Fusion Of Typical Kyoto Wooden House (Machiya) And Modern Appliance & Equipment
- English, Portuguese, Japanese
About Shimpei Yamamoto
Running two machiya townhouses in Kyoto including this one for five years. Previously worked at PwC as management consultant as well as HR director for 12 years after studying business (MBA) at University of Michigan. Raised in Yamanashi (where Mt. Fuji sits) till high school and learned mechanical engineering at University of Tokyo. Worked as plant engineer for eight years before joining UM. Love travelling, talking with people, and trying different foods around the world. Lived in US (Ann Arbor and SF) for 3 years, Brazil for 3 months, Egypt for 2 months, China for 1 month. Big fan of tennis (for both watching and playing), especially Roger Federer! Used to travel by bike around Japan as well as enjoy windsurfing.
Shimpei Yamamoto purchased this House in 2014
Why Shimpei Yamamoto chose Kita Ward
It was only 8 years ago when I first got interested in and had some relation with Kyoto, after I stayed in the city on business for half a year. I started with renting a small unit of an apartment to visit the city monthly while visiting many "open house" to look for a renovated machiya wooden house (like this property) for my second house as well as "home" for travelers. After dozen's of visits, I found this house and almost immediately decided to purchase. At the time, it wasn't so sure if guests would like this house (especially because it is a bit far from the center and the nearest station) but I decided to own this house anyway and thought it would be nice even if I actually live here, as I was so inspired at the first glance. After five years from the purchase, I still don't get bored with this house and am always feel relaxed when I'm in this house even for a few minutes.
What makes this House unique
- Japanese mini garden (known as tsuboniwa 坪庭). Although the original was good, since it got a bit too rusty after five years, I invested about $1000 to make it a little nicer. After this investment, now I'm back in five years ago, meaning I don't feel like leaving the garden once I'm there. - The curvy wooden beams in the ceiling of the flooring bedrooms. So happy when I used to sleep in this room, looking up the natural beams. - Bamboo grooves in the dining area. Although only the trunks are real, the 14 bamboos make the entire ground floor so different by adding light green into the relatively monotonous, white and brown colored interior. - Living area consisting of North European furniture. To be honest, this is not my original idea at all but an interior coordinator's in the open house of this property. Since the set was so sensational to me, I bought the exact the same set right after the purchase of the property. - Island kitchen. Probably this is one of the most important elements that made me to buy this house.
100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date. 50% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
Awesome, perfect place for family of four. Owner had everything you needed including bikes. Owner made himself available at all time which was very helpful.
Thank you Menchie for selecting and staying at the house! It was my pleasure time to meet with you all at the check in. Hope you enjoyed the cherry blossoms and I look forward to your next visit to the city and the house (AND San Diego!) - Kyoto has different attractiveness in different seasons! Shimpei
The house is located in a calm and residential areas (with many old wooden houses) in the northwest of Kyoto and is close to 6 out of 17 World Heritage Sites in Kyoto: Kinkakuji (a.k.a. Golden Pavilion) [10 min by bicycle], Ryoanji temple [5 min by bus from Kinkaku-ji], Ninnaji temple [3 min by bus from Ryoanji temple], Kamigamo shrine [10 min by bicycle], Shimogamo shrine [15 min by bus], and Nijo-jo castle [16 min by bus]. Nearest station is subway Karasuma line Kitaoji and is 7 stations (12min ) from Kyoto station. The house can be reached by taxi from the subway station (700 yen, 3 min) or by walk (1km, 15 min) if without heavy luggage.
In addition to these designated sites, the house provides an easy access to Daitokuji temple (3 stars in Michelin guide and also known as the family temple of Sen-no-rikyu, the founder of tea ceremony), Kamo-gawa river (loved by tourists and local residents for its wide river beach good for walking and jogging and relaxing), and Kyoto Botanical Garden (very few tourists yet provides great sakura and colored leave views) as well as things such as the Kyoto's longest traditional shopping street with many mom and pops stores and many sento bath houses, a cafe transformed from bath house, and bath house transformed from ryokan!
Daily life around the house is also convenient with two supermarkets (3 min and 6 min), a drug store (2 min), a bakery (3 min), convenience stores (6 min), massage shop (3 min), and local restaurants and bars from Japanese to Western.
The house itself is located in the middle of a small unpaved path that only people and bikes can get in and that is owned by 14 houses including the property. People of the 14 houses are all friendly and welcome the tourists from outside.
The owner provides four free bikes (two 20 inch bikes, one of which has a child seat) and two 26 inch bikes), which will provide tourists a convenient and comfortable access to various spots above.
Taking the advantage of the house being relatively in the north within the city, other recommended popular spots for Kyoto repeaters include Kurama-dera temple and Kurama onsen (a 20 min taxi ride, 2000 yen) and Ohara Sanzen-in (a 30 min taxi ride, 3000 yen).
Although red light districts such as Gion and Kawaramachi can be more easily accessed by the accommodations in downtown, it may not too expensive to spent 20 min and 2000 yen by taxi if you have 3 or four people. What owner recommends if you like a place like Gion but with much fewer tourists is Kamishichiken, which is also one of the five red districts in Kyoto along with Gion, Ponto-cho, etc. but closer to the house (12 min by taxi and 20 min by bike).