If you’re heading to Kyoto, you won’t be disappointed with all the incredible sights you will see. That’s the thing, though. There are so many amazing tourist attractions in Kyoto, that you may be wondering about just exactly where to stay in Kyoto?
There is no airport in Kyoto, so most likely you will be arriving by either by train, bus or private car. Kyoto is a connected city and your transport options are varied. The availability of public transport is amazing, and you can visit all the main Kyoto tourist spots quite easily.
Types of accommodation in Kyoto
Compensated links are contained in this post. If you purchase through these links, I earn a small commission. Please read my disclaimer for more info.
There are several different types of accommodations in Kyoto. These range from hostels, hotels, ryokans, and homestays or Airbnb.
Hostels are perfect for the backpacker and those people who are travelling on a small budget. They may have dorm style rooms with shared bathrooms, or you may be able to get a private room.
Hotels are a good option for your stay in Kyoto. They are usually located in areas that are close to transport or sightseeing locations. Hotels are usually in convenient locations for travel. Although, they are a more expensive option than hostels and some Airbnb’s.
Ryokans are traditional Japanese Inns. They will usually have a tatami floor and a futon mattress to sleep on. A ryokan stay will usually include meals in the price. Staying in a ryokan is a unique experience in Japan!
Staying in an Airbnb in Kyoto is another option that is worthwhile checking out. If you are trying to minimise food costs, or would like the creature comforts of home, this might be a solid option.
Whichever type of accommodation you choose, will be a personal one.
Best time to visit Kyoto
The best time of the year to visit Kyoto to witness the amazing cherry blossom season is in the Spring. Mid-March and April are the best months. The fall foliage is also incredible to see. This occurs during mid-October and November. During these periods the tourist numbers will be large. Also, costs for hotels will be high.
To make your trip more affordable, you can look either side of these months for cheaper prices. You will probably still have good weather and the crowds at the popular tourist attractions will be lower.
Kyoto – where to stay
There are multiple prefectures and areas that you can choose to stay in. Typically, this will depend on your budget. What transport you choose to travel around on and what attractions in Kyoto you want to visit will also be important factors.
The best area to stay in Kyoto will be based on a combination of these things.
Hotels near Kyoto station
When travelling, I use either feet power or public transport. If you are the same, then I recommend staying as close to a main source of public transportation that your budget will allow.
Around Kyoto Station you will either be staying in the Shimogyo or the Minami Ward. Which ward you stay in will depend on which side of the station you are on.
Kyoto Station is the main transport hub in Kyoto. Here you will find trains and both local and regional services depart from here. There are also buses and taxies. You can reach all the popular tourist attractions in Kyoto from here. Staying in a hotel near Kyoto Station would be my recommendation.
The following are good examples of where to stay near Kyoto Station.
Best budget hotel near Kyoto Station
Best mid-range hotel near Kyoto Station
Best luxury hotel near Kyoto Station
Best ryokan near Kyoto Station
Hotels in the Higashiyama Ward
The Higashiyama Ward is home to some of the most popular tourist sites in Kyoto. This is a large ward the is to the east of Kyoto Station.
Sights in this district include Tofukuji Temple, Rengeoin Sanjusangendo, Kiyomizudera, Kodaiji Temple, Yasaka Shrine and the Gion District. If you’ve started researching tourist attractions in Kyoto, no doubt you’ve come across some of these names already.
Related: 1-day tour of Kyoto by bicycle
This part of Kyoto is truly beautiful and if you stay in this area you will be closer to the main Kyoto attractions.
Best budget hotel in Higashiyama Ward
Best mid-range hotel in Higashiyama Ward
Best luxury hotel in Higashiyama Ward
Best ryokan in Higashiyama Ward
Hotels in the Sakyo Ward
The Sakyo Ward takes in a large area in Kyoto’s north-eastern area. Some of the popular tourist sites include Kyoto City Zoo, Heian Shrine, The Philosopher’s Path and Higashiyama Jishoji or the Silver Pavilion.
While Kyoto is very connected with public transport, this area is further away from Kyoto Station. If you are planning on only staying a few days and visiting attractions close by, then staying here will be convenient. If you are planning on visiting as much of Kyoto as you can, then this area might become slightly inconvenient.
Best budget hotel in Sakyo Ward
Best mid-range hotel in Sakyo Ward
Best luxury hotel in Sakyo Ward
Best ryokan in Sakyo Ward
Hotels in the Kamigyo Ward
The Kamigyo Ward is directly north of Kyoto Station. This area takes in the Kyoto Imperial Palace. Bordering this ward is Nijo Castle. It is also close to Kinkakuji Temple or the Golden Pavilion.
Related: Visiting Kinkakuji Temple
There are some public transport options in this ward that make it easy to get around Kyoto. But, you’re further away from the main sights if you want to walk.
Best budget hotel in Kamigyo Ward
Best mid-range hotel in Kamigyo Ward
Best luxury hotel in Kamigyo Ward
Best ryokan in Kamigyo Ward
Hotels in the Ukyo Ward
The most famous area of Ukyo Ward is Arashiyama. The Ukyo Ward is in the north-western region of Kyoto. There are not a lot of hotels in this region. Because of this the prices are higher than in other wards.
Related: 1-day itinerary of Arashiyama
In Arashiyama you will find the Arshiyama Bamboo Grove, Tenruyji Temple, Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama and the Sagano Romantic Train. If you only have a short time in Kyoto and these are the sights you really want to visit, then staying here might be convenient. If you are planning on seeing all the other best tourist attractions in Kyoto, then staying in this district may become time-consuming for travel.
Best budget hotel in Ukyo Ward
Best mid-range hotel in Ukyo Ward
Best luxury hotel in Ukyo Ward
Best ryokan in Ukyo Ward
Travelling to Kyoto is an amazing experience. One that should be on your Japan bucket list. Choosing the best hotel Kyoto for your itinerary will depend on what tourist sites you are planning on visiting, your budget, and your means of transportation. I hope this article has given you some ideas on the best place to stay in Kyoto. If you’re still wondering where to stay at Kyoto, you can visit the main booking site here to continue your search.
More on Japan
10-day itinerary of Japan
1-day tour of Kyoto by bicycle
Visiting Kinkakuji in Kyoto
Travel planning for Japan
1-day Arashiyama itinerary
More on Asia
Kuala Lumpur 2 day itinerary and guide
1 week in Vietnam itinerary
Annapurna Base Camp trek in March
Travel gear guides
Guide to buying to the best purse for travel
Guide to buying the best shoe bags for travel
Antarctic clothing list