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1 / 40 Living Room

From $330 / night help
Estimated Price for guests,

Description from owner

Description from owner

Bedrooms 2 / Bathroom 1 / Sleeps 6 / House
Bedrooms: 2  Bathroom: 1   Sleeps: 6  Type: House

1 Full bath

Gion Kyuraku - Traditional Luxury in located Machiya in Gion | Kiyomizu, Kyoto!
TripAdvisor property ID 3814731

More Property Details

Book this 2 bedroom house in Kyoto today! A total of 6 people can sleep here comfortably.

Travelers are sharing their opinions on this property. It has an overall rating of 5/5 thanks to an average of 21 reviews.

Costs vary, with the average weekly rate as low as $2310 to as high as $3290, depending on travel dates.

The owner responds to 100% of inquiries and last updated the property’s calendar Feb 24, 2018.

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About the owner

About the owner

Thomas N.
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
24 Feb 2018
Overall rating:

Languages spoken: English



Check in time:04:00, Check out time:10:00
This owner does not use online booking. Please contact them and they will be able to offer you a secure way to pay for your stay. Never pay for your vacation rental by wire transfer (such as Western Union or Moneygram) as this type of payment is untraceable.
No smoking at this property
Cancellation policy
View Policy



Proximity to TripAdvisor's Top Kyoto Attractions




  • Air conditioning
  • Clothes dryer
  • Linen provided
  • Towels provided
  • Washing machine

Phone / Internet

  • Internet access
  • Telephone
  • Wireless Internet


  • Freezer
  • Fridge
  • Kettle
  • Microwave
  • Stove
  • Toaster


  • Satellite TV
  • TV


  • Balcony or terrace
  • Private garden
  • Shared garden


  • Children
  • Pets
  • Smoking allowed


  • 1 Full bath


Reviews (21)

Excellent – based on 21 reviews Excellent
21 reviews

Very Good

“Enhanced our stay in Kyoto, the perfect blend of old and new”

Reviewed 28 Nov 2013

We had a fabulous stay at this amazing property, which has a lot of space (for Japan) for a family of 5 including a small garden and a tiny roof deck. It made us all feel much more like we were having a Japanese "experience" than would any hotel, and gave us enough room to spread out when we needed space from each other. The property is immaculately presented, with beautiful art and extras to enhance the experience further, plenty of books about Japan and a fully equipped modern kitchen, a washer/dryer - staying for a week it gave us an opportunity to wash, cook and feel much more at "home". Whilst the autumn weather meant that we did not require much in the way of heating, there are air-conditioners in every room, a lovely deep bath and two toilets (we loved the warm seats :-) certainly a novelty for us). The key pad for entry meant that we didn't have to worry out what time we arrived, or looking after and returning keys, and Reiko was more than happy to help us with any questions we had, and helped us to organise the transfer of our luggage. The location in Gion is perfect for tourists - it is walkable to many attractions, and about a 20 minute bus ride to the station. There is a supermarket just steps away, and many places to eat (in and take-away) within a block. It is an neighbourhood with little tourists around, yet so close to everything. All was exactly as described, and the space was perfect for the 5 of us - it would be great for couples who could share the cost, as it is quite expensive. We highly recommend this property

Response from the owner We are delighted that you had a fabulous stay at Gion Kyuraku. Thank you for noticing all of the little things that the designer and we have thought of to make our guests stay in this machiya as authentic as possible, but without compromising any conveniences. The expense of staying at Gion Kyuraku is offset by the true experience of being able to live in a licensed Kyo-machiya for ones’ stay in Kyoto. To have our guest fully appreciated the machiya living experience most of what you find in Gion Kyuraku is original art work, not reproductions. In addition, we are determined to make one's stay better. This year, we added an Apple TV, for our guest use. We are in the process of having the tsuboniwa (the garden) redesigned to better express the true beauty of a Japanese Garden. We hope to have this project finished by the end of 2014 for our guest to appreciate. Thank you once again for your wonderful recommendation.

“A delightful place”

Reviewed 14 Nov 2013

We had a wonderful stay at this Machiya. It was a highlight of our fabulous holiday in Japan. Thomas and Rieko were great at communicating via email and thoughtfully answered all our questions before we had left for our trip. When we arrived there were lovely personal touches. Not only was Thomas there to meet us and talk us through important details (like how to use the high-tech Japanese washing machine!), but there was also a letter welcoming us and letting us know what was on during the four days we were in Kyoto. This lead us to going to a "requiem for broken and lost hair combs" in the local temple, which was followed by a spectacular parade of hairstyles over the last 1300 years - made for great photos. Another lovely touch was the origami cranes folded by Rieko, which we later took with us to Hiroshima and placed on the children's monument - very moving. We were travelling as a family of 5 (three adults and two children) and the Machiya provided plenty of room for us all - grandma even got her own room with an ensuite. The Machiya itself was immaculate and very well set up. We enjoyed having a long soak in the deep bath. It was great to have the kitchen, and our children appreciated being able to eat-in. Also having the supermarket (full of ready-made dinners) literally 1/2 minute walk away was much appreciated. There was lots to do in the area, including the walk up to Kiyomizu temple, where we saw plenty of geishas enroute. Each evening we walked down to a little playground near the river where the boys got their energy out. Speaking of boys and energy, we did need to make rather a lot of rules as the Machiya is so beautiful and we wanted to treat it respectfully. For the rest of the trip my younger son called Tatami mats "rules mats"! I would highly recommend staying here to experience traditional Japanese accommodation and to have a delightful place to yourself. Thank you again Thomas and Reiko.

Response from the owner Thank you for a delightful review, and taking care of Gion Kyuraku during your stay. We believe that all of the little touches are part of a true machiya experience in Kyoto. Our guests appreciate the balance of a properly restore machiya to its true beauty, and the modern convenience that are tastefully implemented like the high-speed Internet, the washer/dryer that are hidden away, and the recently added Apple TV. We are delight that your entire family had a wonderful time. You are most welcome!

“wonderful, authentic experience”

Reviewed 15 Aug 2013

I don't think even many Japanese residents get to experience living in a traditional house like this anymore. This property is everything the description says and more. It is clean, beautiful, authentic and surprisingly spacious. It's not in the description, but there are 2 toilets, which I think is a Japanese luxury in this size property. The doorways and stairway head clearance is low, but that's part of the experience - if you're over 5'10" or so, you'll be ducking a lot everywhere in Japan. What a perfect combination of modern conveniences and traditional living. We landed in Kyoto in a major heat spell (over 90F every day) but the machiya was an oasis with super quiet, efficient air conditioner in every room, washer/dryer, fast wifi, etc. The location is excellent just as described, so I won't go into that. Suffice it to say everything in the description is accurate. It's also located in a small side street so it's very quiet. The grocery store around the corner was great, but be aware that they don't open until 9:30am so get your breakfast fare the night before if you want to have breakfast in the machiya. (Kitchen is very well equipped and the grocery has lots of prepared foods if you don't want to cook from scratch). The machiya was more than enough to make the visit fantastic, but it was topped by Rieko-san, one of the owners. She can beat any top hotel concierges! She had a solution to every question I asked prior to arrival and she even anticipated my needs before I even knew - like the sleeping set up after realizing I had 2 grown children who would take up more space and the departure arrangements working around a local festival traffic. She was always there when we needed anything but never in our way. Our family is already talking about the next time we stay here!

Response from the owner Thank you for an honest and pleasing review of Gion Kyuraku. It is very much a Japanese trait to understate almost all elements that are being present to guests: especially, in a historical city like Kyoto, where the residence hold to time honored traditions. We did not want to overstate, promote, or exaggerate what our guest will experience at Gion Kyuraku. Instead it was a concise decision to build up the guest list, repeat customer base form the ground up, and let our guests experience the true beauty of what Gion Kyuraku and Kyoto have to offer. We do have to apologize that we have not listed everything that is available in the machiya, only for the reason that the list would be too long. Also, many of the art pieces are changed seasonally, and we are constantly upgrading items for future guest. To let you in on a family secret about Rieko’s concierges’ skills, she got lots of training, watching, listening, and doing chores around a traditional Ryokan that her parents and brother run; which just happens to be in the Michelin Guide. She believes it is all of the little things that truly, really, and honestly makes her guest stay at Gion Kyuraku that much more special. It is our wish and hope that we will get many repeat guests. Again, thank you for a fantastic review, and we will definitely keep a spot open for you on your return visit to Kyoto and Gion Kyuraku. Thomas and Rieko

“Wonderful base from which to explore Kyoto”

Reviewed 7 Jul 2013

Gion Kyuraku is a beautiful machiya in an extremely convenient location from which to explore Kyoto. The interior is beautiful and inspires relaxation. The modern conveniences merge well with the classic construction. It was such a pleasure to have a washer/dryer available as we had a reasonably long stay (9 days), particularly with our two girls (15 and 12)! Though we didn't use the kitchen heavily, it was very nice to have the option to eat at "home." We've made two trips to Kyoto. The first, we stayed in a nice hotel, but we greatly preferred staying in the machiya on this second visit. The local neighborhood had many interesting places to see within walking distance (temples, shops, restaurants, and nice people everywhere). Although we managed to get around to the main attractions on our own by taxi, we greatly appreciated the help Rieko provided on finding specific experiences (e.g., a real Japanese sushi bar, Kyoto-style sukiyaki, a tonkatsu restaurant). Her help really made our stay much nicer!

Response from the owner Thank you for a delightful review of Gion Kyuraku. The Master Carpenters that restored this century old Kyo-Machiya tirelessly selected the wood, and painstakingly planed the replacement timbers to match the original finishes; this has created an authentic Machiya feel which “inspires relaxation”. Also, I would recommend the small garden (tuboniwa) at Gion Kyuraku to experience a little Japanese greenery in the heart of Kyoto. However, we have included many modern conveniences to make our guest stay more comfortable including a modern washer/dryer, high speed Internet just to mention a few. Lastly, Gion Kyuraku is situation in the heart of the Gion District which makes seeing authentic maiko’s possible, along with a modern supermarket/grocery store only a minute away.

“Wonderful stay in a beautiful house.”

Reviewed 7 Jul 2013

We absolutely loved the place! We were a group of four friends from australia travelling together. The house is beautiful and traditional, but is decked out with modern facilities and appliances. The garden is very pretty. Lots of room for four people. Great location - We saw geishas every evening, and could buy food from the supermarket round the corner. The beds were really comfy and easy to sleep on. The air conditioning was great, as it was very warm in kyoto during our visit. Reiko and Thomas were very kind to us, leaving us a map and some tips for things to see. They also made check in and check out very easy and convenient for us. Can definitely recommend.

Response from the owner Thank you for an absolutely lovely review. When restoring Gion Kyuraku, we thought for a long time, and consulted with several craftsmen on how to incorporate modern facilities (Wi-Fi, air-Conditioning, heating just to mention a few) into a century old Kyo-Machiya; the result is Gion-Kyuraku. We believe that bedding and linens need to be top quality; therefore, we provide our guests with highest quality hotel bedding and linens. Thank you once again for the recommendation.

“A Wonderful Place to Stay in Gion!”

Reviewed 2 Jul 2013

We visited Kyoto for one week in april with two young children, ages 3 and 5. This Machiya was even lovelier than we expected. It has been beautifully restored and was very comfortable. Our kids loved the "secret hiding place" under the stairs, sleeping on the floor, and the pretty garden out back. The location is wonderful, there is an excellent grocery store just across the road so very easy to stock the kitchen. We saw several geisha within a few blocks of the Machiya as we were walking to and from the train station, away from the touristy areas. It was an easy walk through the Kennin-Ji temple grounds to get to Hanamikoji Dori and Shirakawa-manami Dori. We also walked (with a stroller) to Kiyomizu-dera temple and even the Philosopher's Path - although that one required a few lunch/snack break stops for the kids. Rieko was very responsive and helpful from the moment we made the online inquiry about the rental. She came to the house the morning we arrived to show us around the property and even gave us a personalized map with hints about where to spot real geisha. :) She helped us arrange a shuttle to the airport which was very much appreciated. All in all, an authentically beautiful house in a gorgeous little corner of the world. The weather in april was so lovely, spring was blooming all around and we saw many late-blooming cherry blossoms. We highly recommend a stay in Gion well as the ice cream at nearby Gion Kinana - delicious if you can find it!!

Response from the owner Thank you for a wonderful review. We always hope that Gion Kyuraku is lovelier than our guests’ expectations. Gion Kyuraku was restored to its original splendor with all of the modern convenience for couples and families with children. Being in the heart of The Gion District in Kyoto, our guests are able to experience Japan how it was in the past; which include seeing authentic maiko walking in the neighborhood. However, the conveniences of modern living are only a few blocks away such as the well stock grocery store/supermarket. We hope that future guest will be able to experience what your family did at Gion Kyuraku, and in Kyoto, Japan.

“Excellent Location - Traditional Style”

Reviewed 14 Jun 2013

After staying at a large hotel in Tokyo we stayed at Gion-Kyuraku for 4 nights and thoroughly enjoyed it. The Machiya is beautifully restored while at the same time offering modern conveniences. It is well equipped and accommodated our family well. It is in a charming area of Kyoto, surrounded by interesting shops and restaurants and also very close to the Geisha district. Thomas and Reiko were delightful hosts who helped with sightseeing and transport. If you are looking for accommodation away from the hotel 'experience' I totally recommend Gion Kyuraku.

Response from the owner Thank you for an excellent review, we are delighted that you enjoyed your stay at Gion Kyuraku. When we restored this almost century old Kyo-Machiya, we wanted to keep all of the traditional elements like the tatami floor, the tsuchikabe (earth walls) etc.. at the same time, we added modern elements like heating, and air-conditioning throughout, high speed Internet, eco-friendly toilets, a modern kitchen, and more. We are happy that you were able to explore the neighborhood. The Gion District is one of the oldest areas within the City of Kyoto. Thank you once again for a wonderful review. Hope to see you all one day back in Kyoto.

“Fabulous choice in Kyoto”

Reviewed 13 Jun 2013

We just brought our two daughters to Japan with us (ages 10 and 12)and I cannot emphasize enough how great our stay was here. It was wonderfully situated in Gion and so convenient to many sights. Thomas and Rieko were incredibly helpful and we were so pleased with everything. I have used Vrbo in Europe before, but was a little nervous about Japan since it is so unfamiliar to me. It could not have gone more smoothly. We used their suggested van transport from the hotel which brought us right to the door, the grocery store is one block away and has a great variety of prepared foods. The people in the area were friendly and helpful (although the language barrier can be a little difficult - they always tried to help.) When we left Kyoto we were spending 3 days in Osaka and realized that we left a phone charger behind. I contacted Rieko and offered to pay any courier charges if they could get it to the Hilton Hotel before we left the country. She overnighted it to us and wouldn't take any money for doing so. That is the kind of hospitality we experienced! Really above and beyond and it was all those little things that made our stay so memorable. Thank you for a wonderful stay in Kyoto!

Response from the owner At Gion Kyuraku we truly believe that it is all of the little things that make ones’ stay in Kyoto that much more special, for example, the English maps of Kyoto, the countless instructions in English throughout Gion Kyuraku from the TV remote to the washer/dryer, and high speed Internet. We realize that our guest do forget items from time to time. We do our best to reunite the item as soon as possible with our guests. Thank you again for a fabulous review, and hope to see you one day back in Kyoto.

“Great stay in Kyoto”

Reviewed 26 May 2013

Had a wonderful 4 nights at Gion Kyuraku. Excellent location. 10-15 minute walk from station, but with luggage, better to take taxi which is only about 1,000 Yen. Very close to bus stop; good super market less than 5 minutes away; within walking distance to Kiyomizu Temple, one of the most beautiful temples you will ever find. House was very clean and comfortable, and having two toilets was definite advantage as my 86 year old father slept in the Den which had it's own toilet, leaving the second toilet for my sister and me. Our host, Rieko, was wonderful. The booking of the accommodation went through smoothly, and when we were in Kyoto, Rieko very kindly organised for some unexpected medical attention for my father. Highly recommend this accommodation.

Response from the owner We are so happy that you had a great stay at Gion Kyuraku. It was our pleasure to help your father, and we are happy that he was OK. Everything in Gion Kyuraku was designed with the concept of modern conveniences, but the traditional elements of a kyo-machiya were preserved. Just to let our future guest know the 24hrs supermarket is 5 minute walk alway; however, the closest well-stocked supermarket is less than a minute walk away. Thank you for a wonderful recommendation. Hope to see you all in the future.

Review 1-10 of 21

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