Where To Stay In Kyoto (2024)

If you’re wondering where to stay in Kyoto, check our comparison of Kyoto’s key areas for places to stay and our rundown of the types of accommodation available in Kyoto

Where To Stay In Kyoto (1)
Kyoto © HerryLawford

Where Is The Best Area To Stay In Kyoto?

The following are the best, most convenient areas to stay in Kyoto, listed in rough order of priority, with the most convenient places listed first.

Downtown Kyoto

All things considered, Downtown Kyoto is the best place in the city to be based. You’ll be within walking distance of hundreds of restaurants, shop and bars, as well as both of the city’s subway lines and two train lines. Downtown Kyoto is also within walking distance of two of the city’s main sightseeing areas: Southern Higashiyama and Northern Higashiyama. The only caveat is that downtown Kyoto can be crowded, so if you don’t like crowds, check some other areas.

Our top hotel and ryokan picks in Downtown Kyoto are

  • International Luxury: Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
  • Local Luxury: Kyoto Hotel Okura
  • Ryokan: Tawaraya
  • Mid-Range: Solaria Nish*tetsu Hotel Kyoto Premier
  • Budget: Hotel Resol Trinity Kyoto Oike Fuyacho

See our full list of recommended hotels on the Downtown Kyoto page.

Check Hotel Availability

Southern Higashiyama

Southern Higashiyama is also a great place to be based. It’s near some of the city’s most impressive sights and there are plenty of restaurants scattered about, especially if you stay in or near Gion. Best of all, the lanes of Southern Higashiyama are incredibly atmospheric for strolling in the evening.

Our top hotel and ryokan picks in Southern Higashiyama are

  • Luxury: Four Seasons Kyoto
  • Vacation Rental: Amber House
  • Ryokan: Yuzuya Ryokan
  • Mid-Range: Hotel Alza Kyoto
  • Budget: RC Hotel Kyoto Yasaka

See our full list of recommended hotels on the Southern Higashiyama page.

Kyoto Station Area

Kyoto Station is a good place to be based. There are plenty of restaurants and shops and, of course, you’ll be very close to Kyoto Station, which is convenient for trips to other parts of Japan, as well as buses to all parts of Kyoto. The downside is that you’ll have to travel to do your sightseeing in Kyoto.

Our top hotel and ryokan picks in the Kyoto Station Area are

  • Luxury: Hotel Granvia Kyoto
  • Ryokan: Izuyasu
  • Mid-Range: Hotel Vischio Kyoto
  • Budget: Sakura Terrace

See our full list of recommended hotels on the Kyoto Station Area page.

Recommended Luxury Hotels In Kyoto

Where To Stay In Kyoto (7)Ritz-Carlton KyotoBest location of any
hotel in town
More Info

Where To Stay In Kyoto (8)Hyatt Regency KyotoSpacious rooms and
great restaurants
More Info

Where To Stay In Kyoto (9)Four Seasons KyotoHidden sanctuary in Southern HigashiyamaMore Info

Where To Stay In Kyoto (10)Kyoto Hotel OkuraFine hotel with
unbeatable location
More Info

Central Kyoto

Central Kyoto encompasses a huge area in the middle of the city. There are several good hotels in Central Kyoto that aren’t too far from downtown and the subway lines. The downside with staying in Central Kyoto is that you’ll probably have to travel to the main sightseeing districts as well as the restaurants and nightlife of downtown.

Our top hotel and ryokan picks in Centra Kyoto are

  • Luxury: Kyoto Brighton Hotel
  • Ryokan: Nazuna Kyoto Gosho
  • Mid-Range: Citadines Karasuma-Gojo Kyoto
  • Budget: Tokyoko Inn Gojo-Karasuma

See our full list of recommended hotels on the Central Kyoto page.

Recommended Budget Hotels In Kyoto

Where To Stay In Kyoto (11)Hotel ExcellenceBusiness-style rooms
at capsule rates
More Info

Where To Stay In Kyoto (12)MYSTAYS KyotoMYSTAYS Kyoto is a good budget business hotelMore Info

Where To Stay In Kyoto (13)Toyoko Inn KyotoVery good value
business hotel
More Info

Where To Stay In Kyoto (14)ibis Styles ShijoConvenient for exploring Kyoto on footMore Info

Northern Higashiyama

Northern Higashiyama is a good place to stay, particularly if you want to be near greenery and don’t mind getting on your bicycle or a bus to get downtown for eating and shopping (of course, there are some restaurants in Northern Higashiyama as well). There aren’t many hotels in Northern Higashiyama, but there are some ryokan, guesthouses and vacation rentals.

Our top hotel and ryokan picks in Northern Higashiyama are

  • Luxury: Okura Okazaki Bettei
  • Mid-Range: Hotel Legasta Kyoto Higashiyama Sanjo
  • Vacation Rental: Koto Inn
  • Ryokan: Nanzenji Sando Kikusui

See our full list of recommended hotels on the Northern Higashiyama page.


All the way over on the west side of the city, Arashiyama is not the most popular place to stay, but it’s good for a night or two if you want to stay close to nature. Two of the city’s finest accommodations are here: the superb Hoshinoya Kyoto, which is accessible by boat up the Hozu-gawa River, and Arashiyama Benkei, a classic ryokan with wonderful views of the mountains.

You can read more about Arashiyama’s many attractions on the Arashiyama page.

Popular Kyoto Ryokan


All the way up in the mountains north of the city, the hamlet of Kibune is good for those who want to escape the city for a night or two. It’s home to the breathtaking Ryokan Ugenta, a romantic hideaway beyond compare.

Read more about Kibune’s attractions on the Kurama and Kibune page.

Where To Stay In Kyoto – Best Districts Map

District Map key:
Yellow: most desirable
Red: desirable
Green: acceptable
Light gray: less desirable
Medium gray: only in a pinch
Dark gray: last resort

Click the menu icon on the top left of the map to see the name and ranking of each Kyoto district. Zoom in on the map to explore each district in more detail.

Where To Stay In Kyoto (19)
Tawaraya exterior – image © Chris Rowthorn

Types Of Accommodation In Kyoto

In Kyoto, you can stay in everything from dirt-cheap guesthouses to five-star international hotels. Kyoto is packed with ryokans (traditional Japanese inns), making it a great place to sample this wonderful “only in Japan” experience. Just be warned that good ryokan can be very expensive (don’t forget that they usually serve meals) and staying in one is a little more involved than staying in a hotel. Thus, I often advise people to spend their first night in Kyoto in a ryokan, and then move to hotel for the rest of their stay.


Kyoto is home to some of the finest luxury ryokans in Japan, likeSeikoro and Nazuna Kyoto Gosho, as well as some great foreigner-friendly mid-range ryokans likeIshibeikoji Muan and Nishiyama Ryokan.

For specific ryokan recommendations, please see

  • Best Luxury Ryokan In Kyoto
  • Best Mid-Range Ryokan In Kyoto
  • Best Budget Ryokan In Kyoto
  • Kyoto’s Best Ryokan For Families
  • Kyoto’s Best Ryokan For Couples

See our overview of Kyoto ryokan on the Kyoto Ryokan page.


Kyoto has a fantastic selection of hotels, ranging from the top-of-the-line Ritz-Carlton Kyoto, to the superbly located Kyoto Hotel Okura, along with good value places.

For our picks of the best hotels in each category, please see

  • Best Luxury Hotels in Kyoto
  • Best Mid-Range Hotels in Kyoto
  • Best Budget Hotels In Kyoto
  • Best Boutique Hotels in Kyoto
  • Best Kyoto Hotels for Families
  • Best Kyoto Hotels for Sightseeing
  • The Most Romantic Hotels and Ryokan in Kyoto
  • Best Value Hotels In Kyoto

See our overview on the Kyoto Hotels page.

You can also check current Kyoto hotel availability at Agoda.com and Booking.com

Business Hotels

Business hotels are inexpensive hotels with small but adequate rooms with all the features you need. They’re usually an excellent value and they welcome travelers.

Our picks for the best business hotels include

  • Downtown Kyoto: Toyoko Inn Kyoto Gojo-Karasuma
  • Downtown Kyoto: Super Hotel Shijyo Kawaramachi
  • Downtown Kyoto: Hotel Mystays Kyoto-Shijo
  • Downtown Kyoto: Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto Shijokarasuma
  • Kyoto Station Area: Hotel Hokke Club Kyoto

See our Business Hotels In Kyoto page for more details.


Guesthouses have exploded in popularity in Kyoto in recent years, and it seems like a new one opens every week. There are some fly-by-night places out there, so we suggest staying at a well-established place like the excellent Len Kyoto Kawaramachi or the Aussie-style K’s House Kyoto.

You can see more recommended Guesthouses on the Kyoto Hostels And Guesthouses page.

Machiya Rentals/Vacation Rentals

Kyoto is famous for its wonderfully atmospheric traditional townhouses, known as machiya. A night in a beautifully restored machiya is an unforgettable experience – there are several available to book online. See ourKyoto Machiyapage for full details. You’ll also find lots of great modern vacation rentals in Kyoto on the usual websites.

Our picks for the best machiya rentals in Kyoto are

  • Southern Higashiyama: Amber House
  • Southern Higashiyama: Indigo House
  • Southern Higashiyama: The Gion House
  • Southern Higashiyama: The Old Modern
  • Southern Higashiyama: Jeugiya

See our recommended Kyoto Vacation Rentals page for more vacation rental info.

Peak Season: March – April and November

A FRIENDLY WARNING! Kyoto accommodation gets booked out months in advance for busy seasons like the late March to mid-April cherry blossom season and the November fall foliage season. Book well in advance for these times.

If you are having trouble finding places to stay in Kyoto, see my guide to Where To Stay If Kyoto Is Fully Booked which gives you several alternatives for accommodation.

You can check current Kyoto hotel availability during March, April and November on Agoda.com and Booking.com.

Visiting Tokyo or Osaka?

If you’re visiting Tokyo and/or Osaka as well as Kyoto, be sure to check out my Where To Stay In Tokyo and Where To Stay In Osaka pages on InsideKyoto.com’s companion websites, TrulyTokyo.com and InsideOsaka.com.

Kyoto Vacation Checklist

Kyoto District Map

Click a Kyoto District for detailed info on attractions, places to eat and accommodation

Where To Stay In Kyoto (20)

  • Arashiyama
  • Central Kyoto
  • Northwest Kyoto
  • Nishijin
  • Northern Higashiyama
  • Southern Higashiyama
  • Downtown Kyoto
  • Kyoto Station Area
  • South East Kyoto
Where To Stay In Kyoto (2024)


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