The Gion House (Lower Level)
Kyoto, Kyôto [Kyoto], Japan
The Gion House Lower Level is the entire ground floor, which has it's own entrance, and is completely independent from the Gion House Upper Level.
This unit has a large, traditional "genkan" with stone step, which is typical of Japanese machiya. After removing your shoes, you step up, into a warm and cozy environment, with many architectural features that are particular to a traditional Japanese house. Whenever possible, natural materials are used...wood, paper, tatami, glass, and steel. One can see that modern elements have been integrated with the old ones...there is radiant heating under the floors, to keep the place warmer in the Winter than your typical heating system. There is a fully equipped kitchen with high quality utensils and ceramic dishware made in Kyoto.
There are two bedrooms. One is Japanese style, with a double futon on the tatami mat floors and ceilings of washi (traditional Japanese paper.) The other bedroom has wood flooring, with a very solid and comfortable double bed. Both bedrooms have ample closet space.
The living area is adjacent to its own interior garden, which is private. There is a sofa, and there is also a dining table placed over a traditional Japanese "horikatsu," an open space in the floor, which allows for comfortable seating.
Throughout are antique lighting fixtures and sliding doors, in addition to antique tansu chests and intricately handcrafted woodwork, which is also antique.
The exceptional design feature of this unit is the high-end, custom-built bath and shower area, which is made of stone. The oversized bath tub large enough for three persons. There is a private view of the interior garden from the bath tub.
According to neighborhood sources, before it was converted into a residence, The Gion House was an "ochaya," or a traditional establishment where the patrons of Gion have been entertained by geiko and geisha in a very exclusive setting. The house is over 100 years old.
The location is superb in terms of being central and being steeped in atmosphere. This property is actually located within the very heart of what is considered to be "Gion." The location is completely quiet, since it is tucked on a side street with almost no through car traffic. There are numerous temples, restaurants, and shops located nearby, with walking access to major tourist sights such as Kiyomizu Temple, Chion-in, and Maruyama Park. The downtown shopping district and Kamo River are also just a ten minute walk away. Nearby is easy access to public transportation and taxis.
The Gion House is just five minutes' walk from Hanamikoji Street, one of the most traditional and preserved sections of Kyoto, where you can find old "machiya" style wooden houses in abundance. You can also find geishas scurrying down the alleyways on their way to work in the evenings. Our property borders the expansive grounds of the Kenninji Temple, Kyoto's oldest Zen temple.
Our properties Amber House Gion and Indigo House Gion, as well as our office, are all within 50 meters distance. Our English-speaking staff is nearby to help with any needs you may have during your stay.
The house was been the subject of attention by international media. It was shown on American TV channel HGTV's series 'You Live in What?,' as well as on CNN International's 'On The Road.' The house has been shown in FT (Financial Times), three architecture/interior-related magazines, and on several TV programs in Japan. The Gion House was selected by Lonely Planet Japan's author Chris Rowthorn as the 'Best Vacation Rental in Kyoto.'
You'll enjoy the luxury and ambiance of the Gion House, and the location can't be beat for a memorable Kyoto experience in the very special part of town called Gion.
Rates and Availability
High Season: 04/21/2018 - 05/31/2018
Weeknight: ¥38000 / night
Weekend Night: ¥38000 / night
Mid Season: 06/01/2018 - 09/30/2018
Weeknight: ¥36000 / night
Weekend Night: ¥36000 / night
High Season: 10/01/2018 - 11/10/2018
Weeknight: ¥38000 / night
Weekend Night: ¥38000 / night
Peak Season: 11/11/2018 - 11/30/2018
Weeknight: ¥40000 / night
Weekend Night: ¥40000 / night
Mid Season: 12/01/2018 - 12/24/2018
Weeknight: ¥36000 / night
Weekend Night: ¥36000 / night
High Season: 12/25/2018 - 01/05/2019
Weeknight: ¥38000 / night
Weekend Night: ¥38000 / night
Low Season: 01/06/2019 - 02/28/2019
Weeknight: ¥34000 / night
Weekend Night: ¥34000 / night
Mid Season: 03/01/2019 - 03/20/2019
Weeknight: ¥36000 / night
Weekend Night: ¥36000 / night
Peak Season: 03/21/2019 - 04/20/2019
Weeknight: ¥40000 / night
Weekend Night: ¥40000 / night
High Season: 04/21/2019 - 05/31/2019
Weeknight: ¥38000 / night
Weekend Night: ¥38000 / night
Mid Season: 06/01/2019 - 09/30/2019
Weeknight: ¥36000 / night
Weekend Night: ¥36000 / night
High Season: 10/01/2019 - 11/10/2019
Weeknight: ¥38000 / night
Weekend Night: ¥38000 / night
Peak Season: 11/11/2019 - 11/30/2019
Weeknight: ¥40000 / night
Weekend Night: ¥40000 / night
Specific Rate Details:
Minimum stay is 5 nights.
Please note that rate depends on the season.
Rates shown are for two persons.
3rd/4th persons can stay for additional ¥3,000 per night per person.
Kyoto accommodation tax ¥200 per person per night applies to reservations starting October 1st, 2018.
Consumption tax is included.
Payment by Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Paypal, or international wire transfer.
Great place in the centre of Kyoto
Gion house was the perfect place in Kyoto. Located right in the centre with lots of restaurants in the traditional part of town, it has all the amenities a European traveller needs while offering the traditional touch of an old Japanese house. We loved it and can highly recommend it.The organization went smoothly and support was great. People in the office were very helpful when we needed support as one family member wasn't feeling well. This is probably one of the cosiest places that really makes you feel at home.Thank you so much!
Enjoyed our stay
We very much enjoyed our stay in Kyoto. The Gion house is ideally located at the center of the old Gion with so much to see around. The apartment is very well equipped and designed. It is very quiet although only steps away from the busy streets. We would definitely love to come back.
You can't beat the location of the Gion house - turn one corner you are at Kenninji Temple, and with 5 minutes walk, you are at the heart of the Gion district. It is close to tons of restaurants, subway station, markets, convenient stores and a lot of the important sites in Kyoto. The house itself was beautifully renovated with anything, everything you may need. I was surprised at how spacious the place was. It is kept super clean and tidy. You will not regret staying here.
We absolutely loved staying in the Lower Gion House! We are a family of 4 - 2 adults and 2 children and the size was just right. It a very tastefully remodeled "machiya" in the heart of Gion, we loved staying in a more authentic Japanese home. The wood-work in this home was stunning and the modern accents perfect. We made full use of the kitchen, laundry and tub/shower. The location is excellent, nestled in the heart of Gion but on a quiet street and well-located for either walking or public transportation. Booking the unit was very easy, both Curtis and Junko are very responsive and accommodating. Junko was also very helpful during our stay, she met us when we arrived to give us a tour of the apartment and assisted us booking dinner reservations and an airport shuttle. We would absolutely stay here again!
It was perfect
It was perfect. Better than the photos. Loved the area. Gion was my favorite part of town in Kyoto. Perfect configuration for families. Lovely details like the floors being warmed on timers so in the morning and evening when you got into the soaking tub. We didn't cook at all but the kitchen was equipped enough to make a meal if you wanted.
We are a family of four and loved our stay at the lower level of Gion House. It is beautifully appointed, designed and was beautiful. It was also the perfect amount of room for us. We usually had breakfast at home and with all the lovely shops and restaurants being so close by, ate out most other times. We found the street to be very quiet which made it easy to sleep. We could hear the guests upstairs for some of our stay but we all seemed to have the same routine so it wasnt an issue. It was wonderful to meet Curtis and talk about the renovation of the property. Maeko was also incredibly helpful. We will definitely stay there again the next time we are lucky enough to visit Kyoto.
Great accommodation in perfect location
Traditional Japanese accomodation in a great location. All facilities were adequate. We are a family of 4; the bedding was fine for mum and dad, essentially a western style bed. The bedding for the kids was a little more traditional, therefore harder to sleep on - part of the experience I suppose :). The rest was just perfect for us. We would definitely return.
Beautiful, comfortable and great location
We didn't want to leave. Gion House was beautiful, comfortable and quiet. The kitchen and dining table were perfect for cooking a few dinners at home, and the location was great for local attractions and exploring further afield. The place was clean and in great condition, the heating was very effective, and the bed was comfortable. We highly recommend it, and would not hesitate to come back (or try one of the other properties which are just around the corner).
The Gion House (Lower Level) was a great location near the main shopping streets of Hanamikoji Dori and Shijo Dori. Very walkable area! Even Gion-Shijo station, Kawarmachi station and Nishiki Market was walkable with 2 little kids (ages 5 and 7). The house binder was full of very helpful and the unit had everything you need -- including a kitchen stocked with rice cooker, pots/pans and utensils. Both Junko and Curtis were very responsive and great hosts! Thoroughly enjoyed our 5-night stay and highly recommend!
Great location, beautiful house
Thanks to the whole team for a great stay in Kyoto. The Gion House was beautifully appointed. After years of travelling for work we now look for something with more boutique character when we travel for our holidays. This was perfect! special mention of the great local guide folder in the house. Great restaurant recommendations.
Great facilities and location. Curtis and his staff were very responsive prior and during our stay. Highly recommended!
This was our first time in Kyoto and Japan; The lovely Gion House (Lower Level) became our home for 6 nights. We were sad to leave as had it truly became our home and oasis to come back to after busy days sightseeing. The house is located in a good area with many things available by walking; 3 minutes to the bus stop, 7 minutes to the train station, 10-15 minutes to the Nishiki Market area, 5-7 minutes to a small supermarket and just a few minutes to the quaint alleyways and streets of Gion. Curtis and his staff are very responsive and available, with many questions answered the same day or if not, by the next day. We were given very clear instructions how to arrive and for check-in that were easy to follow even for us non-Japanese speaking first timers. Junko was always available by phone or email if we needed anything and helped send our luggage onward to Osaka as well. Overall the suite was decorated well, extremely clean and much of what you might need thoughtfully provided, plus fresh flowers that included ?cherry blossoms. Wifi worked great. The kitchen was set up well with even spices, cooking oil and salt and pepper. The only thing I didn't find was soy sauce, but you could easily get some small packets when buying sushi or prepared foods at supermarkets. There was no toaster, but apparently the microwave toasts? With all the pastries and breads available to purchase in Kyoto we did not miss toast at all. The bathroom sink area was compact (ie for one person) but the shower and tub area were large. Water pressure was great and the tub was wonderful to soak in, especially after hiking, with a convenient window right by in case it go too warm! If you are a bathroom person, this place is for you. We found the western bed comfy but a bit smaller than a conventional queen-sized bed. The washer/dryer worked very well; very small frequent loads worked better. The street outside can get noisy with traffic and with tourists by about 8 or 9 am but by around 8 pm it became very quiet. We also found our "neighbours" nice and friendly. Overall we loved the Gion House (Lower Level ) and would return. The suite is made to sleep 4 people; I would recommend it for two adults only or two adults and maybe 2 small children if you like your privacy, as it is cozy by western standards.
I was recommended to Lower Gion House by a wonderful friend. Traveling by myself without a wisp of Japaese language skills was challenging but Saki at Gion helped me negotiate reservations at restaurants and more. The exterior is beautiful old Kyoto style while the interior was modern, with full kitchen, luxurious stone soaking tub, clean as a whistle and fully connected. Perfectly located with a bouquet of seasonal flowers awaiting me.
I stayed at the Gion house with my husband and another couple. We had a lovely time in the house. Everything was exactly as described, clean, modern, and centrally located. You don't need a car to get around and explore old Kyoto/Gion if you stay here. Junko was extremely helpful in securing restaurant reservations for us. I would not hesitate to come back and stay the the Gion house if I find myself back in Kyoto, what a treat it was to have stayed here. Thank you Curtis and his wonderful staff/team!
11 nights perfect stay. Thanks to Junko for the taxi arrangement from Kansai airport and luggage delivery from Kyoto to Osaka hotel. It was so nice to be able to check in with provided instructions. Thank you for your warm welcome, Saki. We appreciate the paper crane, map and detailed info. First night woke up by people walking outside and no problem after switching the pillow position next night. It was a perfect stay for us with kitchen and washing machine(+dryer). The regular dining table and chairs were a great help for us seniors. Enjoyed sitting in the tatami low table for snacks! We were able to enjoy dinner at the house every night. The kitchen setup was so complete. The food choices from Takashimaya department store's food hall were delightful and Nishiki market was fun to visit - fresh soybean skin, blow fish sashimi and hotpot, unagi, variety of prepared food, chestnuts, Daiyasu oysters, green grapes, melon....Love to stay at the Gion house again! Curtis, our stay at your lovely place made our trip memorable and wants to go back and stay longer!
Great machiya in great Gion location
We love Japan and Kyoto in particular, but this was the first time staying in a machiya. The experience was great and The Gion House was wonderful. It was perfect for our family of 3, was superbly decorated and furnished, and is located close to Gion shopping, temple visiting, the subway and bus systems, etc. Curtis' folder for guests was very useful. Thanks for the stay and looking forward to next time. PS Jo Jo Restaurant was a wonderful experience!
We had the perfect stay in Gion house. The location is perfect right in the heart of the Gion district which made it the ideal base from which to explore Gion. The house itself is exactly what we were looking for - the luxury bed linen and fantastic bathroom were personal highlights! Also fantastic were the help we got before and during our stay - Curtis, Junko and Suki were super helpful in organising restaurants and transport and it was great to pop into their office upon arrival for help with our itinerary!! Their perfect English was another bonus! Definitely stay here if you're coming to Kyoto - we will be back! Thanks again.
Fantastic house, amazing location
The quality of the house was fantastic. Everything you need is there and it really is beautifully presented. The welcome is very friendly and informative with nothing too much trouble. Gion is an amazing place to be based in Kyoto and you can walk to most places.
The Gion house is a jewel family house in the heart of Gion neighborhood. In a little calm street, just two minutes away from KenninjiTemple. You will find the peaceful sounds of the zen preying in the little Japanese garden. The interior combines the traditional Japanese decoration and the modern kitchen and bathroom. Wanderful!!! Very nice welcoming with fresh flowers and origami. The owner and all the team are so nice and ready to help. I definitely recommend a stay in the house!!!! Thank you again for everything!!! ❤️❤️❤️
Our family of three (2 adults, 1 seven year old boy) stayed at Gion House for 6 nights and Indigo House for 5 nights in September 2016 (our friends stayed above in the Upper level). Staying at Gion House was a dream come true for me. Having lived in Osaka as a student and visited Japan several times over the years, I have always loved Kyoto and the Gion area. To stay in a machiya just around the corner from Hanamikoji (but in a very quiet street) was amazing. Gion House had everything we needed for our family. The bath and shower are fantastic and the kitchen has everything you need plus some supplies which came in handy. Overall, the house is very comfortable, welcoming and cosy. Another factor that we loved was the fresh flowers that Saki arranged for us at the start of our stay. The assistance and communication we received from Curtis and Junko was excellent and could not be faulted. When we moved to Indigo House after six nights, Junko and Saki moved our luggage for us (Indigo is just around the corner from Gion House) and when we arrived at Indigo House later that day after sightseeing they had hung a Happy Birthday banner for my husband and left a card. Such a nice thing to do, and my husband loved it. Junko then helped to arrange dinner at Hiro (a beef kaiseki restaurant close by) which we greatly appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed. Hiro was one of a number of restaurants that Curtis and his staff have compiled for the local area. All restaurants that we visited from the list (Sagan cafe, Rigoletto, Cafe Zero, Omen plus more) were great. Mind you, there are plenty of other options to choose from, especially on Higashioji-dori - lack of choice is not a problem! It is such a central and convenient location for restaurants and sightseeing. Can't wait to visit again. My parents stayed in the the Gion Apartments and loved that too. Thanks again Curtis, Junko and Saki. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu! Mata ne!
great stay !!!
great stay in the magic atmosphere of Kyoto. the house is very comfortable and it's a perfect location for those who want to visit the city. it seems to be in a movie set
A special Kyoto oasis
We were lucky enough to stumble across this gem of a property from a online travel blog on travelling with kids in Kyoto. My family and I were looking for a traditional Japanese experience with the 5 star comforts and privacy of a house. On arrival this was exactly what we received. Amazing location in the heart of Gion with restaurants close by. Curtis was extremely helpful during the booking process and his Kyoto team were very welcoming and supportive during our stay. A magical experience, and perfect for small families. The large stone bath is a tranquil experience not to be missed. Wishing we were back there now.
Yes the Location is ideal for visiting Kyoto being close to trains and buses, shops, cafes and Temples/gardens. The house is very comfortable with a superb bathroom. It is well designed with ample room. Great wi fi connection that was important to us. Saki and Junko were so friendly and helpful and nothing was too much trouble. Would recommend the Ocafe next door, both the rissoto and curry are delicious and the owner Hisashi is very friendly. Treat yourself and book yourself into this fabulous Gion House.
After an extensive on-line search, we are thrilled that the Gion House lower level turned out to be the perfect Kyoto retreat for our family. The location, modern home and excellent staff combined to be just the right place for our stay in this fascinating city. We were very happy that we stayed in this home, and we would recommend it to anyone traveling to Kyoto.
My husband and I stayed in the Gion House Lower Level for 7 nights. My Japanese parents joined us for the last three nights. The house has enough space for everyone to relax. The House was nicely remodeled, maximizing the space, with high-tech appliance. The shower room was my favorite. We cooked breakfast every morning as the kitchen area had everything we needed. The main reason we chose the Gion House is the LOCATION. We go to Kyoto almost every year, and we like to stay in Gion areas where you find many great restaurants/bars and shopping. The House is located right off Hanami-koji street which has famous traditional tea house “Ichiriki” and Gion Kaburenjo (a theater for Geisha and Maiko). The main street, Shijo, is only a few minutes away. The Gion House office is located just three houses away where you can always ask for help. I highly recommend the Gion House!
We had a delightful stay in Gion house. Such a beautiful traditional apartment yet with all mod cons gorgeous bathroom fully equipped kitchen. We were made so welcome with fresh flowers and personal service of booking theatre tickets and restaurants. Perfectly located in Gion district and not far from main sights. Peaceful spotlessly clean too. Thank you so much we will be back !
We loved our stay here. Very comfortable accommodation. So well and stylishly modernised but retaining the traditional features. The one we liked the best was having the traditional sunken table - makes sitting on the ground great for ageing knees. Kitchen beautifully equipped. Came right home and ordered the same rice cooker! And of course the location is so convenient for walking everywhere.
We have been to Japan a few times. But stay in a place like Gion House brings the experience up to another level. We stayed in the hart of Kyoto ant yet is was a quite place that one can rewind after a busy day visiting all the sights. Gion House is a lovely place to have, very roomy for 4 to 5 people, The kitchen is well equipped. One can make a full meal out of it but that means if one still have the energy to cook after a day of touring all the wonderful sites. The bathroom is also tastefully done. Dipping in the hot bath will help to rewind after a long day out. We would this place to everyone. We shall return the next time Kyoto is calling.
We stayed in the Lower Level house for a week. The location is absolutely perfect. The home itself is clean, modern and well-equipped. It's close to everything – you can walk to many temples/shrines, major shopping centers and restaurants are close by and the overall atmosphere of the area is very charming. Make sure you venture out at night – it's wonderful. We had a fantastic time in Kyoto and can recommend this place without hesitation.
My family stayed at Lower Level for five nights. It was incredible and the staff was very attentive. We arrived early and they allowed us to store our luggages at the house before the check-in time. The unit is spacious, has a well equipped kitchen, and is convenient to many attractions such as temple, tea house and restaurant! We will definitely come back and stay at your place again! Thank you again for everything!
My husband and I stayed here with our adult daughter for a week, and it was the perfect situation for us. The house is very comfortable, with a well-stocked kitchen. There is a grocery store a few blocks away, so we chose to make our own breakfast every day. The house is located right in the center of Gion, so we could walk everywhere. It was a lovely place to rest after long days of sight-seeing. The luxurious bathroom was an unexpected delight. The house surpassed our expectations in every way. I thoroughly recommend it!
My sister and I spent 5 nights on the lower level of this lovely home and I must say we were both incredibly sad to have to leave it. This was our first trip to Japan so we wanted to make the most of our time here by immersing ourselves into the Japanese culture as much as possible. Staying here really allowed us to do that. While the house has been fitted with a few modern features it still maintains a lot of its old original features unique to a Machiya which we absolutely loved. Despite being a lot smaller than what we're used to back home we felt so warm, cozy and well at home from day 1. The house is in a great location with so many choices for food places literally around the corner as well as beautiful temples literally at your doorstep. Probably my favourite thing about this house was the bathroom - AMAZING! If you stay here you definitely have to try the tub with a glass of wine, it is an incredibly peaceful and calming experience. I also have to commend Curtis and Junko who were both so amazingly helpful. My sister and I were actually lucky enough to meet Curtis who truly welcomed us into his home, and it was nice to know that there was someone there who could help us if we needed to. Because we were travelling back to Tokyo after our stay we had our luggage forwarded in advance which I would highly recommend if you plan on travelling on the train as it can get pretty tricky trying to make your way around with large suitcases. Junko was just so great and organised this for us so that we only had to worry about making the payment when the pick up service arrived. Overall it was an incredible stay in a very wonderful home in what truly is prime location. I would definitely re-visit this house in the future and recommend to anyone looking for an authentic stay in Kyoto. Thank you Curtis and Junko for your amazing service and for allowing us to stay in your beautiful home.
We arrived late at night after our flight was delayed and the shuttle service closed, we had to take a taxi so finding the address was a challenge. The instructions emailed by Junco made access easy and we settled in quickly. Our first time in Japan and Gion House, lower level was a perfect introduction to a new way of living with the modern and traditional married in luxurious comfort. The kitchen very well equipped for our breakfast needs, we ate out the rest of the time as there was so much to do in Kyoto and the Gion area. We highly recommend this accommodation: quiet, comfortable and delightful. Two couples fitted snugly.
In April 2015 our family of 3 stayed for 5 days at the Gion House lower level. The location of the house is absolutely ideal: a very quiet side street although in the heart of the historical Gion district (which is by far the best area to stay while in Kyoto). Beautiful temples, parks and shopping streets are at walking distance, but Curtis' home is surrounded by peace and tranquillity. The house is very tastfully decorated, with a small relaxing central japanese garden and enough space to lodge 4 persons. It has also full kitchen equipment, although we choosed to eat always out at nearby restaurants. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and I recommend with no doubt the Gion House as a basis to explore the beauties of Kyoto.
In January 2015, my husband and I stayed in Curtis' lower level home in Gion. It was the perfect location, with temples, gardens, restaurants, artisan shops and the centre of Kyoto all easily reached on foot or by taxi or bus. Our two daughters and our son-in-law occupied the upper level before they headed off to ski. We spent 10 days exploring the very special nature of Kyoto, and the Gion House was exceptional in terms of its quiet location, comfort and simple beauty, and ease of access. A few evenings we cooked in the little kitchen, using the rice cooker to prepare a rice bowl meal for the five of us, using fresh produce from the Nishiki Market and other delights from the department store foodhalls, all served up in gorgeous ceramic dishes Curtis has provided. I have since bought a similar rice cooker to use at home. Everything one would want was provided, and we cannot wait to return. I have no hesitation in recommending this delightful and private oasis as a place from which to explore the delights of Kyoto.
Our family of four stayed in the Gion House for several days while we explored Kyoto. This was our first time to Japan and we absolutely loved the location - the house is right in Gion which has so many narrow little streets full of small restaurants and shops - it is almost impossible to explore all of it. It is also within walking distance to some beautiful temples and parks. Kyoto station is a short cab or bus ride away and we were able to explore much of Kyoto from our house in Gion. We hope to return to Kyoto sometime soon and would definitely stay in this house again. The house is small but impeccably maintained and off the busy streets of Gion so fairly quiet. Both my husband and I and our kids thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
For the second time we stayed in this special and traditional house in Gion. It is indeed like the center of the Kyoto "universe". Where its heart still beats; in the wood, in the smells of incense, in the stones... Surrounded by shrines and geiko (geishas of Kyoto), and yet quite silent: a private world. There is a character and a finesse in it, very different than any other places. We are looking forward to be back.
Our family of four (including two teenage boys) stayed here during the week leading to Christmas on our first visit to Japan. We absolutely loved the location and the building, which is a traditional Japanese home and made us feel right away like we had "arrived" in Japan. We were really game for this kind of experience, so all of the things that might be considered unusual to Americans we though were cool, or fun, or funny. This rental unit is really well provisioned with thoughtful touches for visitors, including a binder that the owner and renters have contributed to with good tips about the surrounding area. The rental is very, very clean. The quarters are smaller than we typically experience in other countries, with lower ceilings, less closet space, and a compact efficiency that is truly part of being in Japan. The pull out sofa in the living room was not really a suitable or comfortable bed for our adult-size son, so the boys split the stacked futons in the second room and slept there - the only improvement we might have would be to make another full futon set available. The bathroom is one of the great features of the lower unit - it is really well designed and presaged our more communal bathing experiences at "onsens" around Japan. The washer-dryer unit was handy and the kitchen, while equipped more like an efficiency apartment, was more than enough for our needs, particularly considering the amazing array of dining options in the surrounding area. The owner was really considerate in providing instructions to get to the location, which were handy as we found our footing in Japan - we took a cab straight from the station and provided the kanji instructions to the driver. The location cannot be beat - there's no question that our experience in this home is a big reason that we are all excited to return to Kyoto. Many thanks for a wonderful and memorable Christmas experience for our family!
Excellent traditional Japanese style House in the center of Gion. Many important places to visit as well as good and very good Restaurants in walking distance. We had the lower floor and did not miss something. The bath is a "Five Star Plus", Onsen like place. The kitchen is small, made from stainless steel, all furnitures are of high quality. There is no dishwasher (this was not a problem, we just washed the dish after eating...). We highly recommend this place !! If you are four adults, we suggest to rent both flats, lower and upper floor. Theoretically, four can stay in the lower floor. The three of us lived two weeks in the lower floor and felt it should not be smaller.
We rented the Gion House for 2 weeks in late Oct. The location is perfect, in the center of Gion, 2 blocks from Gion Corner, the Geisha district in Kyoto. We used the Lonely Planet Kyoto as our guide and were able to see everything we planned. The machiya is well equipped and we prepared several meals at night when we wanted a more western menu. The area around the Gion house is covered with historic temples and shrines. Kininji ji is a block and a half. There is a small market 2 blocks away and open 24 hrs for food for breakfast and dinner. A 7/11 is 2 blocks away for access to an ATM. All types of transportation, busses, taxi and subway, are easily reached by a short walk. Since there were 4 of us we found taxis to be as economical and more convenient than busses. The staff at Another World, Gion House's management in Kyoto, was very responsive to our requests for assistance. This trip was the best we have ever had and we would highly recommend the Gion House if you wish to visit Japan. The Japanese were always kind, patient and helpful in spite of our lack of Japanese language skills. If you want to experience a completely different culture, unlike anything in the West, but are concerned about the language barrier and unsure about where to stay, book the Gion House and go. You won't be disappointed. In fact, you'll never forget it!
My wife and I just spent five days in the lower level of the Gion house in early October, and found it to be a perfect refuge in Kyoto. We've been reflecting back on our trip, and the word that has come to mind has been "perfect" - beautiful and tasteful, in a perfect location. Although the neighborhood is busy (in the heart of the Gion historic district), the house, on a side street, was totally quiet day and night. Location is great - there are certainly 50 restaurants within a 10 minute walk, and I liked the neighboring Kennin-ji zen temple more than many of the other temples we saw (check out the dragon mural). Bath is great - rain shower was excellent as was stone bath - we spent the entire afternoon of Typhoon Vongfong tubbing and watching the rain lash the rock garden outside the window. Our only caveat would be that sleeping would be tight for four adults - this place would be great for a couple and 2 kids, or, as we did, a couple's retreat. Another good feature was that the owner's local assistant, Junko, was willing to make us reservations several weeks in advance for hard-to-get local restaurants - Kyoto is foodie heaven, and having someone else to make contact with non-English speaking restaurants was great. All in all, loved it, and will revisit as soon as we pay the bills for this trip (Kyoto is cheap; Tokyo isn't).
My husband and I just returned from our first visit to Japan, and our five days in Kyoto at The Gion House were the highlight of our trip. The house is so beautifully thought out -- we particularly enjoyed the large soaking tub, looking out at the little garden during a VERY rainy afternoon courtesy of Typhoon Vongfong! The western style bed was cool and comfortable and we were very pleasantly surprised at how peaceful and quiet the neighborhood was, even though just a few blocks away you are right in the heart of the action in Gion. Arrival instructions were detailed and very helpful, plus Curtis' assistant Junko went above and beyond to help us make some restaurant reservations in advance - very kind. Great orientation materials to the neighborhood in a binder in the house, with fun recommendations by other clients included. This is a marvelous location for exploring Kyoto -- we can't wait to return with our adult children and rent the whole house! Thank you, Curtis, for making this delightful place available!
The fact that I'm writing a review for this property makes me sad because it means we're no longer in Kyoto enjoying this lovely machiya. We were first-time travelers to Japan...my husband, myself and my sister...visiting our brother and his wife and we had the best time! The machiya was extremely comfortable for three adults. We like to travel light so the fact that there was a washer/dryer was a plus. The bed and futon were very comfortable and, although we didn't make dinner, the kitchen and dining area allowed us to enjoy breakfast each morning before heading out for our next adventure. There is only one bathroom but this wasn't a problem for us at all as everything is separate and private so we were able to get ready at the same time. The machiya is centrally located in Gion on a quiet street and we were able to see many temples and shrines on foot: Kiyomizu-Dera Temple; Kenninji Temple; and Yasaka Jinja Shrine. The machiya also allowed us to feel a part of the local culture...even running into Curtis at the local grocery store! We will return to Japan one day and when we come to Kyoto, we hope Curtis is still sharing this wonderful place with visitors, allowing them to experience a piece of local, Kyoto history.
Having lived in Kyoto in the early 1990s, I can testify that Gion House is a real find in terms of its excellent location and wonderful conversion of a traditional Japanese House. We arrived in April and were delighted to experience the daily buzz of the Miyako Odori (the annual Maiko san traditional show) in the street around the corner. Gion was full of people in dressed in kimonos and we saw the Maiko san a number times managing to get some great photos. The location is the real draw for this property allowing visitors easy access to the traditional sightseeing attractions of Kyoto. World Heritage Site, Kiyomizu-dera, is just a short walk away with marvellous views over Kyoto city. Also, a short walk westwards over the Kamo river, is downtown Kyoto and access to trains and buses to visit key sites across the city and access to Osaka (40 minutes by train). Orientation was made easy by the key information left in the house and Curtis was a great help in attending to all our needs during our stay. We loved the traditional Japanese bath with its view out onto a small Japanese garden, as well as the power shower. The kitchen was well stocked and the children loved the experience of sleeping on comfortable futons on traditional tatami mats. We certainly hope to come back one day. Gion House was great value for money and the fantastic location means that we saved a lot of unnecessary transport costs by walking everywhere. Book early to avoid disappointment.
We stayed here for five nights in April - a family of four with two boys aged 12 and 10. The location was fantastic for just wandering around Kyoto and soaking in the atmosphere, we loved walking up to the train station through the heart of Gion. The house itself was just as advertised. My favourite part was the lovely deep japanese bath, with the separate hand shower and the cedar hand basin for added authenticity, which was much nicer than in the minshuku we stayed in in rural Japan. When we got there the boys were a little dubious, as the second bedroom is a double futon, and they hate sharing a bed, but Curtis and Junko kindly provided a second doona so they didn't argue too much. The local pottery plates was also a very nice touch. The kitchen is not enormous, but more than adequate for cooking a basic dinner. If you do want to eat in, the lovely authentic dinner table is really set up for three (although there are chairs for four, the fourth is sitting slightly awkwardly). But there are restaurants nearby for any price range, with lots of good info in the guide left by Curtis and Junko. We particularly loved the local pancake teppanyaki place just around the corner, which was great for our boys. We found the place very easy to find with the instructions provided, which were very clear, and didn't feel the need to catch taxis at all during our stay. I would definitely recommend this place to a friend going to Kyoto, it was such an authentic and welcoming experience.
We were lucky enough to stay in Gion House for a week during the cherry-blossom season. It was a perfect location, wonderfully comfortable, quiet, and with every comfort. Armed with bus passes, maps, and recommendations from the informative guide provided by Curtis, we found the location convenient for excursions to sights both in the immediate vicinity and farther afield. We'd recommend this house to anyone coming to enchanting Kyoto! Don't miss the nearby temple, by the way...Kenninji is lovely - the gardens are wonderfully peaceful and the main hall is guarded by gorgeous dragons on the ceiling. If you are lucky enough to be there during one of the seasons when the maiko/geiko (geisha) performances is on, be sure to go!
Thank you, Curtis and Jungko, for such a lovely stay here at Gion House. The apartment is cozy and warm, super clean, very comfortable, well-equipped, lovely (we noted with delight how the sliding closet doors echo those in the tea house at the Katsura Imperial Gardens!). Heated floors and the shower and tub were fantastic. We loved being in a neighborhood and exploring outwards from here--including "our" temple, Kennin-ji, and the various local restaurants. The notebook of local information was invaluable, and Jungko and Curtis were very generous with information and reservations beforehand as well. Convenient to everything, and walkable. Will absolutely recommend this place, and we hope to come back here.
Our party of 4 adults and 1 toddler stayed at the Gion House (lower level) for 6 nights in Feb 2014. The owner and management team were very welcoming and accommodating to our special requests (including helping us with our restaurant reservations). The door-to-door transport service to and fro Osaka airport that was recommended by the management team was convenient, fuss-free and reasonably priced. The machiya was very clean, cosy and comfortable. As it was really cold during our stay (it snowed briefly!), we were glad that the floor heating was working very well and kept the house warm. We especially enjoyed our time in the bath and shower room which was equipped with heated floors and very good water pressure. The location of the Gion House is perfect for exploring the Gion area with many amazing restaurants and eateries within 5 to 10 min walk. The Gion-Shijo station nearby is great for exploring the Fushimi area which is a short train ride away. There were plenty of cabs in the vicinity as an option to travel to venues that are further away (the cab option at times made better sense for us since we had 4 adults in the group). We would love to stay here again when we re-visit Kyoto in future!
Our party of three stayed at The Gion House in December 2013 for nine nights. We had a great time. The location is perfect, smack in a beautiful historical area and also walkable (about 12mins) to the train station. There are loads of restaurants in the area, reasonably priced too, especially for lunch. Takashimaya department store is also walkable (15 mins) and you can get lots of choices at the food hall. Beautiful temple grounds just next door, and more temples in the area. The house (we stayed on the lower level) is very comfortable, with a lovely bathroom and very well equipped (tip: the hairdryer is behind the bathroom mirror.) Appreciated the recommendations inside the folder at the table, and tried them out too. Good choices! Definitely recommended for anyone visiting lovely Kyoto.
Our family of 5 (2 adults and 3 children) loved our 4 night stay at Gion House. The location was ideal, being in such a delightful part of Kyoto and within easy walking distance of public transport options for sightseeing further afield. We also found plenty of restaurants close by. It was great to have such a warm and comfortable retreat to return to each evening. The kitchen and laundry facilities and extra room were very welcome after our hotel accommodation in other parts of Japan. The kids loved having their own private onsen experience in the fantastic bathroom each evening. The comprehensive file and guidebooks in the house were very much appreciated. We would not hesitate to recommend this house to anyone looking for very clean, well-appointed, comfortable, convenient and charming accommodation in Kyoto. While it was wonderful for our family with young children, it would be equally appealing for any visitor to Kyoto. We were very glad we took Junko's advice and arranged the door to door shuttle from the airport to drop us at the door of the house. It would have been a real challenge to locate it on our own on arrival. However, once you know where it is, no problems!
Our stay and experience was outstanding. Was concerned about getting the right rental as our stay was long term (6 weeks) and we had various friends visiting during our stay. It was all fantastic - the house is beautiful and convenient. Everything about the design is traditional Japanese, yet has the modern convenience of everyday living. We even met the architect who did the remodel. A Japanese relative visited who said most Japanese don't get to see the inside of a machiya. They were very impressed with the house and where we were staying. The location was spectacular - in the center of Gion. Close enough, yet away from the crowds. Sightseeing, restaurants and groceries all within walking distance and the buses and trains are very close and easily accessible. We traveled both within and outside of Kyoto. Curtis and Junko have made it very easy by providing easy access to taxis and maps and many tour books. Be very clear to taxi dispatch about where you are going so you don't go to the wrong place. Always ask for someone who speaks English if you don't speak Japanese. We used our railpass a lot when traveling out of Kyoto, but not much within the city as most travel is on the subway and buses. Curtis and Junko are real gems, helping in innumerable ways. For long term stay was worried we could not read Japanese, especially in places like grocery stores, maps, etc. Whenever we had a question, both were quite helpful as are most Japanese in places such as a department store, on the street, in a grocery. If you can speak a little Japanese, it is helpful when speaking to a stranger. We tried not to bother Junko or Curtis much, but when we called or emailed about directions, reservations or other questions, they were always extremely caring, accommodating and responsive. Keep in mind when traveling to Japan is that luggage delivery is very cheap. We took the Shinkansen from Narita to Kyoto and had our large luggage delivered to the house. Each piece was < $20 and delivered the next morning (I had one large piece over 50 lbs). Going to Narita, you take your luggage to the delivery company - there is one right around the corner from the house and we just rolled our suitcases there. You must take the luggage two days before you leave. It is so convenient not to have to deal with your luggage in and out of taxis and trains, but to just pick it up at the airport before departure. Highly recommend traveling this way and we highly recommend this house!
We really enjoyed staying in this house and ecperiencing real Japanese spirit. Location is so close to most visited sites, we actually walked or cycled eveywhere. There is everything in the house including washing machine with a dryer so you can actually refresh all your stuff before moving on to another destination. I highly recommend this place.
Lower level stay with 2 small kids
We stayed in the lower level on the 29th of August for 6 nights. Our children were 4 and 3 and we had a few months old baby.The house was not only traditional but efficient. Warm or cold depending on how you used the heating/air conditioning. Incredibly easy for access, eating and sleeping. We cooked meals there, watched films and read books the kids slept, and had a little baby in oour portable cot in our room with us. We shared the divan, the two kids shared the futon and were in their own room, which like ours had the tatami mats, with sliding screen doors, so we could open both rooms up together during the day. The house apartment is perfect, traditional with useful furniture, but not a museum piece that we were not scared of touching anything. Two small supermarkets are only less than 5 minutes walk away, and there are a number of food places that did take aways within walking distance too. There is a cute japanese garden (that sounds patronising, not meant to be!) which is great to look at, but not a place for kids to play. So be aware there is no ‘outside space’ for little ones to play in. Now our kids are quite chilled out, my girl likes to sit and draw, or play with her dolls,and my boy plays with his cars, and they both like TV and the ipad. As such the house was fine for them. If I had two energetic boys that want to run and fight all day, I probably would have them here. The TV had kids channels, and we could sit them up at the table on a cushion for food. We had a child friendly meal in a restaurant that gave use disposable kids cutlery, so we kept that and the kids used it. There aren't kids plates and cups, so we used the china and glass ones provided by the house. Our routine was putting the kids down by 8, then I would go out to get some takeaway, bring it back and have a quite meal together. Perfect.We had a large buggy, with two seats, one on top, the other below. The amazing porch area was an absolute god send, we could park it in there, put the shopping down, take the kids shoes off, even park your bicycles. The kids could probably play there too. Within a 20 minute walk there is enough temples, shops, bars and restaurants to keep anybody happy. Even two kids in a buggy and a baby in a carrier. We only used taxi’s a few times, and they were basically London black cab prices. The highlight of the house for our family was the simply amazing bath, it was like the Totoro film bath all 5 of us were in there together, the shower was amazing too. I did feel a little guilty when the baby woke for her feeds during the night, as we could here our upstairs neighbors quite easily. I hope they were not too inconvenienced. Lastly a word about Curtis and his team. The quick and accurate communication, his kindness and understanding, the advice and organisation made the whole holiday something extra special. How much price do you put on feeling 100% secure that you will not find ‘hidden charges’ that everything will be as you expect, and that if you need something they will be there for you whenever. That peace of mind made the holiday extra special. This wasn't the cheapest place we found, but I noticed that advertised rates on the other properties we looked at, were never any where near the prices you actually would have to pay. Taking all things in to consideration, the Gion house would be very hard to beat not only on quality, but also value. Do not ignore this place for the sake of saving 10 or 20 USD a night, you will regret it in my opinion. We almost left a little ‘kids food service set’ but didn't because we understand that space is at a premium, and didn't want to give such a lovely house a ‘holiday home’ feel as you do feel like you are staying in a cool local place, not a holiday rent.Lastly we flew in and out of Osaka. If you have the time I would really recommend the great service staring in the airport building to Kyoto station. I would also recommend the Tonakatsu restaurant on top of the department store next to the station for lunch before a train departure. The train is about an hour, the kids dozed in it, and you get some interesting views and it is extremely good value. Our kids went free, so two adult discount returns booked online cost 8000 yen on ICOCA & HARUKA. All of our luggage included. We will remember this holiday and the lovely house for the rest of our lives.
We stayed at the Gion House in March. Two adults and two young children (2 and 7). The house was very clean, the location is ideal (close to shrines, parks, river, shops, restaurants) and it was nice to feel at home after several weeks away from our place. The house had everything we needed (but a toaster !) and the children loved sleeping on futons. It was well heated, good Internet access, charming bathroom with a shower and a traditional bath tub. The owner was very welcoming and helpful.
This wonderful machiya living experience. Our party of four stayed in beautifully restored modern, clean accommodations. There are numerous advantages of staying here as compared to a hotel stay - including having our own cooking area, sleeping in either a tatami room or Western style bed, tranquility of a little private zen garden, and the overall feeling of traveling back in time. The location is absolutely perfect for walking to Gion, the Pontocho restaurants, Kiyomizu-dera, as well as the serenity of having Kenninji Temple almost as a backyard. There is the convenience of a small grocery store nearby. The management team is extremely helpful and efficient. As stated in other reviews, there is a binder with a wealth of information for things to do, places to eat, bike rentals etc. We even took advantage of a massage, whereby the masseuse came to our machiya and gave 3 of us the BEST massage (pressure point and stretching) for our travel weary bodies. We hope to return very soon!
The Gion House (lower) was EXACTLY as described and looked EXACTLY like the pictures. What you couldn’t tell was how warm and inviting it actually is. We immediately felt at home. We stayed there for five nights with our son and his fiancee. Our son is a student of Japanese studies (he and his fiancee currently teach English in Japan through the JET program) and was thrilled to be staying in a traditional machiya in Gion. There was plenty of room for the four of us and suited us very well. The neighborhood is very quiet, the bedrooms comfortable and the bathroom shower/soaking tub is truly amazing. We used the kitchen to cook a few meals, although there are several good places to dine in the immediate area and even more choices a short walk away into the heart of Gion proper. The Kennin-Ji Temple next door has the most amazing Zen garden. The location was perfect. If you couldn’t get there by walking, it was convenient to bikes, buses, taxis* and trains. Dealing with Curtis was completely professional and while we didn’t actually meet his on-site associate, Junko, we knew that if we needed assistance, it was only an email or call away. There was a binder chock-full of information and suggestions from Curtis and other guests which was very informative. If we ever come back to Kyoto, we would definitely love to stay here again. *The only “negative” was that the taxi drivers had a tough time locating the home. The map provided was helpful, but even that resulted in many furled brows, a variety of routes and sometimes settling for a nearby intersection. Perhaps having an available map with Japanese writing to download and show would be helpful. On the positive side, Curtis does provide a number for a local taxi service which has the house phone number programmed in for recognition, and they had no problem finding the house for pickups.
This machiya was a perfect stay for our family with 2 small children. It was the last place we stayed in our 3 week trip in Japan, and just perfect to our needs. After 3 weeks of hotels, it is so relaxing to have a cosy place with all necessary facilities on your own. Upon arrival the owner left us a welcome note, which made us feel at home immediately. The bathroom is beautiful, delicious shower, and the children loved the bath. Very tastefully and convenient designed. Toilet is high tech, with even a dryer function! Kitchen modern and convenient. And washer/dryer for laundry was a bliss. One can tell this Machiya is renovated with a good eye for aestetics. Very nice Western style breakfast place just around the corner towards main street, owners talk fluent English. The nicest Geiko and teahouses street just around the other corner, with Gion Corner located too. There's a folder with all sorts of information and sight seeing tips. Very useful. We all loved staying here, and would certainly book this again when coming back to Kyoto. Last but not least, owner is very flexible and responses quickly to questions. Best stay in Japan!
The House is very well situated in Gion. The decoration is really fantastic. Beautiful shojis, the japanese sliding doors. The bathroom is beautiful. Very well furnished. The informations about Kyoto are nice. Everything here is Comfort, Happiness and Harmony. We had a wonderful stay with my wife and my 2 daughters, 7y, and 1 1/2 y.
I stayed in this gorgeous machiya for 11 days with my husband, daughter and mother-in-law. Our stay couldn't have been better. The rental is on a quiet street in the heart of Gion, so restaurants, temples, shrines, parks, etc. are all just a short walk away. The bathroom (deep soaking tub plus amazing shower) were to die for and were stocked with high-quality shampoos/soap which was an added bonus. The kitchen was modern and well-equipped although it didn't get much use from us because there were so many amazing dining options near-by. The wifi was fast and reliable, the beds were extremely comfy (especially the western-style one) and the craftsmanship of the home was a pleasure to enjoy. The washer/driver made our longer stay extremely convenient. The rental was well-stocked with clean towels, toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc. We took Curtis' recommendation on the bike rentals up the street and had a fabulous day touring the city by bike. Highly recommended for a stay in Kyoto.
We had an unforgettable experience in this beautifully restored machiya. We somehow felt part of the very ancient fabric of the city. We could hear geishas clip-clopping by on their wooden sandals, we could walk and cycle everywhere and come back to the most relaxing bath. The apartment is spotless and quietly refined, we loved the japanese crockery and the peaceful inner courtyard. The recommendations for restaurants, for walks or for bike rentals were always spot on. What made our experience so special has been Curtis and Junko's profound kindness and professionalism. Thank you both.
We arrived at The Gion House and were promptly met by the owner. He gave us a quick tour and answered all of our questions. fyi - The photos on the site accurately portray the house. It's lovely. Don't miss the opportunity to live in a traditional house while you are in Kyoto. Sliding screens, tatami mats, modern stainless-steel kitchen and a deep soaking bath with rain shower. Comfortable dining and sleeping quarters. We particularly enjoyed lingering over breakfasts of coffee and scrambled eggs before exploring Kyoto for the day. The location of the house is convenient for exploring Central and East Kyoto and close to trains, subways and taxis. We would certainly stay here again and will recommend to friends. Don't miss Kenninji Temple which is just a block away. Beautiful gardens and much quieter than some of the larger temples nearby. Also consider a half day trip to Inari to see the multitude of Torii gates leading up the mountain - just a short train ride.
I checked into the Gion House(Lower Level) with my two nephews and from the minute we walked into the front door...we were delighted. The accommodations were wonderful and certainly exceeded our expectations. The location is the best and as they always say....location, location, location. We were right in the middle of all of the action when we wanted to be and on a lovely quiet street when we wanted to just relax. It was a win-win situation. This was my second time in Japan and after Tokyo, I thought that it would probably be my last trip,. However, we all fell in love with Kyoto and would come back to stay at the Gion House. Booking with Curtis was a real pleasure and we felt like we had made a new friend. I would highly recommend the Gion House to everyone. It was beyond delightful and a fabulous experience. It made our trip so memorable. Kudos to Curtis for making our vacation a magical ride!
We had a delightful stay at Gion house, lower level. This traditional, but updated machiya apartment is lovely, comfortable and in a wonderful location in the heart of the Gion district. Easy walk to local transportation, lots of restaurants and to the nishiki market and shopping mall. I can't wait to return! It was one of the highlights of our stay.
Our family stayed at the Gion House for 10 days and enjoyed it immensely. Spacious, quiet and a great mix of Japanese design and western style beds and coach. Kitchen functional. Bathroom and bath great and very relaxing. Nice stone garden in the courtyard. Rice paper walls and divider sliders. Felt comfortable and relaxing. Location could not be any better. Right in the middle of the Gion area ... with a steady stream of geishas and monks cruising by. Many fine ladies all dressed up in traditional kimono and gentlemen wearing impeccably tailored suits. Our host Curtis was friendly, accommodating and had many good suggestions for things to see and do. Plenty of restaurants within a few minutes walk and not far to market. Modern Kyotos main drag is just 10 minutes by foot. Highly recommended. We'll be coming back here again.
we stayed for 3 nights - and wish it could have been longer. the apartment itself was brilliant - comfy beds, fantastic bathroom and the best-equipped place i've ever rented (stocked full of condiments, stationery, spare everything you could ever need). and heated floors!! the location is ideal - in the old part of kyoto, and a very short walk to the geisha district. you can also walk west to kiyomizudera - through old streets, which is an unforgettable experience. also a short walk to shops - including a couple of supermarkets where you can pick up some supplies if needed. buses are also nearby, which will take you to most sights, and the train station is about 5-10 min away. i would easily recommend this place to future visitors of kyoto!
We found the accommodation to be everything promised and then some. The location is ideal, tucked into a quiet Gion corner but positioned within ready reach of transportation and the get-around favorite for Kyoto, shank's mare. It's a walking city, and the Gion House sets you up for strolling. Whether you're headed for the mountain delights of Kibune or the donut shop 5 minutes' walk away, Gion House is situated to draw you out into the surrounds. The house itself delivers the promised charm, with the added dividend of practicality: if you want to cook in sometimes, there are stove and fridge and microwave/toaster/warmer oven. Every need we had was met by the Another World staff. Gion House persuaded us into the slow pace of discovery and awareness. I recommend it most highly (but please don't book it when we want to return!).
We stayed for 5 nights in the upper level of the Gion House and had a wonderful time there. It surpassed our expectations, and Curtis and his local contact Junko were great people to work with. After experiencing a ryokan in Kanazawa, it was wonderful to have the western bedroom as well as the tatami bedroom at the Gion House, so the two of us were able to have the best of both worlds. The kitchen and appliances are all up to date, and it was great to have a washer/dryer after spending a week in other lodgings. We loved the cascading shower in the bathroom, as well as the deep tub for soaking. After walking around Kyoto for a substantial time, the shower and bath were much appreciated! The information on local places including restaurants and stores was very helpful, and Curtis recommended their favorite restaurant - Mamecha -- which we went to on our first night and enjoyed it so much we went a second time. It's open until 11:30 PM, so that makes it convenient when a lot of the other restaurants have closed. We also enjoyed JoJo which is around the corner, and run by a wonderful young couple that have owned the restaurant for 3 years. Since it's small, you need to make a reservation, and we sat at the counter so we could chat with the chef and see everything he was doing. We had a very pleasant time in Kyoto at the Gion House, and would return there as often as we could. Curtis and Junko are excellent hosts, and I hope that others will have the opportunity to enjoy this house when they're in Kyoto.
I had a short stay of 2 nights but really enjoyed the chance to stretch out in the comfort of this traditional style house. Great facilities and small problems were quickly dealt with by local support. My daughter and I both appreciated the space and small western touches like english television stations when the weather was bad. Look forward to staying there again.
Me and my husband stayed here for the last 2 weeks in December. The townhouse is very comfortable. We loved the soaking tub (one of the reasons I chose this townhouse). The location is perfect. We loved walking around this old part of Kyoto. The townhouse is also a 5 minute walk from super modern Kyoto on Shijo. I hope to stay here again in the future.
A wonderful stay. Warm and welcoming charming home away from home. Curtis dropped in day 1 to say hi which gave us the opportunity to thank him for the beautiful fresh flowers he had left for our arrival! Best location in Kyoto, groceries nearby, restaurants and temples all within walking distance, beautiful shopping streets literally across the road, taxis easy to flag down the street, bus stop nearby- (it's easy to learn the system with the comprehensive folder in the residence). Five days was not enough time to enjoy this magical place. We were travelling with young children, so the Machiya made life so much easier (with kitchen and laundry facilities and extra space compared to hotel rooms). The children were very comfortable day and night. We all especially enjoyed the gorgeous bathroom. None of us wanted to leave. I have already recommended this fabulous discovery to two separate sets of friends and I have only been home for 2 days! Thank you Curtis- we had an amazing time.
We stayed here for 4 nights in November. This was the perfect escape for busy life in Kyoto. The house is on a quiet street with very little traffic. And even though it is close to the street, we felt very secluded. The arrangements were easy arrange, and everything was ready for our arrival. The space, while small, worked perfectly for 4 people because of the efficient use of space. And the kitchen (which we used almost every meal) was ideal for cooking. The market was only a 5 minute walk away. Thanks so much for a great vacation.
I am a collector of Japanese tea ceremony objects and have a love of Mingei, the Japanese aesthetic now celebrated throughout the world. I had a feeling the house would be a well-crafted and refined dwelling and was not disappointed in any respect. The entire experience of the week I stayed there was a delight and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
My family, with two young boys, had a wonderful stay at this property, It is a perfect balance of old world charm with modern conveniences. Its proximity to all the key destinations was great given how much old Kyoto should be walked in order to appreciate the ageless beauty of its neighborhoods. We very much look forward to our next stay
I can not say enough great things about this house, the location, Curtis and Junko. It is absolutely beautiful inside, especially the gorgeous bathroom and tub. Everything was extremely clean and comfortable, and we really appreciated the traditional style of the house that has been very modernized. The location can't be beat. Temples and other sites, restaurants, shopping and train stations are all within close walking distance. Plus, there are tons of useful recommendations included in a binder that helped us out a ton with regards to finding English-friendly and child-friendly restaurants. We left our baby carrier and our son's backpack on the shinkansen and with one phone call to Junko, it was promptly delivered to us the next day. It can be really difficult to find family friendly accomodations in Japan, but I highly recommend this house for families (or anyone for that matter!). It is such a special spot, I would give it 10 stars if I could. Thank you again, Curtis and Junko!
We stayed at this gorgeous machiya for 4 days. Everything was perfect and well cared for. The communication with the owner was smooth and easy, and we also received assistance from his staff in Kyoto. The staff was very helpful with everything, from providing us with taxi/train information and options, booking and assisting with the shuttle's reservation from Gion to Osaka airport, to assisting with mailing postage stamps. My husband and our two daughters (age 7 and 8) enjoyed the space and comfort of the machiya, with two separate sleeping areas. We also found the availability of washer and dryer to be very helpful. The bathroom is impeccably clean and stylish and really everything was just beautiful, well kept, and functional. The location of the machiya is incredibly convenient and the experience of being in Gion is very special. We feel like we got the best of Kyoto because of it. Thank you so much.
We stayed here for a week on a family trip with 2 teenaged daughters. It is in a quaint and convenient neighborhood on a quiet street - perfect location. It is thoughtfully equipped with good air-conditioning for the summer, warm floors for the winter, wifi and satellite, just the right kitchen utensils, good quality linens, and is immaculate - perfect home base!
Our family of four stayed four nights in the lower level of the Gion townhouse known as Another World. The lower level provided us with everything we needed. The home is well stocked with all of the necessary articles for a comfortable stay. It was impeccably clean and tidy when we arrived. Our son had been studying abroad in Japan for 4 months and was used to sleeping on futon style beds. He found the Japanese style bedroom and futon very comfortable. My husband and I stayed in the "western" style room. Our bed was comfortable and had lovely linens. Our daughter slept on the pull-out couch and had no complaints. We enjoyed the extra details and space in the toilet room and shower/tub room. We all claimed that it was hands down the best shower ever. The kids loved the Japanese toilet with the sprays and heated seat. The kitchen was well stocked though we never really cooked a meal at home. There is even a washer/dryer. The owner has everything labeled in English so there are no worries about what the buttons and switches do. One of the best things about this place is its location in central Gion. We spent most of our time walking and enjoying the neighborhoods/temples/shops nearby. Because our son speaks Japanese, we ate at many of the quaint restaurants just around the corner. The owners seemed to enjoy our presence and our meals were excellent and affordable. While walking along a side street nearby, we even spied one of the elusive Geisha. We found helpful maps, bus/train schedules and a thorough binder full of information to help us navigate the Kyoto area on the table. We made daily trips to the nearby 7/11 (conbini) for snacks and the ATM. We would recommend a visit to Fushimi Inari Taisha, the shrine of 1,000 (really over a million) gates. Be prepared to hike! If you are looking to experience a Japanese style home with tatami mats, a genkan entrance, and a peaceful garden...this is the place. We all found the sliding doors and paper covered windows added to the authenticity of this style of home. Our only slight complaint would be that you may be sharing the townhouse with another family in the upstairs living area. We could hear that the family above us had excitable, jumping children. But even that didn't take away from our wonderful experience at Another World. This place is a real gem- 5 huge golden stars!
We saw the charming photos on the website and read the praising reviews, and yet this 'machiya' still exceeded our expectations. If we could, we would award an extra star for attention to detail (weight scales, rain shower & hand shower & tub, clothes washer/dryer, large wash basin, deep sink, huge fridge, stack of towels, extra pillows etc). And then we would award another star for personal attention from either the owner or his Kyoto agent. One must is to ensure you bring the map provided as taxis seemed to find it easier to relate to than just the address. We dined very well at tiny restaurants around the corner and were pleased to cook our own breakfasts from produce bought at supermarkets two blocks away. Putting out our own garbage and watering the plants just made us feel even more at home. It doesn't get better than this - It became a highlight of our trip. Thank you Curtis! A tourist hint: If visiting the Kyoto Imperial Palace, check the Imperial Household Agency website beforehand as to what the limited tour times are and make your applications, as days and visitor numbers are limited.
This Japanese-style house in the heart of Kyoto's ancient Gion neighborhood is just about as nice as you can hope for in a home-away-from-home. It is simply lovely. The sights you want to see are a convenient walk, bus, subway, or train ride away. Because of the proximity to old Kyoto, there are many more sights and sounds you'll feel privileged to experience and will never forget. Excellent food can be bought ready-made at the department stores a block or two across the river, and excellent wine is an even shorter walk away. The fully functional kitchen is a god-send when the children/family have simply had it with foreign food ... And after a long day hoofing it through town or biking along the river, the ofuro (Japanese tub) is sheer heaven, as are the massively comfortable beds, both Western and Japanese floor models. Excellent heating and cooling in the house ... and the taxi drivers can actually find it! (Once you see what a maze the old streets and alleys are like, you'll understand how amazing that is.)
This was our first trip to Japan and our first experience with VRBO. The Gion House was ideal. In fact, the longer we were there (11 days), the more we came to appreciate the setting, the neighborhood, proximity to shopping and the subway system. Instant integration. We were there on vacation and also for business. Most of our associates stayed at the nice hotels, but we felt as though we really had far better accomodation in a much better environment. The neighborhood and temple are so quiet; very peaceful. We would definitely recommend this spot to anyone visiting Kyoto.
Our stay at Gion House was perfect. It is an ideal home base to explore some of Kyoto's most beautiful historic sites, as it is only a short walk to the 206 bus, which provides access to a lot of the city's major attractions. The immediate neighborhood couldn't have been more charming, with its lovely old wooden homes, traditional shops, and quiet streets. It was nice to have a quiet place to come home to after long days of sightseeing, yet we still felt very much in the center of things, since on our evening strolls we spotted many Geisha in the neighborhood, popping out of doorways and hurrying down alleyways on their way to appointments. It was quite exciting to catch a glimpse of them coming and going. Certainly one of our favorite things about our Gion stay! The house itself was quite beautiful, and we thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent there. I was impressed by the attention to detail; I could tell that the home was renovated with loving care and an artist's touch. It was wonderful to have the added space that a house provided (vs. a hotel room) in order to spread out and relax. And it was fun to get a feel for what a traditional Japanese home might be like, with sliding panels separating the rooms, tatami mats, a futon, etc. The kitchen was compact, but we had everything we needed to cook our evening meals, some of them quite elaborate. (The grocery store is close by.) We especially enjoyed the elegant bath with its huge soaking tub, as it provided a very luxurious and tranquil way to end the day. The heated floors were a fabulous touch, and since we already had been traveling for a week before arriving, it was an added plus to have access to a washer and dryer. Everything had been carefully and thoughfully provided to ensure that we had all the things we needed for a comfortable, delightful stay. I would definitely return on my next visit to Kyoto. Thank you, Curtis!
Last spring we stayed with 5 people in the lower level Gion House. Though not advertising for 5 persons, the house was with ease large enough to conveniently accommodate our party (we all knew each other well, so this might have helped). The kitchen is well equipped and the bathroom and bath are just great. The location is in a nice and friendly neighborhood within walking distance of many key attractions of Kyoto and several super markets. The wooden house further ensures a "real Japanese" feeling and has a friendly atmosphere. Thank you for great house!
This place was excellent, and really helped us get the most out of our time in Kyoto. We stayed in a wide range of accommodations during a two week trip around Japan, and this was definitely the most comfortable and relaxing. We were on our feet a lot exploring Kyoto, so it was great to have a place we could come back to and relax at the end of the day. It was perfect for that. The location is excellent, in central Kyoto, and a short walk to lots of restaurants, nice areas, and a train station. The house came with everything we needed. It was clean and well-maintained, and also a really cool old building. Curtis and Junko were very helpful throughout the reservation process and our time there. I hope we can stay there again sometime. Thanks again!
Gion House was everything we expected and so much more. With a group of 6 taking the whole house for 2weeks, we found cooking and entertaining downstairs worked really well, and then the 4 went upstairs giving us all privacy and comfort . While it is a traditional house with all that old Japanese charm, the modern amenities make for an easy holiday for travelers. New Year in Kyoto was very special and with the temple just nearby we all stood in line to ring the bell 108 times. Restaurants nearby are small and intimate and there are many great suggestions for eating and sight seeing in the folder. Just a tip, bring Japanese Yen as most of these places do not take credit cards and changing money is possible at some corner store ATM machines but proved difficult. Any questions ask Curtis - the owner, consult the folder or contact the local agent - the whole process was seamless and professional and we never met any of them. We came and went and had no issues even with no Japanese language. Except I left my husband's i-pad on the Cathay Pacific flight from HongKong, but thanks to the Gion House local agent organizing FedEx with the airline, I had it back in 24hrs and Aus$25 - now that blew us away and my husband then joined me in the hot tub !
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our October one week stay in Kyoto in this lovely Machiya home in Gion. We felt like locals instead of visitors. Everything was provided for us, and all we had to do was walk out the door to be close to everything. We cooked breakfast and some dinners, even watered the plants and put netting on the trash (to keep the birds away)! It felt like our own home. The owner even came by for a visit and helped us learn about the Japanese culture. He is very gracious and we would gladly return again. The bath was fabulous.
This place has it all-the best mix of traditional architecture and every modern amenity you could need. I am a big fan of both, and this absolutely delightful residence exceeded all my expectations. I initially chose the Gion machiya because it was designed by an architect whose work I respect. My stay here would be for two weeks, so I needed a place I could call home while I enjoyed everything Kyoto has to offer. Curtis was very responsive in the booking process, and Junko was extremely helpful during my stay there. I was able to eat out or walk up the street to grab some groceries to cook, as the kitchen is fully appointed. I am also very chemically sensitive, and it was such a pleasure to stay in a place where all the home treatments are natural and inoffensive. The washing machine was great, so I was able to pack light. The bath/shower room is stunning and overlooks your very private garden, there is a lovely large sink area as well as a separate room for the lavatory with that great Japanese toilet. The design is very open, while sliding doors allow privacy when needed. It was great to have a real kitchen table with chairs, but it also had a separate dining/relaxing area where you can sit on the floor while enjoying the western comfort of having a place to put your legs. Floors can be heated, and there are three separate AC units so everyone is comfortable. And after a week of sleeping elsewhere on a futon - the bed at Gion House was HEAVEN. Oh-and TONS of gorgeous chrome hangers! The large genkan area is also very handy when coming in from the rain. While the machiya is centrally located, it is on a quiet street, making for quiet nights. I was able to easily walk to transportation, I also rented a bike and was able to travel everywhere in short order given the primarily flat topography of Kyoto. The area is rich in places to visit, being close to many extraordinary temples and gardens up and down the eastern edges of Kyoto. And you will run into Geiko-san and Maiko-san, either during the day on their way to classes, or in the evening as they walk to their appointments in the many ochaya located in Gion. Starbucks is a five minute walk away on the main Shijo-dori. The Minamiza Kabuki Theater, the Pontocho hanamachi, the Kamagawa river and many of the traditional shops listed in Diane Durston's "Old Kyoto" are all withing easy walking distance. The oldest Zen temple in Kyoto is in your backyard - literally. I will be back - soon I hope!
The Gion House is a great experience period. The location, the attention to detail and the architecture of the renovation were a pleasant surprise after pleasant surprise. We travelled as a family of four and the house was very comfortable and catered for our every need. The location is truly remarkable not only are you surrounded by unbelievable attractions but all the conveniences and restaurants are right there as well. Long story short I think this would be one of the best ways to experience Kyoto - just don't forget to leave your shoes at the door.
My husband and I & our two daughters flew from NY & met up with my mum & my sister who flew from Australia - we rented both the upper & lower levels. The Gion is the liveliest part of Kyoto but the house itself is in a quiet backstreet - the perfect combination and an ideal base for our adventures. We loved waking up to the drumming from the nearby temple & the sound of the crows & there is no doubting that late November was a gorgeous time of year to visit, cool but not cold temperatures and perfect leaf peeking season. The house was exactly as described, clean, well equipped & very comfortable and filled with details that gave you a taste of authentic Japan. After a day of exploring, the girls were always particularly excited to go "back to the house" where they would either lounge on the heated floors, dive into the deep bath or simply watch the passing foot traffic from the window. We loved wandering the immediate area and found it an easy base to navigate the rest of the city. The colour printout map that Curtis sends with your confirmed reservation a must for giving to taxi drivers. We wouldn't hesitate in recommending this vacation rental to others & we definitely plan to go back ourselves!
We had a very enjoyable stay.Gion is so central to sights and transport.It was cold outside and lovely and warm inside. Rather than just repeat what has already been said in reviews I would like to recommend going on "Night -time Exploration of Gion; the Geisha District.I found it advertised in the Kyoto Visitors Guide which was kindly left in the apartment .The guides English was very good and it was wonderful to have it explained to us the history of the Geiko and Maiko, how to recognise where they lived and some of the history of the Gion district. Amazing to think we were staying in the heart of this.
Our family of seven stayed at this house (both upper and lower levels) in November 2011. The house was accurately described by the owner and well reviewed by others on this website. I will try not to repeat what others have described so well already. The machiya has a quiet yet central location. The kitchens are very well equipped and all appliances are like new. Of note, the microwave oven does wonders! It has settings to re-heat fried foods (like tempura), toast bread and re-heat bento boxes. Absolutely no complaints whatsoever about the house. Several restaurants within a stone's throw from the house. 2 supermarkets within easy walking distance. The entire Gion area including Kiyomizu temple are easily accessible on foot. Bus stops are easily reached on foot and I would recommend the use of buses whilst in Kyoto. They are easy to use, fixed fares, multi-lingual bus stop announcements (on many buses) and can reach just about all the sights in Kyoto. Use the Bus Navi guide in the folder in the house. The subway line in Kyoto is very limited. The local contact, Junko, was very helpful during our stay. She arranged amongst other things, restaurant reservations, luggage forwarding, and was very prompt with replies to our many questions. I would highly recommend this holiday rental!! An excellent base for travels in Kyoto and nearby towns.
The description of the property was accurate in all respects but being there still exceeded our expectations. Not only is the property itself excellent but it really could not be better located in the centre of Gion and near the main street. There is easy access to local transport to get to all the main places of interest around town and to the central station for trips further afield - very useful for us as my wife has limited mobility but we were not restricted at all. Restaurants and supermarket within easy reach. If returning to Kyoto I would have no hesitation in going back to this property - one week was not enough.
The accommodation was recommended to us by two architect friends as they knew we would appreciate the design and ambiance of the traditional style. We rented the ground floor apartment for 5 nights. The modern fixtures and appliances all worked out to make the stay comfortable. The location is in a quiet small street which is close to the Gion, shops, restaurants and transport. It was very convenient to go out and soak up the atmosphere which is at it's best at night. Also we found our way by bus to the sightseeing areas.
We stayed at Gion House for a week in September and used it as a base for a work trip to Kyoto. It was a wonderful place to stay, very central but also very quiet, and beautifully kitted out with everything you could possibly need and more. The house has been beautifully restored and equipped, and felt very comfortable and homely. Good wifi connection helped facilitate our work, and Curtis and his local representative Junko were extremely helpful in answering our questions. We would highly recommend a stay at this lovely house.
My husband and I returned from our wonderful stay at the Gion House. We chose this place because of all the positive reviews. All the reviews were accurate - old world charm with all the modern amenities. The toilet - OMG, we have to get one of those. The Japanese-stye bathroom with Shiseido amenities had a nice wash area and a deep soaking tub with all the modern fixtures with good pressure - glass and flag stone tiles were a nice mixture of blending rustic with modern. 3 air-conditioners! It was nice to blast the air-conditioner (one was sufficient) after a hot humid walk around town. Good internet connection using the Apple's airport express - connecting your iPad and iPhone was such a breeze. The Gion House is located in the prime district of Gion. It is were you want to be - restaurants, shopping, temples - all so close. Thank you Curtis for such a wonderful stay. Also, good recommendation on the Kaiseiki dinner!!
My family (two adults, three kids, aged 7, 7, 10) spent a week here in July. First off, the place is beautiful and is indistinguishable from brand new despite being almost a century old. The amenities are great, and the girls especially loved the extremely deep bathtub (including a flow-through heater so it never runs out of hot water). There was plenty of bedding and pillows for all of us and the air conditioners worked very well against the July heat. The wireless Internet connection was faster than my home Internet connection too! The kids had a ball at many of the things in the area. They even played in the nearby river for hours. There is a great video arcade just across the river and north a bit, and also immediately across the river is a small alley with a zillion small, great restaurants. Just outside the house on the main road are several convenience stores (including a 7-11 that accepted my US ATM card) so our refrigerator was stocked for breakfasts. A subway stop is nearby, and so is a bus stop - we used both in our travels. The owner and manager of the property were extremely helpful in answering some of our questions about Kyoto. Definitely bring a map of where the place is if you plan to get there by taxi. One of our taxi drivers didn't seem to understand the (Japanese kanji with furigana) written address. Learn how to say "turn left/right" and "straight" and "stop here" so you can guide the driver, or just tell him to go to the nearby "Kenninji temple" and walk home. I would definitely stay here again and, furthermore, I would unhesitatingly recommend this place to anyone who would like to stay in Kyoto, especially if you plan to stay with 2 or 3 rooms worth of people!
I recently stayed at the Gion House with my partner and child - it was a beautiful, relaxing base for our holiday in Kyoto. We love Kyoto and Gion was a fun place to stay this time - lots of great places to eat, shop and sighs to see nearby inc Geisha. Thanks Curtis! I would happily recommend this to any prospective travelers as good quality accommodation and value for money.
My family and I actually stayed in the upper level, while my parents and brother stayed in the lower level. We did get together for meals, and to visit, and there was room for all 7 of us in the lower level- it has an open kitchen/dining/living area. The highlight of the lower level, to me, is the bathroom. There is a large soaking tub which looks out onto the garden. It was a great way to end the day. My father, age 83, has a really bad back, and said his back was feeling much better after a few days of soaking in the tub. He also said the bed was really comfortable, which was important. And, along those same lines, there was a stool at the bathroom sink, where he could sit to shave. The house is in a quiet location, but literally around the corner from shopping, restaurants, etc. Getting a cab was as easy as picking up the phone- the address of the house is programmed into the phone, so you didn't have to try to explain where you were. Curtis was friendly, helpful and responsive. I highly recommend Gion House- the upper level if you don't mind stairs and you'd like the roof deck, the lower level for the bath and accessibility. Both are lovely!
We stayed in this wonder apartment at the end of May. We were grateful to be so close to the geisha district main street and the shopping district all within easy walking distance. This place is in the center of things and easy reach to many of the temples we wanted to visit. Because the rainy season came a little too early, we were happy the area is bustling with taxis to get us to our destinations. As noted by previous guests, the apartment has all the right touches. But I must confess sleeping on the tatami mats challenged me after a week. Nevertheless, one must try the Japanese way at least once! Curtis was a very helpful host and I will definitely return to Kyoto and rent from him again.
My husband and I spent 2 months mid Nov/mid Jan staying in various Machiya's in Kyoto. This is our second experience of longer term stays in Kyoto Machiya/Apartments so we had a pretty good idea of what to expect. This lower level Machiya is FABULOUS! Sadly we were here only 2 weeks! The photos and reviews are accuate yet still does not fully prepare you for just how WONDERFUL this location and space really is! You won't apprecaite the radiant heating until you have stayed in others/most which are often drafty with only room heaters. Here you are able to move about the entire space in comfort. The bath area is amazing! first the traditional Japanese style shower but also a most unexpected huge "rain" shower and of course the bath with views into the garden makes for the perfect relaxing soak. Many places talk about closet space but here there is actually enough for those whose travel with "too much". We had winter things and excessive holiday gifts and did not fill one of the two available. Having a traditional dining table with chairs PLUS the comfy "horitaksu" table where you sit on tatami with your feet in a cutout space is GREAT! We used this space for our computer and to enjoy tea. Yes many places talk about WiFi but here is actually works and not just in one area - I was able to use my computer and android cell everywhere in the space. If you have ever tried to wash/dry using the machines in Japan you know most simply do not dry in less than 4 hours - however Curtis did not skimp and you are able to do laundry (even sweaters) very easily. The dishes, lines and details do not feel like a "vacation rental" (often owner hand me downs) but rather as they were selected specifically to enhance your comfort and experience. In fairness this is one of the more expensive spaces, however when you consider the real luxury and ambiance of this "Another World" it truly is a GREAT Value! We will be back in Kyoto for another two months this spring and I am sorry to say this popular and perfect location/space is already booked. So if you want to stay as if you had a perfectly appointed "home" in the Gion district book this one EARLY!
We visited the lower unit for 10 nights in November, 2010. We very much enjoyed this accommodation. It was clean, comfortable and nicely appointed. The location, on the southeast corner of Gion was perfect! In particular, the small but very use-able kitchen was a wonderful feature. We also liked the intimate and stylish bath area. If you plan to fill the big tub, you may have to manually adjust the insta-hot water heater setting up a few degrees, otherwise it is lukewarm. If you are a light sleeper, be aware that you can hear people upstairs from time to time, and particularly when the upstairs unit is being cleaned or turned over. Nonetheless, we definitely recommend this choice! Curtis the owner was easy to deal with and his English speaking local representative Junko was kind and a great asset to less experienced visitors.
My mother, sister and I stayed at this machiya for approx 1 week this last summer. We absolutely loved it. The place was spotless. The floors are a beautiful colored wood and pretty little touches like antique dressers and the stone in the bathroom were really nice additions. The screens between rooms, the tatami floors, the sunken table and the gorgeous little Zen-style rock garden made it all feel so authentic. We were so happy that we chose this spot. The owner left us directions to get to places to buy food and also the name of a taxi company that, if you call from the house phone, will know where you are and will give you someone English speaking on the phone and this was a huge relief. He also left us details about sites in the area that were very complimentary to our guide books but still offered us new information. We felt like we were staying in an authentic place but still had comforts of a hotel like wifi. One suggestion I might make is to stock pile some English speaking movies for a few nights of down time, but this is just an idea.
My wife, mother and two kids (aged 6 & 10) based ourselves in the gion House, Kyoto for two weeks in September 2010. The listing descriptions and photos are totally accurate as were the positive reviews I read prior to booking the Gion House. The property was immaculately clean and had a "real" kitchen that was fully equiped with everything you need. All the mod cons were there including heating, air conditioning etc. The bathroom with the big tub (often had myself and both the kids in with me!) is a highlight; as it was nice after a long hot day of exploring to come home and have a good long soak. It is not a large property, but this is not uncommon for rental properties in Japan. I would say it is ideal for two couples or a family of three or four. The location is unbeatable. You are close to everything. Curtis and his agent in Kyoto also responded promptly to every query I had. Plenty of restaruants are within walking distance, as are all the major attractions. Taxis are pretty cheap anyway, as Kyoto is not a big city and you don't have to go far to get from one place to another. Most of the time we walked and given our youngest is only six and my mother is over 75, shows you how close everything is. As a family we travel overseas three to four times a year and I would therefore say I have a fair idea of measuring the quality of accomodation with value for money. I would not hesitate to recommend this property to anyone intending to visit Kyoto.
The Gion House was a highlight of our tour of Kyoto Japan last month, and allowed us to take a break from continuous restaurant eating, and gave us the opportunity to experience native living, food shopping and cooking in the well stocked kitchen, preparing relaxed and affordable meals while planning or reviewing the day's touring. Regarding the location, perfectly accurate to the description, I really appreciated the convenience of being within the heart of the geisha neighborhood, only a minute's walk from the famous Ichiriki Teahouse made famous in "Memoirs of a Geisha" and the Kenninji Temple, a beautiful and peaceful temple marked by the five white stripes on their walls denoting their history of taking in royal sons. It was also a fun walk to the neighborhood grocery, and conveniently located to the lovely shopping along Antiques Street, and the poet's corner. Regarding the house, I really appreciated the beauty of the design, the spacious layout, the wifi access throughout the house, the quiet and efficient air-conditioning (we were there during an intense heatwave), the washer-dryer was a blessing. My two teenage kids decided that they did not want to share a bedroom, and the unit was completely prepared, providing my son a full-size bed alternative that was very comfortable. The kitchen was well appointed with a great rice cooker, good knives, beautiful dishes and glassware, and the only thing I might have asked for was a larger fridge, similar to the size fridge found in the upper unit. The property manager was easily reachable by cell phone, and was a very friendly, helpful lady who came personally to check on the air-conditioning, and arrange garbage and recycling collection. I would highly recommend this property to friends and family, and am looking forward to re-visiting myself personally, maybe not in such intensely hot weather.
Our impression of the home was as if someone who really likes to cook prepared the kitchen. We did a lot of cooking over there because even the cutting knives were sharpened.So it is great if you want to explore Nishiki as we did and go back to experience new products. Refined details of many amenities made us feel real welcome. It was as living in a friends home. We loved the location. Close to everything you want to enjoy in Kyoto.
Our family of three (husband, teenaged daughter, and me) just came home from a week's stay in the lower level of the Gion house, while my brother-in-law's family of four (two adults and two teens) stayed in the upper level at the same time. It was an ideal arrangement for all of us! Many others have written reviews about how lovely, well-designed, and well-appointed the property is, and I completely agree with all of the positive feedback. What I (and my sister-in-law) appreciated was the washer/dryer in the laundry room - how wonderful to be able to travel "light" and do laundry when necessary - sometimes daily during the warm summer days we had! Our upper unit had a state-of-the-art large capacity machine that I would have loved to bring home with me! It was also so nice to have an efficient and well-equipped kitchen to fix breakfasts and snacks; how thoughtful it was to have some "snack clips" tucked in the drawer to close up bags of unfinished rice crackers! My husband and I loved the deep tub next to the garden window - it was the perfect place to soak and sit together and talk about the day's activities! Our daughter slept on the tatami bed and we slept in the platform bed - both were comfortable and we all slept very well. The apartment is also equipped with three A/C units which kept us cool during some rather humid evenings. The Gion house is walking distance from Kiyomizu dera temple, Gion shopping, and the downtown shopping district. Close by is a *wonderful* Chinese restaurant where we enjoyed a 5-star dinner at very reasonable prices. We also visited a little okonomiyaki (cabbage pancake) restaurant around the corner where we had a great meal. We were so fortunate to be able to book the entire townhouse for our families. If you are looking for somewhere "authentic Japanese", full of modern amenities, that you can stay comfortably with your family or extended family - look no further than the Gion House. You will not be disappointed!
I first want to mention that our ages are 90 and 82. The machiya was perfect for us. We probably spent more time in it than younger people and we just loved the environment. Curtiss obviously remodelled the unit with love and pride. We loved the use of wood. We enjoyed the feeling we got from the different beautiful woods used combined with paper and bamboo. The sliding screens allow a change in the environment from separate rooms to open space. In our case we used the western bed and it was very comfortable. 40 years ago when we lived in Kyoto it was strictly futon for us. Everything that has been said about the location and quality of hardware is true. The machiya is in the best quiet area with easy access to buses and trains. We got to all our favourite places with no trouble. Junko the local contact was very helpful when we had any questions or help. We are glad we chose this machiya to spend our 3 weeks return to Kyoto.
Are you looking to stay in the Gion area? Are you looking for a great old world location? Are you looking for a superbly renovated location with the best of the old and new? You have found it! We had the pleasure of a delightful week here and simply cannot say enough good things. The location was great. The Geoffrey Moussas (google it) design was a fantastic example of what can be done with the space available, along with merging the old and new. Took a lot of photos for future reference! The location made for a great ‘base camp’ for our continued exploration of the city. The sakura were in bloom and people were streaming into the Gion area – our area. It is such an advantage to stay in such a location! The house is on a very quite side street right around the corner from Kennin-ji. After a long day of walking Kyoto in the spring, coming back, taking the hiking boots off and walking the radiant heat floors was a treat. The deep soaking tub was a great way to melt away miles spend walking, look out the window to the Japanese garden; simply taking it all in. Curtis has a fantastic place here in the heart of one of Kyoto’s best areas. He and his staff were very helpful! Highly recommend!!
Of all the places we stayed on our trip to Japan, Gion House was our favorite It truly could not have been a better fit for our family of four (kids ages, 7 and 11) with its' lovely Japanese aesthetics and Western comforts. Curtis was exceptionally kind and attentive to work with as well as tremendously insightful in what it takes to create an elegant yet livable home away from home. We loved coming home to the charming cherry blossom-lined Gion streets knowing that we would slip our shoes off to floors that were warm from the radiant heating and move toward the decadent deep tub for soaking before a cozy night on comfortable beds. We thoroughly enjoyed the contrast of take-out food brought back for a relaxing evening and slipping into one of the many charming and delicious restaurants in Gion. Convenience to buses, taxis and many wonderful shops helped make our stay easy and entertaining. We hope very much to come back to Kyoto and will be thrilled to come home yet again to Gion House. Many thanks for all of your care, Curtis
This exquisite machiya made our stay in Kyoto unforgettable. No expense has been spared, no modern luxury overlooked, and yet the renovation is also a loving tribute to traditional Japanese art, culture and the historic Kyoto machiya’s (which are, sadly, rapidly disappearing). The location is in one of the last beautiful, historic areas in Kyoto and is very convenient to shopping, tourist sites and restaurants. The amenities cannot be matched by even the most luxurious hotel, and the outstanding architecture and design has given us a blueprint for a renovation on our home someday. The Japanese-style soaking tub with the handheld showerhead is like being in your own personal onsen, while the overhead rain-style showerhead and the heated tiles make it a luxurious modern amenity. I cannot say enough to praise this beautiful place; it is rare to find such attention to detail in a home that is offered to the public for rent. Many thanks for this beautiful gift of hospitality to our family and for the tribute to the city of Kyoto itself.