Best Neighborhood to Stay in Kyoto: Explore the City’s Top Areas 2024

Are you dreaming of exploring Kyoto, Japan’s former capital, with its deep cultural roots and countless attractions? I feel your excitement!

I know how overwhelming it can be to choose where to stay in such a vibrant city.

That’s why I’ve personally wandered through Kyoto’s diverse neighborhoods, combining hours of research with my own adventures for the best neighborhood to stay in kyoto to guide you to the perfect spot.

I’m thrilled to share my favorite neighborhoods to stay in Kyoto, explaining exactly why each one could be the ideal base for your adventures.

So, why wait? Pack your bags and join me in discovering the best of Kyoto! 🙂

Best Neighborhood to Stay in Kyoto: Our Top Picks

The bustling streets of Gion, with traditional wooden houses and lantern-lit alleys, surrounded by the serene beauty of Higashiyama's historic temples and gardens

Kyoto is a city with a rich history and culture, and each neighborhood has its own unique charm.

Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the traditional geisha culture or explore the natural beauty of the temples, there’s a neighborhood in Kyoto that will suit your interests.

Gion: The Geisha District

Gion is a must-visit neighborhood in Kyoto, especially for those who are interested in traditional Japanese culture.

It’s known as the “geisha district” and is home to many traditional teahouses, where you can experience a traditional tea ceremony.

You might even spot a geisha or maiko (an apprentice geisha) walking through the streets in their traditional attire.

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Arashiyama: Nature and Temples

A serene Kyoto neighborhood with traditional wooden houses, winding narrow streets, and vibrant cherry blossom trees

Arashiyama is a neighborhood located on the outskirts of Kyoto, known for its natural beauty and temples. It’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in nature.

The famous bamboo forest is located here, as well as the Tenryu-ji temple, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Downtown Kyoto: Shopping and Nightlife

Downtown Kyoto is the perfect neighborhood for those who love to shop and enjoy the nightlife. It’s home to many shopping arcades, department stores, and restaurants.

At night, the streets come alive with bars and clubs, making it a great place to experience the nightlife in Kyoto.

Higashiyama: Culture and History

Higashiyama is a neighborhood located in the eastern part of Kyoto, known for its rich history and culture. It’s home to many temples and shrines, including the famous Kiyomizu-dera temple.

The streets are lined with traditional shops and restaurants, making it a great place to immerse yourself in the traditional Kyoto culture.

Each neighborhood in Kyoto has its own unique charm and is worth exploring.

Whether you’re interested in traditional culture, nature, or nightlife, there’s a neighborhood in Kyoto that will suit your interests.

Accommodation Types in Kyoto

Various accommodation types in Kyoto's best neighborhood: traditional ryokans, modern hotels, and cozy guesthouses nestled among historic streets and serene gardens

Kyoto is a city that offers a wide range of accommodation options for tourists. Whether you’re looking for traditional Japanese inns or modern hotels, budget-friendly guesthouses or homey apartments, Kyoto has something for everyone.

Here are some types of accommodation available in Kyoto:

Ryokans: Traditional Japanese Inns

Ryokans are traditional Japanese inns that offer a unique cultural experience for visitors. They typically feature tatami-matted rooms, communal baths, and traditional Japanese cuisine.

Many ryokans are located in scenic areas, such as near hot springs or in the mountains, and offer a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Some popular ryokans in Kyoto include Tawaraya, Hiiragiya, and Gion Hatanaka.

Hotels: Modern Comforts

Hotels in Kyoto offer modern comforts and amenities for travelers who prefer a more familiar experience.

Many hotels are located in the city center and offer easy access to popular tourist attractions. Some hotels in Kyoto offer a combination of traditional Japanese and modern Western-style rooms.

Popular hotels in Kyoto include The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto, Kyoto Hotel Okura, and Hotel Granvia Kyoto.

Guesthouses: Budget-Friendly Stays

Guesthouses are a budget-friendly option for travelers who want to save money on accommodation. They offer shared dormitory-style rooms or private rooms with shared bathrooms.

Many guesthouses in Kyoto are located in traditional Japanese houses, providing visitors with an authentic cultural experience.

Some popular guesthouses in Kyoto include Piece Hostel Kyoto, Guest House Kyoto, and Len Kyoto Kawaramachi.

Apartments: Home Away from Home

Apartments in Kyoto offer a home away from home for travelers who want more space and privacy. They typically feature a kitchen, living room, and bedroom, and are a good option for families or groups of friends traveling together.

Many apartments in Kyoto are located in residential areas, providing visitors with a glimpse into local life.

Some popular apartment options in Kyoto include Machiya Residence Inn, Kyoto Central Inn, and Kyoto Apartment.

Kyoto offers a diverse range of accommodation options for travelers, from traditional Japanese ryokans to modern hotels, budget-friendly guesthouses to comfortable apartments.

No matter what your preference or budget, Kyoto has something for everyone.

Travel Tips for Staying in Kyoto

A traditional Kyoto neighborhood with narrow streets, wooden machiya houses, and blooming cherry blossoms. Temples and shrines dot the area, creating a serene and picturesque atmosphere

Kyoto is a beautiful city that has a lot to offer. From its rich history to its vibrant culture, there is something for everyone here.

As someone who has stayed in Kyoto for a while, I would like to share some travel tips that will help you make the most of your stay.

Transportation: Getting Around

Kyoto has an excellent public transportation system that is both reliable and affordable. The city has buses, subways, and trains that can take you to almost any part of the city.

The best way to get around Kyoto is by using a combination of these modes of transportation.

For example, taking a bus to a subway station and then using the subway to get to your destination is a great way to save time and money.

Another option is to rent a bicycle. Kyoto is a bike-friendly city, and renting a bike is a great way to explore the city at your own pace.

There are many bike rental shops in Kyoto, and most of them offer affordable rates.

Dining: Best Local Eats

Kyoto is known for its delicious food, and there are many local eateries that you should try during your stay. Some of the must-try dishes include sushi, ramen, and tempura.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you should also try some of the local delicacies, such as tofu and yuba.

One of the best places to find local eats is in the Nishiki Market. This market is a food lover’s paradise, and you can find everything from fresh seafood to traditional Japanese sweets.

The market is open every day, and it’s a great place to grab a quick bite or to do some souvenir shopping.

Safety: Staying Secure

Kyoto is a safe city, but it’s always a good idea to take precautions to ensure your safety. One of the things you can do is to keep your valuables close to you at all times.

This includes your passport, wallet, and phone. You should also avoid walking alone at night, especially in areas that are not well-lit.

Another thing to keep in mind is to be respectful of the local customs and traditions.

This includes taking off your shoes when entering someone’s home or a temple, and not taking photos where it’s not allowed.

By following these travel tips, you can have a safe and enjoyable stay in Kyoto.

Whether you’re here for a short visit or a longer stay, there is always something new to discover in this beautiful city.

Frequently asked Questions

What is the most popular neighborhood to stay in Kyoto for tourists?

Gion is the most popular due to its traditional charm and proximity to historic sites.

Which neighborhood in Kyoto is best for first-time visitors?

Central Kyoto, particularly around Kyoto Station, is recommended for first-time visitors for convenience and accessibility.

What area is recommended for a quiet, residential experience in Kyoto?

Arashiyama is ideal for those seeking a quieter, scenic environment away from the bustling city center.

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Let us know, which of the above ist your favorite area to stay in kyoto!

Florian Bernhard
Florian Bernhard
Articles: 127

One comment

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