Kyoto & Nara

Kyoto & Nara, photo by David Monniaux
 

Kyoto and Nara are cities and UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in the central part of Japan’s main island, Honshu.

Kyoto was the capital of Japan for more than one thousand years, from the residence of the Emperor from 794 until the Meiji Restoration of 1868 (when the capital was moved to [Tokyo]). It remains home to some of Japan’s finest temples and gardens.

Nara is an even older capital than Kyoto and has a smaller collection of temples in a giant landscaped park.

The two cities are less than an hour apart by train.

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Overall Atmosphere: Cultural
A Cultural Atmosphere includes both the historic (eg, landmark town centers) and the contemporary (music, nightlife, etc).

Cultural Interests tend to be:
(a) indoors-oriented, and therefore not as linked to weather conditions for enjoyment
(b) relatively physically accessible, while also not being physically demanding.
Featuring mainly indoors-oriented historical or contemporary attractions.
 

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Azukian Holiday Rentals

Ideally located at the heart of the Gion area, Azuki-an is a traditional Japanese-style townhouse that can be rented as a whole. Average score from 15 guest reviews: 6.6/10.

$252

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Guest Inn Chita

Guest Inn Chita is a 5-minute walk from Higashi Hongan-ji Temple and Gojo Subway Station. Featuring a rooftop barbecue area, it offers Japanese-style accommodation with free Wi-Fi. Guestrooms feature tatami flooring with traditional futon bedding. Average score from 542 guest reviews: 8.7/10.

$39 - $91

 
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ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Kyoto

ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Kyoto is in front of the Nijo Castle and a 1-minute walk from Nijojo-Mae Metro Station. It features a shuttle from Kyoto Station, an indoor pool and 5 restaurants. Average score from 774 guest reviews: 8.7/10.

$104 - $265

 
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Oyama Guesthouse Kyoto

Offering a free-use kitchen, a coin launderette and free Wi-Fi throughout, the entirely non-smoking Oyama Guesthouse Kyoto has private and dormitory-style rooms with air conditioning and shared bathrooms. Average score from 96 guest reviews: 7.6/10.

$35 - $174

 
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Kyoto Guesthouse Lantern

Kyoto Guesthouse Lantern offers affordable dormitory-style or private rooms. Guests can relax in the common lounge space and rent bicycles to tour the city. Average score from 690 guest reviews: 8.4/10.

$15 - $70

 
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See all hotels in Kyoto & Nara.
Hotel NameRooms FromGuest Rating
Yadoya Kikokuso

Yadoya Kikokuso

Yadoya Kikokuso is set in Kyoto, a 10-minute walk away from JR Kyoto Station and a 5-minute walk from Shichijo Station of the Keihan Line. Kiyomizu-dera Temple is 2 km from Yadoya Kikokuso. Average score from 91 guest reviews: 9.4/10.

$94

 
$949.4
Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto

Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto

Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto features stylish modern accommodations with free wired internet access. The hotel offers massages and concierge services, as well as a bar and a buffet restaurant with savory dishes. Average score from 32 guest reviews: 9.1/10.

$148 - $282

 
$1489.1
Kyoto Hana Hotel

Kyoto Hana Hotel

Kyoto Hana Hotel is located on Sanjo Street, just a minute's walk away from both Sanjo and Sanjo-Keihan Subway Stations. The popular Gion and Ponto-cho areas are just a 10-minute walk away. Average score from 724 guest reviews: 9.0/10.

$57

 
$579.0
Sakura Terrace The Gallery

Sakura Terrace The Gallery

Opened in March 2015, Sakura Terrace The Gallery is conveniently located a 2-minute walk from the JR Kyoto Station. Free WiFi is available and guests can refresh in the public bath and sauna. Higashi Honganji temple is 10-minutes away by foot. Average score from 40 guest reviews: 9.0/10.

$96

 
$969.0
Gion Guesthouse Ikkuu

Gion Guesthouse Ikkuu

Featuring modern Japanese design, this newly opened guesthouse is just a 5-minute walk from Keihan Gion Shijo Station and offers Japanese-style rooms with free Wi-Fi. Average score from 202 guest reviews: 8.8/10.

$57 - $70

 
$578.8
Kyoto Hotel Okura

Kyoto Hotel Okura

Hotel Okura's elegant rooms boast spectacular views of Kyoto against the backdrop of the Higashiyama Mountains. In the heart of the city, the hotel treats its guests to a shopping avenue, free Wi-Fi at the lobby and concierge services. Average score from 453 guest reviews: 8.8/10.

$137 - $342

 
$1378.8
Ryokan Sanga

Ryokan Sanga

Located in the heart of Kyoto, Ryokan Sanga offers traditional Japanese-style accommodations with tatami (woven-straw) flooring and Japanese futon bedding. Delicious meals are served in the rooms with Nakai (personal attendant) services. Average score from 62 guest reviews: 8.8/10.

$169

 
$1698.8
Kinparo

Kinparo

Situated just a 1-minute walk from popular Nishiki Market in the heart of Kyoto, Kinparo offers traditional Japanese-style accommodation fitted with tatami (woven-straw) flooring and futon bedding. Its public baths feature natural green tea leaves. Average score from 209 guest reviews: 8.8/10.

$169

 
$1698.8
Yamashiroya Ryokan

Yamashiroya Ryokan

The completely non-smoking Yamashiroya Ryokan is just a 6-minute walk from Kyoto Station and a 3-minute walk from Kyoto Tower. It offers simple air-conditioned Japanese-style rooms with an en suite bathroom and a fridge. Average score from 20 guest reviews: 8.7/10.

$61 - $57

 
$618.7
ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Kyoto

ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Kyoto

ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Kyoto is in front of the Nijo Castle and a 1-minute walk from Nijojo-Mae Metro Station. It features a shuttle from Kyoto Station, an indoor pool and 5 restaurants. Average score from 774 guest reviews: 8.7/10.

$104 - $265

 
$1048.7
Ryokan Ryokufuso

Ryokan Ryokufuso

Offering free Wi-Fi and a spacious public bath, Ryokan Ryokufuso is located a 15-minute walk away from JR Kyoto Train Station. Guests can enjoy traditional multi-course meals featuring local Kyoto ingredients. Average score from 506 guest reviews: 8.6/10.

$132

 
$1328.6
Kobito House

Kobito House

About a 10-minute walk from JR Tanbaguchi Train Station are the compact 2-person apartments of Kobito House, all with a kitchen, free Wi-Fi and a private bathroom. Free-use bicycles are provided. Average score from 71 guest reviews: 8.5/10.

$70 - $44

 
$708.5
New Miyako Hotel

New Miyako Hotel

Right in front of Kyoto Station, New Miyako Hotel features air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi. The hotel offers a beauty salon, a convenience shop and 6 dining options. Average score from 44 guest reviews: 8.5/10.

$135 - $355

 
$1358.5
Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shijo

Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shijo

Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shijo is located in Kyoto, 600 metres from Karasuma Station. It offers modern accommodation with a public bath, a restaurant and rooms with free WiFi. Guestrooms offer both air-conditioning and heating facilities. Average score from 27 guest reviews: 8.4/10.

$86 - $307

 
$868.4
Kyoto Ryokan Kinoe

Kyoto Ryokan Kinoe

Ryokan Kinoe is located in central Kyoto, just a 5-minute walk from the Gion area. It offers a traditional stone garden, 24-hour public baths and spacious rooms with private bathrooms. Average score from 479 guest reviews: 8.4/10.

$131 - $567

 
$1318.4
Hotel Brighton City Kyoto Yamashina

Hotel Brighton City Kyoto Yamashina

Right across from Yamashina Train and Subway Station, Hotel Brighton City Kyoto Yamashina offers comfortable rooms with TV and free wired internet access. From the hotel it is 3 km to Kiyomizuyaki-Danchi, the home of Kiyomizu-yaki pottery. Average score from 742 guest reviews: 8.2/10.

$66 - $165

 
$668.2
Gosho Nishi Kyoto Heian Hotel

Gosho Nishi Kyoto Heian Hotel

Right across the street from the Kyoto Imperial Palace grounds, the completely non-smoking Kyoto Heian Hotel boasts a beautiful Japanese garden created during the Edo period as well as Japanese and French-inspired restaurants. Average score from 169 guest reviews: 8.1/10.

$61 - $157

 
$618.1

Highlights:

Click highlighted activity to see details.
Cultural
Historic Landmarks

Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto

Built in A.D. 794 on the model of the capitals of ancient China, Kyoto was the imperial capital of Japan from its foundation until the middle of the 19th century. As the center of Japanese culture for more than 1,000 years, Kyoto illustrates the development of Japanese wooden architecture, particularly religious architecture, and the art of Japanese gardens, which has influenced landscape gardening the world over.

Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara

Nara was the capital of Japan from 710 to 784. During this period the framework of national government was consolidated and Nara enjoyed great prosperity, emerging as the fountainhead of Japanese culture. The city's historic monuments – Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and the excavated remains of the great Imperial Palace – provide a vivid picture of life in the Japanese capital in the 8th century, a period of profound political and cultural change.
Temples

Kyoto

Kyoto has a vast number of beautiful temples, each with their own character. Among the most famous of these are Kinkaku-ji, Ryōan-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, and Ginkaku-ji.

Nara

The main temple in Nara is Tōdai-ji. This is home to the famous Daibutsu, the largest Buddha statue in Japan ,and one of the largest in the world. The Daibutsu-den, which houses it, is said to be the largest wooden building in the world. The giant front gate, Nandai-mon, is guarded by two fierce, awe-inspiring protectors. It's also swarmed by deer, who know this is the best place to come looking for a hand-out.
Combination
Parks, Gardens, Zoos
Many of the temples of Kyoto have extraordinary gardens that are open to public.
Also of Interest:
Cultural
Museums
Palaces and Chateaux
Combination
Unusual Local Feature

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