When visiting Japan, you have to go to Kyoto. The cultural capital of Japan is home to almost 2,000 temples, but also shrines and historic sites. Consequently, more than a million tourists come every year. But where to stay in Kyoto? It will depend on what you’re looking for, and whether you’re traveling solo, with your partner, with friends or with your family. This guide will tell you where to stay in Kyoto, list the best hotels in Kyoto and the best neighborhoods in Kyoto!
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Since you’ll be close to Kyoto Station, this area is convenient for trips to other parts of Japan. Moreover there are plenty of restaurants and shops in the area. Kyoto Station area is not the best for sightseeing in the city, but it’s good if you plan to visit various parts of Kyoto. It’s a convenient hub for travel. It’s nice to be based here, plus accommodation is cheaper than other parts of Kyoto. But you won’t find traditional Japanese here, it’s built up with concrete.
Where to stay in Kyoto Station (Shimogyo)
- Luxury: Hotel Granvia Kyoto. This luxury hotel boasts an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center and 9 dining options. The rooms are modern, spacious, well decorated with super comfortable beds. Since it’s located within Kyoto Station, it has easy access to shops and restaurants without having to go outside. Still, the rooms are quiet and restful. Click here to check the reviews, photos and availability.
- Mid-range: Kyoto Century Hotel. A nice hotel only two minutes away from Kyoto Station. It features 3 dining options, massage treatments and a great buffet breakfast. The rooms are spacious with wonderful amenities (TV with satellite channels, refrigerator, electric kettle…). Click here to check the reviews, photos and availability.
- Budget: Hotel M’s. It’s a modern budget hotel not far from Kyoto Station. The staff is smiling, the rooms are comfortable and clean and feature a flat-screen TV, a desk, a fridge and a kettle. Click here to check the reviews, photos and availability.
- Find all the Kyoto Station hotels
It’s probably the best area to stay in Kyoto. It’s the place to be for first-time visitors. It’s home to hundreds of restaurants, bars and shops but also food markets and nightclubs. It’s easy to get there thanks to two subway lines and two train lines. And it’s not far from Higashiyama, the city’s main sightseeing area. You’re in the middle of the city, therefore staying there can be a bit expensive. Since it’s a modern area, it kind of lost its authentic feel.
Where to stay in Downtown Kyoto
- Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto. It’s a great luxury hotel in the heart of Kyoto. The rooms are spacious, luxurious and beautifully designed, offering spectacular views of the river. The restaurants are excellent and the swimming pool is lovely. Click here to check the reviews, photos and availability.
- Mid-range: Hotel Grand Bach Kyoto Select. A lovely hotel! The rooms are small but clean, modern and comfortable. Some rooms have beds, whereas others have sleeping spaces with traditional tatami mats. The staff is friendly and very helpful! There’s a free onsen (spa) on the third floor. Click here to check the reviews, photos and availability.
- Budget: Hotel Resol Trinity Kyoto. This is a budget hotel featuring Japanese-style rooms with a private bathroom and all the basic amenities. The breakfast is great and the staff is very helpful. Click here to check the reviews, photos and availability.
- Find all the Downtown Kyoto hotels
It’s a great place to be based. Indeed, it’s close to some of the main Kyoto’s tourist attractions. You’re in the heart of the most beautiful ancient temples and shrines that Japan has to offer. It’s strategically located and there’s a great traditional Japanese atmosphere.
Gion, which is in the middle of Higashiyama, is known as the geisha district in Japan so you can spot them between 6 and 8pm. The area is home to some delicious restaurants. However, since numerous temples are located here, the area is often crowded and staying there can be expensive.
Where to stay in Southern Higashiyama
- Luxury: Hotel The Celestine Kyoto Gion. This is probably the best luxury hotel in Southern Higashiyama. You can relax in their public bath, eat a delicious breakfast and enjoy a great meal in their on-site Japanese restaurant. The rooms are comfortable and the staff is helpful. Click here to check the reviews, photos and availability.
- Mid-range: Hana-Touro Hotel Gion. This boutique hotel features large and comfortable Western style rooms with Japanese touches. It beautifully mixes the traditional with the modern. The bathrooms are luxurious with traditional bathtubs made of cedarwood. The hotel’s restaurant is great and the staff is friendly! Click here to check the reviews, photos and availability.
- Budget: Ryokan Hostel Gion. This hostel offer private rooms, dorms but also female-only dorms. Each capsule bed is fitted with curtains for privacy and an individual reading light. The bathrooms are modern and clean. Click here to check the reviews, photos and availability.
- Find all the Southern Higashiyama hotels
Central Kyoto is a huge area in the middle of the city and is a mix of both old and new. There are many good hotels in Central Kyoto, but you’ll have to take the subway to see the main tourist attractions and enjoy the nightlife of Kyoto. Therefore staying there is quite cheap. However, it’s a good place to be based if you want to go shopping. You’ll find traditional markets, large stores and shopping centers.
Where to stay in Central Kyoto
- Luxury: Kuraya Jurakudai. It’s a ryokan, a traditional style of Japanese accommodation featuring tatami-matted rooms and common spaces for guests to interact with other patrons and the owner. This ryokan is fully equipped and the breakfast is delicious. One of the best accommodation in Kyoto! Click here to check the reviews, photos and availability.
- Mid-range: Citadines Kyoto Karasuma-Gojo. It’s a nice place well-located and perfect for those with dietary restrictions, those who stay for a long time but also for families. The apartments are fully equipped, clean and comfortable. Click here to check the reviews, photos and availability.
- Budget: Hostel Mundo Chiquito. This hostel offers mixed dorms but also private rooms. The hostel is clean, there’s a common area, a communal kitchen, a garden and you can rent bikes if needed. Click here to check the reviews, photos and availability.
- Find all the Central Kyoto hotels
If you’re a nature lover, you should stay in Arashiyama. However, you need to know is not close to the center, it’s actually on the outskirts, on the west side of the city. Accommodation is great there but if you want shopping, nightlife and many restaurants, you should go elsewhere.
Likewise, if it’s your first time in Kyoto, I wouldn’t suggest staying there. But if you’re into hiking, there are many walking opportunities, the mountains are not far and there’s the Bamboo Forest. FYI, the area is popular during the cherry blossom season.
Where to stay in Arashiyama
- Luxury: Arashiyama Benkei. This is also a ryokan. The hotel offers a beautiful Japanese garden and a hot spring bath. The traditional Japanese meals are excellent. Moreover, the staff is very helpful. Click here to check the reviews, photos and availability.
- Mid-range: Riverside Arashiyama. It’s a nice place to stay in. The rooms are spacious and comfortable. The hotel is modern and clean. Plus you’ll find plenty of shops, cafés, and restaurants in the surroundings. Click here to check the reviews, photos and availability.
- Budget: Mulan Hostel. It’s a nice hostel with Japanese-style bedrooms, a bar and a board games room. A charming and welcoming hostel with a friendly staff. Click here to check the reviews, photos and availability.
- Find all the Arashiyama hotels
- Traveling soon? Check out my travel resources page! This list of travel accessories can also be useful!
- Don’t travel without travel insurance! It will protect you against illness, injury, theft and cancellations. Click here to get one. Here’s why get travel insurance!
- Want a tailor-made trip to Japan? Get a free quote here!
- Always use a VPN when traveling. I use ExpressVPN and I love it! Here’s why use a VPN when traveling.