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“A Fantastic Stay in old Kyoto”
Livingroom
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Livingroom
Exterior Western style bedroom with double bed
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Excellent
55 reviews
Livingroom
Exterior
Western style bedroom with double bed
Japanese style bedroom with double futon on tatami
Kitchen area
Entrance to bath / shower area
Original hand-woven wood detailing on ceiling of livingroom
Roof deck with view of Kenninji Temple
Being filmed by HGTV. Curtis (owner) on left with cameraman
Hanamamikoji Street, 3 minutes walk away
Our little street, with geishas (a common sight)
Kyoto's main commercial district, Shijo-Kawaramachi, a 15 minute walk away
Kenninji Temple, Kyoto's oldest Zen Temple, right next door!
The owner, Curtis, at Kenninji Temple, next door
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Overview
Rental Home -
2 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom, Sleeps 4
Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Kinki

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 55 reviews
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Reviews from our community

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English first
SuziiW
Hobart, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
136 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 247 helpful votes
“A Fantastic Stay in old Kyoto”
Reviewed October 13, 2015 for a stay in October 2015
3
people found this review helpful

We are a family of 3 and when traveling we like 2 bedroom apartments and all the conveniences this provides with a kitchen, washing machine and space over a hotel room any day. Staying in the upper level at Gion House was fantastic. This lovely 100 year old machiya is right in the heart of the Gion, the old part of the town. A fabulous location where we could easily wander the narrow streets and take in the ambience of this the oldest and most beautiful part of the town. We would not have had the same experience staying say at the Kyoto Station area which we found pretty soulless. The house is surrounded with a huge variety of great restaurants at all different price points and we followed a few of Curtis' recommendations and they were fantastic. The Shabu Shabu restaurant around the corner was one of our dining highlights of the trip.
The house comes with everything you want including free Wi-Fi and cable TV. My son did not mind sleeping on the tatami mat bed and our bed was so comfortable. The pillows - were to die for - beautiful feather pillows. Note there is a steep set of stairs though to get to the upper level and the deck has another set so if you have mobility issues - it might not be for you.
Saki who welcomed us and showed us around was on hand for any enquiries we had and lovely to deal with. I would highly recommend this machiya for an authentic stay in Kyoto. We also found it to be in an excellent location to see and travel to all the sights

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Liked best: The location and staying in somewehere with so much history
Liked least: We had to leave!
Traveling group: Teenagers
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeanette4...
Melbourne, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Experience Old Kyoto in this fabulous traditional house”
Reviewed August 23, 2015 for a stay in August 2015
2
people found this review helpful

We had the good fortune to say at Gion House (Upper Level) for a week at the beginning of August and I can confirm that the rave reviews from previous guests are all justified!

The house is tucked away on a quiet side street in the Gion district. (A detailed map with directions in Japanese were provided by the owner- Curtis- before our stay, which was exceptionally useful in ensuring that there was no problem with finding the house).

The Gion House is an old ( over 100 years) wooden, traditional-style 'machiya,' located on an atmospheric side street right at the edge of the geisha area of Gion. This old Kyoto neighborhood has a tranquil charm, and many restaurants, shops, and tourist sites.

The Gion House upper level is the entire second floor of the house. The lower level and upper level have separate entrances, and are completely independent. Entry to the Upper Level is via a steep staircase (that can be a bit of a challenge with heavy suitcases). The spacious living/sitting area dominates the centre of the house. It has beautiful tatami mat flooring ( un-dyed organic straw mats) a feature wall of blue & frosted glass sliding windows and the room can be separated/ closed by the traditional Japanese fusuma (papered sliding doors) arranged along as walls. There are two bedrooms: tatami mat bedroom with double futon and a Western-style bedroom with double bed and small desk.

The traditional Japanese design details combine beautifully with the modern features of the house, which include fully equipped kitchen ( including combination washer/ dryer), Western style bathroom with shower & bathtub ( separate toilet) and wireless high-speed Internet. The clear instructions provided for the appliances, plus the English labelling applied also ensured hassle-free usage!

I particularly liked the smell of the wood throughout the house and the feel of the floorboards under bare feet. The attention to detail in the renovation means there is a lovely balance between the aesthetics of the old with the convenience of the contemporary.

We stayed at Gion House House during a week of particularly hot temperatures (up to 37 degrees C during the day, falling to only 25 degrees C overnight) and the air conditioning (which we left on) was sufficient to keep the house comfortably cool the whole week.

The location is great, with so many choices for food places literally just around the corner! There are several beautiful temple grounds within less than 10 minutes walking distance, as are the old neighborhood along Gion's Hanami-koji street, Yasaka Pagoda and the preserved lanes of Higashiyama district and Shijo shopping street.

We walked to many sights during the days and evenings. Public transport was easy to get to and accessing the taxi services was always easy as well.

I also have to commend Curtis and Junko ( his assistant) who were both quick to respond to many email communications and amazingly helpful ( both before and during our stay). Curtis was actually at the house to welcome us when we arrived in the morning and very kindly allowed us early access to store our bags until the house was ready for check-in.

Overall it was an enjoyable stay in a beautiful house in a wonderfully historic area of Kyoto. We would definitely re-visit this house in the future and highly recommend it to anyone looking for an authentic stay in Kyoto.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
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Liked best: Architecture, comfort, modern conveniences and location.
Liked least: Nothing!
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, California
Reviewed May 29, 2015 for a stay in March 2015
2
people found this review helpful

Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
onecatch
Port Townsend, Washington
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Wonderful Stay”
Reviewed April 28, 2015 for a stay in April 2015

We spent two weeks in this beautiful, comfortable place, and had a wonderful experience. Curtis (the owner) and Junko (his assistant) were very helpful and accommodating. The apartment is quiet, the kitchen is well-outfitted, the bathroom is pure luxury, and the heated floors are fantastic! The location could not be better - easy walking to so many things (from grocery store to fabulous temples to great coffee). But taxis are easy to find too. Kyoto is a great city, and this apartment provided us with a perfect base from which to enjoy it.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Heated floors, location.
Liked least: A little cramped for four in the kitchen.
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
erskine10
Melbourne
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“No more excuses, stay here!”
Reviewed January 29, 2015 for a stay in November 2014
1
person found this review helpful

Previous reviewers have described in detail what a joy it is to stay in this exquisite machiya. Since our week long stay in November to see the stunning autumn colours in Kyoto, I totally agree with all the positive comments about the apartment, the booking process, the support from Curtis and his local agents, the location, etc.
So, instead of repeating those endorsements, I thought that to encourage you to stay here it may be useful to try and dispel any lingering doubts you may have - not about staying at Gion House itself, but about staying there as a self-catering experience.
1. You don't speak Japanese - not a problem, most of the shop and restaurant people spoke a little English, and with our attempts at basic Japanese words of greeting, please and thank you, and simple gestures and pointing we had no difficulty. Everyone was polite and helpful. Assistance from the Another World team via phone or email was always available for making restaurant bookings, which is recommended in busy tourist times.
2. You might get lost - use the map to show to taxi drivers, and other maps provided at Gion House, or obtain for yourself from the tourist offices located at Kyoto Station and elsewhere. And remember, the Gion district is located between the Kamo River to the west, and the Higashiyama hills to the east so it is easy to orient oneself and Kyoto streets are basically a grid pattern. We walked almost everywhere or went by bus or subway without any difficulty - apart from the tourist circuit bus being very crowded.
3. You don't know what all the strange foods are - OK, some Japanese food is quite different to other cuisines, expect to eat all parts of, and varieties of vegetables, fish and meats. That is part of the travel experience and gave us both challenges and delights. The local small supermarkets have basic requirements that are easily identified. For a fabulous range of options for "take home and reheat" go to the department stores along Shijo street, particularly the basement food hall at Takashimaya, and be amazed.
4. Why stay there instead of a hotel - you can stay at a hotel anywhere, but it is not often that you get the opportunity to stay in an authentic Japanese machiya and experience something of the local life. And you get so much more space and privacy.

So, be brave, no more excuses, go ahead and book yourself a wonderful time.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The craftsmanship of the renovation to the apartment, and the location
Liked least: The authentic low height of the door frames caused a few head bangs for my tall spouse.
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denys M
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A Beautiful Experience”
Reviewed January 21, 2015 for a stay in January 2015

It was our first time in Kyoto and we were a party of 5 adults and two small children. We had a wonderful stay at this Machiya. Despite the cold winter we were all very warm and cosy in this house because of the heated floors and heaters. Curtis came by to see us and it was very nice of him to give some local advise on some interesting activities in Kyoto. Would definitely stay here again. Such a cosy place and convenient location.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The location
Traveling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Western Australia, Australia
Reviewed December 6, 2014 for a stay in November 2014

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Atmosphere of the house - its presentation ad feel; location.
Traveling group: Extended Family
Your age range 50-64
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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Adults2
Children0
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