The best rentals from the top sites, all in one place

We believe finding a vacation rental in Kyoto should be easy and not take hours of searching and scrolling. We’ve designed VacationRenter from the ground up to help travelers find the perfect rental faster and easier.

Where to stay in Kyoto

There are 3,076 holiday homes available in Kyoto in Japan, and we’re confident you’ll find a property that meets your needs and your budget. Affordable short term rentals in Kyoto start at a nightly rate of $8, with 20% of properties priced under $48 per night. Whether you’re on the hunt for a hotel room near Kyoto Gyoen National Garden, a short term rental close to Katsura Imperial Villa, or a place that also gives you close access to Kyoto — our goal is to help you find exactly what you need. Our website lists a wide selection of vacation homes from top travel companies like Airbnb, Vrbo, HomeAway, Booking.com, and many more. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a solo trip to Kyoto, planning a romantic Japan honeymoon, or going on a family vacation for 10, we can match you with a rental accommodation that sleeps everyone comfortably. Time to make that Kyoto vacation you’ve been dreaming about a reality.

Where Is Kyoto, Japan?

The capital city of its eponymous prefecture in Japan, the city of Kyoto is situated in the Kansai region on the island of Honshu. Along with Osaka and Kobe, Kyoto makes up a part of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area and located in a valley that is part of the Yamashiro Basin, in the eastern part of the mountainous Tamba Highlands.

What Is Kyoto, Japan Known For?

Once the historical capital of Japan, Kyoto is a standing monument to the bygone eras. The atmospheric spirit of Old Japan weaves itself throughout every imposing temple, impeccable garden, and traditional teahouse that populate this scenic city. Amongst the Shinto shrines and scurrying geishas, visitors can also find the typical hallmarks of international tourist activity within chic cocktail bars, elegant cafes, and Michelin-star eateries. However, despite the rest of Japan shaping its cities in the ways of progressive modernity with reckless abandon, Kyoto pays homage to the times gone by. The cultural capital of the country, Kyoto is the perfect place to witness the old ways of Japan like nowhere else.

A Quick Guide to Kyoto, Japan

  • Kinkaku-ji: One of the most popular buildings in Japan and formally designated as a World Heritage Site, a National Special Historic Site, and a National Special Landscape, Kinkaku-ji is literally the sparkling jewel in Kyoto’s crown. The famed “Golden Pavilion” of the city, Kinkaku-ji is precariously adorned in shimmering gold creating a stunning image within its own reflection in the placid lake that lies below it. A Japanese watercolor come to life, the Zen Buddhist temple is the eye-catching centerpiece that sits in front of a picturesque backdrop of emerald green trees and a calming mizūmi. Reflecting the opulence of its façade, the interiors of Kinkaku-ji are just as awe-inspiring. Incorporating three distinct styles of architecture on each floor, Kinkaku-ji is not just an example of architectural genius, but also an homage to sumptuous Japanese art and the beautiful spirituality of Zen Buddhism.
  • Fushimi Inari-Taisha: An imposing shrine to the kami Inari that sits on the base of a mountain, the Fushimi Inari-Taisha can take your breath away before you even step foot into the temple. One of the most impressive sights in Kyoto, four kilometers of trails meander up a thickly wooded mountain and are framed by vibrant torii — also known as shrine gates — painted in a brilliant vermilion hue. Consisting of dozens of sub-shrines that line the winding path and expansive complex, the Fushimi Inari-Taisha is the head shrine for the 40,000 Inari shrines scattered up and down the country. Statuettes of stone foxes line the trails and surrounding eerie graveyards, giving the shrine a mysterious air which makes the Fushimi Inari-Taisha an even more alluring sight.
  • Hokan-Ji Temple: Hokan-ji is the very essence of sublime Japanese spirituality. A 46-meter tall pagoda with gently sloping roofs and a tall spire that pierces the sky, the Hokan-Ji Temple is the wondrous hidden gem that visitors can discover when exploring the atmospheric lanes of the old Kyoto neighborhood, Higashiyama. Said to have been inspired by a dream, the Hokan-Ji Temple looks as dreamlike as possible with its graceful architecture and surrounding scenery of cherry blossoms and authentic wooden houses.

Popular Destinations Near Kyoto

  • Hiroshima: Three hours west of Kyoto, Hiroshima is a bit further afield than the typical day trip. However, the rich history and phoenix-like spirit has established the city of Hiroshima as an absolute must-see when in Kyoto. Its name famously printed in the history books, Hiroshima will be forever known as the first victim of the atomic bomb during World War II. Known as the world’s “peace capital,” Hiroshima is a city that has literally risen from the ashes. Several attractions are centered on the devastating historical event that forever shaped the city, from informative museums to the stunning Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, attracting more than a million visitors every year.
  • Osaka: The third-largest city in Japan, Osaka is awash in color and adorned in neon. Brash and in-your-face, Osaka is famous for its concrete jungle that emanates developing modernity, hearty street food culture, and vibrant nightlife. Mix with the locals and gulp down a glass of sake or two in an izakaya, chow down on local delicacies, or take in the retina-burning sights of the city. Burgeoning with progressive contemporaneity, Osaka also gently introduces the quintessential Japanese traits of pretty cherry blossom trees, elegant Shinto shrines and a peaceful river that bisects the city in two. With its world-famous culinary scene, Osaka guaranteed to offer a good meal and bound to give a good time.

Best Neighborhoods in Kyoto

  • Gion: Arguably the most famous neighborhood in the city, Gion is a step into Japan’s past. Atmospheric lanes are lined with 17th century-style restaurants, lantern-lit teahouses and an elusive geisha or two. The enigmatic allure and traditional charms of old Kyoto is in the air in Gion, which visitors can discover for themselves during an elegant evening stroll.
  • Higashiyama: Preserving the look and feel of ancient Japan, Higashiyama presents its aesthetically stunning collection of Zen and Shinto temples, traditional pottery stores, teahouses and artisan shops within a wood-built historic quarter. Amble down these quaint lanes and discover a pathway into the sublime scenery of feudal-era Japan.

Home-types in Kyoto

Kyoto has a variety of property types for you to consider when booking a trip. Here are the most popular property types in Kyoto:

Points of interests in Kyoto

Kyoto has several popular points of interest for you to check out when visiting the area. Here are the most popular points of interest in Kyoto: