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5 Recommended Japanese Hotels in Kyoto’s Exotic Gion Area

Gion, with its atmosphere resembling that of Kyoto's halcyon days, is where you will feel an authentic, delicate Japanese vibe. Here are five recommended Japanese inns and hotels that can serve as your base when you travel through Gion, which boasts of wide popularity among tourists and sightseers.

1. Yuzuya Hotel

The first Japanese hotel on the list is Yuzuya Hotel, which is located south of the Yasaka Shrine that has a symbolic presence as protector of the Gion district.
As its name suggests, this hotel was designed with yuzu citrus as a motif, so when you go inside, you will be welcomed by the smell of yuzu in the air. There are yuzu fruit in the guestrooms and various other spots in the hotel. Yuzu is also used in the bath with the Yuzu Yu in which yuzu fruit float, and of course, in the food. Guests love the specialty sea bream hot pot and yuzushu (yuzu-flavored alcohol). Yuzuya Hotel is a place where you can enjoy the refreshing aroma of yuzu with all your five senses.

▼Rates: Starting at 30,000 JPY (excl. tax) per person for one night with two meals
※Rates vary depending on the type of guestroom and the season

Courtyard painted in the beautiful colors of every season

Inside the hotel that is filled with the refreshing scent of yuzu

1. Yuzuya Hotel

545 Yasaka Jinja Minamitonari, Gionmachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

2. Gion Hatanaka

Gion Hatanaka is located in front of the south gate of Yasaka Shrine, with Kodaiji Temple at its back. The area surrounding it is filled with famous shrines and temples and shops selling souvenirs, so while it is the best spot for a sightseeing base, this hotel is also enveloped in tranquility that will keep you away from the noise in town.
It also operates as a traditional Japanese restaurant, winning rave reviews for the delicious taste of its food. The dishes here incorporate ingredients that represent the four seasons in Japan, such as bamboo shoots in spring, conger eels in summer, matsutake mushrooms in fall, and crabs in winter. They serve a wide array of dishes that will delight your eyes and your tongue. It will also make you happy that you don’t need to go to the restaurant to eat when you’re staying here, as you can also enjoy your meals in the comfort of your own room.

▼Rates: Starting 31,000 JPY (incl. tax and service charge) per person for one night with two meals
※Rates vary depending on the type of guestroom and the season

2. Gion Hatanaka

Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

3. Shiraume

The next Japanese inn on this list is a hotel that stands along Gion’s Shirakawa River. This area is famous for its refined atmosphere created by the rows of willow and cherry blossom trees on cobblestone roads. Shiraume is within walking distance many popular spots, including Kenninji Temple and other famous temples, the bustling Shijo business district, and Furumonzen-dori, an area known for antiques.
You have to cross a small bridge over the Shirakawa River and then pass through a rustic approach to get to its front door, and when you get inside this hotel, you will see that it is a space that has compressed the design of a sukiya-style building (tea ceremony-style house). You will surely enjoy an elegant atmosphere here.

▼Rates: Starting at 30,000 JPY (excl. tax) per person for one night with two meals
※Rates vary depending on the type of guestroom and the season

3. Shiraume

Shirakawa-hotori, Shinbashi, Gionmachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

4. Mume

Next on the list is a quaint secluded hotel along the Shirakawa River. It may be small, but Mume has a nonchalant aura just like the lovely flowers of Japanese apricots in bloom. The guestrooms here are designed based on the ka-cho-fu-getsu (flower, butterfly, wind and moon) concept, giving guests a relaxing atmosphere that is filled with an exotic vibe that is very Kyoto.
Further, this hotel is popular among foreign tourists for its great location and meticulous service. It has been getting excellent reviews for the friendly support it gives guests from road assistance up to restaurant reservations.

▼Rates: From 21,600 JPY (incl. breakfast fee, service charge and tax) per person for one night
※Rates vary depending on the type of guestroom

Striking red door is its landmark

Interiors with chic and oriental vibe

4. Mume

261 Shinmonzen-dori Umemoto-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

5. Motonago

Motonago is a Japanese hotel that is located in Nene no Michi at the foot of Kiyomizudera Temple.
Nene no Michi got its name from Kitanomandokoro Nene, the wife of the famous feudal warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, because this is the place where she spent her life. You will feel the true Kyoto atmosphere in this area. It is packed with temples and shrines, historic sights, souvenir shops and fancy restaurants, making it the perfect base for sightseeing and strolls.

▼Rates: From 17,280 JPY (incl. tax and service charge) per person for one night with two meals
※Rates vary depending on the type of guestroom and the season

5. Motonago

511 Washio-cho, Kodaiji Nenenomichi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

The above list contains various kinds of accommodations from traditional Japanese inns up to stylish hotels. You can use this list when deciding on where to stay according to your preferences and budget.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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