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Two bedrooms, full bath, kitchen, living, sleeps 4 (up to 6 with children)
Suisenkyo Shirakawa machiya is a beautifully remodeled townhouse in the heart of Kyoto. With access to Heian Jingu, Chio-in, Gion, and the amazing downtown shopping arcades only walking distance away, you couldn't be in a better position to explore Kyoto.
The Shirakawa house has a full kitchen and comfortable living areas, so you don't have to eat out every meal, and you can relax while still experiencing the culture that is all around you. Ideally located for making connections for those long day-trips to Nara, Himeji, Osaka, Kobe, Kurama, and even Hiroshima on the bullet train!
There is a laundry machine and small balcony, and no extra fees for cleaning or utilities.
Choose between the Western room with two beds or the Japanese room with tatami floors and futons. There is never a double booking so you are free to make the space your own during your stay. Free wireless internet.
What guests like about Suisenkyo: Most visitors to Suisenkyo Shirakawa comment on several things; the house itself, the area, and the feeling of being 'inside the real Kyoto'. We believe if you visit this beautiful city for a week, why stay at a big hotel when you can actually live in the heart of the town? The house is cozy and comfortable, walking distance to the 'must see' places, and close to shops, public baths, restaurants, and everything else you need to make the most of your time in the old capital.
Contact us or search our suisenkyo homepage for more information as well.
Getting there: Many guests choose to take a taxi from Kyoto station, which is convenient, affordable, and fast. Usually a trip to or from the main station is less than 18 US$. Suisenkyo is also located within easy walking distance of the Higashiyama subway station. The bus lines that crisscross Kyoto are also very easy to access. There are even tourist 'jin-rickshaws' that ply their trade between Heian Shrine, down the Shirakawa canal, and into the Gion district.
Getting back after a big day or night on the town is no problem either; the main dining/eating/drinking areas are within 15-20 minutes on foot.
There are many interesting seasonal events in the area, especially the 'light-up' evenings at the nearby Chion-in temple in fall and early winter.
We enjoyed every moment of our week in Kyoto and leave wanting very much to return and experience more of this fascinating city. Your lovely house was just perfect for our family -- so well placed and so comfortable to return to after our long days out and about. The cozy quilts, super hot water and very efficient heaters were all much appreciated, as we arrived from the height of a Sydney summer to find Kyoto in the the grip of winter chill. It was wonderful to feel just a little of what it must be like to be a local -- we felt rather sorry for other visitors who had to return "home" to a hotel room at the end of their day.
We managed to cram a great deal into our short time here -- besides day trips to Himeji castle and Nara (the girls bowed to every deer in the park!) we enjoyed Arashiyama, the serene gardens, the bamboo forests, the monkey park, Yasaka, a carnival Sunday morning, and the list goes on and on.... we will certainly be back!!
Thank you so much for providing such special accommodation, and we wish you all the best,
The house is nice, cleaning and feel comfortable. Location is perfect and also in district Gion, just 10 minutes walking to the temple and just few minutes walk to the subway station. There have a supermarket and some restaurant near the house. We can buy some food from supermarket and cooking at house. Its great, I will visit again if I'll come kyoto one more time.
This is the fourth time my husband and I have visited Kyoto, each time staying at a different vacation rental. From Suisenkyo, we walked, we biked and we took the subway with ease to everywhere we wanted to see.
The machiya, a traditional wooden townhouse, is located just off the Shirakawa River. The river is more like a canal—beautiful with weeping willows, snowy white egrets and lantern-like street lamps dotting its stone-walled banks
We had everything needed for a pleasant base for our adventures. Daily we purchased groceries and made almost all our meals at home. One day there were snow flurries and the heaters keep us cosy and comfortable.
The toilet seat is heated and the bathtub is really deep. We had no complaints about hot water. It was available whenever we wanted it.
Although we didn't use the big tatami room upstairs, it would be a great place for kids to sleep and play.
We really enjoyed this neighborhood in eastern Kyoto. Two blocks toward the Kamo-gawa River is a covered market where we bought fresh produce, fish and meat. At the top of the block on Sanjo dori is Lawson, the corner store for milk and such. We checked out the local coffee shops, tried out the beef shop called That's Beef (way too expensive for what we got), and bought presents at some of the nearby stores.
Within easy walking distance is the Gion district and Chion-in Temple, as well as many more temples and shrines. (In Kyoto, they are found on almost every corner.) We really enjoyed walking into the Gion in the evenings for a late day coffee at Starbucks.
We biked to Nijojo Castle one day and the Nishijin textile district another. We made it out to Arashimyama on the electric train and took a different train to Fushima—the mountain shrine with a thousand torii gates.
Our hosts were very accommodating. We had two requests and both were responded to within hours. Our 8-night stay at Suisenkyo was great.
Submitted: Jan 31, 2014
Stayed: Jan 2014
Owner's Response: Thank you very much for your informative review, Patricia. We are always happy when someone has a memorable and positive experience in our town! Also it is wonderful that you share some of your insights with other travelers.
We appreciated your comments and helpful suggestions, and during our pre-spring maintenance we will be updating some of the amenities so that we can continue to provide the best holiday rental at the best price. We wish you all the best in your travels in the future, and please come see us again sometime!
We stayed in the townhouse for three nights in October/ November. It's a lovely, atmospheric Japanese townhouse which really makes you feel as if you are living in Kyoto (we even got to know the neighbours - and their dog). The location - minutes from the historic old town area and on a gorgeous leafy canal - can't be beat. We took out the free bikes and spent a brilliant day cycling around the temples. Stupidly we left some items at the house, but Mike posted them on to our next hotel so they were waiting when we arrived. It's things like that which make this place so special. And made our friends who'd paid to stay in a generic business hotel very jealous indeed.
Submitted: Nov 12, 2013
Stayed: Oct 2013
Owner's Response: Thank you so much, and we are happy that you enjoyed your time with us. This off-season we will be making some new improvements to the building, and we will continue to do our best to provide the best comfort and service to our guests. I hope you have a chance to come visit Kyoto again sometime.
We stayed here for nearly two weeks with our daughters, aged 10 and 9. After a long flight, we arrived at the Machiya exhausted and well before the check-in time. To our relief the fabulous Mike and Yuko had organised for the Machiya to be ready for us so we could go straight in and recover. This was just the beginning of our positive experience.
They met us later in the day for a "Kyoto 101"' with a helpful map and suggestions based on what we liked to do.
With a 5 minute walk to Geisha in Gion, 2 minute walk to Lawsons convenience store (with all the sushi packs, beer and funky chocolates you could ever need!) and 5 minute walk to the subway....this Machiya makes for a very easy home base to launch into wonderful day trips around this fascinating city and beyond.
The stairs to the second floor were a little steep but were equipped with a handrail and were aptly negotiated by our kids. Note that this is a traditional style Machiya, which did not have 6ft tall foreigners in mind when it was designed, so if you are tall, you will get used to ducking your head when you go through the doorways.
We appreciated the authenticity of the tatami / futon sleeping arrangement in bedroom 1. The western bed in bedroom 2 was also very comfortable.
The washing machine and drying options on the balcony meant we didn't have to bring many clothes (thus increased space for all that shopping). Although the kitchen was completely set up for those who prefer to cook in house, we preferred to eat from all the options at the above mentioned convenience store, nearby Fresco supermarket and Gion restaurants. So very easy!
We would unreservedly recommend this Japanese style home for families who want location, comfort and convenience at an affordable price.
Thanks again to Mike and Yuko for helping make our Japan experience so memorable.
The place was situated in a great location. You were near everything. Neighbourhood was nice and quiet. In the house, there were’nt anything missing – very good kitchen, living room, bedrooms, bathtub and shower and even own little rock garden. Subway were only 5 minutes walk. And a great bonus was that bikes were included to the price – biking was a good way to see the city. The owners were nice and they gave us some great tips.
The house was located along the Shirakawa river, which is nice, with lots of tree. We also found several ducks playing on the river. Bring your amenities, coz there are only some leftovers from previous occupant. The problem I had is that I think the house was not cleaned well enough. Maybe because Suisenkyo was very busy, and the cleaner didn't have enough time to clean it all. I had to scrub the cooking utensil and clean some of the spiderweb. The heated toilet seat is not working. The hot water is really superr!!! We love it!!! If you are coming back late at night, don't be surprised, you will be welcomed by a white dog guarding the house in front of you. There is no iron, so be prepared to have your shirt wrinkled when you washed your laundry. The lovely Yuko, gave us a lot of ideas of touring around the neighborhood. Too bad we didn't have the chance to check out the old market near the house. When we stroll around the market it was Sunday and lots of shops were closed.
Submitted: May 13, 2013
Stayed: Apr 2013
Owner's Response: Thank you for writing a review, however some of the information that you included was inaccurate. Firstly, the iron is located in the cabinet and we are always happy to help guests find things if they have trouble locating something. Soap and shampoo are available, but guests are encouraged to bring other special items that they may need.
The heated toilet seat is not on 24 hours a day in the spring and summer in order to be 'eco friendly', but if you turn it on it works fine. Again, we are happy to help guests if they have such questions. We are sorry that the cleaning was not up to your standards. We always do everything we can to ensure that guests are comfortable, so if that was the case we certainly wish that you had taken the time to contact us immediately. Good luck in your future travels.
Rates are in YEN: above dollar rates are approximate based on two guests at the current exchange rate.
Contact us for more information on pricing in Japanese Yen
Weekly rate above indicates seven nights.
No Extra Fees for Cleaning or Utilities.
Regular rates / Peak season
2 guests: 16,000 / 18,000
3 guests: 18,000 / 20,000
4 guests: 20,000 / 22,000
5 guests: 22,000 / 24,000
When reservation is confirmed we require a 20% deposit by credit card. Remainder may be paid in yen on arrival, or by credit card (with 4% service charge).
Payment is usually accepted in the quoted currency (USD) unless the currency and the amount is specifically agreed in advance with the owner / advertiser.
The toilet, a new western style one with heated seat, is just next to the living room, off the garden, Machiya style.
The laundry machine is in the same area.
2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 5
Western room -
Japanese room -
3 sleep sofa /futon
can accommodate 3 futons
Both rooms have closets. The Japanese room accesses the veranda, while the Western room overlooks the street. Both rooms have fans, and there is an A/C unit in the Japanese room that can cool all of the second floor in the Summer.
The rooms are separated by Japanese sliding doors; solid wood ones, not paper screens.
Audio Tape Player
Lawn / Garden
pets not allowed
Local Services & Businesses:
Sports & Adventure Activities:
The Shirakawa Machiya townhouse is strictly NON-SMOKING