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Wendy Lee

Member since: 2008
Call Manager
Speaks english, french, mandarin

Iho-an (Cottage of Lingering Fragrance) Kyoto Machiya

19 Reviews
Bedrooms 1
Property type townhome
Minimum Stay 1 - 3 nights


Photos and Description of this Higashiyama holiday townhome

House, 1 Bedroom + Convertible bed, 1 Bath (Sleeps 2-3)

IHO-AN is a Traditional Kyoto Machiya (townhouse). IHO means Lingering Fragrance , AN means Cottage. The name came about from the lingering fragrance of incense that sometimes permeates the house from the adjacent temple. Iho-An is a traditional Kyoto Machiya located down a tiny quiet lane way in an enclave of 12 houses. It has been lovingly restored in the traditional style and furnished with antiques along with modern amenities like air-conditioning, western toilet and modern kitchen. It is fully equipped with a kettle, toaster, hairdryer, linen, towels, microwave, washing machine, dryer, everything you need to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable. There is a TV and DVDs and internet conection. Iho-An is NON-SMOKING. Iho –An has lots of maps and information on sights and things to do in Kyoto and we are more than happy to help guests plan their itineraries. Kyoto's famous gardens, temples, antique shops, restaurants and superb hiking all within a few minutes walk.

Nearby International Community House: The nearby International Community House (INCH) (9.00am-9.00pm) has internet, a huge TV with CNN, daily Japanese language classes and weekly calligraphy, ink painting, origami etc classes in English for ¥50 (fifty cents). It also has a large library with daily English edition Japanese newspapers as well as weekly American, English, Australian newspapers available. There is a coffee shop and a huge notice board as well as an information center. This whole area is flat and an easy walk and as with all Kyoto is quiet and perfectly safe. Iho An has lots of maps and information on sights and things to do in Kyoto and we are more than happy to help guests plan their itineraries.

As guests at Iho-An, you can benefit not only from the great setting of the house, but also from your hosts’ extensive knowledge and experience of tourism and travel in Japan – Avi and Wendy also own and run “Windows to Japan”, a specialist tour agency which opens authentic, soul stirring windows to Japan for independent travelers. From planning to operating and guiding tours in Japan to hosting guests at Iho-An, Avi and Wendy take great pleasure in introducing visitors to the real Japan and focusing on the individual requirements and wishes of all their guests.

More Details
  • non smoking only
  • not suitable for children
  • pets not allowed
  • not suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Wendy Lee (Property Manager)
Member since: 2008
Call Manager
Speaks english, french, mandarin


based on 19 traveller reviews

Iho-an (Cottage of Lingering Fragrance) Kyoto Machiya
average rating of 4.8421054 based on 19 reviews

Traditional awesomeness

  • 5 of 5

We rented the house for 5 nights to discover Kyoto. It was perfectly situated: in the center of Kyoto in a quiet but lovely neighborhood. It is very nice to have your own place (especially kitchen) to make some (continental) breakfast or to drink a cup of tea /coffee after a long day of site-seeing. As described, the house is built very small (tall people will bump their head/steep stairs) and you have to be quiet to not disturb the neighbors. Also, it is a lovely Japanese experience to take a bath in the Iho-an. I would certainly recommend this romantic small house for a couple!!

  • Review Submitted: Jun 7, 2016
  • Date of Stay: May 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Eugene, Oregon

Great location, but not for everyone....

  • 3 of 5

My husband and I stayed at Iho-An for a week in March 2015. It IS perfectly located.... close to an excellent supermarket (go out of the little alley where the residences are, turn right, then right again at the first street, the Aeon Market is just down the block on the left), close to the subway and bus lines. However, we walked literally everywhere. Even out to the Golden Pavilion was about a 90 minute walk, which we enjoyed. So really, the location is absolutely perfect to see everything you would like to see.

The staff are amazing. They came to help whenever we had problems (I had not received the door code, and thought someone would meet us there... we called at about 7pm standing in the rain and someone was there to let us in within 10 minutes).

However, we had some issues. This is a very old home, which DOES give it that ancient, cultural experience, but it comes at a price. It is very small. Every room is separated by a ceiling header. This was okay for me at 5'4", however my husband is 6'2" and he had to constantly duck as he moved from room to room, and when he forgot, he would hit his head. It made it uncomfortable for him to be in the home because he couldn't move very freely.

The sitting room upstairs is where the TV is, which was a bit inconvenient in the evenings, and there is no local programming. We had our iPads and were able to connect via HDMI and then to Dish Anywhere, so that worked for us, but if you are planning on local programming, it is not available.

The toilet is in one little room (with two headers that my husband had to dodge every time he used it), and the shower and sink are in an opposite room. The floor is stone and VERY cold. The tub/shower is interesting. It is a cast iron round tub, about 2.5 feet deep and about 3 feet across. The bottom is concave, so you can't really stand flat-footed it in. You have to kind of fold yourself into this little tub and hold the hand-held shower over your head, put it down to soap up or shampoo, then rinse again. It was a bit of a challenge (more for my husband than me because I fit into it better). Then of course the stone floor was very cold when you get out. We used the slippers when we could, but the floor tended to get quite wet and we didn't want to have wet slippers.

We are perhaps better suited to a more modern property. For those who really want the traditional experience (and aren't much taller than 5'6"), I'm sure this property would work very well.

  • Review Submitted: Mar 26, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Mar 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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5 0
Vancouver, B.C.

A Magical Time at Iho-an

  • 5 of 5

We stayed in this wonderful machiya in March, April, and May of 2013 and loved every minute of it. Walking through the entrance way from the street to the small alley where the house is located is like stepping back 100 years in time – absolutely magical! The location in Higashiyama couldn’t be better and is close to temples, museums, restaurants, supermarkets (two within a five-minute walk), and the subway and busses. The area is quiet with plenty of atmosphere and interesting discoveries are found around every corner – we counted 9 small temples on our daily walk to the supermarket. The apartment itself was perfect for the two of us with an excellent well-equipped kitchen, living and dining areas downstairs (with two sofa beds) and a bedroom (with a very comfortable bed) and another sitting room upstairs (via a very steep stairway – definitely not for toddlers or anyone with mobility issues). The machiya is the perfect blend of traditional and modern and has been very well maintained and was spotlessly clean when we arrived. The owner Wendy and her staff could not have been more helpful, courteous, and accommodating and no request seemed too difficult for them. I would not hesitate to recommend this machiya and we look forward to staying at Iho-an again when we return to Kyoto.

  • Review Submitted: Jun 15, 2013
  • Date of Stay: Feb 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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3 0
Alberta, Canada

Excellent location, character accomodation

  • 4 of 5

Iho-an is in an excellent location, very convenient to the train system, it was quite and comfortable and gave a feeling for what old Kyoto would have been like . Wendy and Naoko went out of their way to make our stay as pleasant as possible, we thank them for making the reservation at the Rikichi; we had a wonderful evening at an excellent restaurant.

The only catch is if you are a little tall watch out for your head the beams and doorways are low, this is not meant as a negative all of the old machiyas are the same.

  • Review Submitted: Jun 13, 2013
  • Date of Stay: May 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Glasshouse Mountains, Queensland, Australia

Iho-an - We highly recommend it!

  • 5 of 5

We loved our stay here. Here's why -

The machiya is in an excellent position for sight seeing in Kyoto. On a previous visit to Kyoto, we stayed in a hotel close to the main train station and found it complicated to get around. Iho-an, on the other hand, is in a great position for sight seeing - within easy walking distance of Gion, Pontocho, Higashiyama temples etc, fantastic. We also preferred it for a more "Japanese experience", rather than staying in a hotel. We caught a taxi to the property after arriving on the shinkansen and it was not expensive, around 1200 yen from memory. The streets are a grid design and, once we had our bearings, we found it really easy to walk around.

The machiya itself is gorgeous, carefully renovated so that it's comfortable and pleasing but hasn't lost its character. It also has the modern conveniences of a washing machine (with dryer function) and a great kitchen. The bed upstairs is very comfy and we were really cosy up there in the midst of winter! Even with the heating on however, the downstairs area was a little chilly (remember, midst of winter!) Having said that, the kids were cosy when tucked up in bed under the doonas. And, blissfully, the toilet seat is heated!

The area has the conveniences of a supermarket close by, taxis, buses and subway easily accessed, loads and loads of restaurants and (for the kids tired of eating unfamiliar food and adults looking for a nice latte!) MacDonalds is a block away.

For an affordable, comfortable, convenient, "full of character" place to stay, you can't go past Iho-an. Before I booked this accommodation, I read a review of Iho-an that said "Just do it". So I did and am so glad. We loved it. :-)

  • Review Submitted: Jan 24, 2013
  • Date of Stay: Dec 2012
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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3 0

Very well located machiya with all you need for a beautiful stay

  • 5 of 5

We found the house to be very clean and well maintained. It had all we need for our stay and if there was something extra that we requested, the owners provided from one day to the next. The location is very good in a quiet neighborhood. You can walk to Gion, Kawaramachi and all the Eastern temples, but there is also a good subway and bus connection. We had a beautiful stay in Kyoto.

  • Review Submitted: Dec 4, 2012
  • Date of Stay: Nov 2012
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
100 Kilometres
Nearest Barpub
200 Metres
Pig and Whistle
Nearest Train
200 Metres
Sanjyo Keihan subway
Nearest Restaurant
200 Metres
Many in number and variety to choose from
Car: not necessary

Kyoto, Japan, Asia (Iho - An is located in a lovely alley off Niomon Dori Kyoto) - Iho-An is located in the temple district of Kyoto adjacent to Kyoto’s Higashiyama tourist area. The area around the house has many interesting shops and is steeped in Kyoto history. The highlights of Kyoto; Heian Jinju, Kyoto Museum, Nanzenji, Kodaiji and Chion-in Temples, Maruyama Park, Philosophers Path and many more are an easy stroll from Iho-An. There are many interesting cafes, antique shops and specialty shops that make sweets, incense and bags from old kimonos. Fifteen minutes away are the Higashiyama mountains that have superb hiking. Also the upmarket restaurant area of Pontocho along the banks of the Kamagawa River is an easy stroll. This whole area is flat and an easy walk and as with all Kyoto is quiet and perfectly safe.

Other Activities: Seeing highlights of Japan's old capital, Shopping


Rates & Availability

Rental Rates for this holiday townhome in Higashiyama, Japan

Rental Basis:
per property
Manager accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Middle Season(Fall)
17 Aug 2016 - 31 Oct 2016
1 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add A$36 per night, per additional guest
High Season(Fall)
1 Nov 2016 - 19 Nov 2016
1 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add A$36 per night, per additional guest
Festival Season(Late Fall)
20 Nov 2016 - 5 Dec 2016
1 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add A$36 per night, per additional guest
Festival Season(*NewYears)
31 Dec 2016 - 3 Jan 2017
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add A$36 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
1 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add A$36 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning A$0

Regular season rate: 15,000JPY for 2 people


Middle season rate: 20,000JPY for 2 people


High season rate: 26,000JPY for 2 people


Festival season rate: 34,000JPY for 2 people


*every extra 1 person, add 3,000JPY per night
*Reservations under 3 nights require a 4,000JPY cleaning fee
*For Regular season only, every 7 nights get 1 night free
**Reservations over the New Year's(12.31-1/3) has a special rate, please ask us for further details.

Please also note that we accept 1 night reservations ONLY if the reservation falls within the next 2 months.

We ask for one night non-refundable deposit of one night's stay through credit card when the booking is confirmed. The rest of the balance payment can be paid by cash upon arrival(no additional fee) or by credit card (2% additional service fee) 3 weeks before arrival date.

Manager's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the manager or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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Accommodation and facilities for this holiday townhome rental in Higashiyama, Japan

Property Type:
  • townhome
Building Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Location Type:
  • City Centre
  • River
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • soap
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • local restaurant guide
  • Shampoo
  • Sofa Bed
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Stove
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Full 1 - toilet , bath (no shower) , shower enclosure
  • The cast iron bath is traditional Japanese and guests have said its great to fall asleep in after a days walking.
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 3
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 double bed
    Downstairs - 1 sofa bed/futon , 1 Single Sofa Bed
  • Upstairs in the bedroom the double bed can accommodate 2 people. Downstairs there is a single sofa bed .
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Television
  • Video Library
  • non smoking only
  • not suitable for children
  • pets not allowed
  • not suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • autumn foliage
  • botanical garden
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • library
  • live theatre
  • museums
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • theme parks
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • outlet shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • hiking
May not be Suitable for small Children. Iho-an has 2 stories, upstairs is a large bedroom with adjacent lounge room overlooking Kyoto’s beautiful old tile rooftops. Be aware that the steps are very steep. Downstairs is a dining room with adjacent lounge room with fold down sofa. Through the sliding doors is a fully equipped modern kitchen. Also down stairs is the modern toilet and traditional round cast iron Japanese bath set in stonework but with a modern hot water system. There is a large screen TV, DVD player and a selection of Japan related DVDs. There is WIFI Internet access available.