Experience a Traditional Stay in a Kyoto Machiya

photo:Hansel and Regrettal on flickr

Kyoto is only about 2 hours away by Shinkansen from Tokyo, and it is often considered as the cultural center of Japan. The city is famous for its many temples and shrines, but did you know about the machiya? The machiya are Kyoto's traditional wooden townhouses, which have been the major architectural style in Japan for centuries. Many of them have been destroyed, but recently, people have been taking action in order to protect this important historical symbol.

Among the remaining machiya, some are private residences while others have been transformed into businesses. Let's have a look at five beautiful machiya that have been converted into inns.

Minoya-cho Machiya



The Minayo-cho machiya is a small inn which can accommodate eight people. The house is ideally located near Gion and Kiyomizudera Temple, and it is facing the Kamogawa river. The beautiful garden and the warm atmosphere of the house will let your body and mind relax.

Website (English) : http://www.kyoto-machiya.com/eng/machiya/minoya.html

Oku Tamaya-cho Machiya



The Oku Tamaya-cho machiya can accommodate four people. As you walk on the stone path towards the entrance of the house, you will be welcomed by a warm and gentle light. If you want to relax in a quiet environment, this machiya is the perfect choice.

Website (English) : http://www.kyoto-machiya.com/eng/machiya/okutamaya.html

Sujiya-cho Machiya



This 140-year old machiya can accommodate ten people. The sturdy construction is one of the major features of this house, and the high ceiling creates an open atmosphere.

Website (English): http://www.kyoto-machiya.com/eng/machiya/sujiya.html

Nishijin Isa-cho Machiya



Nishijin is an area in Kyoto famous for its brocade, and features the opportunity to have a glimpse of the craftsmen's work. The Nishijin Isa-cho machiya has a capacity of five people, and will allow you to enjoy the pleasant sound of weaving in the morning from the surrounding workshops

Website (English): http://www.kyoto-machiya.com/eng/machiya/isa.html

Oku Zaimoku-cho Machiya



This machiya facing the Kamogawa River can accommodate six people. In addition to the beautiful scenery of the river, you can enjoy a nice walk around Kiya-cho. If you are lucky, you may even run into a geisha or maiko during your stroll in early evening.

Website (English): http://www.kyoto-machiya.com/eng/machiya/okuzaimoku.html

Kyoto is definitely the best place to experience Japanese culture and history. A stay in a machiya is a splendid way to complete your visit to the ancient capital.

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