The imperial capital of Japan for over a thousand years (794-1868), Kyoto is the eighth largest city in Japan and is located in Kansai, in the center of the island of Honshu. With a population of 1,475,183 inhabitants (2015) and an area of 827.83 km², finding accommodation to sleep in Kyoto can be very expensive: the city is taken by storm in spring, summer, and fall by visitors to enjoy it. of its charms. Well spared from the bombings of World War II, Kyoto has an enormous historical and cultural heritage. The historic monuments of the city are also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Kyoto is home to no less than 2,000 temples, as well as Japanese shrines, palaces, and gardens. Kyoto is considered a leading cultural center in Japan. The neighborhoods to stay in Kyoto are spread over a sprawling area. If we can’t list them all, here are some of the best areas to sleep in Kyoto.
Gion and Higashiyama
These two neighborhoods between the Kamo River and the mountains are the most popular with visitors as they have the advantage of being central while housing historical monuments such as Kiyomizu-Dera and Yasaka-jinja – Shinto shrines – and Maruyama Park. : modern Kyoto mixed with the picturesque, change of scenery guaranteed! Accommodation is plentiful, from inexpensive hostels to luxury hotels. At dusk, the atmosphere is calm as Buddhist temples and shops close with nightfall. However, along the canal, you will find many small bars and restaurants serving traditional Japanese cuisine. A pleasant place to sleep in Kyoto, between cultural visits and the quiet of the evenings.
With its central position, this district concentrates on traditional Japan, nightlife, and proximity to the city center. From Kawaramachi, along Shijo Avenue to Nijo Castle, you will find all Kyoto life in turmoil: staying in this district of Kyoto will allow you great days of shopping and outings (bars and restaurants). Not far away, Kiyamachi Avenue is populated with students and is adorned with a popular atmosphere, a nice combo for partying in nightclubs and bars until dawn.
The path of philosophy
Path located northeast of the city, the Philosophy Path (or Philosopher’s Walk) runs along the canal and allows you to visit the Ginkaku-Ji and Eikon-do Zenrin-ji temples on foot. Don’t miss this stroll in spring, from where you can admire the countless cherry trees in white and pink blossoms, the iconic postcard of Japan, and walk in the footsteps of the Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida (1870-1945), the famous founder of the Kyoto school of philosophy. This residential area regains its Olympian calm in the evening: choose this area to sleep in if you are looking for tranquility and comfort without having to go out because the neighborhood bars risk being closed at night!
Arashiyama and Sagano
The second most touristic area of Kyoto, Arashiyama, and Sagano has a significant concentration of historic buildings and allow relaxing walks in the middle of nature, which is appreciable in a metropolis of this size. In the surrounding area, don’t miss the peaceful world of Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Arashiyama Monkey Park, Kinkaku-ji and Ryōan-Ji, nearby. It is a district rich in historical and natural wonders. The downside is that the district is one hour by metro from the city center: here, we are in the western suburbs but that is the price to pay to be away from concrete in Japan … To find accommodation in Kyoto, these two neighborhoods will satisfy you if you are only a little fan of large neon lights, shopping centers, and concrete.
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