April 23, 2018
by Miyabi Saeki, Natsumi Awa and Saki Hirobayashi
When you go abroad, how do you decide which hotel to stay in? In Kyoto, there are three main types of hotels, such as western hotels, ryokan (traditional Japanese style inns), and the cheaper, but more casual guest houses. Do you know the differences between the three of them? Of course the styles are different, but the price, service, food and location are all also different. You should know the differences so that you can find the kind of hotel that will work best for you.
In this article, we will explain in detail the three types of accommodation in Kyoto, and give you an example of each one that we recommend.
Foreigners who aren’t used to sleeping on futon or don’t want to stay at a Japanese style hotel should stay at a Western style hotel. They are familiar to almost all foreigners and they are the most common style of hotel in the world. You can relax as if you were in your home country.
Many of the Western hotels in Kyoto have a certain style. For example, the interior design, food, and overall atmosphere may be inspired by Kyoto’s culture. In addition, there are many attractive places scattered across Kyoto City, so you can often find a hotel that is near some of the tourist sites that you want to visit during your stay. There are a range of expensive to cheap Western hotels, so you need to find one that fits your price range.
Hotel Monterey Kyoto
Hotel Monterey Kyoto is located on Karasuma Street, which runs north to south in central Kyoto. It is a highly recommended hotel, with a 4.5 out of 5 star evaluation on Rakuten Travel’s website. It takes about 2 minutes to arrive from Karasuma Oike Station on foot, and it takes about 8 minutes from Kyoto Station by car. Around the hotel there are many shrines, temples, and famous sightseeing spots. For example, if you plan to go to Higashi Honganji Temple, it takes less than 20 minutes by bus. In addition, there are some bus and train stations very near, so the location is very convenient for tourists.
The hotel is not only reasonably priced, but also has luxurious interior decorations. The rooms offer a chic and gorgeous design. It is popular with people from different age groups. You can enjoy either a Japanese or Western style breakfast, or Obanzai, which is a traditional style of Japanese cuisine native to Kyoto. It is made of simply prepared local vegetables and seafood. Rooms cost from 7,990 to 19,200 yen per night. The hotel is not so expensive, and it is in a good location. It is also equipped with free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a restaurant, a bathtub in each room, a paid parking area, laundry room, spa, and a bar.
When you want to experience traditional Japanese culture, you should stay at a ryokan. While there are many ryokan in other prefectures, Kyoto is well known for its own ryokan. Many ryokan have tatami, which is a traditional Japanese straw mat flooring; futon, which are Japanese style bedding; and public hot spring baths. The price is different at each ryokan, so you can go cheap or expensive depending on what you want.
Nishiyama ryokan is located in Nakagyo Ward, which is in central Kyoto. It takes 15 minutes from Kawaramachi Station on foot, and it takes 15 minutes from Kyoto Station by taxi. The hotel’s average evaluation is 4.5 out of 5 stars on Rakuten Travel’s website, and it is easy for people to book rooms from the hotel’s website in English. Around the hotel there are a lot of places of interest. For example, Heian Zingu and Nijo Castle are both only about 1.7 km away, and the Kyoto International Museum is about 0.6 km away. In addition, Sanjo Station and Karasuma Oike Station are nearby.
The ryokan’s rooms are all non-smoking. The price is about 22,000 to 42,000 yen. It is more expensive than many hotels or guest houses, but you can experience true Japanese atmosphere at a ryokan because there are tatami rooms and Japanese-style banquets. You can choose from 2 styles of room, Japanese style or Western style. Nishiyama Ryokan is equipped with free Wi-Fi, free laundry, air conditioning, deposit baggage, and ironing services are also free. Moreover, you can rent bicycles. Staff provide kind and welcoming service, so you can relax every day during your stay.
If you want to save as much money as possible, you should stay at a guest house. These are the cheapest kind of accommodation in Kyoto. They usually cost less than 5,000 yen per night. They are more casual, but the rooms are just as clean as the others. The guest houses in Kyoto are affordable for tourists and allow them to interact with the local people and other tourists.
Len Guest House
Len Guest House is a very good guest house at a great location. It is located in Kawaramachi, which is in central Kyoto. This hostel looks like a mountain hut, and has the appearance of old Kyoto. It overlooks the mountains of Kyoto. You can get there from Kawaramachi Station in 8 minutes on foot, so you can go to the downtown shopping and eating area easily. There are also many famous temples and shrines near this guest house. Therefore, you can enjoy sightseeing, shopping, and the atmosphere of Kyoto. This guesthouse has a hostel, bar, cafe, and dining.
A lot of different people stay at the Len Guest House. On the one hand, it is for tourists, but locals also visit for the café and bar. The concept of this guest house is “a place where people can gather, crossing every boundary.” There are two kinds of rooms in the hostel: dormitories and private rooms. As for the dormitories, there are two types; mixed rooms and women-only rooms. The room rates are about 2,600 yen to 3,000 yen. It is very reasonable. The rooms are very clean, and they have many kinds of amenities. The common space has a kitchen, a library, and a bathroom. You can cook in the kitchen, as there are a lot of cooking tools. Also, many events are held every month such as jazz concerts. If you are interested in this hostel, please check the website.
Now you should know a little more about accommodation in Kyoto. Which type of accommodation do you like the best? Having good accommodations while in Japan will make your trip much better. Have a nice trip!
Hotel Monterey Kyoto
From the Hankyu Train, get off at Karasuma Station and go North up Karasuma Street. 5 minutes on foot from Exit 22 of Karasuma Station on the Hankyu Kyoto line or from Shijo Station on the Karasuma Subway line.
From the Hankyu Train, get off at Kawaramachi Station and go North up Kawaramachi Street. It is near the Kyoto city hall.
Len Guest House
From the Hankyu Train, get off at Kawaramachi Station and go south down Kawaramachi Street. It is near the Kawaramachi Matsubara bus stop.