Monday, April 28, 2014

Kyoto: Our Machiya

**For more detailed information about our accommodations, scroll to the bottom of this post. 

If you are traveling to Kyoto, consider a rental home for your accommodations. In our experience, hotels in Japan have not been very family-friendly.... Rooms typically have two large twin beds instead of two doubles, the rooms are generally smaller, and the room charge may increase if there will be more than 2 adults in the room. We were going to be traveling to Kyoto with 4 adults and 2 children, during a peak travel time (cherry blossom season in April), so every hotel room I looked at was even more expensive than normal. Many hotels were already booked up as well! So I turned to vacation rental sites like AirBNB and VBRO in hopes of finding accommodations for our group. 

Luckily for us, we found a GREAT machiya (traditional town home) in the heart of Kyoto, just a few blocks from Kyoto station. The machiya was managed by a guest house company, with a guest house just a couple streets away. There was a 24-hour grocery just a 5-minute walk away, and a 7-11 around the corner. We had easy access to both Kyoto station, and Gojo-station and had no problem getting around the city with the machiya as our home base. 

Staying in the machiya was a great choice for our family because we were able to put our girls to bed in the evenings, while still having plenty of space to unwind and visit with our friends. It was also night to have a small kitchen so that breakfast and dinner could be eaten at home when we were too tired to go out. The only downside to the machiya was that it was connected to another house behind us, and houses on all sides... and the walls are very thin. We had to remind our girls to be quiet and they weren't able to run around the house like they usually do at their own home. However, the sound of neighbors never bothered us, and since we weren't kicked out, I assume we didn't bother them either! :) 

If you'd like more information on this machiya, and the guest house company, please scroll down to the bottom of this post.

Our street.
The front entryway of our machiya.
Our front door.
Living/dining room.

Stairs leading to the second level. 
Two upstairs bedrooms.
Two twin beds or one king (western style, but hard!).
Tatami mat bedroom for futons.
Loft-area accessed by ladder. There is space for additional futons up there.
The girls enjoying the cypress bathtub.

If you are interested in staying at this machiya, or browsing other properties, contact:

Nagomi Ryokan Yuu

Our machiya was called "Zeniya-An" and with 4 adults and 2 children (paying a child's fee of 1,000yen/night and sharing bedding), our cost was just shy of $400/night USD. Most hotels we looked at were between $150-$200, so we felt like this was a great deal considering we had so much more space than two hotel rooms.

We had free wifi (excellent speed!) and two bikes available should we want to use them. Our machiya was very clean and had all the expected amenities. The traditional bathroom was also a nice touch, with a deep cypress bathtub (you can tell our girls enjoyed it). The staff was great, and we had nothing bad to say about our machiya or the company. However, be aware that cash is required for payment.

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