Fear not: You can find comfortable and clean budget hotels in Kyoto for less than it would cost to eat a decent dinner in New York or Paris. And in recent years, there has been a real boom in budget rooms in Kyoto, making the city among the best accommodation bargains in the developed world.
Kyoto has a surprisingly wide variety of budget hotels, some offering twin rooms for as low as Y6500 per night for a twin. On this website, we consider any hotel that charges less than Y8000 per night for a single, twin or double room to be budget. Of course, prices vary by season and some of the places listed here might nudge into the mid-range category at some points during the year.
You’ll find the widest variety of budget hotels in Downtown Kyoto, Kyoto Station Area and Central Kyoto. The major chains, like Toyoko Inn and Super Hotel, all have branches in Kyoto, and these usually offer great value for the money. This is a list of what I consider the best budget hotels in Kyoto, in rough order of preference (best listed first):
- Hotel Sunroute Kyoto
The Hotel Sunroute Kyoto is an excellent-value budget to moderate hotel located just south of the downtown shopping district on Kawaramachi-dori. It’s one of the best hotel values in the city.
- Toyoko Inn Kyoto Gojo-Karasuma
Like all the other branches in this chain, the Toyoko Inn Kyoto Gojo Karasuma is a great value for the money. The rooms are small but packed with features. It’s within walking distance of both Shijo and Gojo subways stations, as well as downtown.
- Super Hotel Shijyo Kawaramachi
The Super Hotel Shijyo Kawaramachi is a no-frills business hotel that is perfect for single travelers. It’s right downtown, very close to Nishiki Market.
- Palace Side Hotel
An inexpensive traveler’s hotel next to the Imperial Palace, The Palace Side Hotel is a decent choice for budget travelers who want to be based in midtown.
- Capsule Ryokan Kyoto
Capsule Ryokan Kyoto is a Japanese capsule hotel with traditional Kyoto touches. In addition to the capsules on the first floor, there are several floors of excellent private rooms. This place, which is completely at home with foreign travelers, is a great budget choice. It’s a short walk north of Kyoto Station.
- Hotel Mystays Kyoto
Hotel Mystays Kyoto is a good budget business hotel on Shijo-dori, just west of downtown. It’s within easy walking distance of Karasuma Shijo subway station.
Almost all the hotels in this category can be described as “business hotels,” which in Japan means a room with just enough space to swing a cat, and a so-called “unit bath,” which is a small room containing a deep bathtub shower/bath unit and a toilet and sink. To be totally honest, these places are always perfectly adequate unless you really demand lots of space in which to relax, or if you have children with you (in which case you’ll need a bit more room for them to spread out).
The competition is so hot in this space now that the budget hotel chains are now offering things like free breakfast, free phone domestic phone calls and discounts on car rentals. Not all places offer these things, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
If you’re willing to spend a little bit more, you’ll also find some great values in the mid-range hotel category.
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings on Skyscanner
- If you're visiting more than one city, get your Japan Rail Pass
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com
- Get travel insurance for your Japan trip - book online with World Nomads