Escape the sardine-packed trains and general madness of Tokyo and hit up to nearby Kyoto, only two and a half hours away by train.

A peaceful city with the most beautiful temples, unique Ryokans and photogenic scenery, the former imperial capital of Japan is awash with remnants of its historical glory. The enchanting city lists Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, Zen gardens, palaces and pagodas among its collection of UNESCO World Heritage sites. But this sprawling megalopolis is not all temples and tradition. Japan’s cultural capital is dynamic; youth culture and a contemporary art are flourishing across the city – this is how to see it properly.


Ryokan Yachiyo

This traditional inn is perfect for travellers looking to experience local Japanese culture. On entering the Ryokan you remove your shoes and be given slippers. Inside the relatively small lodgings, rooms are fitted with a Hinoki wooden tub and finished with tatami flooring (made from rice straw). Don’t hurry off to a day of activities the minute you’ve finished breakfast; spend time in this Japanese home.

  • +81 757 714 148
  • Go to Website
  • 34 Nanzenji Fukuchicho
    Sakyo Ward
    Kyoto Prefecture 606-8435

Nine Hours

Nine Hours is all that you would expect of a capsule hotel; minimalistic, compact and sterile. Guests can check in 24 hours a day and use the facilities for as little as one hour paying to stay, nap or shower as they require. Each guest is given a locker, sleep pod, shampoo, towels, toothbrushes and Nine Hours clothing. The facilities are separate for men and women.

  • +81 753 537 337
  • Go to Website
  • 588 Teianmaeno-cho

Hoshinoya Kyoto

Kyoto may be less busy than Tokyo but it’s still a bustling megacity, so if you’re keen to have some downtime, Hoshinoya Kyoto is the place to do it. Guests are transported on a 15-minute boat ride from a location in Arashiyama, sailing down the Oi to this secluded riverside resort. The property is a fully restored century-old inn and has only 25 rooms, each with panoramic views, heated floors and shoji paper sliding doors.

  • +81 570 073 066
  • Go to Website
  • 11-2 Arashiyama Genrokuzancho
    Nishikyo Ward
    Kyoto Prefecture 616-0007

Ryokan Yachiyo

Nine Hours

Hoshinoya Kyoto

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