Welcome to Gojozaka Machiya
This is Samurai Joe’s place and we’re happy to share it with you. This is our latest and largest project and we hope you’ll like it. Joe’s family crest is the famous “Gosan No Kiri” (5-3 Paulownia), consisting of three leaves and an inflorescence of 3-5-3 flowers. The Toyotomi clan, led by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, later adopted the Paulownia Seal for use as the crest of his clan.
(Please note that the decoration of the house may change with the season.)
Here is a more detailed description of the Gojozaka Machiya.
(you can click on any photo to see a larger one).
The floor plan of the house will make it easier for you to understand the position and layout of the various rooms and areas of this house. Simply click on the small graphic to see a larger one.
The Entrance – “Genkan”
The “Genkan” is where you enter the house, hang your coat and leave your shoes. You are welcomed by an old Noh Mask (Komote, which means young girl) placed in a niche. Needless to say, this is not really a traditional feature of a standard Machiya, but we liked the idea and we hope you’ll enjoy it. From here, you can enter the western bedroom on your left, walk up the stairs to the second floor, find the toilet and the bathroom ahead of you, or enter the dining kitchen.
The LDK – Living Dining Kitchen
From the “Genkan’, you reach the Dining / Kitchen. A large wood table occupies the center part of this room and will seat up to ten persons. This is where everybody can get together for a simple breakfast or a complete dinner.
The space continues into the Japanese style tatami mat living room where you’ll seat on cushion and low chairs around an old table to share a drink, in front of Joe who’s standing still in the “Tokonoma” (Alcove).
The living room is a traditional Japanese tatami mat room that opens to a Japanese garden. We placed a coffee table made from an old Hibachi in the center of the room. (Note that if there are more than 8 guests, futons can be placed in this room which then becomes a bedroom during the day — a common way of using space in Japan.)
By the way, we know how cold Kyoto can be in the Winter, and we knew something had to be done about this. So for added comfort, we have installed “Floor Heating” around the ground floor, in the dining room, under the tatami mats in the living room, and in front of the kitchen. And for the Summer, when it’s unbearably hot outside, you’ll appreciate the fact that every room has its own air conditioning unit.
From there, you can enjoy the large flat screen HDTV hidden behind the paper doors of the closet (you’ll find a BD Player and have access to Netflix for unlimited movie and TV series enjoyment).
The fully equipped kitchen is spacious and functional. You’ll find everything necessary to prepare a coffee or a breakfast, or even cook a sophisticated meal. A sink, induction heating plate, dish washer, and all the necessary appliances you’d expect to find in a home: fridge with freezer, coffee maker, electric kettle, toaster, rice cooker, oven/wave oven, pressure cooker, blender, and all the pans and cutlery and plates and glasses, etc.
The bathroom is located behind a sliding wooden door straight from the entrance. You first enter the laundry room with a fully automatic All-In-One Washer / Dryer (something travelers will truly appreciate.)
The toilet is located right next to the bathroom. The Japanese “washlet” will probably surprise you at first. And yes, we do provide instructions in English about its usage.
For the convenience of larger group of guests, we have installed a second toilet and a shower room upstairs.
Access to the upper is through regular stairs that are not as steep and narrow as the ones often found in old traditional machiya. The upper floor features two independent Japanese tatami mat rooms and a toilet and shower room area — something larger group of guests will certainly appreciate. From the stairs, you have independent access to both bedrooms.
The first bedroom on the left is a Japanese tatami mat room (Geisha style room with old wedding kimono and a “Tokonoma” or Alcove). Futons are placed on the tatami mats. An old “Tansu” or furniture is at your disposal to place your clothes if you so wish.
We actually have two gardens in this house. The first one is right in front of the entrance and welcomes our guests. It is a simple row of green “tokusa” at the bottom of a wooden wall. A small island of moss surrounds a Maple tree in the middle of a gravel area. The second garden is located at the back of the house, in front of the living room. Large bamboo trees come out of the gravel floor, next to another maple tree. Again, a small island of moss hosts a “Tsukubai” or small washing bassin in front of a Japanese lantern. Both of these gardens are meant to be looked at and not walked about.
Details of the items found around the house…