Destinations / Asia

Where to Stay in Kyoto: Best Neighbourhoods & Hotels for Visitors

The former capital of Japan, Kyoto is a timeless city where the spirit of Japan’s rich culture and history flows throughout its ancient temples, verdant Zen gardens, revered shrines and meditating locals. You’ll also quickly discover Kyoto’s cosmopolitan food scene, from craft beer halls to hole-in-the-wall noodle shops, along with the city’s local handicraft vendors.

With more than four million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve highlighted the best natural, cultural and historical spoils of Japan throughout six of the most popular neighbourhoods for travellers. We’ve also highlighted the top hotels in each area, giving you the perfect base for a complete Japanese immersion.

Gion

Why You Should Stay in Gion

Are you looking to experience traditional Japanese culture? Gion is the perfect place for some cultural insight, thanks to its local teahouses, restaurants and side-street bars. Gion is also where you can spot geishas, who provide a colourful tapestry of intricate kimonos on the iconic Tatsumi Bridge or among the upscale fashion retailers on Hanamikoji Street.

Must-Do Gion Experiences

  • Watch traditional kyo-mai dance performances by maiko dancers at Gion Corner.
  • Stroll through the peaceful Zen garden at the Kennin-Ji temple.
  • Visit the circa-656 AD Yasaka Shrine for the Japanese New Year rituals and celebrations.

Top Hotels in Gion

Hotel The Celestine Kyoto Gion

Hotel The Celestine Kyoto Gion bedroomThe 5-star Hotel The Celestine Kyoto Gion complements Gion’s traditional flair with its own authentic architecture and central location. Experience classic customs and personalised service while staying in the spacious rooms, which combine historic elegance with contemporary comforts. Each room offers heavenly bedding and sunlit windows, while the Celestine Deluxe Higashiyama also has Japanese paper decor and a separate dining area.

On-site dining includes sumptuous Japanese cuisine at Yasaka Endo and specially-made cocktails in Bar Oumie. You also have access to the tranquil Japanese Garden and a luxe public bath for soothing weary muscles. 

Nearby Attractions

  • Ryozen Museum of History (1 kilometre)
  • Gion Corner (750 metres)
  • Kennin-ji Temple Hojo (850 metres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 167 – USD 690
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: Higashiyama-ku Komatsucho 572, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Kizashi The Suite

Kizashi The Suite

HotelsCombined visitors rave about the delicious food served on-site at Kizashi The Suite, where you can order fresh Japanese cuisine to your room or even organise a banquet hosted by geishas. Indulge in a rejuvenating shiatsu massage, rent a bicycle for touring the city or take advantage of the babysitting service.

The traditionally-styled rooms feature wide-open spaces, king-size beds and umbrella pine baths. Book the Usagigumo 303 for a classic Japanese tea room, stay in the Sakura-Nadeshiko 402 for an in-room Jacuzzi or go with the affordable Karin 302, which has views of the streets below. 

Nearby Attractions

  • Yasaka Shrine (350 metres)
  • Kahitsukan, Kyoto Modern Art Museum (30 metres)
  • Tsujiri Tea House (140 metres) 

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 464 – USD 588
Guest Rating: 9
Address: 275 Gionmachi Kitagawa Higashiyama-ku, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Hotel Location

People against Kyoto Station in city

Why You Should Stay in Shimogyo-ku

Kyoto’s central hub for shopping, dining and cosmopolitan culture, Shimogyo-ku treats you to a bustling expanse of international retailers and restaurants, hip bars and business hangouts and futuristic shopping arcades. It all centres around the expansive Kyoto Station, while the nearby Aqua Fantasy and Kyoto Tower offer two of the city’s most memorable experiences.

Must-Do Shimogyo-ku Experiences 

  • Visit the observation deck at the 131-metre-tall Kyoto Tower for panoramic city views.
  • Watch the light and fountain show, Aqua Fantasy.
  • Browse the designer boutiques and brand-name stores within Kyoto Station.

Top Hotels in Shimogyo-ku

Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto Ekimae

Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto Ekimae bedroomConnected directly to the Kyoto Station underpass, Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto Ekimae offers exceptional convenience for sightseeing, shopping and dining. It’s also filled with modern rooms that provide hi-tech entertainment, comfortable beds and large windows. Stay in the budget-friendly Standard Double Room to enjoy a work desk, or splurge on the Executive King Room for a king-size bed.

Start your day with an exotic breakfast buffet in the on-site Vietnamese restaurant, Nha Viet Nam, which also serves sumptuous Vietnamese dinners. You’ll also find a relaxed lounge area within the hotel, while popular restaurants and attractions sit right outside. 

Nearby Attractions 

  • Kyoto Station shops and restaurants (450 metres)
  • Aqua Fantasy (260 metres)
  • Kyoto Tower (190 metres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 82 – USD 476
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: 707-2 Higashi-Shiokoji-Cho Shichijo- Sagaru Karasumado-Ri Shimogyou-Ku, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto Century Hotel

Kyoto Century Hotel bedroom

The upscale Kyoto Century Hotel is renowned for its on-site restaurant, La Jyho, which serves up sumptuous breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets. This inviting hotel also boasts signature cocktails in its Main Bar Essex and has grand banquet rooms for special occasions. Feeling too comfortable in bed? No need to get out of bed for breakfast with the dedicated room service.

Choose from a wide range of contemporary rooms at Kyoto Century Hotel, including the exquisite Garden Suite Room with beautiful private gardens, kitchenette and Kyoto-inspired artwork. Families of four can enjoy ample space in the Deluxe Family Room, while budget-focused travellers can book one of the Comfort Rooms.

Nearby Attractions

  • Kyoto Station shops and restaurants (300 metres)
  • Jorakuji Temple (850 metres)
  • Kyoto Tower (290 metres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 96 – USD 605
Guest Rating: 8.5
Address: 680 Higashi Shiokoji-cho, Shiokoji Sagaru, Higashinotoindori, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Hotel Location

Shinkyogoku-dori Street

Why You Should Stay in the Shinkyogoku Shopping District

Are you planning a Kyoto shopping holiday? The Shinkyogoku Shopping District might be the perfect neighbourhood for you with its unique stores selling the latest fashion trends, inviting retail arcades and mega department stores. You’ll also find one of Japan’s best fresh food markets, numerous outdoor concert spaces and peaceful riverside dining.

Must-Do Shinkyogoku Shopping District Experiences 

  • Browse the spices, fish, freshly-fried food and traditional drinks at Nishiki Market.
  • Dine at one of the popular teppanyaki restaurants along the Kamo River.
  • Hunt for unique trinkets and souvenirs along Shinkyogoku Street.

Top Hotels in the Shinkyogoku Shopping District

Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto

Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto bedroomA regular entry in the Michelin Guide for Kyoto, Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto is one of Kyoto’s best budget hotels, providing an array of surprising extras, including sumptuous Japanese cuisine in its XiaoFeiYang restaurant. You can also enjoy a healthy breakfast buffet at MOKUMOKU, while the surrounding streets reveal numerous restaurants, shops and cafes.

You’ll find the most affordability in the no-fuss Standard Single and Standard Double rooms, while the Deluxe King offers the added luxury of a heavenly king-size bed. All the rooms come with complimentary Wi-Fi, TVs, fridges and a range of free bathroom amenities.

Nearby Attractions

  • Nishiki Market (600 metres)
  • Pontocho Area shops and restaurants (550 metres)
  • Honnoji Temple (500 metres) 

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 72 – USD 350
Guest Rating: 9
Address: 457 Matsugae-Cho, Nakagyo-ku, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Hotel Grand Back Kyoto Resort

Hotel Grand Bach Kyoto Select bedroomNestled in the heart of the Shinkyogoku Shopping District, Hotel Grand Bach Kyoto Select is perfect for sightseeing, shopping and dining while saving money on accommodation. The 3-star hotel houses you in comfort with its modern and Kyoto-style twin and double rooms, which feature videos on demand, large windows and cosy bedding. Alternatively, upgrade to a Suite for a separate living area.

Take advantage of the on-site facilities and services, including refreshments and sumptuous fare at Mori-no-Bach Restaurant or a Kyoto-style breakfast with freshly-cooked rice and miso soup. You can also relax after a big day of sightseeing with a soak in the communal baths. 

Nearby Attractions

  • Nishiki Market (340 metres)
  • The Museum of Kyoto (900 metres)
  • Shinkyogoku Street shops (350 metres)

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 67 – USD 326
Guest Rating: 9
Address: Shimogyo-ku, Naramono-cho 363, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Hotel Location

Nakagyo

Why You Should Stay in Nakagyo-ku

Nakagyo-ku hosts three of the most famous festivals in Kyoto and features some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including a 17th-century castle and multiple temples. Explore this fascinating neighbourhood to discover the world of manga, shop through a 400-year-old market and enjoy a range of bars and restaurants frequented by locals.

Must-Do Nakagyo-ku Experiences

  • Experience the gardens and historic architecture of the Heritage-listed Nijō Castle.
  • Peruse the fresh produce, unique spices and exotic fruit at Nishiki Market.
  • View the array of Japanese comic books and graphic novels at the Kyoto International Manga Museum.

Top Hotels in Nakagyo-ku

Kyoto Hotel Okura

Kyoto Hotel Okura bedroomKyoto Hotel Okura has won over HotelsCombined visitors with its stunning city vistas and excellent location for shopping and dining. The hotel’s renowned city views are found in almost every room and suite, which also provide upscale, contemporary furnishings. The Corner Deluxe is ideal for couples seeking more space, while the Family Room caters to groups and the Imperial Suite offers 226 square metres of floor space.

Dine on site while admiring the metropolitan and suburban reaches of Kyoto at Pittoresque restaurant or indulge in sumptuous teppanyaki at Tokiwa. You can also enjoy authentic Chinese cuisine at China Terrace Toh-Lee, sip on cocktails and beer at Chippendale or eat Kyoto-style cuisine at Irifune. 

Nearby Attractions 

  • Kyoto Mangekyo Museum Anekoji Hall (950 metres)
  • Kyoto International Manga Museum (1.1 kilometres)
  • Fortune Garden Kyoto (240 metres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 98 – USD 480
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: Kawaramachi-Oike, Nakagyo-Ku, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan

The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto

The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto bedroomEnjoy the world-famous 5-star services and amenities of The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto, which occupies an enviable position overlooking the Kamogawa River. This extravagant hotel brings relaxation to you with its on-site Ritz-Carlton Spa treatments, a 20-metre swimming pool, sauna and steam room. You can also indulge in kaiseki, sushi, tempura and teppanyaki cuisines at Mizuki or traditional Italian at La Locanda.

The rooms range from the spacious Deluxe with window seating to the Deluxe Garden with Zen garden views, while the Luxury offers Kamogawa River and Higashiyama mountain views. Alternatively, upgrade to a suite for additional luxuries, such as a marble bathroom, balcony with fireplace, moon-viewing deck and traditional Japanese decor.

Nearby Attractions

  • Sentō Imperial Palace (1.4 kilometres)
  • Hosomi Museum (900 metres)
  • ROHM Theater Kyoto (1.2 kilometres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 643 – USD 2,217
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: Kamogawa Nijo-Ohashi Hotori, Nakagyo Ku, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Hotel Location

Pontocho Street, Kyoto, Japan, Day

Why You Should Stay in Pontocho

Nestled one block back from the Kamogawa River, Pontocho provides a relaxed ambience and some of Kyoto’s best dining experiences. The alley running from Shijo-dori to Sanjo-dori is lined with atmospheric eateries and bars, while the river banks reveal alluring waterside dining. You can also find a peaceful park and unique boutiques.

Must-Do Pontocho Experiences 

  • See the cherry blossom blooms within Pontocho Park during spring.
  • Dine on delicious Kyoto-style cuisine at Uryu Pontocho Hana or Pontocho Karyu.
  • Stroll down Pontocho Alley to browse local retailers and duck into hidden bars.

Top Hotels in Pontocho

Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto

Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto bedroomWeaving treasured traditions with beautiful artwork, Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto creates a serene ambience from the moment you enter. You can save money by staying on the Standard Floor in the Standard Double, Standard Twin or Deluxe Twin. All of these come with fridges, TVs and free Wi-Fi. Alternatively, upgrade to the Premium Floor to enjoy a complimentary buffet breakfast. This level includes the opulent Tsuzura Suite with traditional Japanese elements.

The on-site Monsieur Itoh restaurant expertly combines modern cuisine with Kyoto cooking techniques while providing a casual and social setting. If you fancy a late-night beer, wine or cocktail, head to the nearby Bar for a drink. 

Nearby Attractions 

  • Pontocho Park (400 metres)
  • Pontocho Alley (550 metres)
  • Qu’il Fait Bon Kyoto restaurant (140 metres) 

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 70 – USD 814
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: Kawaramachi Higashi-iru, Sanjo-dori, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Kyoto Premier

Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Kyoto Premier bedroomHugging the banks of the Kamo River, Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Kyoto Premier provides a tranquil retreat within one of Kyoto’s busiest neighbourhoods. The hotel caters to travellers looking for relaxation with its large Japanese-style public bath and garden courtyard. You can also dine on Japanese-French cuisine at the on-site Takewaka restaurant.

You’d be remiss staying here and not opting for a room with a view of the river, such as the Twin Room with River View, Triple Room with River View or the Suite with River View. These modern rooms also boast flat-screen TVs, slippers, fridges and complimentary Wi-Fi. 

Nearby Attractions

  • Pontocho Area shops and restaurants (650 metres)
  • Pontocho Park (500 metres)
  • Myōunin Temple (400 metres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 104 – USD 618
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: Nakagyo-ku Kamiosaka-cho 509, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Hotel Location

Higashiyama

Why You Should Stay in Higashiyama

Discover Japan’s 15th-century culture and history within the charming neighbourhood of Higashiyama, where you can walk from one ancient temple to the next while passing traditional wooden houses and merchant shops. You’ll also find a wealth of fascinating museums, peaceful green spaces and alluring riverside dining along the Kamo River.

Must-Do Higashiyama Experiences

  • Visit the Heritage-listed Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist temple, completed in 778 AD.
  • Watch live dance and music performances at Gion Corner.
  • Admire contemporary paintings and sculptures within the Kahitsukan, Kyoto Modern Art Museum.

Top Hotels in Higashiyama

Hyatt Regency Kyoto

Hyatt Regency Kyoto bedroomThe luxurious Hyatt Regency Kyoto is surrounded by verdant bamboo groves and grants convenient access to some of Kyoto’s top historical landmarks and museums. There are 187 guest rooms and suites to choose from, which feature contemporary furnishings and thoughtful designs intended to maximise space. You can upgrade your room to include a balcony or splurge on a suite for a deep-soaking bath, mini bar and granite bathroom.

On-site dining revolves around the inviting Grill restaurant, which serves seasonal fare on its alfresco terrace. You can also enjoy home-style Italian dishes at Trattoria Sette or Kyoto-style cuisine at Touzan, then indulge in local beers and sake at the vintage-inspired Touzan Bar. 

Nearby Attractions 

  • Kyoto National Museum (180 metres)
  • Toyokuni Shrine Treasure Museum (600 metres)
  • Chishakuin Temple (450 metres) 

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 251 – USD 1,169
Guest Rating: 9
Address: 644-2 Sanjusangendo-mawari, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Motonago Hotel Kyoto

Motonago Hotel KyotoSet apart from the bustling streets of Kyoto, Motonago Hotel Kyoto transports you back to old-world Japan where earthen walls and traditional wooden doors meet first-class service and Kyoto-style cuisine. You can experience the latter in the on-site restaurant, which serves delicious sashimi, sukiyaki, shabu shabu and yosenabe.

This intimate hotel only has 11 rooms within a two-storey wooden building. These rooms provide authentic Japanese furnishings and architecture, providing eternal elegance and comfort. The rooms include traditional tea rooms with tatami mats. 

Nearby Attractions

  • Kiyomizu-dera temple (1.3 kilometres)
  • Ryozen Museum of History (600 metres)
  • Maruyama Park (350 metres) 

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 223 – USD 288
Guest Rating: 9
Address: 511 Washio-cho Koudaijimichi Higashiyama-ku, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Hotel Location

Stay Close to all the Sightseeing Action in Kyoto

Kyoto is infused with ancient Japanese and modern attractions and experiences, from authentic dining and historic temples to massive department stores and artefact-filled museums. The neighbourhoods highlighted above offer you access to some of the city’s best sights, while the most popular hotels typically feature on-site restaurants, multiple room options and a blend of Japanese and Western design.

Where do you prefer to stay in Kyoto? Let us know in the comments below.

Author: Ben Stower

I'm enamoured with travel, whether it's finding the quiet, local sanctuaries in touristic cities, venturing into rock vaults in a distant jungle or spending hours on a Spanish beach. I can't see an end to my travelling. Just another chapter and another story to tell.

Ben Stower
I'm enamoured with travel, whether it's finding the quiet, local sanctuaries in touristic cities, venturing into rock vaults in a distant jungle or spending hours on a Spanish beach. I can't see an end to my travelling. Just another chapter and another story to tell.
Posted on Categories Asia, DestinationsTags ,

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