If you’d like your “own” house or apartment while in Kyoto, there are plenty of good vacation rentals to choose from. These include machiya, which are traditional Kyoto houses updated with modern features. Here are our top picks, all personally inspected and ranked.
Amber House machiya rental exterior – image © Amber House
Old Kyoto is a company that specializes in restoring traditional Kyoto houses and turning them into sumptuous and atmospheric vacation rentals. With superb design sense, efficient staff and competitive rates, we consider these the best vacation rentals in all of Kyoto. Their properties include Amber House, Indigo House, Gion House and The Old Modern. These are all highly recommended.
Amber House interior
(View on Agoda.com or Booking.com)
Aoi Kyoto Stay is a collection of beautifully restored Kyoto machiya. While they retain their classic Kyoto interiors, Western comforts like beds, showers and floor heating have been added. These houses offer you the rare chance to experience traditional Japanese living without sacrificing your comfort. They are perfect for couples and families.
(View on Booking.com or Agoda.com)
Iior Machiya Stay is a group of 11 restored Kyoto machiya, all centrally located on quiet streets and lanes in downtown Kyoto. They range from cozy, intimate houses that are perfect for couples, to larger houses that can accommodate families or groups.
Other Great Places to Stay in Kyoto
Another way to try the Japanese way of living would be a night in one of Kyoto’s beautiful ryokan (traditional Japanese inns). See Kyoto Ryokan for all the details and our top picks.
If you’d like a more modern place to stay, consider one of Kyoto’s many excellent hotels. See Kyoto Hotels for all the details and our top picks.
Kyoto Hotel Guide
- Where To Stay In Kyoto
- The Best Places To Stay In Kyoto
- Best Kyoto Hotels For Sightseeing
- Kyoto Hotels Overview
- Best Luxury Hotels in Kyoto
- Best Mid Range Hotel in Kyoto
- Best Budget Hotels in Kyoto
- Best Kyoto Hotels For Families
- Best Boutique Hotels in Kyoto
- Best Value Hotels in Kyoto
- Kyoto Ryokan
- Kyoto Vacation Rentals
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, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass - here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- A prepaid Icoca card makes travelling around Kyoto easy - here's how.
- Get travel insurance for Japan - we recommend World Nomads (and here's why)