Machiya Momiji has a certified history stretching back to the late 1800s and underwent a complete renovation in 2013 by local craftsmen. Officially recognized by Kyoto local government as an authentic Kyoto machiya, this property offers visitors to the city a unique opportunity to enjoy a combination of Japanese design and modern convenience during their stay.
The house itself is situated on two floors and access is gained through a stunning ‘genkan’ or entrance hall that has a wealth of historical features including flagstones and a traditional cabinet. This leads into the kitchen and dining area which features a full kitchen (twin electric hob, sink, fridge-freezer, dining service and cooking utensils), wooden dining table and chairs for 4, recessed washing machine and sofa.
Immediately beyond this is the ‘washitsu’/ tatami room which features a ‘horigotatsu’/sunken seating area, sliding paper screens and a view of the ‘tsuboniwa’/courtyard garden. This was designed and laid out by a local expert from a local family of gardeners. The garden features a Japanese maple tree, moss and a striking stone water feature – perfect to contemplate over a cup of tea after a busy day visiting Kyoto’s attractions such as the nearby Kennin-ji Zen temple! The downstairs WC and luxurious bathroom, which itself has a private view of the garden, completes the first floor.
On the second floor, both western and Japanese bedrooms are connected by a mezzanine floor that overlooks the dining area. The western bedroom has twin beds (that can be pushed together), closet and en-suite WC while the Japanese room provides flexible futon sleeping arrangements. The intricate roof beams, which are an important aspect of machiyas, have been exposed on the second floor giving a sense of space and light throughout.
Machiya Momiji is located right on the doorstep of some of Kyoto’s key attractions including the UNESCO World Heritage designated Kiyomizu-dera, the Gion entertainment district renowned for ‘Geisha’ and Kabuki and the Kamogawa river, famous for summer dining platforms. With a huge range of restaurants, bars, supermarkets, traditional craft shops and excellent transport links to the rest of the city and beyond (including direct trains to Nara and Osaka), Momiji is superbly located.
Yet Momiji also offers an opportunity for clam, rest and relaxation as it is located in a quiet neighborhood just off the bustling streets. In summary, this Machiya will not disappoint the discerning visitor to the beautiful and enchanting cultural capital of Japan.