residents' Assistants (RA) who will help you in case you need anything. Since one of SA lives in house that located next to Satsuki, and RA are japanese students who also stay in this dorm, so you can say the assistance is available 24/7. Satsuki also often held various activities to engage its residences as well as to introduce japanese lifestyle to foreign students. Of course, other than those activities initiated by Satsuki, we residents sometimes do things together for fun too.
|Welcome party for April 2015 students|
|Volunteering at public elementary school|
|Farewell party for August 2014 students|
After 6 months living here, I can say that staying in my least preference place is not bad at all. I got new friends, live in a comfortable room, and supported with good assistance :)
For further information about Satsuki Dormitory, check this page.