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Lovingly Restored Townhouse In Central Kyoto Kiyomizu/Gion

Bedrooms 2
Half Baths1
Space 839 sq. ft.
Property type townhome
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

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

Property Manager
Andy / Naoko
Member since: 2014
Speaks: english, Japanese
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
May 21, 2017

About Andy / Naoko

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 / Naoko purchased this townhome in 2013

Why Andy / Naoko 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


Higashiyama Townhome Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • townhome
  • floor 2
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 839 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 5
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • children welcome ...
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
  • 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


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(21 traveler reviews)

Lovingly Restored Townhouse In Central Kyoto Kiyomizu/Gion
average rating of 4.8095236 based on 22 reviews

Beautiful and clean

  • 4 of 5

We love the property. Although we don't really care for the layout as the bathroom is downstairs and all the bedrooms are upstairs with a 1/2 baths. Need to leave some soap in that 1/2 bath. The owners kept the house in great condition. Naoko is a great host, she always try to help you in what you need. There should be at least towels changing every 2 days. It think the property is perfect for 1 couple as the way the downstairs bathroom is, its no so privacy for more than 1 couple. The lightings may be better with new lights (its so yellow & feels hot) but may be cause the owners want to keep it that way for aesthetic as it is a restored home. But overall, this property would be great for people that want to stay near downtown & Gion district within walking distance. We would leave it a 5 stars if only we could have new towels every 2 days and better lightings.

  • Submitted: Apr 3, 2017
  • Stayed: Mar 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Julie, Thank you for your kind comments and we’re very happy that you loved Machiya Momiji! Thank you also for the comments on fine tuning the experience. You’re right that the lighting is designed to fit the aesthetic throughout and I find the tatami room best for reading during the day, on the sofa with the spotlights in the evening. Japanese homes usually have the bathroom on the ground floor and in fact, before the renovation, previous occupants would have used the public baths just a few doors down the street! Noted on the towels and we will make more available for guests during their stay. Thanks again and we hope you become one of our valued repeat guests! Best wishes, Andy and Naoko
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wonderful one month stay in kyoto

  • 5 of 5

This was the perfect was to enjoy beautiful Kyoto. I chose this rental because of the location and the perfect blend of Japanese and Western living. The machyia gave us a true feeling of living in a Japanese home but due to my age (91 years) I knew I would not be able to get up and down from a futon at night and I needed a coach to relax on at the end of the day. Sitting at the low table was truly eastern but with the hole in the floor I was more comfortable. We also had the alternative of a regular table and chairs. The stairs were a bit shallow but with the sturdy banister they were completely negotiable. The interior was not only immaculate but constructed of beautiful woods. Looking out on the lovely little garden and hearing the water were sensational especially with the light on at night.

I had my 27 yr. old granddaughter with me for the first 2 weeks and my son and his wife joined me for the last 2 weeks. Naoko was always accessable by phone for my inquires and was most helpful. I was only sorry not to be able to meet her in person. However the staff who serviced the machyia were truly pleasant , prompt, and most efficient. I have rented many places around the globe and must say this was among the best. Beautiful, clean ,comfortable and well run. Everything you need to know about how things work is clearly written in a manual at the house.There is ample cooking space and equipment, the washer/dryer worked great although it took a long time ,the bathroom was lovely and having the 2nd floor toilet was indispensable. The location is great for getting anywhere and also quiet. Public transportation is nearby and though I used a lot of taxis(few drivers speak English) I was able to give direction with only saying the name of the nearest main intersection and then 4 words in Japanese. (left, right straight, and stop). I recommend Machyia Momiji without reservation. I am just sorry that due to my age and the distance to travel I probably will not be able to return .

  • Submitted: Nov 19, 2016
  • Stayed: Nov 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Loved our stay in Machiya Momiji!

  • 5 of 5

My family and I absolutely loved staying in Machiya Momiji! The home is beautifully kept and well-suited for a family of four. The soaking tub was a wonderful way to relax at the end of the day, and the beds and bedding were very comfortable. Having a washer and dryer in the house came in handy. We loved the Japanese details on the home, such as the washi screens and tatami floor.

We found the location of the home to be ideal, too. It's within walking distance to Kiyomizudera, as well as a number of bus lines and a subway line, and close to the Kamo River. Even with its easy accessibility, the street that it's located on, however, remains quiet and calm.

Naoko was a fantastic host--she was kind and patient with my questions leading up to our stay, and provided lots of helpful information regarding sites, restaurants, etc. She also gave us pointers for attending the sumo tournament in Nagoya, and helped us arrange a taxi to the train station prior to our departure.

I would recommend this home without hesitation!

  • Submitted: Aug 2, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Ausserordentlich schönes, gepflegtes Haus

  • 5 of 5

Machiya Momiji ist ein sehr schön eingerichtetes und prima ausgestattetes Stadthaus an guter Lage im alten Kyoto. Wir haben mit unseren zwei Kindern nicht zuletzt dank den wertvollen Tipps von Naoko und Andy vier wunderbare Tage in dieser schönen Stadt verbracht. Die Unterkunft können wir zu 100% weiter empfehlen.

  • Submitted: Aug 2, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Machiya Momiji is a beautifully designed and fine furnished townhouse in a good location in the old Kyoto. We stayed with our two children thanks to valuable advice from Naoko and Andy four wonderful days in this beautiful city. The hotel we can to 100% recommend.---- Translated by Google Translate ---- Dear Guest, Thank you very much for your valuable comments on Machiya Momiji. I am very happy to know that you and your family enjoyed your stay in Kyoto. I hope your stay with us in Kyoto will standout as a highlight of your trip around Japan. I very much hope that we can welcome you back in the future.
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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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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

Higashiyama 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)

Manager's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the manager or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
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