Although it doesn’t have the sprawl of other top travel destinations in Japan, figuring out where to stay in Kyoto is hardly a walk in the park.
The best hotels in Kyoto hide within the city’s diverse areas, neighbourhoods & districts. For most travellers, the best areas to stay in Kyoto ring around the centre. Here, you’ll discover the most compelling attractions in Kyoto.
Ready to find the perfect Kyoto hotel? Get your trip crackin’ with this complete Kyoto accommodations & area guide including the best places to stay in Kyoto and the top hotels for every travel budget.
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Best areas to stay in Kyoto: Top neighbourhoods, districts & wards
To enjoy the former imperial capital of Japan to its fullest, sorting out where to stay in Kyoto is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in planning your trip.
Like other Japanese cities, Kyoto is a collection of diverse areas, districts & neighbourhoods, each revealing a different face of the city.
From the busy wards in downtown Kyoto to quieter ones on the fringe, choosing among best neighbourhoods to stay in Kyoto will depends on what you’re determined to see—and how far away from the urban buzz you want to be.
For most travellers, the best areas & neighbourhoods to stay are those in & around central Kyoto.
The four main city centre wards (Nakagyo, Higashiyama, Shimogyo, and Kamigyo) are home to most of the best places to stay in Kyoto and are the perfect place to start your search.
Other further-flung areas like Sakyo and Arashiyama offer visitors more breathing room, cheaper hotels, and a glimpse at the quieter side of Kyoto. This, however, comes at the expense of being located further away from central Kyoto and the city’s star attractions.
The best areas to stay in Kyoto include:
- Nakagyo: The best area to stay in central Kyoto to get close to the best restaurants & some of the most top-notch attractions in Japan.
- Higashiyama: An excellent place to stay for culture-seekers looking to experience the air of old Japan first-hand and have a little more to spend. With all of the sightseeing options nearby, Higashiyama is also a great area when travelling as a family.
- Gion District: A traditional area in the heart of downtown Kyoto that’s one of the most famous places to explore in Japan. Like Higashiyama, the Gion area is a fantastic choice for where to stay in Kyoto for mid-range/luxury travellers who are seeking out the classic Kyoto accommodations experience. It’s also perhaps the most popular place to stay in Kyoto during cherry blossom season.
- Shimogyo: Home to the main train hub of Kyoto Station, this is the top area to stay for anyone looking to travel beyond Kyoto on a day trip. Thanks to the central location, you’ll also find plenty of sightseeing opportunities nearby.
- Kamigyo: This quiet mostly residential ward is the perfect choice for budget travellers looking to escape the sky-high prices of downtown Kyoto while still staying close by some stellar star attractions like the Imperial Palace.
- Sakyo: Although there’s a limited selection here, the proximity to major sites like Nanzen-ji, Ginkaku-ji, and the Philosopher’s Walk make this a great area to stay for temple-hopping and more relaxed sightseeing opportunities.
- Arashiyama: Located outside of central Kyoto, this ward is the perfect place to stay in Kyoto for nature lovers and anyone seeking out a smaller-town feel while still being a quick commute into the centre.
✔ Best area to stay in Kyoto for travellers seeking a central location with plenty to eat, see & do
The centre of Kyoto hinges around Nakagyo, the “central capital” ward.
Nakagyo has long moved forward from its medieval trading roots and is today one of the busiest shopping and entertainment districts in central Kyoto.
Anyone who’s serious about getting to know downtown Kyoto will spend much time exploring Nakagyo.
From the food stalls of Nishiki Market and the restaurants of Kawaramachi to the majesty of Nijo Castle and Nakagyo’s hidden temples and shrines, there’s plenty to see & do in this fascinating ward.
Nakagyo an excellent choice for where to stay in Kyoto for solo travellers & families.
Attractions in Nakagyo: Nijo-jo Castle, Nishiki Market, Kawaramachi, Kyoto International Manga Museum, Museum of Kyoto, Kyoto Art Center
Recommended hotels in Nakagyo
Despite its location in central Kyoto, there’s a good range of value-laden budget guesthouses & family-friendly ryokan to choose from when picking out where to stay in Nakagyo.
The mid-range in Nakagyo is a little swollen in price with 2-stars sometimes even fetching prices that would nab you 3- and 4-star properties in other wards in downtown Kyoto.
- Guest House Oumi: A unique budget Kyoto ryokan that feels more like a home than a hotel. From the well-manicured garden to the interior design touches, there’s an unmistakable traditional vibe pushing through every inch of this awesome little ryokan.
- Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo: A stylish 3-star offering excellent value for the mid-range in central Kyoto. Besides the large modern rooms, the on-site restaurant, headed by award-winning chef Monsieur Ito, serves up Western food with a unique local twist.
- The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto: A top-end 5-star pick that’s among the grandest in downtown Kyoto. Stay in one of the garden terrace suites to whisk yourself away from the urban core into a zen-like state of pure relaxation.
✔ Top area to stay in Kyoto for mid-range travellers and families who love culture & sightseeing
If there’s any area in Kyoto that will instantly capture your imagination, it’s Higashiyama.
Clinging to the foothills of the city’s eastern mountains, Higashiyama is the perfect place to explore and snag a backwards glance at the charms of old Kyoto.
Even without its heavy-hitters like Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Yasaka Shrine in Southern Higashiyama and Heian Shrine and Nanzen-ji Temple in Northern Higashiyama, this lovely downtown Kyoto area delights travellers.
With its traditional wooden buildings, set upon narrow hilly lanes (like Ishibei-koji Lane) that hide teashops, cafés, restaurants, ryokan, and homes.
Among all the wards, Higashiyama is the coolest area to simply get lost, explore, and discover the Japan you’ve always imagined (with the exception of the sometimes intense crowds).
Even if you need to get to the district’s fringes for a little elbow room, staying in Higashiyama provides the perfect excuse to take it slow and let the surreal scene unfold before your eyes.
If you decide to take your stay further south to Southern Higashiyama, you’ll be close to Fushimi-Inari Taisha and all the wonderful hiking trails in & around Mount Inari.
Alternatively, if you go north into Northern Higashiyama, you’ll be more in touch with top attractions like Nanzen-ji and Honen-in.
Attractions in & around Higashiyama: Kiyomizu-dera, Yasaka Shrine, Maruyama Park, Shoren-in Temple, Chion-in Temple, Kennin-ji Temple, Gion District, Fushimi-Inari Shrine, Nanzen-ji Temple, Honen-in Temple, Kyoto National Museum, National Museum of Modern Art, Tofuku-ji Temple, Kodai-ji Temple
Recommended hotels in Higashiyama
As one of the premier sightseeing destinations in downtown Kyoto, choosing where to stay in Higashiyama isn’t always so budget-friendly.
The selection of accommodations in Higashiyama is, however, quite extensive, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be shut out if you choose this district as your base.
Get started on your search with one of these top hotels in Higashiyama:
- Imano Kyoto Kiyomizu Hostel: Located close to the majesty of its namesake temple, this budget-friendly Kyoto hostel puts you in the midst of Higashiyama’s charms without busting the bank. Both private rooms (with and without private bathrooms) and dorm beds are on offer.
- Kyoto Granbell Hotel: A modern 4-star boutique Kyoto hotel screaming with the styles of old Japan, from its tatami-floored rooms to the rock garden in the pool area. Its prime location puts Kyoto’s finest moments at your fingertips. Book ahead as this is one of the most popular places to stay in Kyoto.
- Seikoro Ryokan: A traditional ryokan in the heart of Kyoto. From kimono-wearing staff to the tatami-style rooms, watch the full classic Asian hospitality experience unfold before your eyes during your stay here.
- Four Seasons Kyoto: A brand-new 5-star hotel that’s unlike any you’ve ever stayed in. Rooms fuse both modern and classic Japanese design to create an aesthetic wholly unique to Kyoto. The central pond and Shakusuien garden is simply breathtaking.
✔ Top area to stay in Kyoto for soaking up the culture of Japan at its finest
Although technically part of Higashiyama, Gion District deserves a special mention.
Gion is old entertainment district of Kyoto, famed for its geisha culture. The streets here are among the most atmospheric in downtown Kyoto, lined with wooden merchant houses now filled with shops, ryokan, teahouses (ochaya) and restaurants.
Besides simply wandering around Gion, the area is one of the best places to try kaiseki ryori, one of the most famous haute cuisines of Japan.
It won’t come cheap, but chowing down in some of top restaurants in Kyoto will be an experience your tastebuds will never forget.
And, of course, no visit to the the geisha district of Gion is complete without dabbling in the geisha culture.
It’s less likely than in the past that you’ll spot geisha wandering around the streets when you travel here. But if you have the wherewithal—and the yen!—Gion is the premier place in Japan to take in the geisha experience.
(Or opt for the cheaper and more accessible maiko experience!)
If your happen to be lucky enough to visit Kyoto during cherry blossom season, visit the canal-side Shirakawa-minami Dori. It’s often touted as one of the most beautiful streets in Japan. It’s one of the best places to hanami in Kyoto and see the cherry blossoms at their finest.
Attractions in Gion District: Gion Corner, Kenninji Temple, Gion Shirakawa, Hanami-koji Dori, Shijo Dori, Yasaka Shrine
Recommended hotels in Gion District
Given the area’s popularity, your travel budget won’t go far in Gion.
Although you’ll find better value elsewhere in downtown Kyoto—and even elsewhere in Higashiyama—there’s something to be said about narrowing down to this special little corner.
- Gion Maifukan: A traditional ryokan just steps away from Gion’s biggest attractions. Staff goes above and beyond to enjoy your stay is comfortable. Both Japanese- and western-style rooms are available.
- Hana-Touro Hotel Gion: You don’t get much closer to the action than in this 4-star gem that features the traditional stylings of Japan. Rooms are spacious and fitted with terraces that peer upon the cityscape of downtown Kyoto.
- Gion Hatanaka: A traditional ryokan experience amid the bustle of Gion. Escape from the trappings of urban life as you’re greeted by the zen-like garden before settling down in the inn’s large tatami-style rooms.
✔ Top-rated area to stay in Kyoto for mid-range travellers interested in day tripping & sightseeing
Although it may not possess the outward tourist swagger of Higashiyama or Nakagyo, Shimogyo is still one of the best neighbourhoods to stay in Kyoto for travellers, if for no other reason than housing the city’s main transportation hub, Kyoto Station.
The area stretches roughly between Kyoto Station in the south to Shijo-dori in the north along the Kamo River.
Besides being the perfect launching pad for your Kyoto day trips, Shimogyo is a great neighbourhood to stay to eat, shop, and to put your finger on the pulse of the city.
There’s even plenty of opportunity for both sightseeing and relaxation as Shimogyo is home to some of the city’s most eye-popping temples and gardens making it an excellent choice for travellers.
Attractions in Shimogyo: Nishi Hanganji Temple, Higashi Honganji Temple, Ryukoku Museum, Umekoji Park, Shōsei-en Garden, Kyoto Station
Recommended hotels in Shimogyo
With Kyoto Station at its fringe, Shimogyo has the highest concentration of hotels of all the wards.
While there’s no shortage at any budget, most of the top choices for where to stay in Shimogyo fall into the mid-range in both price and quality.
What you’ll find here will generally offer better value than in downtown Kyoto neighbourhoods like nearby Higashiyama or Nakagyo.
- Guesthouse Kyoto Compass: A budget guesthouse rich in classic Japanese style. Both tatami-style and dorm rooms with shared bathrooms are available.
- Luck You Kyoto: A beautifully-minimalist boutique guesthouse rocking out traditional Japanese-style rooms with futons and tatami. Unlike many ryokan, all rooms are equipped with private bathrooms.
- Daiwa Roynet Kyoto Ekimae: A brand-new 4-star featuring richly-modern decor with an Asian twist. Kyoto Station is a short 4-minute walk away to launch your most epic day trips.
- Hotel Granvia Kyoto: Attached to Kyoto Station, this grand 4.5-star is among some of the city’s sleekest luxury hotels that doubles its value with its convenient location. With nine on-site restaurants, an indoor pool, and spa with a steam room and hot tub, we wouldn’t blame you for spending as much time here as in downtown Kyoto. (Okay, maybe at little.) Book well ahead to get a shot at the best deals.
✔ Recommended area to stay in Kyoto for a quieter setting at a cheaper price
Set away from the major commercial buzz, Kamigyo is a quieter residential area situated north of the more historic Nakagyo Ward.
Kamigyo has a deep connection to the history of Kyoto. It’s one of the city’s two original wards, and long played home to imperial rulers and nobles.
Although you’ll appreciate having more room to maneuver and think in choosing to stay in Kamigyo, the ward isn’t short on sightseeing either.
Kyoto Imperial Palace, one of the city’s grandest monuments, calls the Kamigyo area home, as do a handful of beautiful temples and shrines.
Attractions in & around Kamigyo: Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kyoto Gyoen National Park, Kitano Tenmangu, Seimei Shrine, Nishijin Textile Centre, Daitoku-ji, Kyoto Railway Museum, Kyoto Aquarium, Umekoji Park
Recommended in Kamigyo
Compared to other wards in downtown Kyoto, you won’t find as large of a selection when choosing where to stay in Kamigyo.
The slightly less central location though means that what’s offered in this area can generally be had at prices slightly lower than normal for Kyoto.
- Mosaic Machiya KSK: Set in a traditional wooden machiya (townhouse), this 2-star guesthouse oozes with classic appeal. The hotel’s area, Kamishichiken, is famed for its geisha and is like a smaller, cheaper, and quieter alternative to the more popular Gion District.
- Ryokan Tori: An authentic ryokan nestled in a quiet neighbourhood. Rooms are offered up in traditional Japanese-style with both shared and private bathrooms.
- Suzakukan Suzaku Crossing: Super comfortable apartment-style rooms with everything you need for a full self-catering stay in Kyoto. Located within walking distance of Nijo Castle, but the more adventurous might be inclined to rent one of the property’s electric bikes to travel around even quicker.
- Kyoto Brighton Hotel: A delightful 4.5-star that’s surprisingly budget-friendly in the Kyoto luxury market. Room shun the usual small Japanese standard, showcasing large windows and luxurious bathtubs. The four on-site restaurants feature award-winning cuisine including Kyoto kaiseki (haute cuisine) at Hotaru. Book ahead well in advance to find the best deals.
✔ Top area to stay in Kyoto for temple-hopping & quiet contemplation
It’s slightly further afield, but don’t discount Sakyo as one of the top-rated neighbourhoods in Kyoto to stay quite yet.
Sakyo stretches north from the edge of Northern Higashiyama and the Gion area to the city’s hilly northern fringes.
Within it you’ll find yourself face-to-face with some of the city’s most coveted attractions.
Whether it’s gawking at the must-see temples of Ginkaku-ji or Nanzen-ji or contemplating life’s problems along the cherry-blossom-lined Philosopher’s Walk (also known as Tetsugaku-no-Michi Street), Sakyo is one of the best choices for travellers to attack their sightseeing itinerary with gusto.
Even outside of the heavy-hitters, Sakyo hides traditional teahouses, shops, and noodle joints that deliver the prospect of those bygone flavours of old Japan that brought you here in the first place.
Attractions in Sakyo: Ginkaku-ji, Nanzen-ji, Philosopher’s Walk, Mount Hiei, Enryaku-ji
Recommended hotels in Sakyo
Like Kamigyo, Sakyo’s “fringe” area status lowers the selection of availability when nailing down where to stay.
Prices here though are more in line with what you’d expect closer to the centre. The quality, however, isn’t quite as good as elsewhere.
You’re likely to find a larger selection of better Kyoto hotels, surprisingly, at the same or better prices in Northern Higashiyama, Southern Higashiyama, Shimogyo, and Nakagyo.
- Ryokan Sawaya Honten: An elegant authentic ryokan in a quiet neighbourhood. Rooms are traditional Japanese-style with tatami floors and futons. A public onsen-style bath is available for use.
- Ryokan KANADE: A beautiful ryokan featuring bright and spacious rooms decked out in traditional style. The higher-end rooms feature a private Japanese stone garden to capture some zen moments amidst the stress of travelling.
- Ryokan Inn Yoshida-sanso: Occupying a former royal residence, this 4.5-star property is one of the most unique top-end hotels in Kyoto. The setting could hardly be more perfect, nestled in its own leafy corner of Kyoto and pushing forward tremendous views of the cityscape and surrounding mountains.
✔ Best district to stay for escaping the buzz of central Kyoto for nature
Located outside of the central Kyoto in Ukyo Ward, Arashiyama is an area that most travellers either breeze through or never reach in the first place.
It’s a shame.
There’s a lot going on in Arashiyama. If escaping the urban buzz is on your agenda, this might be the best area to stay in Kyoto to do it.
About thirty minutes outside of central Kyoto by public transportation, Arashiyama doesn’t curry much favour among travellers thanks to its location. But it’s serenity and smaller-town feel just might.
Arashiyama is home to the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, an otherworldly experience that’s unmissable while visiting Kyoto.
Throw in a handful of stunning temples and the cheeky monkeys at Kameyama-koen Park and it’s easy to see how a stay in the Arashiyama area would add a little colour to your trip.
Attractions in Arashiyama: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Tenryu-ji Temple, Kameyama-koen Park, Nison-in Temple, Jojako-ji Temple, Adashino-Nembutsu-ji Temple, Gio-ji Temple, Katsura Rikyu Imperial Villa, Tenzan-no-yu Onsen, Togetsu-kyo Bridge
Recommended hotels in Arashiyama
It’s a bit of a stretch from central Kyoto, so don’t be surprised to find there’s not much in the way of selection when searching for where to stay in Arashiyama.
- Guesthouse Kyoto Arashiyama: Two bus stops from the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, this budget guesthouse features private rooms with both private and shared bathrooms.
- Mulan Hostel: A brand-new hostel in the limited Arashiyama lodgings scene. Both private rooms and dorms are available, all featuring shared bathrooms.
- Arashiyama Benkei: An elegant ryokan uniquely set upon its own private hot spring. Some reservations include a delicious multi-course Kyoto kaiseki dinner.
The best hotels in Kyoto
Kyoto Morris Hostel
Setting new standards in the hostel industry, the Kyoto Morris Hostel is brand new and spotlessly clean. It occupies a prime location in central Kyoto that’s perfect for sightseeing.
The stylish and well-designed Kyoto Morris Hostel is furnished with large, comfortable beds, each one curtained off for privacy.
If sharing a room is not for you, there are also private rooms on offer.
Ready to get your morning started? Wake up to a sumptuous breakfast buffet at the Kyoto Morris Hostel, and be on your way.
In the evening the breakfast area is transformed into a comfortable bar, where guests can share the day’s adventures with the friendly, English speaking staff.
Conveniently situated near shops and restaurants, this hostel is the perfect place to borrow a bicycle from your hosts and scoot around to make the most out of your trip to the city.
Guest House Oumi
A little gem in Nakagyo, Guest House Oumi is full of little Japanese touches from bamboo gardens to bonsai trees and paper lanterns. Air-conditioned rooms lead out onto balconies, and you can save on costs because the facilities include a communal kitchen and a laundry.
Enjoy a tasty breakfast in your room before relaxing in the sunroom or the garden. For a more active holiday, rent a bike from your hosts and venture into the exciting streets of downtown Kyoto.
Centrally located, Guest House Oumi is close to Nijo Station, and several tourist attractions including Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, the Manga Museum and Nijo Castle are within walking distance.
Enjoy bright and airy rooms that peer out onto the gardens at the affordable Bird Hostel. Your overnight stay includes a tasty breakfast. There’s even a limited dinner menu for guests.
Enjoy an authentic Japanese food party hosted by the staff every week. For a lazy afternoon, sip coffee or grab a late drink in the popular coffee bar and get to know your fellow travellers.
From Bird Hostel, it’s easy to rent a bike during your stay to explore the surrounding neighbourhood, an area teeming with Japanese history, quaint shops and tasty restaurants. The magnificent Kyoto Imperial Palace is just steps away.
Hotel Gracery Kyoto Sanjo
Enjoy the uniquely Japanese stylings of the modern and well-run Hotel Gracery Kyoto Sanjo. Each of the hotel’s comfortable rooms sport private bathrooms and are equipped with a refrigerator, a kettle and a television.
Wake up at Hotel Gracery to delicious Western or Asian breakfast buffets served daily in the breakfast room. If you would prefer not to purchase breakfast, the property offers complimentary sweet rolls and coffee to start your day.
The Hotel Gracery Kyoto Sanjo sits in a super central location near several major bus and train routes and alongside a busy shopping district containing loads of shops and Japanese restaurants. The concierge at the front desk will gladly help you to plan out your day.
Vessel Hotel Campana Kyoto Gojo
Modern and functional, the Vessel Hotel Campana Kyoto Gojo offers Western-style accommodation in the heart of Kyoto.
Grab a tasty and convenient meal at the restaurant and relax in the lounge bar before retiring to your comfortable room.
Start each day of your stay with a Japanese or a Western-style breakfast before borrowing a bicycle to explore your surroundings.
To head a little further afoot, hop onto the subway. The property is conveniently located just a stone’s throw away from Gojo Station.
The Vessel Campana Kyoto Gojo offers a complimentary drink service in the restaurant daily between 2 pm and 11 pm where you can quiz other guests on their Japan travel experiences.
End your evening in the sauna or the public onsen bath and experience true relaxation Japan-style.
Hotel Keihan Kyoto Grande
You’ll find a variety of rooms on offer at the Hotel Keihan Kyoto Grande from luxurious units with free movie channels and free access to the lounge to ladies’ rooms with face steamers and massage cushions.
Enjoy a Western or Japanese breakfast at the start of the day and tuck into a wide range of Mediterranean cuisine at the on-site restaurant in the evening.
From June to August, the Keihan Kyoto Grande hosts a rooftop beer garden and Brazilian barbecue with once-a-week live entertainment.
And, for travellers, the location doesn’t get much better.
The hotel connects directly to Kyoto Station, and is within walking distance of several shrines, temples, gardens, and a popular shopping area.
Kyoto Granbell Hotel
The stylish Kyoto Granbell Hotel swaggers with a blend of modern and traditional Japanese styles.
The hotel’s plush décor features tatami floors and other Japanese elements scattered throughout. Rooms are light and airy and not too small.
The Western and Japanese breakfasts at Kyoto Granbell will have you coming back for more during the course of your stay. The communal bath is a great way to end the day, followed by a meal in the restaurant and a sundowner in the bar. If you’d rather eat out, the hotel is located in Gion, just around the corner from some of the district’s tastiest restaurants along Hanamikoji Dori.
Situated within minutes from the Keihan Train Station and within walking distance of a number of tourist attractions, the Kyoto Granbell is the perfect place to launch your travel adventures.
Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto
Combining modern functionality with traditional Japanese décor, the rooms at Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto shun the usual tiny Japanese size standards to give you a little more breathing room.
At this delightful 4-star hotel, you’re always assured a good night’s sleep. All the rooms are soundproofed to keep the sounds of the world at bay.
With its four on-site restaurants, the Vista Premio Kyoto is perfect for foodies who want to stick close to home. Whether its Japanese BBQ beef at Itsushima, Italian pasta at Roccaccio, a breakfast buffet at Mokumoku or Chinese hotpot at XiaoFeiYang, there’s a dish to suit every taste here.
And the location of the Vista Premio Kyoto gets top marks, too. Located next to a shopping centre, one of the busiest pedestrian roads in Kyoto and within walking distance of Gion and Nishiki Market, this hotel is the perfect base to explore the city to its fullest.
Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto
The stylish Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto impresses among the best hotels in Kyoto with an unstated modern elegance that’s low on flashiness and high on comfort. The modern air-conditioned rooms are a tad larger than you might expect in most Kyoto hotels.
Extras like carbonated spring bathtubs and in-house massages makes the Royal Park the perfect spot for relaxing after a busy day on the town.
There’s even two on-site restaurants including Monsieur Ito, a restaurant run by an award-winning chef that served Western food sprinkled with local flavours.
For those who want to enjoy all Kyoto offers, you can’t beat the location. With two train stations within two blocks, you’ll be able to spread your wings and scoot around the entire area & Kyoto with ease.
On foot, you’re within walking distance of the beautiful cherry-blossom-lined Shirakawa-minami Dori across the river and Kiyo-machi Dori, one of the yummiest food streets in Kyoto.
Aoi Hotel Kyoto
Sip sake when you arrive at the brand-new Aoi Hotel Kyoto. The hotel is small, so the service is highly personalized. Staff here will always go out of their way to make you feel special.
If it’s space you’re looking for when figuring out where to stay, the boutique Aoi Hotel delivers.
The modern and spacious suites feature balconies overlooking the river and en-suite bathrooms that boast both bathtubs and showers with electronic water systems and washlet toilets. The suites even come equipped with full kitchenettes to help you save costs by eating in.
Best of all, the Aoi Kyoto is only a five minutes’ walk from Kawaramachi Station, and ten minutes from some of the city’s most exciting shopping and entertainment areas. Even the charms of Gion and Higashiyama dwell just across the Kamo River from the hotel.
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
If you’re looking for pure, unadulterated lavishness when deciding where to stay look no further than The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto.
Clinging to the banks of the Kamo River with splendid views of the mountains, this 5-star luxury hotel was awarded Condé Nast’s Best Hotel in the Japan Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards 2017.
Just one kilometre from the city centre, the large suites at The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto are modelled on traditional Meiji era houses.
Here tables are adorned with orchids and window sills with bonsai trees.
Each room features large marble bathrooms with a rain shower and soaker tub. For a particularly unique stay, book yourself into one of the spectacular garden rooms that lead off into traditional Japanese Zen gardens.
At this top Kyoto hotel, you’ll never find yourself twiddling your thumbs. Learn Japanese floral design and origami. Or, if crafts aren’t quite your thing, relax with a massage in the spa, sweat out some sake in the gym or float aimlessly in the indoor pool.
There’s even three top-notch on-site restaurants including the meticulously crafted kaiseki meals at Mizuki and the fresh Italian flavours of La Locanda making this hotel the perfect choice for where to stay in Kyoto.
Hyatt Regency Kyoto
The beautiful Hyatt Regency Kyoto combines modern comfort with Japanese tradition. In its grounds, this top-end 5-star hotel features an 850-year-old garden was once part of Kyoto Imperial Palace.
Paper lanterns gently light the spacious rooms where framed kimono fabrics line the walls. After soaking in the tub in the large granite-laden bathrooms, head off to one of the three on-site restaurants to sample the fine French, Italian or Japanese cuisine.
Indulge yourself at the spa of the Hyatt Regency Kyoto which offers more treatments than any other hotel spa in Japan. Here you can enjoy aromatherapy, shiatsu massages, and acupuncture.
The Hyatt Regency is conveniently situated next to the Sanjusangendo Temple, one of the most popular & fascinating temples in Kyoto, and is right across the road from the Kyoto National Museum.
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
In the temple area at the base of the Higashiyama mountains, the serene and stylish Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto charms guests as one of the absolute best hotels in Kyoto. It offers light and spacious rooms with full wall windows that overlook gardens or lead onto balconies.
The décor inside and out combines both modern style and traditional touches, embodying Japanese culture with bamboo forests and manicured gardens, tatami, and shoji screens.
Cross a glass bridge to an ancient 800-year-old pond garden where you can experience a tea ceremony.
You can even enjoy the garden views while you eat local dishes at The Brasserie.
Additional amenities at the Four Seasons Kyoto for your stay include massage services, steam rooms, saunas, and a swimming pool.
Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto
For the past four years the prestigious Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto has received three black pavilions from the Michelin Guides.
The enormous rooms are stylishly furnished with luxurious finishes and all the conveniences you expect in a top end hotel.
When staying at the Nikko Princess Kyoto, take the chance to indulge in a spa or a massage in the beauty parlour. Or if you prefer to get moving, splash around a bit in the pool or workout in the fully-equipped gym.
End off the day at the Nikko Princess Kyoto with a pre-dinner cocktail in the cozy bar followed by a French, Japanese or Cantonese meal in one of the hotel’s five on-site restaurants.
The convenient Nikko Princess is located just three minutes from Shijo Station.
Many of the most popular historical & cultural attractions lie within a short walking distance, making this elegant hotels one of the top places to consider when choosing where to stay in Kyoto.
Hotel Granvia Kyoto
The elegant and contemporary Hotel Granvia Kyoto boasts nine restaurants, three cozy cocktail lounges and an art gallery displaying over a thousand works of art.
Located in Kyoto Station, the city’s main train station and transportation hub, this modern property is at the centre of the activity.
Experience the true taste of Japan in one of four on-site restaurants or feast your eyes onto the cityscape while indulging your taste for French cuisine.
If you prefer to eat alone, private dining facilities offer both Western and Japanese cuisine. A modern lounge and cozy bar round off the offerings at the Granvia Kyoto.
Before retiring to the comfort of your stylish suite, stopover at the indoor pool, relax in the Jacuzzi or work out in the on-site fitness centre.
Summary: The best places to stay in Kyoto
- Need a great budget Kyoto hotel with a good location? The tastefully Japanese-inspired Hotel Gracery Kyoto Sanjo offers 4-star lodgings for 2-star prices in a central location that can hardly be beat.
- Craving modern boutique lodging at a mid-range price? The beautiful Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto indulges its guests with large comfortable rooms and a spectacular on-site restaurants run by an award-winning local chef.
- Searching the pinnacle of luxuriousness? There’s no better 5-star home away from home than the Four Seasons Kyoto, combining a stunning setting, luxurious amenities, and traditional design elements for an experience like none other in Kyoto.
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