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Kyoto Machiya Experience

Experience truly Japanese experience of tranquility and traditional at a Kyoto Machiya. Welcome to the mini-guide of where to book, find and enjoy the most beautiful accommodation in Kyoto.

'Machiya' literally means townhouse. Where there are townhouses across Japan, Machiya are a uniquely Kyoto feature. With their traditional Japanese architecture of Shoji paper doors, Tatami floors, wooden baths and cedar beams, they really are very beautiful. For a Machiya to qualify as a 'Machiya', it must have been built before 1920 to this traditional Japanese period style.

Machiya are unfortunately disappearing rapidly and their destruction has a huge adverse effect on the cultural beauty of Kyoto. Part of the reason for destruction of these Machiya is to make way for bigger high rise hotels in an ever growing problem that plagues Japan which is the lack of space and huge increase in tourism. However recently many efforts have been made to preserve these beautiful and culturally priceless townhouses.

Below are the Machiya I personally recommend as I have stayed in them myself, and found to be outstanding.

If you want to expereince traditioanl accommodation but perhaps dont have the budget or need to rent out an entire Machiya, why not check out our Kyoto Rokyan Hotel guide, click here to find out more.

 

Iori Machiya Stay

►Price range: Around £200/€230/$280 + per person per night. 

►Location: Central Kyoto

In my opinion, the best Machiya company in Kyoto. Iori Machiya have around 13/14 Machiya townhouses (all with different names), all located in central Kyoto. The level of service here you will not find anywhere else. House keepers will work around your schedule and will prepair bedding for you when you are out of the house. All the townhouses vary in size and you can book as a individual, couple, or as a group up to 15 people. You can select the size of the Machiya on the booking page.

Each Machiya has free WiFi throughout, free toiletries with slippers and gowns, a kitchenette with kettle, fridge and microwave. Laundry services and meal services are available on request.

I personally stayed in the Izumiya-cho Machiya (an Iori Machiya) which is a medium sized house right in the centre of downtown Kyoto, on the famous Kiyamachi Dori. A 5 minute walk to Pontocho and with a balcony that looks onto the Kamogawa river, it really was a fantastic experience. The images below are of Izumiya-cho Machiya that I stayed in. Click on the images to see more details.

♦Click here to check availability and book an Iori Machiya!♦

Minoya cho (Iori Machiya) entrance

Minoya cho (Iori Machiya) entrance

Izumiya cho (Iori Machiya) living room view onto River Kamo

Izumiya cho (Iori Machiya) living room view onto River Kamo

All Machiya have hand made wooden Baths

All Machiya have hand made wooden Baths

Izumiya-cho futon beds

Izumiya-cho futon beds

Minoya cho courtyard at night

Minoya cho courtyard at night

Great views over the Kamo river!

Great views over the Kamo river!

Village Kiramachi Yado

►Price range: Around £200/€230/$280 + per person per night.

►Location: Central Kyoto

A new Machiya collection comes to town right in the very centre of Kyoto. Shinkamanza is a little street just off one of the biggest main bustling streets - Shijo Dori. What I love about this little street is that it looks like its from a period Samurai drama. On this little street there are two Michelin star restaurants, a Kimono shop, a really nice little breakfast shop run by a sweet old man, and a nice Izakaya bar. The street also has the back entrance of Hotel Unizo which is very discreet and pretty as it has been made into a Kyoto Machiya style entrance (after strong complaints by neighbours that it would ruin the beauty and tranquility of the street).

The actual Machiya 'village' is a collection of small and very pretty little Machiya houses. These are much smaller than Iori Machiya Townhouses but are just as pretty and quaint. Along with Iori Machiya stay (above) I recommend staying here the most. If you are looking for a small Machiya to stay, this is the place for you.

Each little house comes with Wifi, Kitchenette, a nice wooden bath, standard amenities and service. The office is located in the 'village' and the staff are very friendly and will cater to any needs. 

♦Click here to check availability and book a Kiramachi Yado Village Machiya!♦

Communal Village back alley

Communal Village back alley

Entrance

Entrance

Living room of one of the houses

Living room of one of the houses

Futons laid out at one of the houses

Futons laid out at one of the houses

All of the houses have hand made wooden baths!

All of the houses have hand made wooden baths!

Futon beds laid out while you are out and about

Futon beds laid out while you are out and about

 

 

♦Click on the image below to Book Iori Machiya!♦

Kansai Local are doing private tours and adventures to places that tourists don't know about. If this sounds awesome, get in touch with us and we will get back to you! 

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