Best boutique hotels in Kyoto

Boetiekhotel kyoto

Boutique hotels and Kyoto are a match made in heaven. It just feels right to stay in an intimate, creative, and thoughtfully designed small hotel here. The scale and sensibility of boutique hotels are perfectly suited to Kyoto, a small city with high aesthetic standards.

Unlike other Asian cities like Bangkok, Luang Prabang, and Siem Reap, Kyoto has been slow to jump on the boutique hotel bandwagon. The city’s first boutique hotel didn’t open until 2010, and since then, only a few other boutique hotels have opened. This leaves ample opportunity for creative and forward-thinking hoteliers to tap into Kyoto’s unique charm and aesthetic standards.

One reason why boutique hotels have been slow to come to Kyoto is because a fantastic form of “boutique accommodation” has existed for generations: the Ryokan. For a Japanese person looking to open a distinctive, intimate, and personal accommodation in Kyoto, it always made sense to open a Ryokan. And if you think about it, a good Ryokan has all the features that are characteristic of a good boutique hotel: close personal service, individually designed and decorated rooms, small scale, and artistic themes. Therefore, I have included a few Ryokan in the list below.

Hotel Kanra Kyoto

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    The Hotel Kanra Kyoto is a beautiful boutique hotel with a Japanese theme, located a short walk south of the Gojo subway station. The rooms are spacious, well-maintained, and excellently decorated. The hotel has been drawing a lot of attention in Kyoto lately, so be sure to check it out and see for yourself why it’s gaining popularity.

Noku Hotel

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    The Noku Hotel Kyoto, located on the southwestern corner of the Kyoto Imperial Palace and directly above the Marutamachi subway station, is a stylish and comfortable boutique hotel.


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    Seikoro is a beautifully decorated classic Ryokan located within relatively short walking distance of both the downtown area and the Higashiyama sightseeing district.

Yuzuya Ryokan

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    Located right next to the Yasaka-jinja Shrine in the heart of the southern Higashiyama district, this is a beautiful Ryokan.



Ryokan – Kyoto’s luxury traditional accommodation

If you’re visiting Kyoto, the heart of traditional Japan, you really should try to spend a night in a good Ryokan (traditional Japanese inn). When my friends, family, or clients visit Japan, I usually recommend that they spend their first night in a great Ryokan and then move on to a hotel like one of the above-listed ones. Check out my page on Ryokan and the best Ryokan in Kyoto.

Learn more about Ryokan in Kyoto:

Best High-End Ryokan in Kyoto

Best mid-range Ryokan in Kyoto

Best budget Ryokan in Kyoto