Kyoto, the country’s former capital and current cultural center, best represents Japanese tradition, so it is not surprising how popular it is with tourists. This city in the middle of Japan has a lot to offer tourists interested in culture and nature.
Attractive in all seasons, Kyoto is home to the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Nijo Castle, the Kyoto Imperial Palace, and countless other stunning religious buildings. And with 1.45 million people calling it home, it’s also much larger than most people realize.
If you are a tourist looking to make Kyoto your next stop, this article is for you. We share some details about the bests hotels and ryokans for experiencing Kyoto’s rich history and culture.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is modeled after traditional Japanese inns (ryokans). It is undoubtedly the best hotel for any tourist. In a picturesque riverfront location, it provides high-quality design, attentive service, and cozy accommodations.
The Higashiyama mountains make for a stunning backdrop, while the scenic Kamogawa River flows by. The must-see Nanzenji temple complex, the old Imperial Palace, and the geisha districts of Pontocho and Gion can all be reached in five minutes via electric bicycle. And yes, you can rent electric bicycles from the hotel for 4,000 Japanese Yen/£27 per day.
The designers took cues from the old capital and repurposed them for a contemporary luxury hotel, including the entrance that winds around a trickling stream, rock gardens inside restaurants, gigantic lampshades made by the Imperial family’s umbrella maker, and the lucky shippo pattern that pops up everywhere from the lobby to the headboards.
Most popular amenities: 1 swimming pool Non-smoking roomsParking Spa Fitness center Restaurant Bar
Six generations of the Hiiragiya family have continued the business since it began in 1818. Ancient samurai, Japanese aristocracy, and celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor have all stayed at this renowned Kyoto ryokan.
The tatami mat floors and paper sliding doors are hallmarks of Japanese decor. It’s easy to forget about the modern world and feel like you’ve been transported to ancient Kyoto.
This is all thanks to the combination of the Oriental garden vista from some rooms and the view of Kyoto’s historic streets. You should visit this hotel at least once!
Most popular amenities: Wi-Fi24 hour Front Desk Service Restaurant SpaParking
Kyoto Garden Ryokan Yachiyo
Kyoto Garden Ryokan Yachiyo is a stylish traditional inn surrounded by beautiful Japanese gardens. It is perfect for those seeking a genuine Japanese experience, and we know you are one of such people.
The views are beautifully framed by the tall, wall-to-wall windows. The rooms are decorated in a traditional style and come equipped with tatami mat flooring, futon beds, and in the finest cases, lavish luxury baths. This is a peaceful hotel in a convenient location for seeing the sights in this ancient metropolis.
Most popular amenities: Non-smoking roomsParking on site Room service Private Parking Restaurant Parking Tea/Coffee Maker in All Rooms
The Matsubaya Ryokan is a typical Japanese inn with two stories made of wood that has recently undergone renovations. The interior design expertly combines modern and traditional elements for a bright, timeless look and feel.
Imagine a tatami-matted floor, the option of a Western bed or a futon, and a clean, contemporary bathroom. This is perhaps the best home base from which to see the city.
Most popular amenities: Non-smoking roomsParking Free WiFiFamily roomsExcellent Breakfast
Fujitaya is a traditional, communal-style housing option located at one metro stop from Kyoto station. Party events at the hotel teach guests how to make traditional Japanese dishes, including takoyaki (fried octopus) and temaki sushi (hand-rolled sushi). But there is more.
Calligraphy classes and a Japanese sweets academy are two more cultural offerings at Fujitaya. Although the hotel lacks modern conveniences, it provides an authentic Japanese experience for its customers. When you book your room directly with the hotel, you’ll have access to free bicycle rental during your stay.
Most popular amenities: Non-smoking roomsFacilities for disabled guests Free WiFiFamily roomsLaundry
Yoshida Sanso is a traditional Japanese inn with only five rooms, set in magnificent gardens. If you are looking to dine on multicourse kaiseki meals typical of Kyoto or visit neighboring temples, then this hotel is for you.
Most popular amenities: Free parking Free WiFi Restaurant