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Self contained house in great location, sleeps up to six
Sakara Gion is a Kyoto 'machiya' townhouse with the styling and amenities you expect, on the outskirts of the bustling Gion district. The location is exceptional; walking distance from the famous Gion district on a peaceful street, 1 minute from City bus and ~5 minutes from the subway. It's our best holiday rental yet, incorporating everything travelers tell us they want. There are two rooms and a bathroom on the second floor with designer western-style bedding as well as a tatami room on the first floor with futon sets. In addition there is a traditional courtyard garden, spacious granite bath, open kitchen, Wifi, digital TV, and easy access to local restaurants. There is even a public bathhouse and sake shop across the street. In keeping with our theme, we offer 'Japanese style with western comfort' -- the doors are tall, living areas spacious, art and furnishings top-class.
The Higashiyama area is nationally famous for a good reason - the real Kyoto is jumping out from around every corner. Rickshaws go past the front door, Kimono clad entertainers come and go from the Gion district, and it's beautiful year round. There is a public bathhouse just across the street and within five minutes you can be on Shijo Street in the epicenter of the action! Festival season is especially vibrant in this neighborhood.
Lovely home (a little hard to find for first timers) but definitely worth it. We were all quite satisfied with the amenities especially the shower room. It was quiet and in such great location for sightseeing and nightlife. We were quite satisfied and would definitely stay here again if we're lucky enough to be able to return some day. We just loved Kyoto and this home made it all the more special. Thank you.
Submitted: Oct 13, 2014
Stayed: Mar 2014
Owner's Response: Thank you for taking the time to write a review, and we are very happy that you enjoyed your stay. We provide a PDF file with very specific directions for people to access the Gion Machiya townhouse, but occasionally taxi drivers get lost or guests are not able to print the directions. It is recommended that guests print and follow the directions carefully, as addresses in Kyoto do not work the same way as addresses in other countries. For example an address does not always indicate an ordered numerical location on a named street; often they describe the location and the area that it is in. The Gion machiya is on "old gate street". For this reason we include a google map placemark in the directions as well as a map, pictures, and contact numbers for our staff.
A great feature of this rental for most visitors is its proximity to the main street of Shijo with shops and restaurants, and even a Starbucks. There are many temples and local highlights as well.
We would love to host you again if you ever have a chance to come back to Kyoto, and we can highly recommend the fall season, our favourite time of year is October-November.
We spent a week at Sakara-Gion with our 4 younger boys. Had a great time. The property is well-maintained and the owners quickly accommodated all of our requests/needs.
As many of the reviews have stated, the location is very close to the hustle and bustle of the Gion district without being right in the middle of things. For us, this was a major plus. The Gion district is a famous night-life area, and, if you're unfamiliar with Japan, the night life can go until all hours of the evening (including weekdays). This property is in a very quiet area and short (literally 5 minute at most) walk to the Gion district. So it was perfect for us.
Accommodations were spacious for our family of 6--I believe 6 adults could also fit comfortably. Even after coming back to the states (we're from Orange County, CA), staying at Sakara Gion was our boys' favorite and most memorable part of the trip.
Access to other sites around Kyoto is convenient. The walk to the Subway or bus stops takes about 7 minutes and then you can get around the city from there.
The local bath house (right across the street) is not to be missed and patrons there were very helpful as are various english, bathhouse etiquette signs. Grocery store(s) are convenient as well.
One final note, the property has been updated to accommodate larger foreigners including higher door thresholds. I'm 6' 3"+ and found this property to be very comfortable.
Submitted: Sep 9, 2014
Stayed: Jun 2014
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for your review. Firstly, it was wonderful to meet you and talk to you and your family, your boys are fine young men and very well behaved. Secondly, I thank you for taking the time to provide our future guests with some information that may be helpful to them.
One of the main reasons that we chose to make the Sakara Gion machiya in that area is the location. The bath house across the street is a wonderful experience and very relaxing. Also, while there are cars that go along Furumonzen St., but the area is quiet considering that it is so close to the activity of Gion. Having Shijo St. so close with a Starbucks, shops, and a wide variety of restaurants is so convenient.
The design of the building definitely took into account groups like yours: there are three separate sleeping areas (the downstairs Japanese room closes from the living space with paper shoji doors), and there are tall doorways throughout. This is a very important feature for taller visitors who may find it annoying to hit their heads on standard low Japanese doorways. The standard sliding door clearance in homes is 176 cm tall, which is unacceptable for visitors who are 6'3" (190 cm tall) like yourself!
Again, we are delighted that your sons thought of their time at Sakara Gion as the highlight of your trip, and we would love to meet you or your family and friends again any time.
Wow! What a great place. The location was wonderful. A short walk to the real nightlife of Kyoto and wonderful restaurants. Close to the bus stop too. The kids loved having their own room and beds! The bath looks small but is deceptive - we tried it with two adults and no problems! We actually saw real geishas three times (amongst the hundreds of fake ones!). There was a beer vending machine across the road which pleased my husband. And a bottle shop with a friendly owner selling his own brand of sake. The owners left us a helpful tourist map which I used until it was in pieces. I couldn't recommend this place highly enough!
Submitted: May 9, 2014
Stayed: Apr 2014
Owner's Response: Excellent, thank you so much. The Gion house was specifically designed for groups like yours, and is ideal for families.
We love sharing our recommendations and information about Kyoto with visitors, and it makes our day when someone has a good experience! Please come back again any time, and if you bring friends or family, remember that we have a nearby Inn with four private self-contained units as well as a new location similar in style to the Gion machiya, just five minutes away, along the Shirakawa canal.
I had a great stay here for 2 nights with my mother and sister. The location is very convenient to Higashiyama and close to Pontocho and the main streets of Gion too. A subway station can be reached within 10 minutes too. Taxi drivers also had little trouble with the excellent directions provided.
The house itself was very comfortable and clean (I was quite impressed as some of the photos made it appear a little worn but that was not the case). There were at least four heater units, each with timer functions so we were never cold. The shower was quite warm and the kitchen facilities were also quite adequate although we didn't cook anything much.
The stairs are a bit steep and my mother was a little unsettled by the street noise that could be heard in the front bedroom on the first night, but that may have just been jet lag.
Mike and Yuko were very helpful and responded quickly to all my mails.
I would certainly recommend this property to others, particularly for the fantastic location.
Sakara Gion is the perfect accommodation while staying in Kyoto.....and indeed, Kansai. Aside from the creature comforts of gorgeous bedding, air con and wireless internet, Sakara Gion is a beautiful example of a lovingly restored traditional Japanese machiya. Our family of four (2 children: 5 and 3) have had the luxury of plenty of space ( by Japanese accommodation standards) which is helpful when travelling with young kids. Mike and Yuko, are the perfect hosts, available to answer all questions/requests, both prior and during our stay. The property is immaculate and was cleaned (when it was convenient for us), which was highly appreciated. The location is superb, a quick walk over to Shijo-dori, which is close to all the action- as well as all the cobbled artisan streets and alley ways. Although close to the action, the location is surprisingly quiet- which is fabulous after a day out sightseeing. And the Japanese 'ofuro' bath: bliss!!!!! If you plan to visit the Kansai area- do yourself a favour and DONT book at a hotel. Stay at Mike and Yuko's Sakara Gion. We plan to return next year....and will be booking soon! Thanks Mike and Yuko!
Hotel Sakara was a great self-catering experience for our family. We stayed in the Hinoki Suite and were very comfortable. My teens loved the loft area. The small kitchen area was well-equipped. We were especially happy to see the coffee maker. While we didn’t cook a lot, it was very nice to have the option. The location was very convenient, lots of Kyoto attractions like Ghion were easy walking distance. And the nearby bus stop made it very easy to get to the train station for day trips to Nara, Arashiyama and Inari (where the Fushimi Inari Shrine is with all the iconic Tori gates). Sakara is non-smoking and had wi-fi that worked - two very important requirements for our family. Plus, even though it is designed for the independent traveller, we didn’t feel neglected by the staff. I left a request for an extra blanket at the front desk and an extra three fluffy down comforters were in our room that night! Also, they helped us get a cab for the ride back to the train station when it was time for us to leave. I would definitely stay here again and I have already recommended it to several friends.
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $45 per night, per additional guest
Peak spring 2014
Mar 20 - May 6
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $45 per night, per additional guest
Additional information about rental rates
Regular season: Peak Season (3/19--5/6) (10/15--12/5)
2 guests: 21,000 yen/nt 24,000 yen/nt
3 guests: 26,400 yen/nt 28,200 yen/nt
4 guests: 30,000 yen/nt 32,000 yen/nt
5 guests: 34,500 yen/nt 36,500 yen/nt
6 guests: 38,400 yen/nt 40,200 yen/nt
A credit card deposit of 20% will be requested when confirming a reservation, and must be paid within the week. The remainder may be paid in advance by credit card or upon arrival in Japanese yen.
**** Dollar rates quoted are estimates only, and all transactions are processed in Japanese Yen. ****
See detailed rates below:
Payment is usually accepted in the quoted currency (USD) unless the currency and the amount is specifically agreed in advance with the owner / advertiser.