4 Star Hotels in Kyoto

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Four Star Kyoto hotels

Once the capital of Japan, Kyoto is considered the birthplace of traditional Japanese culture. With its rich tapestry of holy temples and shrines, intricate pagodas surrounded by cherry blossom trees, and images of geishas flitting down cobbled streets, Kyoto evokes traditional Japan like no other city. Visitors in search of a 4-star vacation in Kyoto flock here in their droves to enjoy omotenashi—the essence of Japanese hospitality illustrated so well in the many elegant tea ceremonies, exquisite geisha traditions, and exciting food culture found throughout the city.

Things to see in Kyoto

It’s unlikely you’ll have time to visit Kyoto’s some 1,600 temples and 400 shrines, but if you have to pick one, choose Kinkaku-ji. Also known as the Golden Pavilion, this Zen Buddhist temple is one of the top tourist attractions in Kyoto, if not Japan. Overlooking a tranquil pond, this spectacular gold-leafed structure dates back to the 14th century and is well worth a visit. Food lovers should head to Nishiki Market—this vibrant and colorful food market in the center of the city features a staggering display of the many wild and wonderful ingredients that go into the best of Japanese cuisine. The city’s Gosho or Imperial Palace is often cited as one of the top things to see in Kyoto. As the official residence of the Emperor of Japan, the palace itself is off limits, however its beautifully maintained grounds with Japanese-style gardens, ornate bridges, and impressive moat make for a great afternoon’s sightseeing.

4-star hotels in Kyoto

Combining refined Japanese aesthetics with luxurious modern amenities such as pools and spa facilities, on-site restaurants and bars, full concierge services and free WiFi, there is no shortage of 4-star hotels in Kyoto. Breakfast is often complimentary and guests can choose between western-style buffet breakfasts or more traditional Japanese-style dishes incorporating steamed white rice, fish, tofu, or miso soup. To immerse yourself even further in Japanese culture, make sure your 4-star hotel room in Kyoto comes with an ofuro. These traditional wooden soaking tubs are the perfect place to relax and unwind after a long day taking in the sights.

Where to stay in Kyoto

The downtown area is known for the vibrancy of its restaurants, bars, and nightlife and offers some of the best four-star hotels in Kyoto. Picturesque, atmospheric, and close to the some of the most popular tourist sites in Kyoto, Southern Higashiyama is another great area to base yourself. A quieter option is Arashiyama, to the west of the city, where any of the stylish, upmarket hotels lining the river will offer a relaxing change from the fast pace of downtown Kyoto. Alternatively, escape the city entirely and head for Kibune, a tranquil town north of Kyoto, renowned for its mountain temple, hot springs, and breathtaking views.

How to get to Kyoto

Visitors can fly direct to Kyoto via Kansai International Airport, the city’s main entry point for international travelers. Located about an hour outside Kyoto, Osaka International Itami Airport is another popular option for visitors flying in to the city. Although it’s possible to flag down taxis in the center, the best way to get around Kyoto is by subway. The main train station offers regular connections to a number of cities nearby. For destinations further afield, treat yourself to a trip on the sleek, futuristic shinkansen, or bullet train—the envy of rail networks the world over.

Kyoto travel guides

Kyoto Travel Guides

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