In the summer of 2000, when Dan and I were planning on visiting Kyoto in April 2001, the only hotel room we could find was a $500 room at the Hiiragiya Ryokan, which was well out of budget. I never could find anything more reasonable, and we wound up staying in Osaka with friends and not seeing anything of Kyoto.
Today, I've spent a few hours poking around the Web, sending E-mail and faxes, and guess what? Virtually nothing is available. Sound familiar?
So it's a boring Western-style room at the Hotel New Hankyu Kyoto for two nights while I hoof it around the town looking for something cheaper and (at least superficially) more Japanese-looking. Wish me luck!