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Where to stay in Kyoto

Himeji Castle with frame of While Cherrry Blossoms Viewing Festival, Kyoto Japan, this immage can use for asia, travel, japan, japanese and kyoto concept

Japan’s cultural capital of Kyoto is a must-visit for anyone planning a trip to Japan. Kyoto is second only to Tokyo for the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, and has more pre-war buildings than all other Japanese cities combined, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites. While Kyoto may seem quaint, with ancient temples and the geisha district, it’s still a large city with 1.5 million residents.

The main attractions are fairly compact, and Kyoto has excellent public transportation options, so getting around is easy. Finding the best place to stay in Kyoto will depend on your budget and travel style, and whether you want a traditional Japanese guest house, or one of the more modern Kyoto hotels. As you decide where to stay in Kyoto Japan, Ryokan, or traditional Japanese style inns, offer a unique cultural experience, and may be easier on the the budget than a luxury hotel.

We will cover off all types of Kyoto accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Kyoto hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Kyoto Japan 2023, the best Kyoto hotels, best places in Kyoto to visit, the best places to stay in Kyoto, hotels near Kyoto attractions, Kyoto neighborhood guide and many more.

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Downtown Kyoto – Where to stay in Kyoto first time

For first time visitors to Kyoto, downtown Kyoto is the best place to find Kyoto accommodation. While you will be in walking distance to some of the best Kyoto restaurants and shopping, you will also have easy access to the two subway lines of Kyoto, as well as two train lines for day trips from Kyoto.

Downtown Kyoto is not a main sightseeing area, but the central location still make downtown Kyoto hotels an excellent choice. Downtown Kyoto is home to several famous food markets, including the Nishiki Market and Takashimaya Basement Food Floor. This is also where you’ll find two of Kyoto’s most popular shopping arcades: Shinkyogoku and Teramachi.

Best places to stay in Downtown Kyoto

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Downtown Kyoto:
Jam Hostel Kyoto Gion
Taberutomaru Nijo Castle
Gojo Guest House
Kyoto Guesthouse Roujiya

Budget Hotels in Downtown Kyoto:
The Pocket Hotel Kyoto Shijokarasuma
Centurion Cabin & Spa Kyoto
Du-Ran Samurai Inn
Guesthouse Sanjo Takakura Hibiki

Mid range Hotels in Downtown Kyoto:
Nest at Nishiki Kyoto
Hotel M’s Est Shijo Karasuma
Ryoan Kazuki

Family Friendly Hotels in Downtown Kyoto:
Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Kyoto Premier Sanjo Kamogawa
Cross Hotel Kyoto
R&Run Kyoto Serviced Apartment & Suites
Hotel Monterey Kyoto

Affordable Luxury Hotels in Downtown Kyoto:
Matsui Honkan Ryokan
Village Kiramachi
Sumiya Ryokan
Aoi Hotel Kyoto

KYOTO, JAPAN - Unidentified people walking at outside of Nishiki Market in Kyoto, in Japan.

Northern Higashiyama – Where to stay in Kyoto with family

Across the river from downtown Kyoto are the Higashiyama districts. If you want to know where to stay in Kyoto with family, Northern Higashiyama is an excellent choice. There are many great Kyoto attractions in North Higashiyama, including dozens of temples, shrines, museums and gardens. Art aficionados will appreciate Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts, and the National Museum of Modern Art.

The open spaces and sparser crowds of Northern Higashiyama are perfect for families visiting Kyoto with children, yet still within walking distance to nearby districts. There are fewer Kyoto hotels in this district, but still many options, including home rentals and ryokan.

Best places to stay in Northern Higashiyama

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Northern Higashiyama:
Jam Hostel Kyoto Gion
Gojo Guest House Annex
Gojo Guest House
Hostel Mundo Chiquito

Budget Hotels in Northern Higashiyama:
Kyoto Traveler’s Inn
Eco and Tec Kyoto
Rinn Higashiyama Sanjo
Sauna & Capsule Hotel Rumor Plaza

Mid range Hotels in Northern Higashiyama:
Hotel Material
Kyoto Okazaki Machiya Nagomi
Koto Heian no Yado Kanade

Family Friendly Hotels in Northern Higashiyama:
Gozan Hotel & Service Apartment Higashiyama Sanjo
Hotel Heian No Mori Kyoto
Chion-In Wajun Kaikan
the b Kyoto Sanjo

Affordable Luxury Hotels in Northern Higashiyama:
Kyoto Nanzenji Garden Ryokan Yachiyo
The Westin Miyako Kyoto
Nanzenji Sando KIKUSUI
The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto

Scenic landscape of Philosopher's walk also called Tetsugaku-no-michi, a pedestrian path that follows a cherry-tree-lined canal in Kyoto, Higashiyama district, Japan.

Southern Higashiyama – Where to stay in Kyoto for nightlife

The other district of Higashiyama is the southern half, is an extremely popular place to stay in Kyoto. Like its northern counterpart, Southern Higashiyama has many temples to fill your Kyoto itinerary. There’s also the Kyoto National Museum, and several quaint lanes which are both interesting and extremely photogenic.

Photographers visiting Kyoto can stroll these lanes for days, snapping shots of these historic walkways. Perhaps the most famous area of Southern Higashiyama is the Gion entertainment district, or the geisha district. Visitors wanting to catch a glimpse of the geisha will surely be visiting the Gion district. There is also good nightlife in Southern Higashiyama, not to mention plenty of restaurants, shopping and entertainment.

Best places to stay in Southern Higashiyama

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Southern Higashiyama:
Gojo Guest House
K’s House Kyoto
Jam Hostel Kyoto Gion

Budget Hotels in Southern Higashiyama:
Rinn Shichijo Ohashi Bridge
Ryokan Ohto
Kamo River Kiyomizu Gojo
Orient Gojozaka

Mid range Hotels in Southern Higashiyama:
Kyoto Takasegawa Bettei
Urbain Kyoto Kiyomizu Gojo
Guest House Yamato
Guest House Omotenashi Kyoto

Family Friendly Hotels in Southern Higashiyama:
Hotel Tozankaku
Kotoha Kiyomizu- Guest House In Kyoto
Kyogura Tofukuji
Hotel Glad One Kyoto Shichijo

Affordable Luxury Hotels in Southern Higashiyama:
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
Hyatt Regency Kyoto
Seikoro Inn

Kyoto, Japan - scenic and popular Ninen-zaka at dusk, Southern Higashiyama, a pedestrian street and cultural heritage with wooden houses, traditional shops and restaurants.

Kyoto Station Area – Where to stay in Kyoto for tourists

South of downtown Kyoto is the Kyoto Station area. As the name implies, the location is centered on the main Kyoto train station, making this the best place to stay in Kyoto for those planning many day trips around the countryside. Restaurants and shops are plentiful here as well, however, there are fewer Kyoto tourist attractions in this area.

Because of this, you may find more Kyoto hotels for budget travelers, but keep in mind transportation costs if you decide to stay here. What you save on a hotel you may end up spending on train tickets to see all the Kyoto attractions. There are a few temples in the Kyoto Station area, however much of this district is more modern.

Best places to stay in Kyoto Station

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Kyoto Station:
Piece Hostel Kyoto
Kyoto Hana Hostel
Daiichi Grand Hostel Kyoto
Mosaic Hostel Kyoto

Budget Hotels in Kyoto Station:
Hifumi Ryokan
Hotel Station Kyoto West
The Garnet Hotel Kyoto station

Mid range Hotels in Kyoto Station:
Matsumoto Ryokan
Hotel Hokke Club Kyoto
Hotel New Hankyu Kyoto
Hotel Kintetsu Kyoto Station

Family Friendly Hotels in Kyoto Station:
Kyoto Tower Hotel Annex
Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto Ekimae
Kyoto Hot Spring Hatoya Zuihokaku Hotel
Hotel Keihan Kyoto Grande

Affordable Luxury Hotels in Kyoto Station:
Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Hotel Kanra Kyoto
Aoi Hotel Kyoto

Kyoto Japan - Kyoto Tower in front of Kyoto Stationtower is the tallest in Kyoto height of 131 meters Kyoto Station is the city's transportation hub and also the site of a large bus terminal for city buses.

Central Kyoto – Where to stay in Kyoto on a budget

Central Kyoto covers a large area in the center of Kyoto. In fact, downtown Kyoto and the Kyoto Station area are entirely surrounded by what is considered Central Kyoto. Nijo Castle is one of Kyoto’s most popular attractions, as well as Kyoto Imperial Palace and surrounding gardens, the Kyoto Botanical Gardens, and several onsen and public baths, all found in Central Kyoto. Because this is a larger district, there are many Kyoto hotels to choose from in Central Kyoto. Of course, restaurants, markets and shops abound, so you’ll have no shortage of options if you choose to stay here.

Best places to stay in Central Kyoto

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Central Kyoto:
Taberutomaru Nijo Castle
Hostel Mundo Chiquito
Kyoto Guesthouse Roujiya
Hostel Mundo

Budget Hotels in Central Kyoto:
Capsule Resort Kyoto Square
Guesthouse Hitsujian
Hotel Chatelet Inn Kyoto
Talbot Kyoto Guest House

Mid range Hotels in Central Kyoto:
ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto
Rinn Nijo Castle

Family Friendly Hotels in Central Kyoto:
Kyoto Kamanza Hotel
Kyoto Four Sisters Residence
Kyoto Karasuma Oike Hotel Grandereverie

Affordable Luxury Hotels in Central Kyoto:
Shiki Juraku
The Hotel Kiyomizu Imperial Palace West
Tomoya Residence Hotel Kyoto Nijo Takakura
Kyoto Brighton Hotel

Ninomaru Garden in Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan

Arashiyama – Where to stay in Kyoto for access to the famous Bamboo grove

If you prefer to stay outside of the city, Arashiyama is about 30 minutes west of Kyoto and has some pretty important attractions, so even if you don’t stay here, you’re likely to visit at least once. The Arashiyama bamboo grove is “Insta-famous” and is one of Kyoto’s top sights. Of course, there are temples and onsen here, and Kameyama-koen Park is a great hilltop escape from the bustle of the, and visitors can often see monkeys here. Tenryu-ji  is the most famous temple in Arashiyama, and offers amazing views of the surrounding mountains.

Best places to stay in Arashiyama

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Arashiyama:
Hotel Binario Saga Arashiyama
Utano Youth Hostel

Budget Hotels in Arashiyama:
Sun Members Kyoto Saga
Riverside Arashiyama
Hotel Arashiyama
First Cabin Kyoto Arashiyama

Mid range Hotels in Arashiyama:
Nagi Kyoto Arashiyama
Japaning Hotel Liv Ranrokaku

Family Friendly Hotels in Arashiyama:
Sun Members Kyoto Saga
Kyoto Ranzan
The GrandWest Arashiyama

Affordable Luxury Hotels in Arashiyama:
Ryotei Rangetsu
Suiran Luxury Collection Hotel Kyoto

Path to bamboo forest Arashiyama Kyoto Japan

Kibune – Where to stay in Kyoto for nature lovers

Another suburban destination outside of Kyoto is the northern village of Kibune. Kibune is often visited as a day trip from Kyoto, in combination with nearby Kurama, although if you aren’t a first time visitor to Kyoto and just wish to be surrounded by nature, then Kibune may be the perfect place to stay. The surrounding hills are filled with walking trails, but you’ll also have many temples to explore, and a 30-minute train directly into Kyoto.

Best places to stay in Kibune

Budget Hotels in Kibune:
Minshuku Kochihira
Apical Inn

Mid range Hotels in Kibune:
Ohara Sanso
Ohara no Sato
Grand Prince Hotel Kyoto

Affordable Luxury Hotels in Kibune:
Hoshino Resorts L’Hotel de Hiei
Heihachi Jaya
Ryokan Nenrinbo

Red Light Poles continued staircase entrance to Kibune-jinja shrine Kyoto Japan.

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Where to stay in Kyoto

Where to stay in Kyoto

Where to stay in Kyoto

Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious! With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!