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Destination guide

Kyoto – a modern metropolis steeped in ancient tradition

Japan's ancient capital is a beguiling destination replete with colourful temples, sacred shrines, meticulously manicured Zen gardens and tranquil tea houses. But these quaint sights are scattered throughout a mesmerising modern metropolis with sleek glass buildings, buzzing commercial districts and a thriving tech industry. The dining scene is predictably delectable, with restaurants serving everything from comforting ramen noodle soups to minimalist, Michelin-star cuisine. Kyoto holiday rentals range from chic studio apartments to lovingly restored traditional townhouses, so you're sure to find your ideal home-away-from-home.

Things to do

Sensational shrines and tranquil temples in Kyoto

First port of call for many Kyoto visitors is the Fushimi Inari Shrine. Perched on a picturesque hillside, this jaw-dropping complex dates back to the 8th century, and is accessible by a blissful 3-hour hike through 1000s of bright orange torii gates. Nijo Castle is another must-see. Constructed in the 17th century by Tokugawa shoguns, this imposing noble residence is as ostentatious on the inside as its gleaming white exterior suggests. Nishiki Market is sheer foodie heaven – an ever-bustling warren of colourful stalls where you can pick up everything from fragrant green tea to pungent dried seafood.

Activities

Sensational shopping and self-indulgence in Kyoto

Shopaholics of all stripes will be in their element in Kyoto. The city is awash with artisans touting colourful parasols, intricate carved wooden dolls, delicate handmade paper and engraved copper tea canisters. You'll also find tempting boutiques selling everything from flowing kimonos to edgy street fashion, and colourful emporiums stocked with vintage comics, retro video games and all things geeky. Night owls are similarly well catered for, with elegant sake bars, chic cocktail lounges and pulsing dance clubs to check out over the course of your stay. Or, for a quintessential Japanese experience, book a spot in a private karaoke booth and sing your heart out ‘til the early hours.

Weather

Sublime springs in Kyoto

Kyoto holiday rentals are in high demand at most times of year, but the spring months of March to May are particularly popular. The weather at this time of year ranges from fresh to gloriously warm, although rainfall is common, so be sure to pack something waterproof. Summers can become very hot, with intense humidity and heavy downpours. Late autumn is another great time to visit, with mild temperatures ideal for sightseeing. Winter is by far the driest time of year, but it can also get rather chilly.

Natural features

Pristine parks and urban oases in Kyoto

Kyoto is blessed with a wealth of lush parks and gardens. The grounds of the Shugakuin Imperial Palace are particularly awe-inspiring in autumn, when the myriad maple trees turn a vivid shade of red. If, on the other hand, you're lucky enough to be here in spring, head to Haradani-en Garden to admire the exquisite light pink blossom of its countless cherry trees. The Ryoanji Temple is home to Japan's most famous rock garden, while the Saihoji Temple's sensational secret garden is carpeted with vivid moss.

How to get there

Travelling to and around Kyoto

The nearest airport is in Osaka (ITM-Itami), located 24 mi (38.6 km) from the city centre. If you can't find a flight that's convenient for your trip, you could also fly into Kobe (UKB), which is 40 mi (64.4 km) away.

If you prefer to travel by train, Kyoto Sanjo Station, Kyoto Jingu-marutamachi Station and Kyoto Kawaramachi Station are the main stations that serve the city. You can see more of Kyoto by jumping on the metro at Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae Station, Shiyakusho-mae Station or Sanjo Keihan Station.

How many holiday rentals are available around Kyoto?

Our 2020 accommodation listings offer a large selection of 828 holiday lettings around Kyoto. From 187 flats & apartments to 427 houses, find unique self catering accommodation for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends for a long holiday or a weekend break.

Can I rent a town property in Kyoto?

Put away your watch, because you won't be needing it where you're off to. It's time to kick back, relax and live like the locals do. HomeAway has 97 village rental properties here. Alternatively, you might prefer to try something different. HomeAway has heaps of properties to pick from, including:

  • 71 city-centre holiday accommodation options.
  • 13 mountain-view holiday accommodation options.
  • 12 riverside holiday accommodation options.

Can I rent a house in Kyoto?

If you want an authentic holiday experience and love having lots of space to spread out, renting an entire house is the way to go. There are 1,107 houses currently on HomeAway. Prices begin at £23 per night. Or perhaps you'd rather choose one of the area's other sought-after self-catering accommodation options, such as:

  • Apartment: 411 self-catering accommodation options. Prices start from £24 per night.
  • Bed & breakfast: 234 self-catering accommodation options. Prices start from £12 per night.
  • Hotel: 77 self-catering accommodation options. Prices start from £68 per night.

Can I stay in Kyoto in a large group?

It can be tricky finding time to catch up with friends and family members. A group getaway is a perfect opportunity to come together. If you were planning to stay under the same roof, HomeAway has places to suit. House holiday rentals are the preferred option for larger sized groups, with 277 available here. Rental properties in the area that can cater for large groups include:

  • If yours is a crew of 5, we have 374 rental accommodation just right for that size. Spend a night for as little as £34.
  • Keen to find a holiday property for 6 people? We have 174 that will be perfect. You can get one for as low as £49 per night.
  • Seeking properties for rent catering to 8 guests? You'll be delighted to find out we have 106 that'll be perfect. You can secure one for as little as £48 per night.

You and your posse will be in good hands when you arrange your Kyoto escape through us!

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