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Bedrooms 2
Space sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights
Popular Features
  • Internet
  • Washing Machine
  • non smoking only
  • Air Conditioning
  • children welcome


About the property

House, 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath, (Sleeps 4)

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 Town House, Koto Inn is located on a quiet narrow cobblestone lane just 20 meters off 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 still retains a 'village' feel though only a ten minute walk from downtown and on the edge of the historic district of Gion.

A five minute stroll up the canal will bring you to the Museum district and Heian Shrine. A quiet and lovely ten minute walk down the canal finds you in the center of 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 and quickly 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: Kyoto Vacation Rental House, Guest House, Traditional Japanese House, Machiya, Japanese Merchant house, Japanese town house. Kyoto Machiya for rent, Kyoto traditional house for rent. Kyoto rental houses.

More Details

Member since: 2010
Speaks: english, french, Japanese
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 30, 2017

About David

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 presently 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

Why David chose Kyoto

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.

What makes this house unique

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, temple carpenters 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 antiques markets. As we are living just one minute away, one or both of us is always available should you have any questions or requests. A comprehensive and updated guide to restaurants in the area is provided in the house and we are happy to make reservations for you. 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 requested, make Koto Inn the ideal choice for your visit to this lovely city.


Higashiyama House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy 4
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • children welcome
Location Type:
  • Downtown ...
  • Monument View ...
  • Mountain View ...
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Broadband Access
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • There is a modern and comfortable Japanese bath in addition to the shower. The toilet is a modern western style toilet.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1 - 2 sleep sofa /futon , Guests sleep on double thickness, Japanese Futons.
    Bedroom 2 - 2 sleep sofa /futon , Guests sleep on double thickness Japanese Futons.
  • Baby Cribs (1) Baby cot is available., Futons (4) All bedding is Japanese futons. Guests are provided with double thickness futons and all linens and towels.
  • Books ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Onsite Services:
  • Concierge
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • duty free shops
  • festivals
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • photography
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • hiking


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(28 traveler reviews)

average rating of 4.964286 based on 28 reviews

Very unique and memorable stay in the heart of Kyoto.

  • 5 of 5

Wonderful 2-night stay at Kyoto Inn a year ago. The owners took meticulous care of the property.

  • Submitted: Jan 28, 2017
  • Stayed: Dec 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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British Columbia

Old Japan Feeling in Wonderful Neighbourhood with Great Hosts

  • 5 of 5

This is a very special place to stay in Kyoto. As soon as we stepped inside, we felt, in many ways, like we'd stepped into Old Japan, and yet all the conveniences for comfortable living were there. The feeling of the machiya is lovely, deep, quiet, even romantic, with a sense of beauty to it we loved. The hosts could not be more easily accessed, friendly or helpful. The neighbourhood is perfectly situated so that you can get to other parts of Kyoto easily by subway (just down the street,) but it is also wonderfully close to many temples, gardens, the Philosphers' Walk, etc. There are good restaurants nearby, too. No question about it -- if you are fortunate enough to stay here, you will love it.

  • Submitted: May 3, 2016
  • Stayed: Apr 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Chico, CA

Not much to add to all the other reviews...

  • 5 of 5

Great place, great location. The hosts are around the corner -- available when you need them yet not in any way intrusive. Would love to stay again!

  • Submitted: Mar 14, 2016
  • Stayed: Feb 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Christchurch, New Zealand

Quiet, traditional-style Machiya with everything you need.

  • 5 of 5

We had stayed in a Machiya once before in Kyoto, so we understood the advantages of having your own space and privacy. Especially good for a family. We were three and the house was perfect for us. Everything is very cosy in these houses. The dining area is in-between the two sleeping rooms, which is great. Everything is on one level - the upstairs is not included.

The house was in bad condition before they restored it and the job has been well done. Most historic features are retained, with modern extras added for comfort. We enjoyed the traditional fittings and furniture and the pocket garden is gorgeous to gaze out onto. The smaller bedroom fronts onto the tiny narrow alleyway outside and is enclosed with glass screen doors. Lovely but maybe not for young children. The kitchen is a good size and there are extras like coffee and tea and sauces in the fridge. Don't plan on oven cooking as there isn't one, but the stove top is fabulous. Be prepared to sit low at a small Japanese table and likewise on your futon bed, or roll it up for more support. The bathroom and laundry are very nicely designed. There are no bed-lights as such but you can re position a plug-in light. You can soak in the deep tub after showering first. The washing machine was much appreciated and we dried things in front of the heat-pump. David and his partner were very helpful, introducing us to the place and answering any queries that we had. They even helped me get my wrist watch fixed by translating my request into Japanese! There were recommendations in the house for restaurants and places to go as well. Thanks guys. It was comfortable, warm and handy to everything. The futons were comfy in a firm way (!) and the heaters were appreciated in winter. We felt like residents for four glorious days.

Our ten year-old loved the place. He would sit and look out at the pocket garden and draw what he saw. We rented bikes and cycled the Philosophers Path. And I went virtually next-door to an Ikebana class with Kimi. Highly recommended.

  • Submitted: Feb 20, 2016
  • Stayed: Dec 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Where do you live?

Stellar stay in a well situated machiya house in Kyoto

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I recently stayed with another couple in this wonderfully restored machiya home. The home itself was well equipped with everything you would need for a stay -- a full range kitchen and fridge, awesome bathroom with amazing water pressure, comfortable bed mats and blankets, and everything a visitor would expect from a traditional Japanese home.

The home itself is also very well situated in a cozy part of Kyoto. Gion, the area known for geisha spotting is a 10 minute walk away. Downtown is also a similar distance -- both walks are through safe and picturesque areas of Kyoto. A subway stop is one block away and grocery stores are also less than 2-3 minutes away walking. We thoroughly enjoyed many parts of the city and felt like this was a great location to capture all there is to see in Kyoto in the short time, three nights, we were there.

Another thing we all appreciated were the stellar restaurant recommendations. We ended up going to 3 restaurants that Yoshiko and David had recommended and they were all top notch. Some of the best eats we had on the trip!! Definitely take advantage of their knowledge when it comes to seeking some delicious food!

  • Submitted: Dec 30, 2015
  • Stayed: Dec 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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So glad we found this!

  • 5 of 5

Kyoto itself is amazing and this little gem in it sums it all up! Stayed with my friends and their 8 year old, who loved the "secret" sliding doors and treasures hidden in the drawers of the beautiful antique chest just as much as we did the really thoughtful touches like the local map showing the in-the-know recommendations to eat out. Nice attention to detail and great hospitality, in a lovely abode!

  • Submitted: Nov 2, 2015
  • Stayed: Oct 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
97 Kilometres
Kansai International Airport
Nearest Train
200 Metres
Higashiyama Subway Station
Car: not necessary

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.


Rates & Availability

Higashiyama House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $35 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Payment is in Yen cash and at any time during your stay.

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