Beautifully restored and well maintained machiya. The interior is well kept, clean and the bathrooms are equipped with heated toilet seats, rain showers a good size basins.
In the rooms, original hand-painted screens were very delicate and beautiful and gives an authentic Kyoto charm. The rooms are spacious and very comfortable futons sets are provided for each guests.
The location is great, its in walking distance to The Imperial Palace, galleries , speciality shops, and great eating places. Its also a 10 minute walk to a large shopping mall, Teramachi. In this shopping complex, one can find many specialty shops and eateries. The house is located in a quiet street with easy access to cafes and shops.
There is a also a little kitchen within the premises of the house, where tea and coffee is provided for the guests. There is a stove, fridge and also a washing machine. There are many bakeries near the house where one can buy back breads and cakes and to enjoy them the inner courtyards of the Matsu Sho An.
This place charming abode offers tranquility and peace and fits comfortably for 2 to 4 people.
Matsu Sho An is a beautifully renovated traditional house in Kyoto. While the owners went out of their way to restore it to its beautiful original condition it also has all the modern conveniences. We especially loved the charming courtyard gardens and the luxurious onsen bath. It is also perfectly located near the Imperial Palace, just off a street with wonderful traditional shops and eateries. It truly was the highlight of our Kyoto experience.
I spent 10 days at Matsu Sho An. It felt like a journey in time and away from everything, a retreat and an adventure. Way more interesting and authentic than staying at a luxurious hotel. I value independence and quiet times... so it was a better option than a busy Ryokan. Matsu Sho An is in a perfect location to experience Kyoto by bicycle. And then the kind assistance from Stella and Roxanna to set up an access to a gym or other amenities you may need. Both made sure that convenience was always accessible.
The historical machiya was located in the very upmarket district next to the Imperial Palace and just off a beautiful street filled with exquisite cafes and boutiques. This allows it to be very private with very few people waling last the house.
The wooden machiya house itself was renovated to suit our present living needs but still preserves the historical aspect with all the tatami mat rooms. The bathrooms were all fitted with the best modern fixtures but still offered a typical Japanese tub with a great view of the gardens within. I have stayed in many historical ryokans and machiyas and most of them still have the older bathrooms which doesn't serve you well in his day and age.
My time in the late afternoon was spent just looking at the beautiful gardens within the house and having a nice cup of Japanese tea with a book.
This was a memorable 14 day trip during sakura season in this beautiful machiya.
My mother and I decided to celebrate both of our birthdays with a 2 week trip to Osaka and Kyoto. We were to spend a few nights in the St. Regis in Osaka but wanted to spend the rest of the trip staying in a nice vacation rental so we can truly experience what is like 'living' in Kyoto instead of just another hotel stay. Matsu Sho An was the perfect choice and we booked for 7 nights! The owner Stella was super responsive and answered all my questions weeks prior to arriving Japan. She helped me book restaurants, recommended places to visit and her responses were always thorough with a lot of useful information.
We arrived Matsu Sho An with a warm welcome from Roxanna (housekeeper) who showed us the place and answered all of our questions. The house was beautiful just as described on their official website - it maintained the traditional look and feel but was remodeled with the highest quality materials throughout with modern touch to it. So you can enjoy the traditional vibe but no need to worry about not having modern bathrooms (super nice with rain shower in both bathrooms) or kitchen (wifi throughout as well).
The gorgeous Tatami throughout the house is heated, the bathroom downstairs is super spacious with Japanese hot tub (natural spring water- heated!!) and each room has its own heating/air conditioning unit so you are kept warm or cool depending on the time you visit. There are 2 very elegant Japanese gardens that added even more beauty to the house. My mother stayed downstairs so she can enjoy her favorite hot tub every evening after a long day of touring and I had my very spacious room upstairs (own bathroom next to the room and a 3rd bedroom that we never used) - the house was quiet, zero noises, we had peaceful sleep every night.
Location is perfect - you are in a prestigious neighborhood with antique shops, high end chocolate store (literally next door), small grocery with around the corner and an awesome bakery/breakfast restaurant a few feet away (we ate breakfast there every morning). Not to mention you are also close to a tone of shops and restaurants within walking distance AND literally 2 blocks away from the Imperial Palace where my mom and I were so lucky to enjoy the early season of Cherry Blossom! You are 10 min taxi away from the most popular sightseeing places (if you are lazy like us, it's about $10-15 each way) and train stations are all within walking distance. On a few rainy days, my mom and I just took a 5 min taxi ride to the malls nearby and picked up bento boxes/snacks/beers and sat on the tatami with tables set up just enjoying the garden in the house and chatting away.
Stella provided us high end towels, futons/dawn comforters (super comfy and warm!), shampoo, soap, hair dryers, yummy teas and snacks - you feel like you are in the Ritz Carlton but the entire house is yours!
Finally, a big shout out to Roxana who took care of us throughout the stay. Super responsive to all of our questions, booked/canceled restaurants for us, and even offered to take my mother to the local medical center when my mother was under the weather for a few days.
We loved every minute of it and were sad to leave. The entire stay was enjoyable, memorable and the best 70 b-day gift that I could have every given to my mother (and myself!). We are coming back again in 2019 - already booked!
I had the pleasure of staying a couple nights in this lovingly restored wooden machiya house now known as Matsu Sho An, first constructed in the Edo period. The neighborhood is quiet and charming, near many small shops selling tea, ceramics and antiques. Our first night, we ate at a famous izakaya just steps from the house. My family of 5 (2 adults, 3 kids ages 13,13,14) slept comfortably in spacious rooms on futons on tatami mats. Modern amenities were easy to use. Spring time nights were still cool so the floor heating was just right. The house is decorated in a minimalist style with many originally painted screen doors, pillows, lamps and furniture. The owners took care to preserve many features of the house to appreciate the techniques and technologies of the day. Matsu Sho An has several beautiful garden spaces, but the most beautiful ones are at the back of the house - one central space with weeping cherry blossom in full bloom, and another next to the gorgeous architectural bathroom, alive with bamboo and maple. The house is very calm and zen-like, a perfect way to soothe your soul after sightseeing and eating. I suppose the most human touch of the house was Rox, the Italian housekeeper who fell in love with Japanese culture and in particular, Kyoto style. We were fortunate she had time to also act as a guide during our stay in Kyoto. The sakura were in full bloom and she took us to all the most beautiful areas to see them. I would highly recommend a stay at Matsu Shop An if you want to experience living in Kyoto a hundred years ago.
If you want to immerse yourself in the history of Japan and experience traditional architecture - stay here. I love the way it has been restored. The modern amenities blend perfectly with the traditional. Do not bring young kids here unless you know they won't break the shoji screens and doors.
The lady that greets you is so friendly and helpful. It was such a lovely experience and I am so happy that I found this place.