The 7 Best Cheap Hotels in Kyoto

Byodoin temple in Kyoto, Japan.
Byodoin temple in Kyoto, Japan. | © Horizon Images/Motion / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Brooke Larsen
Osaka Hub Writer20 November 2018

Kyoto is renowned for its tranquil and traditional ambiance – so well-known, in fact, that this atmosphere has shifted slightly in recent years due to an explosive tourism boom. In response, the city’s hotels have transformed to accommodate tourists on almost any budget, offering cozy, friendly and charming lodgings. Read Culture Trip’s guide to the best cheap hotels in Kyoto to make the most of your stay in this incredible city.

Ryokan Azumaya

Budget Hotel, Ryokan
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Ryokan Azumaya
Ryokan Azumaya | Courtesy of Ryokan Azumaya/Hotels.com

Styled like a traditional Japanese ryokan yet priced for affordability, Ryokan Azumaya is the perfect place to stay for the adventurous but budget-conscious traveller. Ryokan are a type of historic inns that are gorgeous, luxurious and usually expensive. Azumaya retains the traditional charms of tatami flooring, bamboo accents and sliding doors without the unattainable cost by stripping it down to the necessities. The washrooms are shared and meals aren’t included, but with a nice rooftop view of Kyoto Tower and walking distance to Kyoto Station, this inn is a great value nonetheless.

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Comics & CapsuleHotel COMICAP Kyoto

Budget Hotel, Capsule Hotel
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COMICAP kyoto
COMICAP kyoto | Courtesy of COMICAP kyoto/Hostelworld

This atypical capsule hotel is great not only for those who are price-conscious; anyone fond of manga (Japanese comics) is encouraged to release their inner geek in this bubbly, vibrant space. Guests practically sleep in a library, as the bedrooms are decked out wall-to-wall in manga, including many in English. Nestled right inside a shopping centre and only minutes away from Nishiki Market on foot, COMICAP is also great for those looking to save on accommodation in order to stock up on souvenirs.

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IMU HOTEL KYOTO

Budget Hotel
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Imu Hotel
Imu Hotel | Courtesy of Imu Hotel/Hotels.com

IMU is an especially great spot for couples or pals travelling together. This fashionable, new hotel has cozy rooms for two or more people, in both Western and Japanese styles, so take your pick! The lobby area is inviting and includes lounge space as well as a bar and restaurant with highly lauded dishes. Whether you plan to hole up with your partner, you’re a freelancer looking for good Wi-Fi in a friendly environment, or you’re a practical traveller trying to stay close to all the major sightseeing points, IMU HOTEL just may be the right one for you.

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THE MILLENNIALS KYOTO

Budget Hotel
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The capsule rooms at The Millennials are modern and spacious
The capsule rooms at The Millennials are modern and spacious | Courtesy of The Millennials/Hostelworld

This stylish, spacious capsule hotel has everything millennial travellers could wish for: free breakfast, an evening happy hour, clean shared spaces, and soft, comfortable mattresses. Friends can easily book adjacent pods, which are small but slightly larger than the typical capsule. Centrally located near Pontocho, an atmospheric dining area overlooking the Kamo River, this hotel is sure to please young and old alike.

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Sotetsu Fresa Inn Kyoto-Hachijoguchi

Budget Hotel
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Sotetsu Fresa Inn Kyoto-Hachijoguchi
Sotetsu Fresa Inn Kyoto-Hachijoguchi | Courtesy of Sotetsu Fresa Inn Kyoto-Hachijoguchi/Hotels.com

Sotetsu Fresa Inn is a convenient and straightforward hotel only a couple of minutes from Kyoto Station on foot. The rooms are minimal and chic, and the staff is friendly and English-speaking. The designer rooms may come off as small to some travellers, but they are actually fairly standard for Japan, if not larger than rooms tend to be here. Plus, each room is private and comfortable, and there are lots of free amenities for guests like tea, coffee and toiletries readily available.

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EL INN KYOTO

Budget Hotel
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el_inn_room
El Inn fuses Japanese and Western aesthetics | © Expedia

Treat yourself without breaking the bank by staying at EL INN. This sleek, modern hotel has a large Japanese-style spa that includes hot tubs and saunas – totally free for guests! The location is excellent, close to Kyoto Station, shops, restaurants and more. Plus, the staff is multilingual and exceptionally helpful, making this a great gateway for any stay in Kyoto or Kansai.

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Sakura Terrace The Gallery

Budget Hotel
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Sakura Terrace The Gallery
Sakura Terrace The Gallery | Courtesy of Sakura Terrace The Gallery/Hotels.com

The Gallery is an artsy, attractive hotel overflowing with amenities. There is an onsen bath, a fitness centre, a lounge with constant tea and coffee, laundry facilities and safety deposit boxes with fingerprint locks – all for free! The design is industrial and homey, natural and modern all at once. The on-site restaurant and bar has both indoor and outdoor seating and serves seasonal, artfully prepared meals. Plus, each guest gets one free drink per night. You might never leave.

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These recommendations were updated on November 20, 2018 to keep your travel plans fresh.