Home to some 2000 shrines and temples, Kyoto is Japan’s, spiritual heart. Scattered across are traditional houses, Zen gardens, and atmospheric districts.

A thriving gastronomical scene boasts Michelin-star restaurants, chic cafés, quirky cocktail bars, izakayas, and old-school noodle kiosks.

There are upscale options galore to splurge on; think kaiseki, raucous hanami party, and manga stores.

Experience this punch-packed city fully by ensuring a good night’s sleep at the coolest hotels in Kyoto.

Minimal futon-laced rooms or chic 5-star luxury, whichever is your style, rest assured the city has it.

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Kyoto Essentials

The JR Rail Pass is of limited use to travel around Kyoto as there are few JR lines within Kyoto’s city boundaries. If you also plan on visiting Osaka and think of using public transportation a lot, you could purchase this sightseeing pass. If you plan on visiting other parts of the Kansai area such as Nara, Kobe, Himeji, and Osaka and you don’t have a Japan Rail Pass, the JR West Pass might be interesting for you.

If you have less time in Kyoto or you don’t like walking, we would advise you to book a guided tour. This tour will show you the main highlights such as Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, Fushi Inari, Arashiyama and Bamboo forest, the Golden Temple, and more in one jam-packed but exciting day

A local SIM card or pocket WiFi device comes in handy. We have often used Google Maps to find our way around Japan’s major cities. If you want to purchase a local SIM card, you can find our detailed post here. If you want to compare the different WiFI devices you can rent in Japan, click here. 

Is this your first Japan trip and are you feeling a bit overwhelmed by the planning? Do you have a hard time on deciding what to see and do? Check out our Japan trip planner. We created this document to help you with your Japan trip planning. 

Check out our ultimate Japan travel guide where you can find all our Japan articles. There is a Kyoto 2 day itinerary, an article on what to do in Kyoto at night, and more.

Below we share a lot of nice hotels. However, Kyoto has a lot of nice Airbnb’s as well. If this is the first time you will be staying in an Airbnb, you can enjoy a great discount by signing up through this link.

Cool places to stay in Kyoto

Ryokan Nazuna Kyoto Gosho

Ryokan Nazuna Kyoto Gosho
Ryokan Nazuna Kyoto Gosho is one of the best luxury hotels in Kyoto

One of the best luxury hotels in Kyoto, Nazuna, oozes elegance at every corner. Housed in two, large-scale Kyomachiya, it features minimal Ryokan design.

Housed inside are 7 rooms, each displaying a unique design and Wagashi theme. All come furnished with a desk, tea/coffee maker, flat-screen TV, and an attached bathroom.

Guests love to stroll in its serene Japanese garden that sprawls between both Kyomachiya. There are a launderette and a bar as well.

Ryokan Nazuna Kyoto Gosho
Ryokan Nazuna Kyoto Gosho

What guests are saying

Ryokan Nazuna is luxurious and cozy with friendly staff. Its location might seem a tad farther from the main town to some.

Conclusion

Located strolls away from Kyoto Imperial Palace and Heian Shrine, it is a sweet spot for holidaymakers.

Check prices and availability:

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Agoda

Ace Hotel Kyoto

Ace Hotel Kyoto
The Ace Hotel is among the best boutique hotels in Kyoto

Packed with amenities like a restaurant, Italian-American rooftop patio, cocktail-serving bar, and well-equipped gym, Ace Hotel is among the best boutique hotels in Kyoto.

Tucked inside this 4-star accommodation are spacious rooms, Japanese soaking tubs, and Japanese art décor. Sprawled outside is a verdant garden.

Rooms are chic and typically come with a desk, a flat-screen TV, and a private bidet bathroom. A continental breakfast is available daily. The hotel also facilitates currency exchange for its guests and is pet-friendly.

Ace Hotel Kyoto
Ace Hotel Kyoto

What guests are saying

Guests found Ace trendy and comfortable with multilingual staff. Its strategic location, near Nijo Castle and Kyoto International Manga Museum, makes exploring the neighborhood a breeze.

Conclusion

Ace is perfect for those who prefer modern 4-star hotels without extravagance.

Check prices and availability:

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Agoda

The Millennials Kyoto

The Millennials Kyoto
The Millennials Kyoto

This capsule accommodation is the best among all cool Kyoto hotels for backpackers. It is chic, comfortable, and a great place to meet fellow travelers. Geared toward younger clientele, the accommodation boasts a modern layout with sleeping pods for rooms.

Despite being compact, each pod houses a full-sized, plush bed to ensure a good night’s sleep. Showers are shared but immaculate when it comes to hygiene and sanitization.

Since the whole idea of the place is to create a meeting ground for travelers to meet, it includes a vast, beautifully-done common area, and an adjacent co-working lounge.

Beer is free between 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM. Coffee is free at all times.

The Millenials Kyoto
The Millenials Kyoto is a cool capsule hotel in Kyoto

What guest are saying

Centrally-located near Sanjo and Teramachi shopping arcades, the Millenials hotel is in a chirpy neighborhood. Its cleanliness, capsule design, and fair prices make it one of the cool places to stay in Kyoto.

However, pods are strictly one-person rooms and are gender-segregated. Guests also have to wash their cups.

Conclusion

After a new experience, hoping to save a few bucks, or want to test the capsule-concept? Millennials Kyoto is perfect. Traveling couples, those with claustrophobia, or a knack for all-inclusive staff services can skip this one.

 

Check prices and availability:

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Agoda

The Thousand Kyoto

The Thousand Kyoto
The Thousand Kyoto is a luxury hotel in Kyoto

Housed in a grand glass-framed building, The Thousand looks just as you would expect the luxury hotels in Kyoto to look.

It features plant-dotted floors, air-conditioned rooms, a superb gym, a multi-cuisine restaurant, a soothing spa and fitness center, private parking, and a bar.

Every room and suite in this swanky hotel flaunt urban setting. Rooms typically come furnished with an AC, tea/coffee maker, private bathroom, and lush toiletries. Wheelchair-accessible rooms are available.

The Thousand Kyoto
The Thousand Kyoto

What guests are saying

Guests love the Thousand Kyoto hotel for its Zen-inspired rooms, high-tech iPad controls, friendly staff, delicious breakfast, and closeness to Kyoto train station.

Conclusion

The Thousand is an oasis of tranquility. Anyone looking for an upscale hotel in Kyoto with Japanese-inspired themes and modern facilities will love it.

Check prices and availability:

Booking.com

Agoda

KAREN Kyoto Higashiyama

KAREN Kyoto Higashiyama
KAREN Kyoto Higashiyama

When it comes to offering immersive Japanese experience, KAREN is #1 among all cool places to stay in Kyoto.

Here, you get to dress in Kimono with a traditional hairdo before visiting the nearby attractions like Gion and Kiyomizudera.

The inn itself reflects authentic Japanese vibes with its machiya design.

The wood-finished rooms feature all typical furnishings and appliances + a wardrobe. Other facilities here include a launderette, heating, and 24-hour front desk.

KAREN Kyoto Higashiyama
KAREN Kyoto Higashiyama

What guests are saying

From design to amenities and staff, guests seem to love all-things KAREN.

Conclusion

If you don’t mind living off the touristy path, KAREN is a great place to indulge in Japanese culture while enjoying an ultra-comfortable stay.

Check prices and availability:

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Agoda

The Screen

The Screen
The Screen

The Screen The Screen, Kyoto, Japan, BookingThe Screen, Kyoto, Japan, Bookingis among the best boutique hotels in Kyoto, and for several reasons. It is a honeycomb of ultra-luxurious rooms boasting unparalleled creative themes. Suites like 103 with an un-setting moon and semi-suites like traditional 101 illustrate how artsy the entire inn is.

Rooms typically come furnished with a coffee machine, a fridge, a 42-inch flat-screen TV, an iPod dock, and BOSE speakers.

You’ll find an on-site restaurant, a Kotori-inspired lounge, and a terrace eatery too. Amenities include concierge services, bicycle rentals, and a spa.

The Screen
The Screen

What guests are saying

The hotel is loved for its artistic rooms, facilities, and attentive staff. Located a short walk away from JR Kyoto station and the Kamo River, The Screen also has an edge on location.

Conclusion

Hedonist explorers and aesthetes will love the hotel. Foodies might suffer the lack of restaurants in the neighborhood.

Check prices and availability:

Booking.com

Agoda

SOWAKA luxury hotel

Sowaka luxury hotel
Sowaka luxury hotel is one of the most recommended hotels in Kyoto

Designed with a tranquil Japanese garden and Kyoto-style decorations, SOWAKA is one of the most recommended hotels in Kyoto.

Housed inside the beautiful building are luxurious rooms offering comforts of AC, plush bedding, an electric kettle, minibar, fridge, and wardrobe. Private bathrooms have complimentary bathrobe and nightwear.

Other facilities in SOWAKA include a spa, an on-site restaurant, a launderette, and a bar.

Sowaka luxury hotel
Sowaka luxury hotel

What guests are saying

Located near Gion district, Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, and Heian Shrine, SOWAKA makes a convenient base to explore the neighborhood.

It impresses guests with its traditional design, contemporary facilities, huge bathrooms, outdoor tub, and helpful staff.

Visit SOWAKA to experience classic Japanese culture, sample scrummy food, and relax after excursions. Stay in room 54 for the courtyard views.

Check prices and availability:

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Agoda

BnA Alter Museum

BnA Alter Museum
BnA Alter Museum

BnA Alter Museum showcases breathtaking artistic designs.

From eye-popping pastels to dark acrylics, colors brim in every corner. It’s like sleeping in a multi-story art gallery.

All 31 rooms are individually-designed by artists and are fitted with an AC, electric kettle, and a private bathroom with a hot tub.

Gourmets at BnA Alter Museum will enjoy its Italian breakfast. At the hotel, you’ll find facilities for disabled guests, a bar, and 24-hour open front desk.

BnA Alter Museum
BnA Alter Museum

What guests are saying

The artistic rooms make BnA Alter Museum the coolest hotel in Kyoto for guests. Those with large suitcases might find the rooms small. There’s no room storage, pool, or gym.

Conclusion

This cool place to stay in Kyoto gives a chance to sleep in 31 permanent exhibits by 13 Japanese artists. It’s perfect for those with a knack for unique experiences.

 

Check prices and availability:

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Agoda

Kyoto Granbell Hotel

Kyoto Granbell Hotel
Kyoto Granbell Hotel

Designed generously with spacious rooms, onsen in an inner Japanese garden, a specialty restaurant, and a well-stocked bar, Kyoto Granbell Hotel is swanky and perfect for the sophisticated.

The rooms here come equipped with a flat-screen TV, an AC, a sofa, a refrigerator, and a private bathroom. Guests can sample Japanese dishes or enjoy homestyle western food during the buffet breakfast.

In the hotel, there’s a bar, a launderette, disabled-friendly facilities, and bicycle rentals too.

Kyoto Granbell hotel
Kyoto Granbell hotel

What guests are saying

The location benefits those who want to explore the Gion district, Yasaka Shrine, and Shinto shrine.

The staff is friendly, comforts ample, food delicious, and design impressive.

Conclusion

It is particularly perfect for hedonists seeking luxurious hotels in Kyoto and those on semi-business trips.

Check prices and availability:

Booking.com

Agoda

Hotel Kanra Kyoto

Hotel Kanra Kyoto
Hotel Kanra Kyoto

Close to Kyoto Station, flaunting spacious rooms, and tatami flooring, Hotel Kanra Kyoto is among the boutique hotels in Kyoto. Plan a stay here for the modern Machiya style.

Its immaculate rooms feature Kiyomizu-yaki ceramics, a Japanese-style seating area, and an ensuite bathroom with a wooden tub.

Besides the simple elegance, facilities like concierge services, spa, restaurant, bar, 24-hour front desk, and bicycle rentals make it a great go-to option.

Hotel Kanra Kyoto
Hotel Kanra Kyoto

What guests are saying

With a subway nearby, Kanra Kyoto offers easy access to Kyoto attractions.

It impresses with its modern Japanese design, helpful front desk, spotless room service, and delicious breakfast.

Here is a 2 day Kyoto itinerary that brings you along a lot of highlights.

Conclusion

Hotel Kanra Kyoto is perfect for just anyone who wants to enjoy its high-end Kyoto hospitality and the modern twist on traditional styles.

Check prices and availability:

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Agoda

MIMARU Kyoto Station

Mimaru Kyoto station
Mimaru Kyoto station

MIMARU Apartment Hotel is near Kyoto Station and the Kawahara area. It sits on the crossroads of Manga Museum, Samurai Kembu, Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, and Kiyomizu-Dera Temple.

It is a condo of neatly-designed rooms with AC, a microwave, a fridge, tea/coffee maker, a desk, and a private bidet bathroom. Suites come furnished with a seating area, extra bedding, and a fully-equipped kitchenette.

Perhaps, the funkiest element of the hotel is its Pokémon Room. It has mushy stuffed toys, monster ball wallpaper, and guests here get novelty goods.

Mimaru Kyoto station
Mimaru Kyoto station

What guests are saying

Guests call MIMARU brilliant, well-lit, and perfection. The additional price of the Pokémon Room might be a turn off for some.

Conclusion

MIMARU Kyoto Station is a cool place to stay in Kyoto for all globetrotters.

Check prices and availability:

Booking.com

Agoda

Kyoto Shinmachi Rokkaku Hotel grandereverie

Kyoto Shinmachi Rokkaku Hotel Grandereverie
Kyoto Shinmachi Rokkaku Hotel Grandereverie

Situated in the heart of Kyoto, Shinmachi Rokkaku, Hotel Grandereverie offers a peaceful space for travelers. It boasts comfortable guest rooms, which are all equipped with AC, flat-screen TV, a desk, a kettle, a fridge, and a bidet bathroom.

Other on-property facilities include a launderette, daily housekeeping services, heating, and a 24-hour front desk.

Kyoto Shinmachi Rokkaku Hotel Grandereverie
Kyoto Shinmachi Rokkaku Hotel Grandereverie

What guests are saying

The hotel is clean and modern with cozy rooms. The quiet location is perfect for serenity-seekers. Good food, a small bakery, and craft beer pubs are close.

The main advantage of staying at Hotel Grandereverie is its prime location. It is the coolest hotel in Kyoto for time-bound explorers who want to spend less time commuting.

 

Check prices and availability:

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Agoda

Hotel Anteroom Kyoto

Hotel Anteroom Kyoto
Hotel Anteroom Kyoto

From simple units to concept rooms painted by most contemporary Japanese artists – Hotel Anteroom Kyoto offers all kinds of accommodation to its guests.

Even the understated rooms feature meticulously-designed furniture, artwork, and a cozy ambiance. Decorated in neutral colors, they come equipped with an LCD TV, a sofa-table, and a private bathroom with sleepwear.

Amenities at Anteroom include a library, a launderette, 24-hour front desk, storage, dry-cleaning, a bar, a restaurant, bicycles, and disabled-friendly facilities.

Hotel Anteroom Kyoto
Hotel Anteroom Kyoto

What guests are saying

The hotel is a balance of design and functionality. The bathroom may be dim for makeup, and breakfast may be too simple for some guests.

Conclusion

The hotel is minutes away from Kujo Station, Tofuku-Ji Temple, Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto Aquarium, and Nishiki Market. It is a comfortable base for city exploration.

Check prices and availability:

Booking.com

Agoda

Seikoro Ryokan

Seikoro Ryokan
Seikoro Ryokan

Teeming with wooden décor, Seikoro Ryokan serves the best of traditional Kyoto traditions in a golden palette. The hotel is defined by its delicious cuisine, refined rooms, and friendly staff.

As one of the coolest hotels in Kyoto, this ryokan offers on-property facilities like a lush garden, an onsen, luggage storage, a gift shop, and room service.

Both Japanese- and Western-style breakfast is served here. Here, you can enjoy authentic local dishes for dinner in a traditional Japanese setting.

Free parking is available for guests.

Seikoro Ryokan
Seikoro Ryokan

What guests are saying

Guests love the authentic ryokan experience at Seikoro.

They praise the peaceful setting, warm onsen, garden views, comfortable futon bedding, and delicious food.

Conclusion

The hotel is a cool place to stay in Kyoto for its traditional Kyoto hospitality and culture. It is just minutes-drive from Shichijo Train Station, Sanjusangen-do Temple, Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, and Kyoto National Museum.

Check prices and availability:

Booking.com

Agoda

RC Hotel Kyoto Yasaka

RC Hotel Kyoto Yasaka
RC Hotel Kyoto Yasaka

Housed in a 50-year-old renovated building, RC Hotel offers sweeping views of mountains, a beautiful garden, and the Hokanji Temple. The rooms in this 2-star inn come furnished with an AC, a deck, and an ensuite bathroom.

The interior here is quite distinct with a no-frill design. Guests will find a bar on-site to enjoy the evening.

RC Hotel Kyoto Yasaka
RC Hotel Kyoto Yasaka

What guests are saying

For those who are looking for one-of-a-kind accommodation, then the RC Hotel is one of the best-recommended hotels in Kyoto.

Conclusion

If no-frills design is what you long for the RC Hotel Kyoto Yasaka might be your pick. It’s a one-of-a-kind accommodation in a good location to explore Higashiyama.

Check prices and availability:

Booking.com

Agoda

Conclusion

Kyoto is a hotspot for several ryokans, machiya-style, modern, and artistic hotels.

In this Kyoto travel guide, you will find crème de la crème hotel suggestions to ensure a memorable stay in the city.

Which cool hotel in Kyoto is your favorite?

Categories: Japan