Though today Tokyo is the capital, and Osaka the nations up and coming city, Kyoto remains the true seat of Japanese culture, art and history. The capital of the Japanese empire for over 1000 years, anyone visiting Japan should not miss Kyoto - even if you have to cut short your Tokyo itinerary! And with a number of first-class Kyoto hotels to choose from, visiting this ancient city is easier than ever. Hotels in Kyoto range from elegant ryokan (traditional Japanese inns) to discount backpacker hostels and shukubo (rooms maintained by temple monks). In addition to these more authentic options, Kyoto hotels also come in the luxury variety.
Among the best of these luxury Kyoto hotels is the Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto. This 494-room hotel is blessed with friendly staff, a swimming pool, and a rooftop restaurant with views to rival any of the other hotels in Kyoto. One of the oldest hotels in Kyoto, the Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto has kept up with the times - offering modern amenities, while also including Japanese decorated rooms with rice paper walls and a minimalist approach to furniture that maximizes space. Another advantage of the Rihga Royal Hotel Kyoto is its location. Among the most central of Kyoto accommodations, the Rihga is just a ten minute walk from the JR Kyoto Station, and five minutes away from the Nishi Hongan-ji Temple.
Another hotel in a long list of upper-end Kyoto accommodations is the Royal Hotel Kyoto. Not to be confused with the Righa Royal, the Royal Hotel Kyoto is known its fabulous day spa. Featuring seven treatment rooms, this French day spa—the first of its kind in Japan—is located on the hotel's 10th floor, and offers a wonderful panoramic view of Kyoto. The spa focuses on ancient meditation practices, uses local incenses, and natural Kyoto mineral water taken from a fresh vein of flowing water under the hotel. Tourists wanting a total spa experience can reserve a suite on the spa floor, and enjoy in-room treatments as well as specially prepared spa cuisine. Definitely the most rejuvenating of Kyoto accommodations, the Royal Hotel Kyoto offers travelers true revitalizing vacation.
But if high-rises and spa's are a little outside your price range you are in luck because cheap Kyoto hotels are easy to come by. A great option is to stay at a ryokan. These traditional Japanese inns are found throughout the country, and Kyoto is no exception. With rice paper walls and tatami mats, a ryokan is the Japanese answer to the Bed & Breakfast. These cheap Kyoto hotels are found all over the city. If you arrive in Kyoto without reservations stop by the Kyoto Tourist Information Center for Foreigners at the JR Kyoto Train Station. The English-speaking staff can help you find cheap Kyoto hotels, as well as outline unique city sightseeing trips.
So whatever you desire in Kyoto—the luxury of a day spa, or the authenticity of the ryokan—you can find it in this ancient capital city.