Kyoto’s accommodation options range from basic guesthouses, youth hostels and temple lodgings (shukubō) to luxurious international hotels and top-class ryokan. One night in a full-blown Kyoto ryokan, enjoying the world’s most meticulous service, is an experience not to be missed. The ongoing recession has made many establishments that were previously difficult to access more affordable and welcoming to international guests. Recently, a number of old Kyoto houses (machiya) have been developed into guesthouses, offering visitors the chance to experience traditional Kyoto life. It’s essential to make reservations at these places as far in advance as possible, but all accommodation in Kyoto gets pretty busy during spring and autumn, at holiday weekends and around the major festivals; room rates may rise considerably during these times.

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