Fully Enjoy “Kyoto-Style” with 5 Recommendations for Kyoto Hostel and Guesthouses, Experience Japanese Culture in Japanese-style Rooms and Traditional Houses


Kyoto is the city that symbolises Japanese traditional culture. The cityscape, which retains the scenery of ancient Japan, not only makes you feel the charms of Japan’s four seasons but also brings excitement that comes with feeling like you’ve travelled back in time. 

Since you’ve come all this way to discover Kyoto, why not stick to “Japanese-like” and “Kyoto-like” choices of accommodations? In this article, we will introduce 5 Kyoto hostels and guesthouses where you can be fully immersed in the Japanese atmosphere at relatively reasonable prices. 

Ryokan Hostel Gion (旅寛HOSTEL祇園)

Ryokan Hostel Gion is, as its name suggests, an accommodation facility with an attractive concept where you can enjoy a “mini-ryokan” at a hostel’s price range.

It is located within the Gion area, which is popular for its historical streets, on a quiet street lined with antique art dealer shops. A charming and pleasant spot that evokes the Kyoto atmosphere. It takes about 3~4 minutes to walk from Keihan Subway Sanjo Station which is also the express bus terminal to reach here, and about 15 minutes by subway from Kyoto Station.

The capsule-style dormitory has “rooms” sized around 2 tatami mats. It gives off a faint scent of tatami mats and has blackout curtains to ensure privacy. Private rooms for 2, and 4 people groups are also available. In addition to free Wi-Fi, it also has a kitchen and laundry facilities for long-term guests. There is also a tatami lounge where you can relax. 

I asked the staff their recommendations for guests to best enjoy the facilities.

It would be great to stretch out your legs and relax in the tatami space, or have breakfast or a drink on the terrace when the weather is nice. 

  • Languages: Japanese, English, Chinese

  • Price Range: 1,200 yen~50,000 yen per person (credit card, cash, QR code/barcode payments acceptable)

  • Address: 京都府京都市東山区元町391-2(391-2 Motomachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto)

  • Official Website: https://www.ryokanhostel.com/

Guest House Sakurakomachi

Reachable in 3 minutes on foot from World Heritage Kinkaku-ji is Guest House Sakurakomachi, a small guesthouse with only 2 rooms. Ryoan-Ji, Ninna-Ji, and Kitano Tenmangu Shrine are also within walking distance, making it a perfect base for temple and shrine visiting.

As you can see from the photo, the guesthouse’s most attractive feature is its cute private rooms! They have a Western-style room and a Japanese-style room; the Western-style room is for 1~2 guests, and the Japanese-style room for 1~4 guests. In addition to Wi-Fi, each room comes with a refrigerator. If you want to use the shared bath or visit the nearby sento (public bathhouse), you can borrow bath supply set(s) for free which is another good point of the guesthouse.

There is a genghis khan (Japanese BBQ lamb) restaurant, and guests can enjoy a 20% discount when dining there. Lamb marinated in a special sauce with a large serving of vegetables are the perfect match! “We await your visit” greets the owner. It is recommended for those looking to relax somewhere with privacy. 

  • Languages: Japanese, English

  • Price Range: 2,500 yen~6,500 yen per person (credit card, cash, QR code/barcode payments acceptable)

  • Address: 京都市北区衣笠街道町10-2(10-2 Kinugasa Kaido-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto)

  • Official Website: https://kyoto-sakurakomachi.com/


Guesthouse KYOTO COMPASS is a guesthouse that reuses a 100 years old Kyoto townhouse. “What if I have a house in Japan?” Staying here, you can bring your imagination to life and experience it for yourself. 

In addition to the dormitory where large comfy beds are provided, there are also private rooms facing a traditional Japanese garden (accommodates up to 3 people)! It’s so beautiful you’ll regret going out. 

Access to the guest house is a 10 minutes walk from Umekoji Park Kyoto Nishi Station. The area is close to Inari Shrine and To-Ji. Arashiyama, Kinkaku-Ji and Kiyomizu-dera are also easily accessible by bus or bicycle. 

At KYOTO COMPASS, born from the desire to create a place to serve as a guiding post for travellers, guests can interact with one another as if they were family members living together under the same roof. (※Currently wearing masks is required to prevent the spread of infection.) “New encounters are the real pleasure of travelling,” for people that think this way, give this place a go! 

  • Languages: Japanese, English

  • Price Range: 3,500 yen per person / 18,000 yen private room (credit card, cash, QR code/barcode payments acceptable)

  • Address:京都市下京区西七条市部町115(115 Ichibe-cho, Nishi-Shinajo, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto)

  • Official Website:https://kyoto-compass.com/

Guest house WARAKU-AN (ゲストハウス和楽庵)

Guest house WARAKU-AN is a guesthouse in a renovated 100 year old townhouse near Heian Jingu Shrine. All their rooms are Japanese-style! You can experience staying at a Machiya (traditional wooden townhouse) for a reasonable price. 

Entering the guest house’s grounds on the stone lined path, the first thing to catch your eye is a refreshing Japanese garden. From hereon, surely you will have nothing but high expectations for your stay. It’s a great photo spot, you should definitely take a commemorative photo of your stay. 

Access to the guest house is 30 minutes by bus from Kyoto Station. Nanzen-Ji and Heian Jingu are within walking distance, and you can reach major sightseeing spots such as Kinkaku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, and Arashimaya by direct train. 

  • Languages: Japanese, English

  • Price Range: 2,750 yen~4,400 yen per person (credit card, cash, QR code/barcode payments acceptable)

  • Address: 京都市左京区聖護院山王町19-2(19-2 Sanno-cho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto)

  • Official Website: https://gh-project.com/

Satoyama Guest House Couture (里山ゲストハウスクチュール)

「里山 Satoyama」refers to undeveloped land that is still rich in nature, it is an untouched scenery that evokes feelings of nostalgia in Japanese people. Satoyama Guest House Couture is a guest house that exists in harmony with nature and scenery that Japan prides itself on. 

Satoyama Guest House Couture is located in Ayabe City, Kyoto Prefecture, a lush green town that's a 1.5 hours train ride away from Kyoto City. There are various activities to enjoy here such as trekking in the mountains, playing in the river, visiting local’s homes, cooking experiences, etc. It is highly recommended for those who want to feel close to nature and enjoy culture. 

The guesthouse uses a kominka (old Japanese-style house) but the insides are unexpectedly well-kept and clean. The bedroom is a Japanese-style room, and you can experience village life as depicted in Japanese tales. Discounts are available for long-term staying guests! 

  • Languages: Japanese, English, French

  • Price Range: 3,000 yen~5,000 yen per person (credit card, cash, QR code/barcode, PayPal payments acceptable)

  • Address: 京都府綾部市五泉町下ノ段16(16 Shimonodan, Gosen-cho, Ayabe City, Kyoto)

  • Official Website: https://guesthouse-couture.com/#home


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