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Member since: 2014
Call Manager
Speaks: english, Japanese

Lovingly Restored Townhouse In Central Kyoto Kiyomizu/Gion

16 Reviews
Bedrooms 2
Half Baths1
Property type townhome
Minimum Stay 3 nights

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Kyoto Townhome Rental Photos and Description

Blending Traditional Design With Modern Convenience For A Unique Experience

Machiya Momiji has a certified history stretching back to the late 1800s and underwent a complete renovation in 2013 by local craftsmen. Officially recognized by Kyoto local government as an authentic Kyoto machiya, this property offers visitors to the city a unique opportunity to enjoy a combination of Japanese design and modern convenience during their stay.

The house itself is situated on two floors and access is gained through a stunning ‘genkan’ or entrance hall that has a wealth of historical features including flagstones and a traditional cabinet. This leads into the kitchen and dining area which features a full kitchen (twin electric hob, sink, fridge-freezer, dining service and cooking utensils), wooden dining table and chairs for 4, recessed washing machine and sofa.

Immediately beyond this is the ‘washitsu’/ tatami room which features a ‘horigotatsu’/sunken seating area, sliding paper screens and a view of the ‘tsuboniwa’/courtyard garden. This was designed and laid out by a local expert from a local family of gardeners. The garden features a Japanese maple tree, moss and a striking stone water feature – perfect to contemplate over a cup of tea after a busy day visiting Kyoto’s attractions such as the nearby Kennin-ji Zen temple! The downstairs WC and luxurious bathroom, which itself has a private view of the garden, completes the first floor.

On the second floor, both western and Japanese bedrooms are connected by a mezzanine floor that overlooks the dining area. The western bedroom has twin beds (that can be pushed together), closet and en-suite WC while the Japanese room provides flexible futon sleeping arrangements. The intricate roof beams, which are an important aspect of machiyas, have been exposed on the second floor giving a sense of space and light throughout.

Machiya Momiji is located right on the doorstep of some of Kyoto’s key attractions including the UNESCO World Heritage designated Kiyomizu-dera, the Gion entertainment district renowned for ‘Geisha’ and Kabuki and the Kamogawa river, famous for summer dining platforms. With a huge range of restaurants, bars, supermarkets, traditional craft shops and excellent transport links to the rest of the city and beyond (including direct trains to Nara and Osaka), Momiji is superbly located.

Yet Momiji also offers an opportunity for clam, rest and relaxation as it is located in a quiet neighborhood just off the bustling streets. In summary, this Machiya will not disappoint the discerning visitor to the beautiful and enchanting cultural capital of Japan.

More Details
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Andy (Property Manager)
Member since: 2014
Call Manager
Speaks: english, Japanese

About Andy

Restoring a Kyoto machiya (which translates as ‘town house’) was a long standing dream which we finally realized in 2013. As a professor at a local university, I originally purchased this property to be our family home but a new position has led to relocation away from Kyoto meaning that we can now offer our home as a vacation rental.

Andy purchased this townhome in 2013

Why Andy chose Kyoto

We searched long and hard for the right sized property in the right place, and this it. Machiya Momiji (momiji translates as ‘Japanese Maple’ and we have one in our garden!) is located in the heart of a traditional neighborhood on the doorstep of some of Kyoto’s most famous and stunning cultural treasures such as Kiyomizu-dera which is just a ten minute walk away. A short walk along the Kamogawa river brings you to the bustling heart of Kyoto around Shijo Kawaramachi and the Gion entertainment district, famed for Geisha and Kabuki. On purchase, the property needed complete renovation and we worked with a local company, Hachise, that specializes in the renovation of traditional Kyoto machiya. They are also renowned for their high standards of craftsmanship which comes from working exclusively with local specialists.

What makes this townhome unique

Kyoto machiya offer an excellent alternative to hotels and a chance to experience the Japanese lifestyle. We have combined traditional Japanese design, such as the main tatami room complete with horikotatsu (sunken seating area) and shoji (sliding paper screens) with contemporary comforts such as luxury bathroom, heated floors, the latest in Japanese toilet technology and a fully fitted kitchen. Externally, the house reflects traditional machiya design and the greatest of compliments have come from our neighbours who are delighted with how the place looks. Calm and quiet, Machiya Momiji presents an opportunity to relax and enjoy the design and space of your own house during a stay in beautiful Kyoto.

Guestbook comments from the manager

Stayed for 3 nights during Cherry blossom season. The size of the machiya was very comfortable for our family of 5 (2 adults and 3 children). The machiya had just been renovated so everything was new and in perfect order. Very close to a market for snacks and 5 mins from the subway station which made getting around easier. Its about a 15-20 min walk to the main Gion area with all the restaurants/shops. Naoko and Andy were very responsive and made booking easy. In all had a great time and would definitely go back.
Mar 2014
  • 1 of 1


based on 16 traveler reviews

Lovingly Restored Townhouse In Central Kyoto Kiyomizu/Gion
average rating of 4.8125 based on 17 reviews

A lovely home base

  • 4 of 5

The house was easy to find using Naoko's directions (we actually walked all the way from Kyoto Station, which took about half an hour). There are several convenience stores in the main road nearby, and restaurants within walking distance. Close to Gion and Kyomizudera. It's in a quiet street, and the coded entry system is handy for multiple people to come and go without worrying about keys. The house is beautiful, clean and in great condition. Very traditional in feel, with futons upstairs and a lovely tatami seating area downstairs. Seating is for four people, so if there are more of you, you will have to spread yourselves around a bit. The bedrooms are roomy, with lovely exposed beams in the ceiling. The 'garden' is pretty, but isn't actually a useable space, it's just to look at. There are modern appliances and enough crockery, we used the washing machine, and gave the air conditioning a good workout in the Kyoto summer! I would say the quilts provided on the beds, whilst nice, are a bit hot for the season, and something lighter would have been good. There is an extra toilet upstairs, and plenty of cupboard space. The bathroom is modern (there's a china display cabinet in the shower which was weird but nice!). Naoko was helpful and responsive to my emails, and kindly booked taxis for us on the last morning.

  • Submitted: Jul 22, 2015
  • Stayed: Jul 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you very much for your review. The tsuboniwa (Japanese courtyard garden) is a very characteristic feature of this style of housing in Kyoto, where space is of a premium. Our garden was designed by Tomoatsu Sano, recognised as being one of Japan’s top 100 gardeners in a recent publication. We asked Sano-san to provide a space where we can enjoy looking at the garden while relaxing in the tatami room. He selected every stone, perfected the water flow and ensured that every detail was created to be in harmony with each other. Thank you again for your review, and recommending Machiya Momiji to our future guests. We look forward to welcoming again in the future. From Naoko
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4 1

Perfect !

  • 5 of 5

The Machiya Momiji is a beautiful (not so) little japanese house. Very nice and very convenient for all purposes : stay quietly in the living room looking at the garden, walk all around the town because it is very well situated near Gion, Kiyomizu-dera and bus . It is in a very quiet neighborhood . We enjoyed very much our stay, the house is nicely decorated and very confortable for even 5 people, the western beds are good and all is easy : cooking, washing machine, air conditionner, bathroom ...

  • Submitted: Jul 16, 2015
  • Stayed: Jul 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Anne, Thank you very much for your kind comments! We are happy to hear that you enjoyed the time here. We are very close to many of the key attractions of Kyoto yet we are also located in a traditional and quiet residential area. I was also surprised the first time, the area is so nice and quiet. Looking forward to welcoming you and your family again, next time you visit Kyoto. From Naoko
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1 0

Great location, Beautifully restored

  • 4 of 5

We had a wonderful stay at Machiya Momiji. Two couples travelling together, plenty of space to spread out and beautifully presented. Supermarket nearby so no problem purchasing breakfast items/snacks. Naoko responded to our emails promptly and assisted us with restaurant recommendations and our taxi back to the station at the end of our stay. She also recommended our guide in Kyoto (Mazda) who was great despite the rain setting at lunch time. Geisha area/river 5 minute walk, bus to all sights a 10 minute easy walk, Kiyomizudera 15 mins walk. In short we loved our stay, such a unique experience, comfy beds, gorgeous small outdoor garden and superb bathroom. We will certainly be telling our friends!

  • Submitted: Apr 22, 2015
  • Stayed: Apr 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear guests, Thank you very much for your nice comments. We are glad to hear that you had a comfortable stay at our Machiya and that you were fully satisfied with our services. I am also glad to hear that you had a wonderful time at the restaurant for your friend's birthday meal! We are looking forward to welcoming you and your friend's again soon. From Naoko
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1 0

Real and perfect home 🌸 in beautiful Kyoto!

  • 5 of 5

If you are looking for a home to rent during your holidays in Japan, just don't hesitate to choose Machiya Momiji. Everything is perfect about this house. It feels like a real home, it smells fresh, all the wood, tatami, Japanese paper, Japanese garden, equipment (ex: very nice washer and dryer), bathrooms, towels etc are just so beautiful that all of this contribute to enjoy even more your stay in Kyoto. We loved that is was so close to Kiyomizu Dera illuminated at night and close to so many temples. The kindness and help that Naoko provided to us before and during our stay with all reassurance, contract and informations of all sort was such a precious help 🌸🌸 it was above expectations with true implication and kindness. A beautiful and real Japanese experience! When you get to Machiya Momiji you will be delighted that the pictures are just showing the house exactly as it is but the feeling you will get will surpass that, enjoy!

  • Submitted: Apr 20, 2015
  • Stayed: Apr 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Guests, Thank you for taking your time to write us such a wonderful review. I am so glad to hear that you had a great time in Kyoto and also at the Machiya Momiji. Kiyomizu dera is one of my favorite temples too. It's short walk from the Machiya so I recommend guests to visit early in the morning as the temple gets busier later in the day. I know you visited different parts of Japan when you were here. I hope every spring will bring you good memories of Kyoto and Machiya Momiji. One day we very much hope that we can welcome you and your family back again. From Naoko
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2 0

A beautiful japanese house

  • 5 of 5

A beautiful place, perfect location. The house is very sensitively decorated and you don't miss anything. The owners are very helpful and Naoko-san is ready to help in any situation. A great experience and a wonderful stay!

  • Submitted: Apr 12, 2015
  • Stayed: Apr 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Anelia, Thank you for your kind words regarding your recent stay at Machiya Momiji.We are looking forward to welcoming you soon again! from Naoko
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1 1

Immaculately Beautiful Machiya

  • 4 of 5

The Machiya Momiji is an absolute gem of a holiday rental, and I cannot sing manager Naoko's praises highly enough - she is a kind and wonderful host.

The recent renovations have been thoughtfully and expertly carried out, and the property is incredibly beautiful. The enquiry/reservation process, arrival, and self-orientation of the property's features was smooth and easy, all thanks to Naoko's fastidious attention to detail and clear communication. Comprehensive but simple instructions were provided, and everything was in excellent working order (security, wifi, hot water, washing machine, heating, cooking, & fancy Japanese toilets!). It was impeccably clean, clearly well-loved and closely attended to.

The one thing that let this stunning property down was the bedding situation. Rather than the double/queen bed we were anticipating, there are instead two singles pushed together. Not like how I've seen in hotels where they are locked together and appropriate sized bed linen used, but two actual singles with separate bottom sheets, separate doonas, and nothing holding them together (ie sliding away from each other during the night). They also weren't particularly comfortable, and unfortunately did not provide the kind of rest you need after walking miles around Kyoto every day. The single futons in the second bedroom are the thinnest I have ever come across, but our daughter's comfort was marginally improved by dragging a second one out of the cupboard to layer underneath.

But the Machiya Momiji is so wonderful that not even these small gripes can take away from the profoundly positive experience we had at this stunning property. We loved the contemplation garden, the tatami mats, the awesome bathroom fusing modern technology and traditional sensibilities, and the entrance corridor thoughtfully designed for the removal and re-putting on of shoes. Slippers were provided. Umbrellas were provided. Directions to supermarkets and restaurants were provided. Naoko is amazing - she thinks of everything!!

The location was great, with a train station down the road, and within comfortable walking distance to many points/areas of interest.

I would not hesitate to recommend this magical property to anyone looking to visit Kyoto. Thanks Naoko!

  • Submitted: Mar 25, 2015
  • Stayed: Mar 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: "I am delighted to inform you that we now offer thicker futons and we are now also using a special base futon to make sleeping arrangements more comfortable. We want our guests to enjoy a great ad comfortable sleep after busy day sightseeing in Kyoto! Thank you for improving our services. (May 2015) " Dear Georgia, Thank you very much for your time to share your review with us. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed the time in the Machiya Momiji. I am sorry to hear that the sleeping arrangements didn't quite match your expectations. We welcome many kinds of parties including couples, singles, families and so on and after careful and long thought, we decided to have twin single beds that can be pushed together rather than a double. We do mention this clearly in the description and in the the emails we send when we receive an enquiry. The futons we use in the second bedroom (Japanese style) are the same standard used in the traditional inns (Ryokan) in Kyoto as we use the same contractor, and we also change the futons in the summer and winter. But thank you for the comments; I am going to meet the contractor soon and ask about how we might make improvements. I know some guests come to visit Kyoto only once in their life time. As I am a big fan of Kyoto myself, I would love to assist the guests to have a great time here in Kyoto. If our Machiya Momiji become one of your favorite holiday memories I will be more than happy.Thank you again for choosing Machiaya Momiji. I hope that we will welcoming back you again in the future. from Naoko
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Nearest Airport
95 Kilometres
Kansai International Airport
Nearest Train
200 Metres
Gojo station on the Keihan line
Nearest Ski
50 Kilometres
Biwako Valley
Car: not necessary


Rates & Availability

Kyoto Townhome Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Manager accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $40 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Tax Rate 8.0%

Please note that payments are per night for the whole property and not per guest. Minimum three night stay.

Up to 2 guests: 32,000 yen
3 guests: 36,000 yen
4 guests: 40,000 yen
5 guests: 44,000 yen

Please contact us for high season rates (March-April, July, October-November, Christmas/New Year)

Rates are subject to change until reservations are confirmed.
All payments are in Japanese Yen.

Manager's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the manager or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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Kyoto Townhome Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • townhome
  • floor 2
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 78 m²
Location Type:
  • Downtown ...
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , tub , shower , bidet , A key feature of the house.
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , bidet , En-suite in bedroom 1
  • The bathroom is a key feature of the house. The walls are fully tiled apart from a section around the bath which features hinoki (a fragrant wood traditionally used in Japanese bathtubs). The deep tub and subdued lighting is designed for relaxation while a secluded window offers private views of the traditional garden. Hand wash, body wash, shampoo and conditioners included.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 5
  • Bedroom 2 - 3 sleep sofa /futon , Tatami room
    Bedroom 1 - 2 twin/ single , twin bed with WC ensuite
  • Machiya Momiji has two bedrooms. Bedroom 1 has a wooden floor, closet, twin beds (can be pushed together) and en-suite WC while Bedroom 2 is in the Japanese style with traditional futon sleeping arrangements for up to 3 guests.
  • Books ...
  • Television
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • autumn foliage
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • live theater
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • photography
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • hiking

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