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10 Best Hotels In Kyoto Japan

10 Best Hotels In Kyoto Japan

Kyoto, Japan has many high quality hotel options with excellent guest ratings. Despite being one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan, Kyoto has retained its ancient charm and small city feel. We’re huge fans of Kyoto and we think it should be on every first time Japan itinerary.

In this guide we show you the 10 best hotels in Kyoto Japan for all budgets, based on our experiences.

Our Experience In Kyoto

Couple standing together in front of a tree with cherry blossoms in Kyoto Japan
Mark and Kristen in Kyoto during cherry blossom season

We first explored Kyoto in the fall of 2018 and we returned for a second visit during the cherry blossom season in April 2023. We’ve spent 7 nights in the old capital and we’ll be back for more in the future because it’s one of our favorite places to visit in Asia. Read more about us.

After staying in a cheap and cheerful hotel first time, we stayed at Hotel Forza during our second visit because it had excellent guest ratings, a superb downtown location and reasonable rates considering it was peak cherry blossom season. It was a great stay, but there are plenty of other fantastic hotel options for you to consider in Kyoto.

Where To Stay In Kyoto

Tourist walking the Philosopher's Path in Kyoto during cherry blossoms
Kristen walking along the Philosopher’s Path during cherry blossom season

From experience, we’d say Kyoto Station, Downtown Kyoto and the Higashiyama District are the three places you should consider booking a hotel in Kyoto. There are other areas you could consider such as Arashiyama (bamboo forest), Nijo Castle or around Kyoto Imperial Palace but they’re more isolated and you’ll end up using the subway or taxis more often.

With one exception, the hotels we cover in this guide are located around Downtown Kyoto, Higashiyama or Kyoto Station because they’re the places you’ll spend most of your time. You can then take a subway or taxi to reach the further out attractions around Kyoto.

Here are the three best areas to stay on a first visit to Kyoto:

1. Kyoto Station

Toji Temple lit up at night with reflection in water in Kyoto
Toji Temple is close to Kyoto JR Station

Kyoto JR Station is the best place to stay in Kyoto if you want the most convenient transport links. You’ll arrive by train into Kyoto JR Station so booking a hotel just a few minutes walk away will save having to drag your luggage around the subway. It’s definitely the most convenient place to stay if you only book one night.

Another benefit is that you can jump on trains to almost every top attraction in Kyoto directly from the JR Station, including Arashiyama and Fushimi Inari. You’ll also be within walking distance of To-ji Temple, Kyoto Tower and Higashi Hongan-ji Temple.

2. Downtown Kyoto

Tourist eating kobe beef and drinking sake in Nishiki Market in Kyoto
Kristen eating beef and drinking sake in Nishiki Market in Downtown Kyoto

Downtown Kyoto is the best place to stay if you want the most central location to Kyoto’s top attractions. You’d benefit from easy transport links to Kyoto JR Station, a short walk to Gion and Higashiyama, and it’s closer to Nijo Castle and Kyoto Imperial Palace.

Between Karasuma and Karamachi subway stations you’ll find Nishiki Market and countless narrow streets filled with excellent places to eat. You can take the tram from Shijo-Omiya to Arashiyama and walk to Gion-Shijo for the train to Fushimi Inari.

We stayed at Hotel Forza on the major road running through Downtown Kyoto during our latest visit to Japan and we think the location is fantastic.

3. Higashiyama

Couple standing together in the middle of a path surrounded by tall narrow bamboo trees
Mark and Kristen in a small bamboo forest near a temple in Higashiyama

Higashiyama is the best place to stay in Kyoto if you want a traditional and authentic old world experience. It’s a beautiful area with narrows streets and wooden buildings, but it gets very busy with tourists during the day.

You’ll find Gion, the famous geisha district, as well as a very high proportion of the most visited temples and popular walking routes in Kyoto. We would definitely consider staying in Higashiyama next time we’re in Kyoto, but it would need to be close enough to walk into Downtown Kyoto where there are more restaurants.

Best Hotels In Kyoto By Reviews

Looking down the Kamo River from a bridge at dusk
The Kamo River separating Downtown Kyoto from Gion

We always look at guest reviews when booking our hotels in new travel destinations. Previous guest reviews are a fantastic resource to use because you can see genuine unbiased pros and cons from a wide range of real people.

But it’s important to use reviews as a guide only because you might not necessarily agree with others. Let’s take a look at the best hotels in Kyoto as per genuine user generated reviews from popular online resources.

1. Booking.com

According to previous guest reviews on Booking.com, your top three hotel options are:

2. Hotels.com

According to previous guest reviews on Hotels.com, your top three hotel options are:

3. Google

According to previous guest reviews on Google, your top three hotel options are:

4. Tripadvisor

According to previous guest reviews on Tripadvisor, your top three hotel options are:

Kyoto Hotels Map

Click or touch the map below to activate. Zoom in and out, move around the area to see exactly where each hotel is located.

Map key:

  • Green stars – Low budget
  • Red stars – Mid range budget
  • Blue stars – High budget

Note: We’ve included area outlines to show you Kyoto Station, Downtown Kyoto and Higashiyama.

How We Order Hotels

Orange doors in the grounds of Kyoto Imperial Palace
Bright orange doors in the grounds of the Kyoto Imperial Palace

We’ve hand picked 10 Kyoto hotels for you to consider booking by taking into account previous guest ratings, location, value for money and our own experiences in the area. Read more about our editorial process.

Hotels in this guide are listed in order of average nightly cost. We analyzed nightly prices on three future dates in different seasons so we could order with a degree of accuracy.

You’ll find 4 x cheap hotels, 4 x mid range budget hotels and 2 x luxury hotels. We periodically update our guides to ensure the previous guest ratings from Booking and Google reviews are accurate.

1. Hotel Forza Kyoto

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.0 / 10
  • Google – 4.4 / 5
Inside a guest bedroom at a hotel with bed and window letting light in at the bottom
Our room at Forza Hotel in Kyoto
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, breakfast available, laundry
  • Location: Downtown Kyoto
  • Subway: Karasuma Station

Hotel Forza is one of the best cheap hotels in Kyoto thanks to a superb location, excellent guest ratings and the most affordable rates of all quality budget hotel options. We stayed at Hotel Forza for 2 nights in 2023 and had a fantastic experience.

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, cleanliness, facilities, value for money and location the highest at Hotel Forza Kyoto. It takes a clean sweep across the board which is rare for one of the cheapest hotel options in any popular city. Don’t miss the free coffee and hot chocolate!

BOOK: Hotel Forza Kyoto

2. The Blossom Kyoto

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.2 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5
Entrance to a hotel in Kyoto at night with dim lights outside
Photo courtesy of The Blossom Kyoto
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, fitness center, breakfast available, laundry, on site restaurant and bar, onsen
  • Location: Gojo (between JR Station and Downtown)
  • Subway: Gojo Station

The Blossom Kyoto is a top quality Kyoto hotel with incredibly affordable prices. It has excellent amenities including a communal onsen and fitness center, extremely positive comments and reviews from previous guests, and a handy location just one subway stop from Kyoto JR Station.

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, cleanliness, facilities and value for money the highest at The Blossom Kyoto. If you want a modern, clean and comfortable hotel with cheap nightly rates and an onsen, you’ll do well to find better than The Blossom.

BOOK: The Blossom Kyoto

3. Onyado Nono Kyoto

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.0 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5
Entrance to Onyado Nono Kyoto hotel with onsen lit up at night
Photo courtesy of Onyado Nono Kyoto
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, sauna, hot spring bath, spa, laundry, on site restaurant, breakfast available
  • Location: Kyoto Station
  • Subway: Kyoto Station

Onyado Nono Kyoto is an immensely popular traditional ryokan onsen hotel in Kyoto. We stayed at this same hotel brand in nearby Nara and it was amazing. You can enjoy the various hot spring baths any time before eating free ramen and ice cream each evening.

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, cleanliness and facilities the highest at Onyado Nono Kyoto. This authentic Japanese onsen hotel is typically very busy so you’ll need to book well in advance. It’s located close to Kyoto JR Station and it has excellent reviews, which means it’s definitely one to consider on the lower end of budget.

BOOK: Onyado Nono Kyoto

4. Nohga Hotel Kiyomizu Kyoto

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.1 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5
Inside a plush guest room at a Kyoto hotel with beds and seating areas
Photo courtesy of Nohga Hotel Kiyomizu Kyoto
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, fitness center, laundry, on site restaurant and bar, breakfast available, rooftop terrace
  • Location: Higashiyama
  • Subway: Kiyumizo-Gojo Station

Nohga Hotel Kiyomizu is a top rated budget hotel in Kyoto with excellent facilities and a unique location on the south side of Higashiyama. Kennin-ji, Kodai-ji and Kiyomizu-dera temples are all within easy walking distance of this popular hotel.

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, cleanliness and facilities the highest at Nohga Hotel Kiyomizu Kyoto. It’s a well appointed 4 star hotel with a wonderful rooftop terrace and bar, which is definitely a unique and standout feature. This is one to consider if you want a quality hotel near Gion on a low budget.

BOOK: Nohga Hotel Kiyomizu Kyoto

5. Cross Hotel Kyoto

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.1 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5
Inside a guest bedroom with beds, tables and chairs
Photo courtesy of Cross Hotel Kyoto
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, on site restaurant and bar, breakfast available, laundry
  • Location: Downtown Kyoto
  • Subway: Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae Station

Cross Hotel Kyoto is a very highly regarded mid range budget hotel in Kyoto with excellent ratings and a great location close to the shops and restaurants in downtown Kyoto. Rooms are clean, comfortable and much larger than average for the area. There’s really not much wrong with this hotel!

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, cleanliness, facilities, value for money and location the highest at Cross Hotel Kyoto. It takes a clean sweep of high scores across the board and is definitely one to take a closer look at if you’re traveling to Kyoto on a middle of the park budget.

BOOK: Cross Hotel Kyoto

6. Kyoto Takasegawa Bettei

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.3 / 10
  • Google – 4.7 / 5
Cypress wood bath tub at a hotel in Kyoto
Photo courtesy of Kyoto Takasegawa Bettei
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, breakfast available, laundry
  • Location: Kyoto Station
  • Subway: Kiyumizo-Gojo Station

Kyoto Takasegawa Bettei is one of the top rated ryokan hotels in Kyoto. You’d stay in an authentic Japanese style room with tatami flooring and even a private cypress wood bath tub, but it still has a modern feel with western influences.

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, cleanliness, facilities and value for money the highest at Kyoto Takasegawa Bettei. This ryokan is located in a very quiet area between Kyoto JR Station and downtown Kyoto, so stay here if you want a peaceful escape from the crowds in a top quality accommodation.

BOOK: Kyoto Takasegawa Bettei

7. Hotel Muso Kyoto

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.6 / 10
  • Google – 4.9 / 5
Table with two champagne glasses and a sofa with bed just visible in background
Photo courtesy of Hotel Muso
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, breakfast included in price
  • Location: Downtown Kyoto
  • Subway: Kiyomizu-Gojo Station

Hotel Muso is a very highly rated Kyoto hotel with unique accommodations in a quiet location on the south side of downtown Kyoto. The rooms are a perfect blend of traditional Japanese mixed with modern western facilities and the reviews for this place are outstanding.

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, cleanliness, facilities and value for money the highest at Hotel Muso Kyoto. Comfort, cleanliness and staff are near perfect scores, and after looking through guest comments we can see that the owners are called out as being especially friendly.

BOOK: Hotel Muso Kyoto

8. Gion Elite Terrace Kyoto

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.4 / 10
  • Google – 4.9 / 5
Inside a guest bedroom with two large beds and wooden floor leading to window
Photo courtesy of Gion Elite Terrace
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, breakfast available, laundry, terrace, spa, sauna
  • Location: Higashiyama
  • Subway: Gion-Shijo Station

Gion Elite Terrace is one of the top rated hotels in Kyoto located in the historic Gion district. You can easily walk to all of the most famous temples in the southern part of Higashiyama from this popular hotel and it’s much quieter than downtown Kyoto.

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, cleanliness, facilities, value for money and location the highest at Gion Elite Terrace Kyoto. It takes a clean sweep with high scores across the board and should definitely be on your shortlist if you want to stay in Gion.

BOOK: Gion Elite Terrace Kyoto

9. The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.3 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5
Entrance to a luxury hotel in Kyoto with lots of steps leading to lit up building at night
Photo courtesy of The Hotel Seiryu
  • Price: Luxury $$$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, fitness center, garden, terrace, on site restaurant and bar, laundry, breakfast available, rooftop bar
  • Location: Higashiyama
  • Subway: Kiyomizu-Gojo Station

The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu is the best luxury hotel in Kyoto if you want to stay in Higashiyama. There’s no doubt this is a popular and extremely luxurious hotel with an outstanding location near the most popular temples, but the price jump is significant.

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, cleanliness, facilities and location the highest at The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu. The rooftop bar has exceptional city views and gets busy for sunset so be sure to reserve ahead. We would definitely stay here, but we’d have to be prepared for the higher costs.

BOOK: The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu

10. Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.7 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5
Entrance to a 5 star hotel in Kyoto with letters lit up against the night sky
Photo courtesy of Hotel The Mitsui
  • Price: Luxury $$$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, fitness center, onsen, on site restaurant and bar, garden, terrace, breakfast available
  • Location: Nijo Castle
  • Subway: Nijojo-mae Station

Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto is a prestigious 5 star hotel in Kyoto. It’s located next to Nijo Castle which means you’d need to take subways to reach the popular temples and downtown areas, but this luxurious hotel looks incredible. We wouldn’t want to leave the hotel if we booked a room here!

Reviewers rate staff, comfort, cleanliness, facilities and location the highest at Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto. Guest comments are exclusively positive and we think this would be the best place to stay in Kyoto if money was no object.

BOOK: Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto

More Top Rated Kyoto Hotels

View over vegetation, trees and traditional Japanese style buildings in Kyoto at dusk
Sunset view over the northern section of Higashiyama

Kyoto has many exceptionally well rated hotels, so our job of showing you the best hotels is challenging! There’s a dozen or so other hotels that made our shortlist before we narrowed down to just the 10 featured hotels listed above.

Here are the remaining Kyoto hotels that didn’t quite make our featured list but are still definitely worth checking out (with district):

Affordability

Kyoto’s hotels are similarly priced to other Japanese cities like Osaka and Hiroshima with very reasonable nightly rates. You’ll find hotels are more expensive in the likes of Tokyo and Hakone when compared to Kyoto.

One thing to strongly consider is seasonality in Japan. Hotel prices in Kyoto are the highest during cherry blossom season and again during the fall foliage season when the leaves change.

You can expect to pay around $100 USD per night at the cheaper quality hotels in Kyoto on weekdays, outside of cherry blossom and fall foliage seasons. But on the other end of the spectrum, you can quite easily spend $800 USD per night at a luxury hotel.

Added Tax

Bear in mind when booking your hotel that you’ll pay 10% hotel tax on top of your base rate. So, let’s say the basic nightly room cost at a cheap hotel is $100.00 USD for one night, your actual total cost is going to be $110.00.

  • When booking your hotel using Booking.com look under the price for includes taxes and fees. This means the price you see is final and will not be subject to further add ons.
  • Conversely, if you see text reading something like +$10 for taxes and fees, that means you’ll pay the hotel room cost + the additional 10% tax.

Certain hotels may also add on a property service tax which will show in the included taxes section. These are just things to be aware of so you avoid any nasty surprises when you come to pay.

Our Verdict

View overlooking Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto at sunset with trees in the foreground
Kiyomizu-dera Temple at sunset

Kyoto has dozens of excellent hotels available for tourists. In fact, we’d say Kyoto is one of the best places we’ve visited in the world for having such a high proportion of superb hotel options to suit any budget. It’s a wonderful city with lots of old world charm, excellent eateries and countless ancient sites.

In our conclusions we usually highlight one or two hotels from each budget category as the standout choices. But the truth is, you could book any hotel we’ve listed above and we’re sure you’d have a fantastic experience.

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We hope this guide to the best hotels in Kyoto helps with planning your visit to Japan!

Please let us know if you have any questions by commenting below.

Happy Booking,

Mark and Kristen
Best Hotels Anywhere

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