Visit Kyoto during your trip on the Japanese archipelago: how to find where to stay in Kyoto? Here are the best areas to stay in Kyoto!
Imperial capital of Japan for more than a thousand years (from 794 to 1868), Kyoto is the eighth largest city in Japan, and is located in Kansai, in the center of Honshu Island. With a population of 1,475,183 (2015) and an area of 827.83 km², finding accommodation to stay in Kyoto can be very expensive: the city is stormed spring, summer and autumn by visitors to enjoy of his charms. Well spared from the bombings of the Second World War, Kyoto has a huge historical and cultural heritage. The historical monuments of the city are also listed as UNESCO World Heritage.
Kyoto is home to more than 2,000 temples, as well as shrines, palaces and Japanese gardens. Kyoto is considered a leading cultural center in Japan. Neighborhoods in Kyoto are spread over a sprawling area. If you can not list them all, here are some of the best places to stay in Kyoto.
Gion and Higashiyama
Photo credit: Flickr – Ganaselmi
These two neighborhoods between the Kamo River and the mountains are the most popular among visitors because they have the advantage of being central while sheltering historical monuments such as Kiyomizu-dera and Yasaka-jinja – shinto sanctuaries – and Maruyama Park : the modern Kyoto mixed with the picturesque, assured change of scenery! The offer of accommodation is plentiful, from the cheap hostel to the luxurious hotel. At dusk, the atmosphere is calm because the Buddhist temples and shops close with the darkness. However, along the canal you will find many small bars and restaurants of traditional Japanese cuisine. A nice place to stay in Kyoto, between cultural visits and the tranquility of the nights.
Photo credit: Flickr – Eric Chen
Thanks to its central position, this district concentrates traditional Japan, nightlife and proximity to the city center. From Kawaramachi, along Shijo Avenue to Nijo Castle, you’ll find all of Kyoto’s vibrant life: staying in this part of Kyoto will allow you to enjoy great shopping and outings (bars and restaurants). Not far away, Kiyamachi Avenue is crowded with students and has a popular atmosphere, a fun combo to party in discos and bars until dawn.
The path of philosophy
Photo credit: Flickr – Dani Oliver
A path located in the northeast of the city, the path of philosophy (or Philosopher’s Walk) runs along the canal and allows visitors to visit the Ginkaku-ji and Eikan-do Zenrin-ji temples on foot. Do not miss this walk in the spring, where you can admire the countless cherry blossoms in pink and white, the iconic postcard of Japan and walk in the footsteps of the Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida (1870-1945), famous founder of the Kyoto School of Philosophy. This residential area resumes its Olympian calm in the evening: choose this area to stay if you seek tranquility, comfort without having to go out because the bars of the neighborhoods are likely to be closed at night!
Arashiyama and Sagano
Crédit photo: Flickr – PaulSchliebs
The second most touristic zone of Kyoto, Arashiyama and Sagano offer a large concentration of historical buildings and allow for relaxing walks in the countryside, which is appreciable in a metropolis of this size. In the surrounding area, do not miss the peaceful world of Arashiyama bamboo plantation, Arashiyama Monkey Park, Kinkaku-ji and Ryōan-ji nearby. It is an area rich in historical and natural wonders. The downside is that the district is one hour by subway from the city center: here we are in the western suburbs but it is the price to pay to be removed from the concrete in Japan… To stay in Kyoto, these two neighborhoods will fill you if you are little fan of big neon lights, shopping malls and concrete.
Main photo credit : Flickr – inefekt69