Where To Stay In Kyoto: Best Neighborhoods and Tips for Accommodation

Where To Stay In Kyoto

Where To Stay In Kyoto – Kyoto is one of the most famous cities in Japan, due to its history since the time when it was the country’s capital and due to its imperial past. Kyoto is very big and diverse, and it would be a sin to visit Japan and not stop by the city. In our planning, we spent more days here than in Tokyo, because there was so much to do.

To help you choose where to stay in Kyoto, we created a list of alternatives around the city. We will introduce you to 5 neighborhoods and areas that have the best accommodation and amenities for a perfect stay.

In addition to the neighborhoods, we will also present hotel options for different tastes and budgets.

Where To Stay In Kyoto: Best Neighborhoods and Tips for Accommodation

5 Best Places to Stay in Kyoto


To help you decide where to stay in Kyoto, we have created this informative guide about five different areas of the city. Each of these regions has its own particularities and attractions, and we will show you all these details below.

We will consider aspects such as location, proximity to tourist attractions, ease of public transport and variety of food options. This way you can evaluate what best fits your travel profile and choose the perfect place to stay in Kyoto.

Next, we’ll get to know each of these neighborhoods a little more, covering their main advantages for accommodation in Kyoto.

1. Kyoto Eki – Kyoto Station (Shimogyo)

Kyoto Station

Located on the outskirts of Kyoto Station, the Shimogyo area offers the greatest advantage of easy access to public transport. It is a practical choice for visitors who want to explore the city and its surrounding areas.

With a wide selection of hotels, shops and restaurants there, those staying there stay in Downtown Kyoto (center), which is close to the Kyoto Tower.

In this region you will find all the amenities you need during your stay.

Convenient and central

Although in terms of beauty this is not the most interesting place in the city, Shimogyo’s strategic location makes up for all this with ease of transportation.

From Kyoto Station you can quickly reach all popular tourist spots. From there there are also connections to Osaka and Nara, in addition to having access to the central station, where you can catch the bullet train to the rest of the country.

For these reasons, Shimogyo is a practical alternative when it comes to knowing where to stay in Kyoto if you are looking for convenient transportation.

Hotels near Kyoto Station

In the central Kyoto area, our hotel recommendations are:

  • Onyado Nono Kyoto Shichijo : Very elegant hotel, with reviews that highlight, in addition to the convenient location, the staff and accommodations.
  • Hotel Androoms Kyoto Shichijo : It is a good hotel, of a more economical standard, with good value for money. It has modern, spacious rooms and a free bicycle rental service.
  • Hotel Vischio Kyoto : Offers comfort, cleanliness and quiet public areas.

2. Shijō and Karasuma

The area around Gion Shijo and Karasuma subway stations is the commercial center outside of Downtown Kyoto. This region has popular tourist attractions, such as the famous Nishiki Market.

Additionally, this area is known for its active nightlife. Here you will find several restaurants, bars and shops that are open at night.

Although it is not close to Kyoto Station, where the bullet train lines (shinkansen) that connect to the rest of Japan arrive and leave, the Karasuma subway line passes through there. From there you can connect to the city center, and also to Osaka via the Hankyu-Kyoto line.

Is it worth staying in Shijō and Karasuma?

The Shijo and Karasuma area is more modern, urban and lively.

This was the area we chose for our stay, and we didn’t regret it. For us, it is the most interesting part to stay in Kyoto.

However, it is worth mentioning that this part of the city is a little busier than other neighborhoods, which are quieter due to their commercial nature.

Furthermore, although the region has the largest supply of hotels, demand is very high. It is advantageous that you book rooms in advance to ensure availability of the desired options, especially the most economical ones.

Hotel tips in Shijō and Karasuma

In our assessment, the best alternatives are:

  • Candeo Hotels Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku : This is where we stayed during our trip to Kyoto, we really liked it. It is very close to the Karasuma subway and other public transport. The hotel has very friendly staff, fluent in English (which is not common in Japan) and has free onsens (hot spring baths) which I used a lot!
  • Hotel Resol Kyoto Shijo Muromachi : Comfortable hotel, with spacious rooms and very good reviews.
  • Imu Hotel Kyoto : Hotel with an economical profile, but with a great rating. It has modern rooms and breakfast included.
  • Comfort Inn Kyoto Shijokarasuma : Budget hotel with very good reviews. Easy access to Shijo station, Nishiki market and local restaurants.

3. Kawaramachi and Gion

Kawaramachi and Gion

This part of Kyoto is already more historic. Kawaramachi and Gion are located along the bank of the Kamo River on the east side of the city.

Here is the geisha area (although it is very difficult to see them walking the streets nowadays). Plus, it’s right on the path to important tourist spots like Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Yasaka Shrine.

Although there is no long-distance train station here, the region has many bus lines that take you to the subway.

You will also find many restaurants, shops, entertainment options and a lively nightlife in the streets. However, keep in mind that this region can be very busy during the month of July, when the Gion Matsuri Festival takes place.

Hotel tips in Kawaramachi and Gion

In this area of ​​the city, our highlights are:

  • Sora Niwa Terrace Kyoto : Fantastic hotel, close to the river and the Kawaramachi and Gion-Shijo subways. From the terrace you can have a beautiful view of the city. The rooms are small, but well decorated.
  • Hotel Alza Kyoto : At this hotel, visitors mainly praise the beds and bathrooms, for their comfort and space. It is very close to the Kamo River.
  • Hotel Forza Kyoto Shijo Kawaramachi : This hotel is beautiful. The rooms are modern and spacious, and the beds are large. Convenient location on the main avenue in the region.
  • Good Nature Hotel Kyoto : Hotel with an exclusive standard, with a concept focused on sustainability. The rooms are large, people who have been there praise the beds and the breakfast.

4. Sanjo and Higashiyama

Sanjo and Higashiyama

Sanjo and Higashiyama are neighborhoods located in eastern Kyoto. It is the region where most of the famous temples that bring so many tourists to Kyoto are located. Even though they are very busy during the day, they are quiet and traditional neighborhoods to stay in, with a lot of Japanese culture. So, if you are looking for these characteristics, these are great alternatives for where to stay in Kyoto.

It is common to find traditional Japanese-style accommodation options here, such as ryokans or vacation rental houses.

You will find restaurants, bars and shops along the streets, however, it is important to mention that Sanjo and Higashiyama can be considered less busy neighborhoods compared to central areas such as Kyoto Station or Shijo-Karasuma.

In relation to public transport, accessing other parts of the city may require a little more logistical planning.

Hotels in Sanjo and Higashiyama
  • Te Hotel Higashiyama : Elegant hotel with clean, spacious rooms.
  • Stay SAKURA Kyoto Gion North : Economical option in the region. Convenient apartment with great facilities and beautiful views.
  • Hotel Wing International Premium : Budget hotel, located close to the Sanjo metro station. The rooms are spacious and silent.

5. Arashiyama

Arashiyama, although far from downtown Kyoto and other central areas, is a good accommodation option. The neighborhood is very beautiful and quiet, it is on the banks of the Katsura River.

Here are some of the city’s biggest attractions, the bamboo forests. Arashiyama is the ideal place for those looking for places to stay in Kyoto who want to find more luxurious accommodation options in the middle of nature.

However, as it is further from the center, it means that your travel time to other points will be longer, and this can be a limiting factor. Think carefully about your priorities before making the decision.

Hotel tips in Arashiyama

In Arashiyama our accommodation tips are:

  • Kadensho : Exclusive hotel with Japanese buffet breakfast.
  • The GrandWest Arashiyama : Very good hotel, close to several attractions in Arashiyama. The rooms are spacious and comfortable with beautiful views of the city.

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How many days are ideal to stay in Kyoto?


The number of days to stay in Kyoto largely depends on what you want to explore.

Considering the city’s cultural and historical offering, which includes temples, sanctuaries and gardens, in addition to the various gastronomic options, a recommended minimum period would be three to four days.

However, if your interest is in exploring Kyoto’s best areas in depth, extending the trip to a week is a good idea. We stayed for 5 days and it was still very busy.

Where to stay in Kyoto: Is it worth choosing a ryokan?

This style of guesthouse offers peaceful environments, rooms with tatami mats, sliding doors, Asian breakfast and kaiseki meals, a type of traditional banquet.

Opting for a ryokan during your stay in Kyoto can be an excellent way to participate in traditional Japanese culture. We stayed in one and it was one of the best nights of the trip. An incredible experience and unlike anything we have ever seen.

However, it is important to consider your personal needs and budget when choosing where to stay in Kyoto.

Ryokans typically cost more than conventional hotels, and may not suit those seeking modern amenities.

Where to find good ryokan options

Kyoto offers good Ryokan options throughout the city.

In the Higashiyama area, in particular, you will find some of the best establishments of this style. The neighborhood has narrow streets and is full of history, reminiscent of ancient Japan.

Another option is the Arashiyama region, where there are also excellent ryokans.

Accommodation in a capsule hotel in Kyoto

A capsule hotel can be an interesting alternative for those looking for a different and economical experience. These hotels, which emerged in Japan, are small individual compartments that contain all the basic needs for a good night’s sleep.

However, capsule hotels may not be the best option for those who need more space or privacy. And they are definitely not a place for those with claustrophobia.

Even though they are an efficient way to save money on accommodation, they may not provide the same level of cultural experience that other places can offer.

The cost-benefit ratio will not always be sufficient.

Where to stay in Kyoto: Tips and recommendations

Now you have a guide to help you choose where to stay in Kyoto. Analyze your options carefully, consider your desires and availability so that your base in the city makes sense with the rest of your schedule.

Each neighborhood has particular characteristics and caters to different traveler profiles.

For those looking for a more intense experience of local culture, for those who prioritize ease of travel or for those who prefer quieter places close to nature, Kyoto is a destination full of options.

We hope we have made your decision on where to stay in Kyoto easier and we hope you have a good trip to Japan!

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