Koto Inn is a classically beautiful Machiya town-house in the perfect location for anyone visiting the Ancient Capital, Kyoto. A recently and lovingly restored traditional Machiya house, Koto Inn is located on a quiet narrow cobblestone lane just 20 meters from the Sakura tree lined Shirakawa canal in the historic Higashiyama area. It is a truly classic, old style Japanese neighborhood of old wooden houses, family run restaurants and shops, temples, shrines and historic sites. It retains its traditional flavor and is blessed with proximity to the green hills and peaceful waterways which grace the eastern sector of Kyoto. Women in Kimono and monks from nearby temples chanting for alms are still common sights in the narrow lanes of Higashiyama. This special area retains a 'village' feel though only a ten minute walk from downtown. Strolling up the canal will bring you to the Museum district and Heian Shrine in just three minutes.
A quiet and lovely ten minute walk down the canal finds you in Gion, the historic entertainment quarter where Geisha and Maiko pass in the evenings. The hiking trails of the eastern mountains begin and end just minutes from Koto Inn's door and a full array of fine dining and drinking establishments are within easy walking distance. The Higashiyama subway station is just four minutes away and conveniently connects you to further sights as well as Kyoto train station and Kansai Airport.
Many of Kyoto's most famous temples, shrines and historic sites are also nearby. There is also a convenience store and several supermarkets, including one of Kyoto's oldest 'shopping streets' a short walk from the house. For those interested in learning more about Japanese food, there are a few half day courses in Japanese cooking in Kyoto and Koto Inn's kitchen is fully equipped with what you need to practice what you've learned.
The restoration of Koto Inn was completed in February of 2010. The house retains its original traditional beauty while being discreetly fitted with modern western amenities in the kitchen, toilet and bath. Guests sleep on double thickness futons and all linens and towels are provided. Koto Inn is furnished with period antiques and textiles and a lovely Japanese garden in the back of the house. This combined with its beauty and location make it the ideal site for your stay in Kyoto.
Start and finish your days of sightseeing within the quiet refined charm of this classic period Japanese home. A stay at Koto Inn will add greatly to your appreciation of this amazing city.
We look forward to greeting you at Koto Inn.
Keywords: Vacation Rental House, Guest House, Traditional Japanese House, Machiya, Japanese Merchant house, Japanese town house.
David is an over 20 year resident of Kyoto. He has worked on Cruise Ships, in Ski Resorts and for the Hyatt Regency and is now a professor of English at a Japanese University. Yoshiko has lived her entire life in Kyoto. She formerly worked in the Kimono industry and is an avid photographer.
David purchased this house in 2010
After more than 20 years living in a number of different parts of Kyoto, Yoshiko and I have found the Higashiyama area to be our home. It is a truly classic old style Japanese neighborhood of old wooden houses, family run restaurants and shops, temples, shrines and historic sites. It retains its traditional flavor and is blessed with proximity to the green hills and peaceful waterways which grace the eastern sector of Kyoto. Women in Kimono and monks from nearby temples chanting for alms are still common sights in the narrow lanes of Higashiyama. We have tried to make Koto Inn a part of this serene and traditional area and hope to share its unique beauty with our guests.
After many years living in the Higashiyama district, Yoshiko and I were very fortunate to find this beautiful house, just around the corner from us. The restoration was done by local traditional craftsmen and an architect experienced in seamlessly and discreetly blending traditional style with modern amenities. Yoshiko and I have decorated the house with the best from our over 20 years of collecting at Kyoto's temple markets. As we are living just one minute away, one or both of us is always available should you have any questions or requests. Koto Inn is our only rental property, so all our attention and care are reserved for the house and our guests. The unique and serene beauty of the house and its location, combined with personal attention when needed, make Koto Inn the ideal choice for your visit to this lovely city.
My family of four stayed at Koto Inn over three nights and wished we had more time there. As others have said, the inn is beautifully restored and the furnishings (kitchen, bathroom, even washing machine!) are top-notch. What struck me most was the care and pride of the owners in maintaining the inn. Kudos to David and Yoshiko for adding thoughtful and personal touches to the place.
We're thankful we got the chance to stay at the inn and experience living in a 124 year-old house. It certainly made the trip extra special for my family. Keep up the good work!!
The house is actually bigger than the You tube video. Communication with the owners was excellent at all times. Very clean, everything in the house you could need, handy to walk to Gion, very quiet area, beautifully restored house. Can't think of anything amiss. recommend it wholeheartedly.
The perfect springboard for touring around Higashiyama, Gion and other Kyoto districts. Ideally situated in a quiet residential neighborhood, but convenient to commerce and transportation options. Traditionally Japanese in style, but with comprehensively modern WiFi, bath/laundry and kitchen. Immaculately clean, comfortable and charming.
The above distinctions all place Koto Inn above its peers, but this lovely machiya earns highest praise because of its attentive owners, David and Yoshiko. They helped me organize all details before arrival so I knew how to navigate from Kyoto Station to the inn. David was available to give me a tour of the neighborhood and show me local markets and restaurants. Yoshiko has compiled helpful books of information about the history and operation of the house, local touring highlights, and nearby eateries. Because this was my first trip to Japan, David and Yoshiko, who live nearby, checked in with me regularly through email to see if I needed anything.
I recommend the Koto Inn particularly for the visitor who wants to be independent and self sufficient during his/her visit to Kyoto. It offers all the convenience of a modern Western hotel but with tons more character and authentic Japanese style. Highest praise for the Koto Inn!
Koto Inn is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in Kyoto. It would be hard to find a better located rental for almost all the sights of Higashiyama and Gion. Except for Arashiyama, we walked everywhere. The canal at the end of the block is beautiful. Some of the main temples (Chion-in and Sho-ren-in) are only minutes away; downtown is also only a short walk. (Head downtown for cheap eats that stay open late. One incredible bargain is Ootoya, a simple, family-style Japanese place about a fifteen minute walk down the main street (Sanjo-Dori) right across from Ponto-cho.)
The house is Japanese style, the pictures are accurate - the only thing they don't show is that the house is relatively dark and in winter it can get cold (every room has a heater.) The bathroom and kitchen are small and modern. It will take some time to figure out how to use some of the appliances/toilet, but there is a manual with all the Japanese buttons explained. The house is just fine for one or two people - I think more than that could get cramped.
David and Yoshiko are helpful and friendly. There was one potentially major snafu - which was not their fault. Every single one of my ATM cards - that's three working on five different systems - would not allow me to withdraw cash. Fortunately a friend was in Kyoto at the same time and loaned me a fistful of yen. Most people I know had no problem finding an "international" ATM that worked, but be forewarned - I was nearly stranded. Next time I go I'm bringing cash.
Very traditional house, spotless, you have everything you need inside, location s perfect, very quiet. Fantastic introduction to Japanese culture. David and Yoshiko are very nice and helpfull people, I wish them the best.
We stayed at Koto Inn for a week. It's a beautiful traditional Japanese house but with wonderful modern conveniences -kitchen/bath/washer/dryer/wifi. And there was ample space for our family of four -kids 7&10years old. It was also a great location for visiting Kyoto within easy walking distance to the subway and some great sights but in a quiet and nice neighborhood. There are some really good restaurants within a few minutes walking as well as a market. David and Yoshiko were incredibly welcoming and nice -- we throughly enjoyed our stay and it was a treat staying in such a lovely place.
For Guests interested in learning more about Japanese food, there are a few half day courses teaching the basics or even more advanced skills in Japanese cooking nearby. Koto Inn has a fully equipped modern kitchen with everything you need to practice 'at home' what you learned in a cooking class.