10 Best Hostels and Guesthouses in Kyoto

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Writer’s Profile

Bryce was born in California, but raised from the age of 3 near Seattle, Washington. He’s been living in Tokyo for about 7 years, and graduated from Temple University, Japan with degrees in economics and international business. He loves traveling of course, but also cooking, snowboarding, some video games as well. His biggest interest is songwriting/music production, more specifically electronic music… (think Skrillex, Marshmello, Daft Punk, etc.) He also has terrible humor as you’ll notice, but he hopes you’ll enjoy it!

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Embarking on a journey through Kyoto is like stepping into a living canvas of ancient traditions and cultural history. Due to its incredible amount of historical locations and old-fashioned atmosphere, it’s been revered as one of the best places in Japan to go to experience authenticity and tradition. To make your stay truly memorable, we’ve scoured the city for the best hostels and guesthouses that blend comfort with culture. From traditional aesthetics to contemporary havens, each accommodation promises an immersive Kyoto experience. So, pack your sense of adventure and let’s dive into the eclectic world of Kyoto’s most distinctive stays.

1. Guesthouse Kyoto Compass

Nestled in the heart of Kyoto, Guesthouse Kyoto Compass is a haven of serenity. Its classic Japanese architecture and minimalist interiors offer a perfect blend of tradition and comfort, and the perfect experience if you’re looking to stay in a traditional Japanese home. The Tatami mat rooms invite you to experience authentic Japanese living, while the lush garden provides a peaceful escape. With easy access to Kyoto’s iconic sites, this guesthouse is a compass guiding you through the city’s cultural treasures.

Book here

2. Gionkoh

Gionkoh, situated in the famed Gion district, is more than a hostel; it’s a perfect place to stay during your journey into the mysterious world of Geishas. The traditional architecture, complete with sliding doors, wooden furnishings, small garden and pond, as well as a plethora of authentic decor, transports you to a bygone era. Immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of Gion, where cobbled streets and tea houses beckon. Gionkoh is not just a stay; it’s an invitation to unlock the secrets of Kyoto’s geisha culture.

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3. Guest House Oumi

Another choice that’s great if you are seeking a very traditional atmosphere, but perhaps a but more modern than the previous two. You’ll still get a great sense of authenticity, but with a bit more of a contemporary style and vibrance. The warmly decorated interior is inviting and cozy and you’ll surely have no trouble feeling at peace and relaxed. Comfy futons on tatami floors are the best way to get a great night’s rest in Japan!

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4. Guest House Ga-Jyun

Guest House Ga-Jyun stands out for its simple yet artistic design. The interiors showcase contemporary Japanese aesthetics, blending minimalism with functionality. The communal spaces are cozy and welcoming, and the rooms come in a variety of styles to suit your adventure perfectly. No matter what, you’ll be feeling at home here. The fruit buffet is also a tasty treat for travelers, and adds to the lushness of their garden and flower decorations. Make sure to say hi to Jiroh-san, the house dog!

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5. Piece Hostel Kyoto

Carol Lin, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Flickr

Taking a step in a different direction in terms of visual style, Piece Hostel Kyoto is a masterpiece in modern hostel design. The architecture is a harmonious blend of sleek lines and cozy spaces. The communal areas are vibrant and inviting, fostering a sense of community among travelers. The light, neutral colors combined with foliage boast their sense of cleanliness. This is the perfect place to enjoy the renowned traditional Japanese hospitality in a stylish, contemporary context. 

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6. The Millennials Kyoto

Another great choice for those who want to enjoy a more modern vibe, The Millennials Kyoto redefines the hostel experience with a tech-forward approach. This accommodation combines cutting-edge technology with contemporary design. Enjoy smart, efficient spaces and a seamless check-in experience. Some of their accommodations options are inspired by the capsule hotel idea, so be sure to check this place out if that fancies you. Socialize in the wide, interactive lounge or unwind in the sleeping area you choose. The Millennials Kyoto is not just a hostel; it’s a glimpse into the future of travel in the heart of Kyoto.

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7. Guesthouse Itoya Kyoto

Moving back to the traditional style, Guesthouse Itoya Kyoto is a haven for cherry blossom enthusiasts with a cherry blossom tree in their quaint garden. Some rooms are adorned with subtle cherry blossom motifs, creating an atmosphere of tranquility. The traditional Japanese townhouse architecture sets the stage for an authentic Kyoto experience. Located near prime sakura viewing spots, Itoya ensures your stay is infused with the ephemeral beauty of Kyoto’s iconic blossoms. It’s in great proximity, only a 20 minute walk, to the popular Kinkakuji temple, as well.

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8. Ryokan Hostel Gion

Though Ryokan are typically known for their traditional status, Ryokan Hostel Gion seamlessly fuses the elegance of a traditional Ryokan with the comforts of a modern hostel. Tatami mat rooms and sliding doors evoke a sense of timeless charm, while modern amenities cater to the contemporary traveler. Situated in the historic Gion district, this accommodation is a bridge between Kyoto’s rich history and the demands of modern exploration. 

Book here

9. Guest House Hitsujian

Guest House Hitsujian is another great addition to the collection of places that exude traditional atmosphere and authentic decoration. It does a great job of maintaining this kind of expectation in comparison to the rest, yet it seems to go a little further to stay with the times without sacrificing any authenticity. It’s a cozy spot that’s great for relaxing and winding down after a day full of adventuring without a doubt. Its minimal decoration and simple furnishings offer a sense of peace and quiet that goes hand in hand with its surrounding city.

Book here

10. Len Kyoto Kawaramachi

Len Kyoto Kawaramachi is a great location for those who love the atmosphere of a cafe. In fact, if you were walking down the street and saw it, you might think that’s what it was. Their modestly rustic interior with plenty of wooden decorations complements the homey atmosphere perfectly of course, they do offer food in a cafe setting, which looks tasty and satisfying. This common area is perfect for relaxing and maybe getting to know some other travelers. With a good selection of room types, you’ll have no trouble finding a setup perfect for your adventure.

Book here

Japan Wonder Travel Tours in Kyoto

When you are visiting Kyoto and you need some help organizing your trip, you came to the right place. We’re happy to help you make your trip to Kyoto the best trip ever. We can advise you on where to go or even better, show you around with a local, English speaking guide. Let us help you create safe, comfortable, and unforgettable memories in Kyoto!

Kyoto 8h Private Custom Highlight Tour with Licensed Guide
On this full-day private tour of Kyoto, you will be able to see the highlights of Kyoto in just one day and at the same time develop a deeper understanding of both the culture of the area and Japan as a whole.

Kyoto Arashiyama Best Spots 4h Private Tour with Licensed Guide
If you only have a day or two in Kyoto, we offer a half-day tour combined with must-visit spots in one of the most popular areas in Kyoto – Arashiyama. A knowledgeable bilingual guide will make sure that you can get the full experience in just a half-day!

Explore Nishiki Market: Food & Culture Walk
If you’re looking to learn more about the culture and the local cuisine of Kyoto, this is the perfect tour for you! Take part in this Kyoto food and drink tour and explore the 400-year-old market and the famous surrounding areas.

Kimono Experience
Kyoto is the best city to explore in kimono, Japanese traditional clothing. You can choose the one you like the most from several patterns and colors at the rental shop. In Kyoto, two locations are both accessible from the main tourist attractions which makes it easy to try it on and explore the city for a day!

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Happy traveling!

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