When deciding which hotel to stay at, there are a few of elements to think about — price, availability, style and so on. For those who are planning to stay in Kyoto and are in the process of choosing the right hotel, be sure to take the following five important points into consideration.
Kyoto, and Japan in general, has mainly three different styles when it comes to accommodations. Hotels, Ryokans and guest houses (hostels). Hotels are referred to as a western style hotels, with a bed(s), a bathroom, a desk, a cabinet, a sofa (or a chair) and a closet. In general, the quality of the room is proportional to its price. Ryokans are traditional Japanese style accommodations. A typical ryokan room has a floor made of straw mats called “tatami”. They are a little softer than wooden floors, and when they are new, a slight scent of straw can be smelled. When sleeping, most ryokans will prepare a Japanese style bed. It is slightly harder than a western style bed, nonetheless it is soft enough to sleep on. And just like the normal western style hotels, the price matters. Guest houses are accommodations where guests usually share a bathroom and a kitchen. Some guest houses have a few private rooms as well. In Kyoto, there are many guest houses providing Japanese style bedding.
Location is very important when choosing a hotel. It all comes down to your priorities. For those staying only one or two days in Kyoto and going different parts of Japan using the super-express train, Shinkansen, then the hotels near Kyoto Station are the best. There are many options around there including two hotels connected to the station. But if you are staying in Kyoto more than three or four days, it might be a good idea to choose a hotel in the center of Kyoto City. This is simply because this area has many more restaurants and shops. The hotels around Shijo (Street) Karasuma (Street) intersection and Karasuma Oike intersection are very convenient and fun. When sightseeing, try to use the subways instead of buses, which will make your traveling experience easier and less stressful.
Price is also very important. It should be easy to find a hotel which suits every traveler’s budget. For those who would rather not spend much money on their accommodation, then guest houses or business-oriented hotels are advisable. Seasonality matters a lot. Thus, do intensive research, especially for people who are planning to go to Kyoto on weekdays in February and June. It is possible that even luxury hotels could be within budget.
When it was built or renovated
Some people might prioritize cleanness or newness as the most important quality. It is not necessarily true that old hotels are dirty. There are many old hotels/ryokans which have kept their facilities clean and tidy. So be sure to check the pictures of the rooms when choosing a hotel. In addition, if it is possible, try to find information on when it was built or renovated.
WiFi or LAN
Most hotels/ryokans in Kyoto offer some kind of free Internet service. For those who want to use internet with a device that is not compatible with LAN cable, then it is necessary to check if the hotel has WiFi service. But some hotels provide paid or free computers which every guest can use.
For more fun and useful information, which will make your Kyoto Travel more exciting, memorable and stress-free, please check our Kyoto e-Guidebook.