January 2024: Please note Iori Machiya Stay has now permanently closed. Please see our Kyoto Machiya page for other places to stay.
For a true Kyoto experience, nothing beats a stay in a real Kyoto machiya (traditional Kyoto townhouse). Iori offers 11 superb machiya rentals in central Kyoto.
Iori Machiya Stay in Downtown Kyoto – image © Chris Rowthorn
With 11 beautifully restored Kyoto machiya, Iori Machiya Stay offers you the chance to live like a real Kyotoite, but with all the comforts of the modern age. Each machiya has been beautifully restored and fitted with a host of modern features to make them comfortable and convenient for foreign visitors – things like floor heating, reading lights, a small kitchen, wifi, showers (in addition to wooden bathtubs), washing machines etc. Of course, you can try sleeping on futons on the tatami mats, but if you prefer, you can also sleep on Western-style raised beds.
Several of the properties are located directly alongside the Kamo-gawa River and you can sit on your private veranda and admire the views over the river and on up to the Southern Higashiyama Mountains. It’s an experience even most long-term Kyotoities can only dream about.
The best part is that Iori offers their own concierge service. They’ll personally check you into your ryokan and explain all the features. And, then, they’ll help you enjoy some of Kyoto’s finest cuisine. If you want to eat in, they can order superbly catered kaiseki (and other) cuisine to be delivered right to your house. Or, they can make reservations at some of Kyoto’s most elite restaurants. And, of course, they can answer all kinds of questions about the city.
You might think that this costs a fortune, but Iori machiya are often cheaper than the top-end hotels in town. And, they’re usually cheaper than the top ryokan.
This is a great option for families and small groups!
See our Kyoto machiya page for more machiya suggestions.
144-6 Sujiya-cho, Tominokoji-dori-Takatsuji-agaru, Shimogyo-ku
Price: moderate to expensive, depending on house and season
Internet: free wifi access
Non-smoking rooms: Yes
10min walk from Kawaramachi Station, Hankyu line
Website: Official Website (English)
Where Is This Place Located?See these places on our Kyoto Google map:
- Open the Kyoto map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, you might save money with Japan Rail Pass – see if it's worth it for you
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Kyoto easy – here's how
- World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world