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Destination: Kyoto

The Best Hotels and Resorts in Kyoto Japan Private Client Luxury Travel expert travel assistance

Getting to know Kyoto means getting crafty in the former capital of Japan.

Kyoto was the capital of Japan for over 1,000 years, beginning in 794, when Emperor Kammu made the city the seat of his Imperial court and the center of Japan’s political world. This long and prestigious history led to the development of many of the refined arts we now associate with Japan.

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Map or pretty pictureThe Best Hotels and Resorts in Kyoto Japan Private Client Luxury Travel expert travel assistance

Having been to Kyoto many times, I can say on the surface it can appear a bit blah, and like any other Japanese mid-sized city. But food and culture is everywhere, though much is tucked here and there, needing a bit of exploring.

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Destination Kyoto Japan How to get here and where is it

KIX Kansai International Airport which also serves Osaka, is the main airport in the region. And though you may be tempted to have car service from the airport, the best and fastest is taking the JR Limited Express Haruka, to the main station in Kyoto.

The Shinkansen (Bullet Train) is the my suggested option when coming from Tokyo.

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When Should I go to Kyoto Japan When is the weather good

For Japan in general, Spring and late Autumn (Oct / Nov) are my favorite times to be in Japan. The summers can get hot and muggy and typhoons are common in August and September. Winters can get bitter cold, though tend to be on the drier side.

Mid-March to April is Cherry Blossom Season and is considered a “High Season”, so pricing goes up and many fine hotels reach maximum bookings, so do plan ahead if wanting to visit during this time.

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The Best Hotels in Kyoto Japan Preferred and Recommended Hotel and Lodgings

Aman Kyoto The Best Hotel in Kyoto Japan Preferred and Recommended Hotel and Lodgings
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AMAN KYOTO

Kita Ward / Genkō-an Temple

Size: 26 rooms and suites
Style: Contemporary Japan
Year Opened: 2019
Designer/Architect: Kerry Hill

Just a mile from famed Buddhist temples lies a secret forest garden and Aman Kyoto. Surrounded by ancient woodlands that once offered refuge to a revered artist community, this secluded sanctuary pays homage to the traditional ryokan (Japanese inn), albeit in strikingly modern style. Moss-covered stone pathways wind between latticed pavilions that house 26 minimalistic rooms; healing onsen baths source their waters from nearby mineral springs. Practice yoga, take a mindfulness hike, or explore Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites.


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Aman Kyoto Enjoy complimentary VIP Amenities Room Upgrade Food or Spa Credit Early Check-In Late Check-Out Daily Breakfast with Thom Bissett Travel The Fussy Flyer

Aman Kyoto Check availability and rates that include ALL the Preferred Partner or Virtuoso Amenities not offered online elsewhere with Thom Bissett Travel The Fussy Flyer

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Hoshinoya Kyoto The Best Hotel in Kyoto Japan Preferred and Recommended Hotel and Lodgings
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HOSHINOYA KYOTO

Arashiyama District

Size: 22 rooms and suites
Style: Updated Ryokan

Just on the outskirts of Kyoto, it requires a ten minute cruise up the Ooigawa (Katsura River). This still is one of my favorite Hotels in Kyoto, though not the most convenient, so not recommended for a business traveller. All 25 beautifully designed rooms offer a view of Arashiyama’s beautiful Ooigawa. One of the best Japan has to offer.


I AM A PREFERRED PARTNER
You get additional Amenities when I manage your reservation.

Enjoy complimentary VIP Amenities Room Upgrade Food or Spa Credit Early Check-In Late Check-Out Daily Breakfast with Thom Bissett Travel Kyoto Japan Private Client Luxury Travel The Fussy Flyer

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Park Hyatt Kyoto The Best Hotel in Kyoto Japan Preferred and Recommended Hotel and Lodgings
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PARK HYATT KYOTO

the hills above central Kyoto

Size: 70 rooms and suites
Style: Contemporary
Year Opened: 2019
Designer/Architect: Tony Chi

Park Hyatt Kyoto offers an elegant hillside retreat in the heart of bustling Higashiyama, with easy access to the heart of Tokyo. Designed as the quintessential guesthouse, the hotel’s 70 spacious rooms and suites radiate a Zen vibe while highlighting local craftsmanship with warm tamo wood and original artworks. Eye the famous Yasaka Pagoda over local, seasonal fare in signature Yasaka restaurant, or savor authentic Japanese kaiseki cuisine in the family-run Kyoyamato. The hotel is just steps away from Ninen-zaka’s merchant shops and teahouses.


2023 #30


PART OF MY HYATT PREFERRED PARTNER PRIVÉ PORTFOLIO
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Park Hyatt Kyoto Enjoy complimentary VIP Amenities Room Upgrade Food or Spa Credit Early Check-In Late Check-Out Daily Breakfast with Thom Bissett Travel The Fussy Flyer

Park Hyatt Kyoto Check availability and rates that include ALL the Preferred Partner or Virtuoso Amenities not offered online elsewhere with Thom Bissett Travel The Fussy Flyer

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Six Senses Kyoto The Best Hotel in Kyoto Japan Preferred and Recommended Hotel and Lodgings
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SIX SENSES KYOTO

Higashiyama

Year Opened: 2024

Newly opened and the buzz is quite good.

The Six Senses brand is more or less synonymous with lavish escapes in far-flung locations; its guests tend to expect a self-sufficient resort setting rather than a city-center luxury hotel. But Kyoto is, for a multitude of reasons, no ordinary city — and while the Six Senses Kyoto lies within the city limits, surrounded by walkable sights and picturesque neighborhoods, it’s perfectly capable of offering travelers a thoroughly transformative experience.


I AM A SIX SENSES PREFERRED PARTNER
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Six Senses Kyoto Check availability and rates that include ALL the Preferred Partner or Virtuoso Amenities not offered online elsewhere with Thom Bissett Travel The Fussy Flyer

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Ace Hotel Kyoto The Best Hotel in Kyoto Japan Preferred and Recommended Hotel and Lodgings
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ACE HOTEL KYOTO

Central Kyoto

Style: Contemporary
Year Opened: 2020
Designer/Architect: Atelier Ace

The first Ace hotel in Asia is the Ace Hotel Kyoto, designed by Kengo Kuma and Commune Design. (We won’t be offended if you stop reading right there, and go straight to selecting your dates.) Kuma’s primary contribution as architect was his powerful revision of an early modernist telephone exchange by Tetsuro Yoshida, a departure from the minimalist-luxe concrete symphonies we’re used to. And Commune and Kuma together were responsible for adapting Ace’s eclectic, bohemian aesthetic to Kyoto, paying tribute to this historic city without falling into shoji-screen clichés.


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Ace Hotel Kyoto Check availability and rates that include ALL the Preferred Partner or Virtuoso Amenities not offered online elsewhere with Thom Bissett Travel The Fussy Flyer

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Kyoto Japan Check availability and rates that include ALL the Preferred Partner or Virtuoso Amenities not offered online elsewhere with Thom Bissett Travel The Fussy Flyer

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Destination Kyoto Japan Things to do or see

Shugakuin Imperial Village
Shugakuin Yabusoe
This is a must see and plan to spend half a day (or more) here. But you need to get your tickets arranged prior to arrival, by a few weeks or more.

WEBSITE


Sagano Romantic Train w/ optional Boat return
Weather permiting, this is a fun trek along the Katsura River.

WEBSITE


Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
Before or after your Romantic Train Ride, enjoy this very Instagramable site!

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The Best Hotels in Kyoto Japan Information from other trusted sources


Kyoto Japan Condé Nast Traveler Travel Guide Thom Bissett The Fussy Flyer
CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER:
A Guide to Kyoto, Japan Through the City’s Craft Scene

Getting to know Kyoto means getting crafty in the former capital of Japan.

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My Virtuoso Kyoto Japan Information Page

Here is a good place to start for some additional information on quality Hotels, Water Adventures and Activities.

WIKIVOYAGE: Kyoto Japan Page
A great resource for all the basic information you may want for Kyoto Japan.

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Have a favorite thing to do or see in Kyoto?

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page updated: June 2024
images courtesy: Wikimedia Commons, Kyoto Japan Tourism Board
Please Note: All Hotel / Resort / Cruise / Services Amenities are subject to availability and may have changed since the date of this being published.
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