Miyagawacho Samurai Machiya


“Miyagawacho Samurai Machiya” is a two-level traditional “Kyoto Machiya” townhouse built toward the end of the nineteen century. It has been fully renovated and features luxurious modern facilities and comfort while preserving the original design and feel.

Located in Miyagawa-Cho, next to the famous and historical Gion, our guests are within two of Kyoto’s famous “Hanamachi” (Geisha Districts). They will enjoy the traditional lifestyle of the people of Kyoto in complete modern luxury.

The front of the house

Our concept remains “Old Traditional Machiya feel — yes, but with Modern Comfort”.  Indeed, in Japan, old traditional townhouses (Machiya) are not very comfortable by today’s standard, and this is one of the reasons most young Japanese people prefer to live in a modern apartment. Yes, old Japanese houses are actually very cold in winter and quite hot during the summer. The space of these old houses is often divided into smaller rooms and passages that are quite dark. We have open both the space and the volume of the house.

It now features one large living space englobing the dining room and the living room, together with a new fully equipped open kitchen located on the side. We find this design more comfortable and more in line with today lifestyle.   

This large house (over 165 m2 / 1,800 sq ft) has been entirely renovated and has recently opened to the public. Its perfect location in the Higashiyama area will enable you to walk in only a few minutes to Gion, the Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, and its surrounding preserved pedestrian streets, the best nightspots Kyoto has to offer, Pontocho or Kiyamachi, or the downtown commercial district or Nishiki food market. With the Kiyomizu-Gojo train station a couple of minutes away and the Kawaramachi-Gojo bus stop about 500 m away, it will be easy to move around the city. Kyoto Station is a short taxi ride away, and numerous public transportation options are nearby. There are also plenty of places for shopping and eating around.


The house features two separate buildings, the old original machiya that has been entirely renovated, and another newly built one located behind a Japanese garden. A couple of steps only separates the two buildings.

The walls, the floor, and the ceiling have been fully insulated, and for optimal comfort in winter, we installed floor heating or western style radiators around the whole house. Of course, all the rooms have air conditioning. The lighting has been entirely renewed for a better general atmosphere. The whole place has been decorated with various old traditional Japanese art-crafts and old antiques.

The new LDK, Living Dining Kitchen
Japanese living space downstairs - Jim's room
Western bedroom (upstairs)

You enter the main building into a large open LDK area (Living Dining Kitchen) with a long wooden table with seating for ten in front of a large Japanese tatami mat living room and a Japanese garden in the background. A fully equipped modern kitchen is on the right side of this area, under a large “Hibukuro” (open upper space) area with exposed wooden beams and traditional Kyoto woodwork. A western bedroom with a double bed is on the side of the entrance.

Going upstairs, you’ll find another large LDK with high ceiling separating two bedrooms, a western one and a Japanese tatami mat one.

In the new building, located behind the “Tsuboniwa” or courtyard garden, there is another western bedroom, a large bathroom with a bathtub and a shower, as well as a toilet, a laundry room, and some storage space.

The entrance, with a Nô mask in the illuminated niche

Everything has been designed to be pleasant and convenient for larger groups (equipped and spacious enough for up to 15 people, although we recommend limiting the number of guests to a max of twelve adults).

As our guests, you have unlimited access to superfast (optical fiber) internet access via Wi-Fi throughout the house. And you’ll be able to enjoy unlimited movies with Netflix, and news in various languages from BFMTV, NHK, CNN, Reuters or FoxNews with the large (50 in) flat panel HDTV (one on each floor).

For more information, a floor plan and a detailed description of the house and the rooms, click HERE.
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