Machiya Lily Is A Fully Renovated Historic Kyoto Machiya In The Heart Of Kyoto
- english, Japanese
About Mark Tracy
I'm an attorney and university professor who has lived and worked in Japan for 16 years. I've always been fascinated by traditional Japanese carpentry, Kyoto Machiya and the Japanese passion for monozukuri (making things by hand). After years of planning I finally got the chance to buy Machiya Lily and restore her. Originally, I thought it would be the perfect place to finally write the great American expat novel. Instead, I've done a lot more reading than I have writing and the books in the library reflect that fact. These days I divide my time between a house in Osaka and a cabin I'm building in the mountains of Hyogo.
Mark Tracy purchased this House in 2014
Why Mark Tracy chose Higashiyama Ward
I spent over 3 years looking at machiya in Kyoto. I knew the things I had to have and the things that I wanted to have. I had to have a place that was convenient for me and for guests but that was also quiet. I had to have a traditional garden and I wanted a house built in the Meiji period. Sanjusangendo is my favorite temple and I wanted someplace near there but I didn't want to deal with crowded streets. Finally, I wanted a place whose history I could document and which would allow me to preserve and highlight the Japanese joinery techniques that always fascinated me. When I finally found Machiya Lily I made an offer the same day. It looked nothing like it does today but I could tell that the joinery was still there and that she had everything I had to have and most of what I wanted. The restoration took almost two years but we managed to preserve almost all of her original joinery and to complete the rest using traditional techniques. From my own perspective, I couldn't be happier with the results or with the fantastic people I met during the process. If you're interested in more details on this type of restoration, please visit the website.
What makes this House unique
For me, the architectural history and joinery will always stand out. We really did focus on every detail in this restoration to preserve the history but to add in the modern comfort that we all need. The doors in the living room were a fantastic find (I don't get credit for them) and the hand painted Kyoto paper on the accent wall is a classic touch with modern influence. The kitchen cabinet is made from a mizuya and I doubt there is another like it in Japan. All of the bamboo blinds in the home are hand made by Mr. and Mrs. Kubota whose family has been making blinds in Kyoto since 1883. Visiting their shop and getting to know their family was a unique Kyoto experience. Sano san spent more time with me than I could have expected to make sure that the tsuboniwa (garden) would create the perfect space and the perfect sound. Several of my sempai contributed art pieces and books for the home and I can't walk through without thinking of each of them. Each of my friends seems to have the one thing about Lily which stands out for them but for me, she's all of a piece.
100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
Excellent house! Loved the woodwork and the details! Very conveniently located for tourists. Everything was perfect! Thanks so much!
The property and property owners were great! They helped coordinate shuttles and baggage delivery to our next location. The home was in the perfect location for the subway and great dining. Thank you Mark.
Elegant and well situated
Beautifully remodeled spaces very tastefully done for American tastes anyway.. The upstairs bedroom is a nice roomy space with toilet and basin but no shower. It could use a mirror and some hooks to be more practical. I used the downstairs tatami room as a bedroom and was quite comfortable. I loved the little garden outside the sliding door so I could have air.
Nice relaxing and dining spaces for friends or family. The kitchen is nice size with the basics for eating but little for real cooking. The basement food halls at the department stores have great take out food but it was hard to make a meal from ingredients.
Washer/dryer as a single unit is a super plus even though it takes three hours to complete one cycle.
Great location not far from the National Museum and the train.
Very nice space and very gracious accommodating hosts. Also very organized. Excellent overall.
Great place. Very helpful hosts.
Beautifully appointed. Mix of old Japanese architecture with ultra modern plumbing. Great location.
The hosts helped me figure out a way to get my luggage shipped to Kyoto. And then once there, they helped us to arrange for a shuttle van to Osaka airport. The walk around the immediate neighborhood to orient us was also very helpful.
Would clearly choose to stay hete again!
Machiya Lily is a beautiful place to stay. Our family really enjoyed our stay in this home. The location was great and quiet. Mark & Tomoko did a wonderful job with this Machiya. There is so much detail in the design. I wish we had more time to relax and enjoy the tranquil garden and water feature. After spending each day touring Kyoto, it was a perfect place to return to for a great nights sleep. We hope to return in the future.
The only place to stay in Kyoto!
Stunning renovation which combined a Japanese sensibility with western taste. I could go on and on but it lives up to all the reviews I read before booking. One small detail I loved is that the hand held shower had an option to put it at western shower height. Mark was a great host and was readily available to answer questions and make recommendations. I will definitely stay here when I return to Kyoto.