HILTON GARDEN INN KYOTO SHIJO KARASUMA

Kyoto is a popular tourist destination, even amongst native Japanese. It’s no surprise then that there are numerous hotels and Airbnbs in the area, all with varying costs and unique attractions. As a loyal Hilton Diamond Member, my first impulse is to look for a hotel by the chain, and in this case I went with The Hilton Garden Inn Kyoto, a beautiful inn conveniently located in the center of Kyoto. This particular Hilton hotel is very cute, from its colorful indoor decor to the matching polos and sneakers worn by its employees. It lacks the grandiose and glitter of its Tokyo counterparts, but makes up for it with comfort and charm. The rooms are chic and the views are also quite nice (my window overlooked the top of a traditional Japanese temple and shrine). 

LOCATION. The Hilton Garden Inn Kyoto is only a ten-fifteen minute walk from several different train stations or “ekis”, and using the subway, you can get to a lot of popular tourist destinations like the Golden Pavilion and Inari Fushimi Gates. However, it can take some time (upwards to forty-fifty minutes) to reach the outskirts of Kyoto via train, so it might be worth it to pay the extra money and Uber to your destinations (Ubers and taxis are plentiful and relatively cheap). There are also some cute spots right next to the hotel, like Capri Shokudo, a rustic cafe with lemon dishes like citrus ramen and lemon pizza.

Further down the street sits an adorable English tea shop owned and operated by a very friendly Japanese woman. She serves scones and clotted cream, hand sandwiches and a variety of teas, coffees and cakes. A quick walk around the neighborhood will reveal many enticing restaurants and cafes, as well as a single shrine or two, and lots of traditional Japanese architecture. Nishiki Market, one of Kyoto’s main attractions – is only a 20 minute walk away. 

AMENITIES. Hilton Garden Inn Kyoto comes with all the typical amenities: laundry, transportation and room services….The hotel’s in house restaurant – Together and Company –  has various buffet options available, including a daily all you can eat breakfast, with Western and Eastern cuisine. Just like the Hilton Tokyo and Hilton Conrad, the food and drink options seem endless: assorted breads and spreads, miso soup, rice, lo-mein, all flavors of juices, coffee and tea…you name it! And of course the employees are all extremely accommodating, going the greatest lengths to ensure the comfort of each and every guest. Many mornings I called for a taxi and only ten minutes later, one would be waiting for us outside the gate, all thanks to the swift work of the front desk. Other amenities include a gym with standard workout equipment, free WiFi and an option for digital check ins. 

Overall, the Hilton Garden Inn Kyoto is a great hotel, easy and convenient for travels throughout Kyoto. The most appealing aspect of the hotel is its close proximity to many of Kyoto’s famous attractions, such as the Kyoto Tower and the vast Rengeo-in Temple (only a fifteen minute walk away). If you’re looking for comfort and ease – this is a wonderful option! 

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