The Old Modern is a superbly renovated early Showa residence that is divided into four wonderfully appointed and spacious suites, each with its own distinctive character.
The Old Modern Deco Suite living room
The Old Modern was designed by noted Japanese architect Kichitaro Kumakura to serve as his home and office. Built in 1928, during the early Showa Period when Japan was rapidly opening to the West, the house is a classic example of wayo-secchu, which blends Western and traditional Japanese elements. Great care has been taken to preserve the original style of the building, and the guest will note pleasing bits of art-deco and other European references throughout. But, the bones and basics of the house are beautifully Japanese, from the sliding shoji doors to the superb tsubo-niwa (interior garden) to the tatami mats on many of the floors.
The Old Modern exterior
The Old Modern is located a short distance south of Gojo-dori Street, in the Southern Higashiyama district. It’s within walking distance of Gion, Kiyomizu-dera Temple and downtown Kyoto. It’s also very close to Kiyomizu-Gojo Keihan Station, which will get you north and south in Kyoto, and, if you wish, get you all the way down to Osaka. There are several convenience stores, supermarkets and plenty of restaurants and cafes also within walking distance.
Each unit is fully equipped with wifi, iphone, washer/dryer, fridge, microwave, and electric kettle. The luxurious bathrooms feature deep bathtubs and powerful rain shower heads. All told, The Old Modern is closer to a vacation rental than a hotel or ryokan. You also get access to the superb services offered by Old Kyoto, which operates The Old Modern. You could set up here for a week and really enjoy the feeling of living in Kyoto.
Here’s a quick summary of the four different units:
The Old Modern: Deco Suite
At the front of the second floor, the Deco Suite is a marvel of art-deco design married to Japanese traditional building techniques and materials. Fans of great architecture and design will find this suite a true inspiration. It can sleep up to four people, two in a Western-style bed in the front room and two in a Japanese futon in a second bedroom.
Old Modern Deco Suite bedroom
The Old Modern: Star Suite
On the rear of the second floor, the Star Suite is a spacious and relaxing space with a strong Japanese flavor. It has views down to the back garden and gets nice light. It’s suitable for four adults or a couple with one or two children.
The Old Modern: Garden Suite
Occupying the rear of the first floor, this Garden Suite overlooks a lovely private garden. It’s great for families or couples and can sleep four people, two in a queen-size bed and two in a double sofa bed.
The Old Modern: Circle Suite
Located at the front of the first floor, the Circle Suite is a compact world of art-deco delights. It can sleep one or two people in a comfortable queen-size bed.
332 Shimoatarashi machi, Higashiyama-ku
Nearest bus stop:
five-minute walk from Gojo Yamato-oji bus stop
from ¥26,000 per night
free wifi and iphone
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)