Welcome to Kiyomizu Machiya.
This is Samurai Harry’s place and we’re happy to share it with you. A lot of work, time and effort was invested in this project and we hope you’ll like it. Harry’s family crest is the famous “Yotsu Wari Bishi” (Four Diamond Shapes) of the Takeda family.
(Please note that the decoration of the house may change with the season.)
Here is a more detailed description of the Kiyomizu 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 there, you open a second inside glass door and enter into the house and face the dining / living room.
The LDK – Living Dinning Kitchen
From the “Genkan’, you reach the Dining Room. A large wood table will host the family for breakfast or dinner. You walk up into the Japanese style tatami mat living room where you’ll seat either on the low sofa or on cushion around a low table to share a drink, in front of Harry who’s standing still in the “Tokonoma” (Alcove). From there, you can enjoy the large flat screen HD TV placed on the wall of the kitchen.
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 selected to install “Floor Heating” around the ground floor, in the dining room, under the tatami mats in the living room, and in 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.
The living room is a traditional Japanese tatami mat room. We placed a low sofa to comfortably watch the wall mounted flat screen HD TV or have a drink around the coffee table made from an old Hibachi.
The fully equipped kitchen is small and functional. You’ll find everything necessary to prepare a coffee or a breakfast, or even cook a complete dinner. A sink, induction heating plate, 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 Area
The bathroom is located behind an old sliding wooden door on the right of the entrance. You first enter a spacious laundry room with a fully automatic All-In-One Washer / Dryer (something travelers will truly appreciate.)
The wooden bathroom is made of Japanese cypress wood. On one side, you have the shower and area to wash yourself, and on the other, the bathtub. The bathroom is an old style traditional wooden one, but the whole system is controlled by an modern electronic device — you simply press a button and the bathtub will automatically fill up with hot water. The voice of a charming Japanese lady will announce when the bath is ready.
After a long day of visiting temples and shrines, there is nothing more relaxing than a good Japanese hot bath. Trust us on this!
The toilet is located right next to the entrance. The Japanese “washlet” will probably surprise you. And yes, we do provide instructions in English about its usage.
The stairs have been completely redone to allow for an easy access to the upper floor. The original ones were so steep and so narrow, one had to struggle to go up. We have open the floor and the roof to create a light pit. The upper floor has been completely redesigned — we now have two independent rooms and a little working area with a desk — very convenient to jot down some notes, check out the web for the day visit planning, or take care of email.
From there, you have independent access to both bedrooms, the western style one with two single beds, and the Japanese tatami mat one (geisha style room with old wedding kimono) where we place two futons whenever necessary.
Working area and Western Bedroom
The little working area with desk and chair is located in front of a closet, by the side of the Western style bedroom. This bedroom is the main one in the house and the one used if there are only one or two guests. Like every room upstairs, it is equipped with a radiator to provide a comfortable warm environnement during the cold winter months. And like every room and space in the house, it has its own air conditioning unit for the hot Summer months.
The Japanese Bedroom
The Japanese tatami mat room is in the style of a Geisha room, using the red “Bengala” color. An old wedding kimono has been place in the Tokonoma (Alcove).
Guests sleeping in this room will have a chance to experience the traditional Japanese bed, the Futon, that is placed directly on the tatami mat. You’ll be surprised at how well one sleeps like this.
And like the other upper rooms, it is also equipped with a radiator for the cold winter months and an air conditioner for the hot Summer months.