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Where You Should Stay in Kyoto: Best Areas & Hotels For Visitors

If any one city epitomizes the culture of Japan, then it has to be Kyoto, the old capital of Japan. This city, located in central Japan, offers plenty of diversions for culture and nature buffs alike. Kyoto is a lovely place to visit in any season, home to the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Nijo Castle, the Kyoto Imperial Palace, and literally hundreds of beautiful shrines and temples. This city of beauty retains the soul of Japan, so it’s no wonder that Kyoto is one of the leading destinations for visitors to Japan. And with a population of around 1.45 million, it’s also far larger than many might realize.
This guide provides an overview of the best places to stay in Kyoto while exploring its heritage and culture. It also shares some of the best hotels, ryokans, and other accommodations in Kyoto that will be perfect for your next trip. Pick your favorite and book with LIVE JAPAN!
Main image: PIXTA

1. How to select where to stay in Kyoto City

Kyoto is a city of around 1.46 million (2020 census) that’s relatively spread out. As such it is really important to carefully choose where you plan to stay.
When visiting Kyoto, you need to think about how long you will stay there, what are the essential places you want to see, and also what your overall accommodation and transport budget is. Preparation is key to getting the most out of your trip, and also getting the most out of Kyoto!
a. Ease of access to/from the airport
The nearest airports to Kyoto are in Osaka. But never fear: there is a direct express train from Kansai International Airport to Kyoto that takes just 75 minutes (the Haruka Limited Express; 3,430 yen o/w; covered under the Japan Rail Pass). If you have time to spare and want to save on costs, then you can take a local train to Osaka Station and then a direct train from Osaka Station to Kyoto Station (just under 2 hours, 1,910 yen o/w).

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b. Ease of getting to sightseeing spots outside Kyoto City
Kyoto Station is on the Shinkansen (bullet train) network. It offers quick access both west toward Osaka and Hiroshima, and east toward Nagoya and Tokyo. There are also local trains to Osaka City, Nara, and many local destinations that cover the prefectures of Hyogo, Kyoto, Fukui, Gifu, Shiga, Mie, and Nara.
c. What is Kyoto City like?
Kyoto can be easily summed up as being exactly the kind of place most people might imagine: traditional, oozing with Japanese culture, and surrounded by history. As the historic home for many emperors and empresses, nobility, and religious officials, Kyoto …

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