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Top-level

Sleep

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget below ¥11,000
Mid-range ¥11,000–20,000
Splurge over ¥20,000

Kyoto has a wide range of accommodation, much of it geared towards foreign visitors. During peak seasons, such as the cherry blossoms in April or during Golden Week when accommodation is difficult to get, consider staying in Osaka. A thirty minute train ride from Kyoto Station to Osaka Station will cost you ¥540 one way. Since Kyoto is a major tourist destination, demand is high and prices follow suit.

Most of the lodging in the city is clustered near the central city, especially around Kyoto Station and the downtown area near Karasuma-Oike. The outer areas have a scattering of their own, tending towards inexpensive but often much further from train or subway stations.


Budget

Japanese Style Ryokan

At the bottom of the price scale, many temples in Kyoto own and run their own lodging complex known as shukubō (宿坊), usually located on or near temple grounds. Guests are often invited to participate in morning prayer service (otsutome) held at the temple. Unfortunately, most temple lodgings do not have English-speaking receptions, and curfews and check-in/out times tend to be strict. Most are located in the northern region of the city.

Hostels are common and popular with students. Inexpensive hotels lack amenities but compensate with prices surprisingly low for Japan; both can be found in all regions of the city, and may be the only options available if you need to stay in an outlying ward.

The majority of self-named ryokan in this range are actually minshuku. Most are small family-run operations and accustomed to dealing with foreigners. Be prepared to pay for the full stay in advance.


Midrange

The boundary between budget and midrange is often unclear, particularly among ryokan. Hotels in this category are concentrated in Central Kyoto, serving the business market with the typical amenities and close proximity to transportation.

Splurge

Almost exclusively found in the downtown and Kyoto Station areas, these top-of-the-line lodgings can make your airfare look cheap. Western-style hotels dominate in this category; unlike the midrange options, very few of the high end ryokan can be booked without a fluent command of Japanese.


South

Little lodging is available. Look for more plentiful options in Central Kyoto.


Arashiyama

Most travelers will stay in Central or Northern Kyoto instead, and visit Arashiyama only for the day.

Budget

Temple lodgings

  • Rokuō-in (鹿王院), 24 Kitahori-cho, Saga, Ukyo-ku (Near Arashimaya, six minutes by foot from Saga-Arashiyama Station on the JR Sagano Line), +81 (0)75-861-1645. Only for female visitors. 10 rooms with a maximum capacity of 30; during peak season, guests traveling alone may be asked to share a room with another single guest; towels not provided; one bath. Crowded during autumn foliage season. Curfew at 7:30pm. Closed during New Year's holidays. ¥4,500 per person with breakfast.

Hostels

  • Bola Bola Guest House, 25-17 Horigauchi-cho Uzumasa, Ukyo-ku (near JR Uzumasa train station on the western part of Kyoto, 15 min. train ride from Kyoto station), +81 (0)75-861-5663, [1]. checkin: 3 PM - midnight; checkout: 11 AM. A friendly and well kept guest house. The owner speaks English and is very willing to help foreign guests. ¥2500 dorm, ¥3500 private room (¥2500 each for 2 or more people).


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