Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011

Toyoko Inn Shijo-Karasuma

The Toyoko Inn, Japan's biggest budget business hotel chain, has four properties in Kyoto. This one is the best of the bunch. Admittedly, the identical rooms feature bland pastel designs and are on the cramped side, but everything is immaculate, connected, and by Kyoto standards, cheap (singles are ¥6,600 / $78). The location's not too shabby either. Next door to the Daimaru department store in Kyoto's main shopping precinct, it's a 15-minute walk to Gion and just meters from buses and subways that run to most of the city's main attractions.

Insider Tip: The light breakfast buffet of coffee, rice balls, pickles and miso soup is free, but skip it.

Room to Book: If you are on a tight budget and a heavy sleeper, ask for a room next to the elevator. You can sometimes get a discount because of the noise.