Kyoto hotels?

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<p>I am considering a short holiday in Japan using Kyoto as a base and daytripping by train from there. Does anyone have recommendations for budget-to-moderate priced hotels within easy walking distance of the train station? For health reasons I would need western furniture (bad knees) and a guaranteed smoke-free room (severe allergy) which I know will present a bit more challenge.</p> <p>I'm also debating between going in the spring or fall. Which might be best? </p>

I was in Japan last fall (great time to go, lots of color) on a group tour. We stayed at the Aranvert Hotel in Kyoto (www.aranvert.co.jp) which was nicely located. The lobby isn't much to look at, but the rooms were well equipped and comfortable. The hotel has several categories of rooms, it might be a good tactic to book in the lowest category, then upon arrival take a look at a few rooms and upgrade if you'd like. They offer a good buffet breakfast with both Japanese and western choices.
I'd also recommend contacting one of the "Goodwill Volunteer Guide" clubs organized by the Japan Tourist Bureau:
http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/essential/list_volunteerGuides_a-n.html
I contacted the Sakura Volunteer Guide Club in Kyoto about a week before my arrival and asked for a volunteer guide to accompany me on "The Philosophers Walk" - a lovely 2km walk along a canal lined with temples, boutiques and small restaurants. We had a great afternoon together.
These clubs are all over Japan. I first learned about them in this ITN article:
http://www.intltravelnews.com/2006/10/japan’s-good-will-guides/

Thanks for the hotel recommendation; a little bit of a walk from station but rate for single room looks very good and hotel photos look nice. I had read about the guides also and have already bookmarked that. They also operate in other towns to which I hope to day trip.

Maybe upon arrival you should take a taxi to the hotel, especially if you have luggage. It will be about a five minute ride. After that,and with no luggage, its an easy stroll. There is also a bus that runs up/down that main street.