The common area
Sandalwood is fairly unique hostel. The owners are a Japanese artist couple who either own or rent a four story building. They live on the fourth floor, I think, and have bunks in the rooms on the second and third floors. The couple is very friendly and usually stays up late talking with the guests. The decorations feel very modern Japanese, and the wife (I assume she did the decorations) is very much into brightly colored, thin, crinklely, narrow strips of fabric. She uses them as window coverings and for the sofa. The decor is most excellent, and the hangings are quite attractive.

I stayed at Sandalwood for three of the four days that I stayed in the hostels, and it really feels more like a homestay than a hostel. The down side is that it is more toward western Kyoto, and there aren’t as many things nearby. The warmth and friendliness of the owners is nice to come back to in the evenings, and you’ll probably get a big hug from the wife, even if you’re all sweaty from biking half an hour from Arashiyama.

The kitchen. Very spacious!
Upstairs. Note the wall hangings