Located on a quiet lane leading up to the Chawan-zaka approach to Kiyomizu Temple (an UNESCO World Heritage site), just minutes from the hustle and bustle of the busy souvenir shops and restaurants lining Ninnen-zaka and Sannen-zaka below the temple’s main gates, this modern machiya-style house was completely reformed and refurbished in 2007.
The interior offers a harmonious combination of Japanese design and beautiful antiques with modern features such as hardwood floors and Iranian gabeh carpets. Downstairs, there is a full kitchen and a dining area with a traditional Japanese "mizuya" cupboard. The dining area opens out on to a deck with a small Japanese garden beneath which flows a small stream from the temple. You can hear the stream, birds and the temple bells ringing.
There is a western-style toilet and a full Japanese-style bath downstairs. The two bedrooms are upstairs and get plenty of light. The large, high ceiling-ed Japanese-style tatami mat bedroom sleeps up to 3 people in single or double futons. Across the hall, the Western bedroom has a queen-sized futon bed.
The neighborhood in the Higashiyama district in which the house is located has been catering to tourists and pilgrims for centuries. Kiyomizu Temple is an especially popular destination for viewing the cherry blossoms and the autumn colors. Visit the numerous shops selling traditional Kiyomizu-yaki pottery as you wander the steep and ancient back lanes paved with stone north to Yasaka Shrine (10 minutes), or Hanamikoji Street (15 minutes), the center of the Gion, where the geisha ply their trade. From Kyoto Station, it’s 15 minutes by bus to the Gojo-zaka bus stop, a short walk from the house. Our modern machiya-style house in Gion-Kiyomizu is perfectly located for enjoying the best the ancient city of Kyoto has to offer.
Keywords: Kyoto, machiya, traditional townhouse.