Kyoto hotel guests reach record high in 2018

US-based Travel + Leisure magazine has ranked Kyoto as one of the top 10 World’s Best Cities for the past seven years, so it is no wonder that in 2018 the number of hotel guests in Kyoto reached the highest number in history. The historic city welcomed 15.82 million hotel guests, up 1.6% from 2017 and the second year in a row to exceed 15 million. 

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150+ year old tea house discovered in Kyoto backyard

Left: A current image of the tea house (via the Kyoto Shimbun). Right: An early photograph of the tea house supplied by Okubo’s great-grandchild.

A tea house that once belonged to Okubo Toshimichi (1830-1878) has narrowly escaped demolition in Kyoto. The owner has temporarily suspended demolition while the tea house is carefully dismantled and stored. Due to its historical significance, Kyoto City is considering potential ways to relocate and reconstruct it.

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Kyoto hotels outperform Osaka in 2018

In 2018, the Kansai area was struck by an earthquake in June and typhoon Jebi in September. Although the effects of these two events had very little impact on Kyoto’s tourism industry, they did affect Osaka which saw a drop in visitor arrivals from other Asian countries. STR’s Global Hotel Study for 2018 reported a 7.7% drop in the room revenue index for Osaka, while Kyoto saw a milder 0.2% decrease.

Given that these two cities are only 13 minutes apart by bullet train, why did Kyoto perform better than neighboring Osaka?

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