Where to stay in Kyoto

Where is the best area to stay in Kyoto?

Surrounded by mountains and perched on the river Kamo, Kyoto is a magical city that’s steeped in heritage. For over a thousand years it used to be the capital of Japan and, for that reason, the city is home to an astonishing number of beautiful shrines and temples.


You’ll also find beautiful parks here, colourful markets and some of the best Japanese cuisine you’ve ever tasted. See the stunning red-orange gates at the Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and hike around the surrounding trails, or why not pay a visit to Gion to spot some elegant Geisha? Head to see the monkeys at Monkey Park Iwatayama, or go to see the beautiful bamboo garden at Arashiyama.


If you’re wondering where to stay in Kyoto, the best area to stay is the stunning Gion district. This central area has some wonderful views of the Kamo River The area has many fantastic Japanese restaurants and is very beautiful with lots of traditional wooden teahouses. You’ll often see Geisha walking in the streets too.


You’ll be within walking distance of the excellent shopping malls and departments stores in the city centre, as well as the Yasaka Shrine. Transport links are great, with the Gion-eki train station nearby, from which you can access the famous Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine.

Hotel   Avg price
Guesthouse Engawa
24€ - 29$
Hotel   Avg price
Hotel Muso
〒600-8047 Kyoto
90€ - 109$
Hotel   Avg price
Gion Koyu an Machiya House
211€ - 255$
453€ - 548$
Hotel   Avg price
Hotel Kizashi The Suite
380€ - 460$
Yuzuya Ryokan
468€ - 566$


If you are interested in where to stay in Kyoto, you may also be interested in where to stay in Tokyo, where to stay in Osaka or where to stay in Hiroshima.

Gion, the best area to stay in Kyoto

GionGion is a purpose built tourist area, designed and contracted centuries ago to accommodate pilgrims visiting the Yasaka Shrine. The Yasaka Shrine still exists today but the whole area has been highly developed and is now one of the most popular places for people to stay in Kyoto, especially for those looking for an action packed holiday.


A walk down the streets of Gion will give you perfect photo opportunities that epitomise Japan. The Gion area has two of the largest Geisha communities in Japan, with Kōbu being the largest and Higashi a close second. The districts where the Geisha communities reside have been named national preservation districts, with some of the best architecture in the city.


Small ‘tea houses’, usually called Machiya’s or Ochaya’s, line the streets of the Geisha areas and are not to be confused with proper tea houses, which are known as Chashitsu’s. A trip to a Geisha for services can be extremely expensive but some establishments put on shows for tourists so that they can peek into the intriguing world of these Japanese ladies.


Shijō Street is a modern area of Gion that is filled with hotels and restaurants to cater for tourists. As well as traditional tea rooms, you will find modern restaurants, sushi bars and teppanyaki bars, as well as more traditional Japanese Street food stalls. Wooden machiya houses can be found all around the area, making it feel like you can step back in time amidst all the modernity of modern Japan.


Most of the wooden houses are concentrated around the Hanami-koji, which is the best place to spend your evening due to a high number of restaurants, bars and clubs in the area. Gion is popular with younger holiday makers and single travellers who know they will get a chance to hang out with those on a similar holiday.


Couples or those wanting a quieter holiday choose to stay in the Shirakawa area of Gion, a picturesque part of town that is lined with pretty willow trees and high class hotels. All holiday makers will love a trip to Shijo Avenue, where you will find the best shops in Japan, ranging from designer brands to small shops where you can buy handmade Japanese items and souvenirs to take home with you.


Gion is an enchanting place, where walking around will delight without the need to go and find a structured activity. Hotels will help you with directions and itineraries as not all of the city has signs in English, making a trip throughout Kyoto very fun indeed.



Hotels in Gion

Other districts to stay in Kyoto

kyoto Other districtsShimogyō-ku is a small district in Central Kyoto. As you enter Shimogyō-ku, you will be met by Kyoto Station and Kyoto Tower, both prominent landmarks in the city. The futuristic looking station welcomes thousands of visitors to Kyoto each day, all heading into the city on business or shopping trips.


The Shimogyō-ku is also a very popular area for locals to dine out of an evening and for younger residents to let their hair down into the early hours of the following morning. Shoppers do not have to go far as the Porta Mall is located just underground and The Cube Mall is in the basement area of the station. Tourists arriving at the station can enjoy a walk along the skyway and the observation deck, to get a glimpse of their home for the next few days, and what a stunning view it is. There is also a magnificent view to be had from Kyota Tower, an iconic landmark since 1968. The station makes Shimogyō-ku a good base for those looking to tour Japan and stay close to good transport links.


The modern structures in Shimogyō-ku are in great contrast to the traditional wooden houses and ancient temples that are dotted around the district, with holiday makers enjoying the best of both worlds. There are museums and attractions all over Kyoto that will tell the region’s history, so culture vultures will not be disappointed by a stay here. To get an idea of another way traditional mixes with modernity, head to Nishiki Market where your senses will be awakened with some of the best, and most unusual foods that can be eaten.


The market comes alive at night time too, with modern music playing and bars catering for the tourist crowds. Be sure to have a taste of the local Saki, which is said to be some of the best in Japan. You will be able to book every type of accommodation possible during your stay in Kyoto, with Shimogyō-ku having a good mix of top class hotels and budget rentals for those wanting to make their money stretch across a long tour of Japan.



Hotels in Shimogyo Ward