Romain and Yuki's apartment is a wonderful space in a great neighborhood. We didn't meet Romain, but he kept in very close touch with us during the 2 weeks before our trip (he was very responsive to our e-mails), and he provided us with lots of valuable information. In addition, Yuki made a shuttle reservation for us from the Kansai Airport (KIX -- Osaka), and she bought tickets for us for a Geisha dance performance (part of an annual festival) for the first full day of our stay; we reimbursed her as soon as we were able to obtain Japanese currency. The dance performance was in the neighborhood, and it made for a very nice start to our stay in Kyoto.
Yuki was in touch with the shuttle driver to make sure that he found her house, and she greeted us with umbrellas as soon as the shuttle dropped us off at the beginning of the alley that leads to the house. She immediately gave us a tour of the apartment, and she was available to answer our questions about the appliances and about how best to get to sights we wanted to see. She is a very friendly person, and her two children (ages 5 and 10) are really sweet. Yuki speaks English quite well, much, much better than our elementary Japanese.
The apartment has a separate entrance from the rest of the house, and it is fairly spacious. It has very modern appliances, including the famed Toto "washlet" (toilet). The kitchen was very convenient for cooking breakfast and dinner. The washing machine, although very small, was adequate for a week's worth of laundry for two people. The shower is luxurious. The bed is comfortable. The house is in a quiet location -- at the back of the alley and behind a 5-story apartment building. We could not hear street traffic on the nearby main street.
The neighborhood is a nice middle-class neighborhood with easy access to the subway and the bus. It is adjacent to the Nishijin textile district and at most a two mile walk to Kinkakuji (the Golden Pavillion). There are nice food stores within a few blocks. Also within a few blocks is Horikawa Avenue with its beautiful riverside park that is situated below the street and that extends all the way to Nijo Castle (definitely worth a visit). We were lucky to be there when there was a cherry blossom fesitival in that park.
Yuki called a taxi for us to get our luggage to the train station when our 8-night stay was over, and she and her smiling children accompanied us to the taxi and saw us off. We were quite sad to be leaving Kyoto and Yuki and her children.