August 2015

We had a wonderful time at Maeniiya Machiya Inn, a true Japanese experience perfectly located a few blocks from Shijō-dōri and two subway stations from Kyoto station. The house is spacious and have all the necessary comfort (AC, equipped kitchen, comfortable bedding, washing/drying machine, two bikes, etc.). It is furnished and decorated with great taste. The street is quiet and charming. Akemi and Trevor were always available should we have any question or request. They are great hosts. This is definitely a place we would be thrilled to get back to.


April 2015

"Great accommodation in convenient location"

We stayed a week in this delightful machiya in Kyoto. Our booking and arrangements by email were handled very promptly and the reception at the rental office when we arrived was warm and efficient.

The house is well located, a short taxi ride from Kyoto station, within 10 minutes walk to the subway and with a City Bus stop close by. There is a good local supermarket and a post office (with ATM) within five minutes walk. Bikes are also provided.

Maeniiya is in a very typical, narrow and traditional Kyoto street and very quiet and private despite the proximity of neighbours. The house provides an authentic Japanese domestic experience but with all necessary modern facilities. It is in excellent condition with plenty of space for up to four people, very tastefully furnished and well appointed, with many homely and personal touches. The rooms are generous in size and very comfortable and there is a delightful small garden adjoining the living room. The kitchen is well equipped and everything necessary for cooking is provided, with a good sized refrigerator plus 3 hotplates and a microwave/convection oven come toaster/grill. The bathroom, although small, is very adequate and the washing/drying machine a real bonus and very easy to use.

This is an ideal base for a stay in Kyoto and beats a hotel hands down - at the end of a hard day’s touring, it is so nice to come back to such a comfortable home away from home.

Sydney, Australia

March 2015

We enjoyed our stay at the Maeniiya Machiya. My wife and I have paid 9 visits to Japan over the last 35 years and 5 to Kyoto. On this occasion we were introducing a friend from California to the many interesting sights and available activities the city has to offer. We were looking for somewhere a little more traditionally Japanese than the usual hotel and the Maeniiya Machiya certainly provided that experience. It's so conveniently located in the centre of the city yet in a quiet alley offering an authentic flavour of Kyoto's past. Traditional it may be but also well appointed with all the conveniences necessary for a comfortable stay. Along with all the temples, shrines and other cultural offering, staying at the Maeniiya Machiya will stand out in our memories for a long time to come. We will certainly recommend it to any of our family and friends who may be visiting Japan in the future.


September 2014

"Absolutely Wonderful House"

This house is nestled on a quiet street lined with old houses.  The first floor consists of an entry way, a full kitchen with a full sized refrigerator, stove, microwave, toaster oven, and utensils/dishes.  There is a room off the kitchen that has a sink and washer/dryer combo.  At one end of this room is a small toilet room and at the other is a bath tub and shower.  There is a living room off the other side of the kitchen with seating around a table and hole in the floor to sit with legs down.  There is a nice sitting room off the living room.  On the second floor is a decent sized bedroom with a small balcony.  There is also a den that serves as a second bedroom.  The tatami mats in the living room and main bedroom are wonderful.

It is about a 30 minute walk from Kyoto Station as well as Kiyomizudera, Nijo Castle, The Imperial Palace, and many other sites.  It is less than 5 minutes from the local subway line as well as private railroads.  It is located close to the shopping on Karasuma and Shijo streets.  A really great location in the centre of the city.

The location is fantastic and the house is wonderful.  We would definitely stay here again.

Joe K
Chicago, Illinois

June 2014

"Amazing traditional house in perfect location in Kyoto"

We loved our stay at this lovely, well kept traditional house.  It gave us a glimpse of Japanese living and it was great for us to sleep on the futons specially with our 6 month old baby.  There are good restaurants nearby - amazing dim sum nearby, a supermarket.  Having the bikes gave us so much freedom to explore further afield as well.

Highly recommend staying here specially if you have a family as you can do your laundry, heat food up and you don't even need to bring an umbrella as they are also provided.

Debbie F
Richmond-upon-Thames, United Kingdom

May 2014

"Lovely and convenient house"

My husband and I stayed in this lovely Machiya with our good friends (also a couple) on May 2014 for 3 nights.  We all enjoyed the stay.  The house is very clean and lovely.  We all would recommend this vacation rental.  No complaint at all.

The cozy tatami living room is a nice place to chat, watch TV, use free wifi, have meals, and play games (they even provide a deck of playing cards).  The attached garden is lovely.  The fully equipped kitchen is very convenient.  We were very surprised to see how convenient this kitchen is.  It has various dishes, utensils, cups & mugs, toaster, refrigerator, water kettle, stove, microwave, cooking tools & gadgets, and even the cooking condiments, including oil, salt, pepper, spices, soy sauce, etc.  Just like our daily kitchen.  The bath room and toilet are small but very smart.  They provide shampoo, body soap, detergent for laundry (both powder and liquid), extra tissue paper, hair dryer, ironer & ironing board, and more.  All these additional things are really appreciated for travellers.  The bedrooms upstairs are clean and comfortable and they both have the air conditioners.

The location is good.  The direction & map in Japanese they provided before arrival is very useful for taxi drivers.  The taxi driver has no problem finding the location.

Honolulu, Hawaii

"The hidden gem in Kyoto"

We enjoyed our stay at this beautiful property.  The wabi-sabi presentation of the garden is lovely!

The location is great!  We biked to the downtown, visited temples in Gion area and beyond.  Not only that we found amazing restaurants in walking distance, we were excited to find an awesome sento and a tofu shop just down the street.

All these treasures and the helpful management office made our stay in Kyoto a wonderful and special experience!

We will definitely stay at this beautiful Machiya next time when we return to Kyoto, our favourite city!

Thanks for providing such a lovely place for travellers and make us feel at home!

from San Jose, California

April 2014

"A delightful, happy tatami house"

This small tatami townhouse was perfect for me and my daughter since it had two separate bedrooms.  The house is fully equipped and easy to operate.  It is on a very quiet lane but close to everything we wanted and needed (trains, supermarket, subway, restaurants and department stores).  Actually, this was my second stay at the house;  I was there 5 years ago with my son and would go back again in a flash.  I would be pleased to be contacted directly by potential renters.


February 2014

"Loved our stay"

Our stay in Maeniiya was perfect in every way.  The check-in process was easy, and the map to the house was very helpful to the taxi driver.  Trevor and Akemi checked in with us right away to make sure were settled in and to answer any questions we might have.  We had everything we needed to make our trip to Kyoto enjoyable - except more time!  After a day sightseeing, it felt like coming home to this cozy accommodation.  Everything was clean and attractive, and the amenities were more than expected.  As noted by others, everything is within walking distance - busses, trains, shrines, food shopping and restaurants.  However, we didn't feel that we were in a big city once we needed down the alley to Maeniiya.  We fixed breakfast every morning but enjoyed the varied local cuisine in the evenings.  It's easy to fall in love with this ancient city and its gracious people.


"Perfect in every way!!!!"

The house is perfect in every way!  The location is very convenient for public transportation and shopping, but it is on a quiet and charming alley.  The house is immaculately clean with all the amenities, including clothes dryer, which is rare to come by in Japan.  It is also well decorated and very comfortable.  The owner is very attentive and easy to reach.  They would help us in any way.  The public bath house is only a half block away and my 12 year old daughter just loved it, so we went there three times this time around.  My husband ventured there for the first time and he liked it, too.  We visit Kyoto every few years for two weeks and we stay at the house.  We highly recommend the house to a family who is looking for a truly authentic experience in Japan.

Yumi A.

"Home away from home"

For those looking for a unique way to experience Japan we highly recommend staying at Maeniiya.

From the moment we arrived we felt comfortable.  It is clean and well equipped.  We appreciated the washer/dryer and Japanese style bath.  Included were also shampoo, body soap, detergent for laundry, tin foil, etc.  These little additions were well appreciated.

We ate in most evenings and with the supermarket, Fresco, just a few minutes walk away we were able to buy tasty prepared meals.

Wifi, english language TV, guide books, maps available.

Public transportation was easily accessible. Bus 50, a few minutes walk away will get you to Kyoto train station.  Kyoto train station, Gion and Nijo Castle are all approximately 25-30 minute walk.  Taxis available on main road.  Subway only 10-15 minute walk.

Heating is not central, but we had no problems adjusting to room heaters and the toasty Japanese style table heater kept our legs/feet super warm.

The only thing that we did miss was a small heater in the kitchen.  Cooking breakfast without a heater was hard!

Overall a wonderful experience.


(May 2013)

"A wonderful experience"

We stayed here in May 2013 and have just found time to write a review.  We've been to Japan every year for the past six years and have included Kyoto in each of our trips.  We always try and stay in a different type of accommodation and in a different area of this amazing city.  We really enjoyed our stay in this machiya.  It has everything that you could possibly wish for and Miho was a most gracious host.  The position is perfect as it's a quick walk to shijo dori and then a bus to wherever you wish.  We didn't try riding the bicycles but have friends who have cycled in Kyoto without any difficulty.  We couldn't recommend this machiya more highly.

Sydney, Australia

November~December 2013

"The Perfect Place to Stay in Kyoto"

Our stay in November and December 2013 was our second time at Maeniiya.  It definitely has become our "home away from home" in Kyoto.
The machiya was perfect for us as it has two separate bedrooms which were used when our son and girlfriend came to "visit" in November and our daughter "visited" in December.
The Machiya is located in the centre of Kyoto on a very quiet lane within walking distance to bus, trains, subway, supermarket, restaurants and department stores.
Maeniiya has a fully equipped kitchen, washing machine including a dryer, flat screen TV set with English channels and a DVD player.  High-speed Wi-Fi internet access allowed us to maintain contact with friends and family members back home.
Nothing is better than slipping into a futon bed after soaking in a Japanese bath.
Having two bicycles at our disposal is fabulous.  We biked almost every day.  Kyoto is a safe city to ride in with many designated bike lanes.
We have been to Japan many times but will always stay at Maeniiya when in Kyoto.
Our thanks to Miho, Trevor and Akemi for providing such a perfect accommodation.

L & G
Toronto, Canada

September, October 2013


Totally honest description of the house and accommodation (so Japanese, people here are so trustworthy) about ten minutes walk to Shijo subway station but only moments from bus number 50 from Kyoto JR station.  Kyoto is a big city and you have to take a bus to get anywhere and this is a good base.  Only ten or fifteen minutes walk to downtown and another ten to the Gion district but again take a bus on a 500yen day pass and you're there in no time.  The house is really good, I stayed there with my three kids (11, 15 and 17) and we were very happy with the bedding, location and pretty much everything.  Free wifi and cable tv a bonus, would recommend to those looking for something not so touristy.

Melbourne, Australia

"Real Japanese Experience"

We were looking forward to experiencing a genuine Japanese experience.  We were not disappointed.  The Machiya was fantastic and lived up to all our expectations.  It was great to have the freedom of lying on and cooking our own breakfast when we felt like it.  The WiFi was a great asset and the air conditioning was an added bonus as the weather was unseasonably warm.  The location was very central and taxis were easily available.

The whole experience of sitting on the floor (hole in floor to accommodate westerners), the futon beds and the location on a cobblestone pedestrian street was wonderful.

The owners were available at all times to offer assistance and advice.

The house is centrally located and allows easy access to all attractions in Kyoto.

from Clonmel, Ireland

August 2013

I wanted to let you know that we are sadly back at Kyoto station on our way to Hakone and then Tokyo. We were so sad to leave your beautiful was truly a home away from home. 

Thanks again for a great four nights!  If ever in Kyoto again, you can be sure we will stay there!



July 2013

"Superbe maison traditionnelle"

Tres belle maison traditionnelle, trés propre, rue trés calme, à 15-20 minutes à pied du quartier animé de Gion, 5 minutes des lignes de bus. Nous avons particulièrement appréciée la climatisation dans le salon et dans les chambres. Le propriétaire met a disposition deux vélos.
Stephane et Sylvie
Vichy, France

"Perfect Japanese Getaway"

Maeniiya Guest House was the perfect choice for our family of 4. With 2 kids (age 7 & 9) the house was the perfect size and allowed us to cook a bit or get take away from restaurants (or from the food market in the basement of Takashimaya Department store).

The photos truly represent the house - no surprises! Everything was perfect! Well stocked kitchen, laundry with detergent, water pressure and temperature is good for the shower/bath, bikes were provided - I couldn't possibly find fault in anything! The house was also very child friendly and we felt that the neighbors were friendly and the city felt very safe and clean.

Location: Close to subway and train stations. Taxi to Kyoto Station and other nearby sites is only 640 Yen. Easy to catch a taxi at the end of the alley. Grocery store just 3 blocks north and an aTM 1 block away at the Post Office. There are also a few restaurants in the area, but we found ourselves in

We stayed during Gion Matsuri and for the 3 evenings before the parade (14th - 16th), we could join the festivities just down the street. Each evening we went out to people watch, check out the parade floats, craft booths, carnival games, and snack stalls. Though, if you didn't go out walking, you never would have noticed there was a festival on as there was no noise!

Kells on holiday

June 2013

Family from USA

May 2013

"Couldn't be better:  we felt at home"

I missed my cats and soft pillows but if they had been on the spot, I could have stayed for months and months...  This place is absolutely perfect.  The service is the best you can get.

Amsterdam, Holland

Thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to take our Japan experience "to the next level".  Everything was charming, the exquisite use of place, traditional functionality and modern technology were amazing and the whole experience was really "something to write home about".


April 2013

"The best choice in Kyoto"

My dad and I stayed in the Machiya last week and it was a wonderful experience.  The house is just beautiful, well equipped and in an amazing location.  There are also two bikes in the house that allow you to explore Kyoto.  We felt really well taken care of during our stay.  In our two weeks in Japan this was by far the most beautiful and comfortable accommodation.  I highly recommend this Machiya to anyone planning to visit Kyoto!

Berlin, Germany

March 2013

Dear Akemi and Miho,

We just Loved staying at Maeniiya.  The house is beautiful.  It is comfortable and peaceful and spacious, the tatami rooms are lovely, the kitchen well equipped, all the bedding and fittings of high quality and the bath is blissful.  And its location is perfect, in a pretty street that is so quiet yet in the centre of town.  All this and wifi too :-).  We are always sorry to leave Kyoto, but this time we are especially so.  I think for us Maeniiya is the perfect place to stay!  I am so glad we found you.  I hope we can stay with you again in 2014.

Best wishes,

Meg and Jim

February 2013

Dear Akemi, Miho and Trevor,

We all had a fantastic time in Kyoto and in your house and it definitely wasn't long enough.  The house was perfect.  It had everything we needed and perfect for a family with plenty of room for the children. At the end of the trip I asked the children "What was the highlight of Kyoto?" and they both said the Machiya house.  So it was more popular than Nara, Himeji Castle and all the temples around Kyoto.  A highlight for myself was getting on the bicycle in the evening and exploring all the streets in the area.  It was always a welcoming site after a long day looking at all the sites around the area and we always looked forward getting back to the house.

We are now in Canada for 3 months continuing our travels.  We are at Whistler for 2 months and then a bit of touring around.

We will definitely recommend your Machiya to others.  Thank you for providing a great house for an unforgettable holiday.



January 2013

"A poetic stay"

This lovely machiya sits on a quiet narrow cobblestone alley that is reminiscent of "The Old Capital" by Ysunari Kawabata (Nobel Prize in Literature, 1968).  The machiya is located in the Nakagyo Ward of Kyoto -- the site of Kawabata's novel.  It evokes similar images of old Kyoto.  We stayed here for one month and were pleased with the house, the little garden, the location, and its proximity within walking distance to temples, shrines, museums, shops, and galleries.

Richard & Rita

December 2012

"A wonderful stay at the Maeniiya"

I had a wonderful stay at this beautiful machiya. Of course, if you rent a house you don't have the amenities, you may have in a first class hotel, like a pool, conferencing rooms or a buffet breakfast. But if you're a traveller who wants to explore Japan and its culture, a machiya like the Maeniiya is the perfect choice. After a sightseeing day full of japanese culture, you're not coming back to a solitary cell hotel room, but to a traditional house with tatami rooms. So the japanese dream goes on. Miho-san was very helpful host and gave me a very good introduction. Tourist maps and further informations is provided. The Maeniiya is well equipped. Wifi is available for free. You'll find a flat screen TV set with english channels, a DVD player, a fully equipped kitchen including a microwave which can also be used as a toaster or stove and a washing machine including a dryer. An english user manual, how to use all these devices, is provided. So don't fear Kanji-labelled buttons or menus. The Maeniiya is centrally located in Kyoto, in walking distance to bus stations and the subway. Bus Nr. 50 is 5 minutes away and takes you directly to Kyoto station. Other buses are 10 minutes away and take you to any direction. The subway station Shijo-Karasuma is also 10 Minutes in walking distance (if you arrive with heavy luggage use the elevator at exit 4 of Shijo-Karasuma station). Around there are several restaurants (my favorite was 'tenkadori'), supermarkets (like Fresco) and convenient stores. There is also a post office in walking distance. I enjoyed my stay a lot and I hope to stay at the Maeniiya again if I visit Kyoto again. 

Asia Traveller
Hamburg, Germany

November 2012

"Accommodation with character and convenience"

The machiya has been well renovated to preserve the interest of the old house, but provide all the comforts and mod-cons that would expect.  The location offers a central, convenient base from which to see Kyoto.

Communication with the owners was prompt and helpful.  The maps, appliance guides, restaurant tips and local information provided make life easy and interesting.

We stayed there with our toddler;  the accommodation worked well and Miho was more than helpful.  For families, there is a playground just around the corner and it's only a few minutes walk to the subway.

Highly recommend this property and we would happily stay there again.

Melbourne, Australia

October 2012

"dont even think about, just book it. its awesome!"

this was the one place we were most looking forward to before we even started our holiday and it didnt disappoint. the booking process was easy and straight forward, the owners responding to our emails within hours or same day. this was the first time weve booked over the internet and initially it seemed a little strange dealing and sending money to the owner who is based in canada for a house thats in japan. being newbies your always worried about scams. no worries here though, they are completly professional and if youve got any questions regarding anything about the local area our kyoto in general their only to happy to help. its an easy walk into the main shopping street, nishiki markets and gion bit the area at night is quite and peaceful. the house itself is clean and well decked out and has everything that youll need for your stay in kyoto. beds are comfy, showers great and aircon works well. the local fresco supermarket and a couple of other little shops nearby were handy for breakfast supplies. didnt really bother cooking dinner or lunch because thers so many nice places to eat nearby. up past fresco was a seven eleven and a post office is just around the corner for withdrawing local money via atms. plenty of transport options are close by, but dont be to afraid to use taxis most only charge 600-700 yen for the first 2kms, so for any sightseeing nearby its not a bad option if your not into buses. the only slight negative to the house is only a problem if youve got leg or knee issues sitting on the floor to relax and watch tv at the end of a long sightseeing day is not the most comfortable. however there plenty of cushions supplied and maybe if the owner could incorparate a small sofa it would boost the comfort level to 5 stars. so in summary, rental is the way to go. after talking to other travelers who stayed in hotels they were all completely jealous after they heard about our accommodation. it gives the space and privacy, just like home but with a wonderful japanese touch.
adelaide, south australia

September 2012

"Gorgeous place to stay"

We were completely delighted with this gorgeous machiya.  We stayed nine nights with our two children and there was plenty of room for us all to have our space.  We felt well and truly at home, yet was also wonderful to stay in a place with such a strong traditional Japanese look and feel.  It is very well equipped with all amenities and comforts, with air conditioners in every room, a washer/dryer, very comfortable beds, a well-equipped and roomy kitchen and plenty of storage space in the bedrooms.  The owners have thought of everything, down to small details such as washing powder, kitchen condiments, hairdryer and iron, which help make this a perfect choice for a longer stay.  It was also lovely to have the small outdoor area.

It's located in a quiet pedestrian laneway but within 10-15 minutes walk of central downtown Kyoto and three subway stations, and there are plenty of grocery stores and restaurants nearby.  Miho was an extremely helpful hostess and helped us with recommendations, and particularly in an emergency when we had a broken stroller and needed to find bike repair shops!

I can't recommend this place enough, especially for a longer stay.

Melbourne, Australia

August 2012

"Wonderful stay in a lovely place"

Traveling with our 7 years old daughter this place provided us with everything we needed.  I would not hesitate going back again.  Thank you again Miho, Akemi and Trevor!!!

Cristian Nicolae
Bucharest, Romania

"Great location and perfect apartment"

We stayed for 3 days in this wonderful apartment and explored Kyoto and the surrounding regions.  The location was really good and the surroundings very nice.  The apartment was equipped with everything you need and very nice.  We really recommend this apartment!

Moscow, Russia

July 2012

"Wonderful and pleasant machiya"

The Machiya was very charming, comfortable and clean, great location, quiet street, the owner was very helpful and Miho welcomed us and guided us.  Supermarket is near the house, Major bus routes is near also so Kyoto was accessible.  WiFi and cable tv, got many book guides, map of Kyoto.  

We had a wonderful and pleasant 1 week stay.


Montreal, Canada

January 2012

"A great house in a great location"

My family and I spent four days here and found it to be a great cosy house, in a gorgeous street that really added to our Kyoto experience. It was beautifully presented, had everything we needed and was a great location to base our explorations of Kyoto from..we would defintely stay there again.

Hong Kong

"Our Two Week Stay at a Wonderful Machiya in Kyoto"

Everything was perfect, great location, quiet street, the owner was very helpful. Miho welcomed us and guided us around the machiya. We found it very convenient to shopping for food and sightseeing. The machiya is charming and well supplied. WIFi and cable tv with many English channels. Don't overpack as the washer dryer is very convenient. You will find the automatic filling bathtub amazing. So much nicer than an impersonal hotel. I had fun exploring the many restaurants in the area.

Scottsdale, Arizona

November/December 2011

"Five Wonderful Weeks at Maeniiya"

We have visited Japan several times and were so glad that this time we arranged accommodation at Maeniiya for our five week stay in Kyoto. It immediately became our “home away from home”. Located in the center of Kyoto on its small cobblestone alley, this Machiya Townhouse was always very quiet. We were greeted warmly by Miho who showed us the workings of the house. She freely offered her assistance if it became necessary. The machiya itself is well-maintained and comfortable, equipped with modern appliances and amenities. There is nothing better than slipping into a futon bed after soaking in a Japanese bath. High-speed Wi-Fi internet access allowed us to maintain contact with friends and family members back home. Even though amenities such as subway, bus, and train lines are close by, having two bicycles at our disposal was wonderful. Kyoto is a safe city for biking with many bike paths and a mutual respect among vehicles, pedestrians and bikers. We biked almost every day which allowed us to see so much more of this fabulous city than would otherwise have been possible. We highly recommend Maeniiya to those who are staying a few days or more, rather than a hotel or ryokan. We will be staying again at Maeniiya during our next trip to Japan.

L & G
Toronto, Canada

"Clean, Quiet, Comfortable and Convienient Highly Recommend"

We loved this place. Not only was it handy to get to everything it was quiet at night. Everything was at your fingertips - laundry, kitchen, bikes. We would definatly recommend and stay here again.


September/October 2011

"今日は Miho さん"

My wife and I stayed at Maeniiya at the end of September/early October, and I have been reminiscing by reading your blog and looking once again at the website. We were only there for a couple of days, but we very much enjoyed our time in the Machiya. It was clean, comfortable and well located. Your check in and welcome was friendly and informative and the use of the bicycles was appreciated. Kyoto is a very interesting city and we hope to return some day and continue our exploration – there is so much more to see and experience. Thanks to you and Akemi for your friendly, helpful attitude and great accommodation.


"Wonderful Kyoto Machiya Experience"

Maeniiya was exactly what we needed in Kyoto. It has great location, close to everything we wanted. We particularly enjoyed our short walks to and from Nishiki Market and its surrounding areas. Since this is our third or fourth time in Kyoto, we didn't visit many temples and shrines except for Kiyomizu Temple, our favourite, but if you're in reasonable shape, you can readily walk or cycle to many tourist spots in the city. Subway, bus, and train lines are close by making day trips to Nara, Arashiyama, Uji and other places very easy too. Having two bicycles at our disposal was ideal. We cycled for 40 min to a flea market one day and immensely enjoyed the experience. The machiya itself is well-maintained and comfortable, equipped with modern appliances and amenities. High-speed Wi-Fi internet access was greatly appreciated as we could check our e-mails and use Skype for local and international calls as well. Miho-san was extremely helpful in making our stay in Kyoto more informed and enjoyable. We highly recommend Maeniiya to those who are tired of staying in the same old hotel but are hesitant to spend several nights in a row at a high priced Japanese-style hotel (ryokan) where you must gorge on a large amount of food twice a day everyday. Kyoto is truly a beautiful city and staying in a machiya rental is the way to go.

Toronto, ON, Canada

August 2011

"We stayed twice."

We spent a little over one month in Japan, and had opportunities to stay in several places including two other machiya townhouses in Kyoto. The Maeniiya house was by far the nicest and the best value. We liked the house and the city so much so, that we canceled a part of our trip and went back to Maeniiya the second time. Two thumbs up!!

Toronto, Canada

June 2011

"Japanese Hospitality"

My daughter and I felt right at home in this spotless and well organized home. There was easy access to all sightseeing and transportation. Miho was kind and beyond helpful in acclimating us for our stay. Kyoto is an excellent home base for day trips to Nara and Hiroshima.The stairs to the second floor may be a little tricky if you have mobility issues. We're both tall (6 ft. and 5'9) but were able to adjust easily. Amenities such as bilingual TV, bicycles , umbrellas, washer/dryer, complete kitchen and internet accesibility made our stay especially comfortable. Love the Japanese bathrooms. The price is great. We've both traveled a great deal and agree that this is a real gem!!!!

San Francisco, CA

"Fabulous! Wonderful welcome to Japan."

We stayed here for almost a week and found it a delightful place to live whilst seeing Kyoto. Miho was charm and helpfulness itself, even lending us her own bike as we were a party of 3. Everything worked exactly as it should, although the automatic bath- filling to a pre-set height at a pre-set temperature, took a bit of explaining to me. The kitchen was more than adequate for our cooking needs (yes, rice and noodles). I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable the futon/mat beds were. We were sleeping for 10 hours per night- unheard of for me but the teenagers seemed to be more practiced. I'd cheerfully stay here again.


May 2011

"Fascinating Stay in Old Kyoto"

My husband and I spent eight nights staying at 'Maeniiya', a restored traditional town house in the old part of Kyoto. It was a delightful change from the one-room hotel accommodation we'd used on the rest of our Japanese trip and gave us an insight into how a Japanese home functions. The photos on the website are factual and given an accurate indication of the layout and comfort of the townhouse. There is a main bedroom upstairs with a double futon which is left in place, and another room where two extra beds could be set up. We used this room as our dressing and computer room. The kitchen and laundry are very well equiped and the heating and airconditioning worked well. It was fun sitting on the floor of the lounge room, with our feet falling into the well underneath the large coffee table, enjoying our breakfast and looking out to our small private Japanese style garden. Two bicycles are on site although we preferred to walk and to use the excellent public transport system of buses and trains, which were not far away. (In fact, it was rather sad to leave this fabulous public transport system for the one back home here in Melbourne!) During the inquiry and booking sequence, our emails were always answered quickly and politely. Our check-in also went very smoothly, with Miho being extremely helpful both upon arrival and also later in our stay when we needed advice on using the in-house computer. Thank you Miho. The only small point which could be improved was the level of detail given to cleaning items such as ledges, lights and fridge tops. But this was probably related to the fact that we arrived at the end of a busy rental period before the onset of summer, and these details will be attended to during the quiet season. Another point worth mentioning is that one has to climb the stairs to the bedroom(s) and so some level of fitness is required. Probably not suitable for small children or arthritic oldies. I'd definitely recommend Maeniiya to tourists wanting to get a feeling of Japanese culture, but with the benefit of modern facilities. There's a sense of freedom about having the key to one's own traditional townhouse located along an enchanting cobblestoned laneway.

Melbourne, Australia

December 2010

"Perfect family accommodation"

quiet area, only about 10 minutes walk to the main street, and maybe 20 minutes or so to the train. charming, traditional yet modern, gave us a glimpse of local life in Kyoto. Very comfy matresses and fluffy warm quilts. A full kitchen which was great for breakfast amd the occasional home cooked meal. My wife and 2 x 11 y.o boys walked to everything. We didnt need taxis or buses, apart from when we got off the train as this was easier to find the Machiya at first. We all want to go back. Great value for a family of 4, where we often struggled to find a hotel that would take 4 persons, let alone at a resonable price.

Brisbane, Australia

November 2010

"Great place to relax and live in Kyoto"

Accommodated 4 quite comfortably, well supplied, convenience of internet and washer/dryer, quiet location, beautiful little garden, wonderful owners, very helpful sister, good value.

Albuquerque, NM

September 2010

"We loved Maeniiya!"

We stayed at Maeniiya for one week in September and loved every minute of it. This place was better than any hotel accommodation we have ever stayed in when traveling in Japan. If you are looking for a peaceful and quiet stay, this is the place for you! It was very clean and spacious, and many maps and guides to help you get around the city. The location is only 10-15 minutes away from the main part of downtown, and bus/subway stops are close by, along with convenient stores, supermarkets, restaurants and bars. What more could you ask for? We were also very fortunate to have Miho, who made our stay much more enjoyable. Thanks to her help we were able to watch two professional soccer games, and visit the Toji Temple's flea market. We experienced many great things during our stay in Japan, and have got to say that visiting Kyoto and staying in a machiya was one of our best highlights. I highly recommend this place to anyone, and will definitely come back again. Thank you Miho and to the owners for such a warm welcoming, and enjoyable stay. We loved your place, and the beautiful city of Kyoto.

Melbourne, Australia

August 2010

"Best place to stay!!"

This house is just unbelievable! Old and modern together. Everything is perfectly clean and all what we need was there! Next time I will go to Kyoto, I'll go there 100% sure! Fallen in love with that place!

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

July 2010

"A beautiful comfortable house"

We stayed here our last five days in Kyoto. If you are looking for a traditional house with a few more western amenities, this is your place. the Japanese table had a well for your legs and the kitchen is on the same level as the rest of the house. Lots of storage space for stuff. It is on a quiet pedestrian pathway in the middle of downtown. It was quiet at night.

There were only two of us so we kind of rattled around, but it did give me a computer room to work n. (We were making videos in temple gardens.) It would be a great place for two couples traveling. It was clean, the photos are accurate and I would certainly recommend it to a friend.

Dawn and Stephen
Boston, USA

"A wonderful home bases in Kyoto"

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Maeniiya. The neighborhood was quiet and "homey". Maeniiya had everything one could want and was very peaceful. We felt at ease immediately. That feeling was heightened by Miho, who was more than extremely helpful and who made everything run smoothly for us. The property was extremely clean and everything about it surpassed our expectations. Excellent guidebooks and maps are supplied, and Miho even called us a couple of times to tell us about things going on in town that were related to the upcoming Gion festival. It was an easy walk to several bus and subway stops, as well as to convenience and other stores for food and snacks. We recommend Maeniiya highly and would certainly stay there again. Thanks to Miho and the owners for a wonderful stay in a fascinating city.

Norma Coates
London, Ontario, Canada

June 2010

"Loved our stay at Maeniiya!"

This property was close to major bus routes and an all day pass got you everywhere. My daughters and I had a relaxing stay, after all day sightseeing we came back to a convenient location and well kept Machiya with so many extras. Hostess is very helpful (found us sports bar while the world cup was going on). This is a wonderful alternative to hotel living while you are away.

Traveling mom (Dundee, IL)

March 2010

Dear Akemi and Miho,

Thank you for all your help during our time in Kyoto. Both Emma and I really loved the city and its sights, and aim to come back one day with the rest of our family.

Lachie, Australia

November 2009

Many thanks for the use of the machiya over the last two weeks. It worked out extremely well!

We were a little worried at first about being early for momiji, and the weather seemed a little wetter than normal. But we had several perfect days for outings, and by going where the momiji turn earlier, we had some truly memorable sights (Takao being one – see below). Our last night we went to the temple in Higashiyama for night lighting of the momiji - fantastic!


We just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how much we have enjoyed the Machiya and Kyoto.  It was such a pleasure getting to meet you and we look forward to keeping up with your blog after we return home.  Goodbye for now and we hope to be back at this lovely machiya at some point in the future.

Thanks again for everything.

Nyna and Melanie

We all loved Maeniiya and its tiny street. It suited us perfectly though we were out every day and did not use the kitchen for dinner as a result. We ate only Japanese food, in a mix of styles and standards, and all felt healthier for it.

I have a strong affinity for Kyoto and for Japanese culture and sensibilities and look foreward to returning to learn Japanese (not on the itinerary for 18 months).

Miho performed her role beautifully with friendliness and grace. We shared many laughs and smiles everyday despite (sometimes because of) our tiny amount of language.



My Loverly Japan

One of our guests found this website "my loverly japan" and informed us of it.

We were very thrilled because Maeniiya was introduced (as shown here)!

Jannese is an artist living in New York, and visited us in October/November 2008. The information and photos she put together on her website are just amazing and very, very informative! So check this out!!

October 2009

"Outstanding Machiya"

A great stay in what is easily one of the best destinations in Japan. A few superlatives: 1. Great location 2. Well kept with all the needed amenities 3. Thoughtful touches provided --- maps, instructions, guide books and the host (Miho) is more than helpful. Would highly recommend, and will certainly return in the near future.

Canadian Traveler, Calgary, AB

June 2009

Just writing to tell you what a wonderful time we had at Maeniiya in Kyoto. The little house and its neighborhood gave us a small taste of living in the Kyoto of many years ago but with all the modern conveniences.

We were sorry to leave. It was a special time for me and my friends.


Ellen G., Australia

September 2008

Thank you once again for letting your Maeniiya in Kyoto!

We spent 5 wonderful days in that really beautiful machiya in the end of August. We loved to live in this nice house with all its amenities and every place was so comfortably to be reached! We sometimes wish we could come back and the only mistake was not to book the machiya for one or two days longer.

Rike and family, Germany
(Photo: Kinkakuji Temple)

We had a wonderful stay here. Conveniently located near major bus routes yet tucked away on a cobblestone lane. The owner was very accommodating and his sister in law Miho received us graciously and we knew she would always be available if we needed help.

It has a very traditional feel yet comes with so many modern amenities. A perfect place to rest and recuperate from our many days of temple, museum and breathtaking vistas scattered throughout Kyoto.

Be aware however: after a week in such a lovely city, you may never want to leave.

Rob Luck, Issaquah, WA

October 2008


Spent 8 nights, single female traveller, felt very safe, a beautiful renovated machiya in a lovely little alley close to everything. Would absolutaly recommend. Only thing no English tv. Only wanted for news so felt a bit cut off from the world. But in hindsight was able to totally "live" in beautiful Kyoto.

Marion Mccallum, Mount Kembla, NSW, Australia

July 2008

Just writing to say what a wonderful time we had in Kyoto, staying at your machiya. We did some fabulous things while we were in Kyoto, the ‘normal’ touristy temples as well as some fun things such as dressing the girls up as Maiko for a morning.

Maeniiya was a lovely haven of peace and calm, to wake up to in the morning, and to escape to at the end of hot days. And we loved exploring restaurants in your area, especially the yakiniku restaurant Fujimori and the modern sumibi restaurant on Nishinotoin – Maeda Carbon. You might want to include those on the map you give to guests.

Thank you so much for such a great experience.

Susan, Australia

June 2008

We just wanted to say thank you for renting us your wonderful townhouse. We all fell in love with Kyoto, and having a welcoming place to begin and end each day was a significant contributor to our feeling home away from home.

We will recommend it to our friends and we hope to return sometime soon. Please give Miho our thanks again for her hospitality.

Warm regards.

Brian and family, San Francisco, USA

April 2008

"Lovely place to rest"

I always enjoy renting apartments in busy, tourist cities as it gives me a chance to be in a neighbourhood I would not otherwise get to see. This Machiya is no exception - the decor and furnishings are simple, but everything is very clean and functions perfectly. I especially appreciated the quick reference cards provided that helped navigate the controls for the bath, laundry and air conditioning units. A great experience - highly recommended.

Caroline, Vancouver, BC, Canada

We had a great stay at this house. It is lovley and very centrally located in Kyoto. It was perfect for our family of 3.

Sara, Fairfax, CA

It was a pleasure to meet your sister. We had a good arrival and we were happy that we were welcomed so nice from your sister.

We enjoyed Kyoto with rain and sun and especially the famous cherry blossoms. Your Machiya is so charming. Your house is a great mixture of Japanese traditions and high-tech. We enjoyed the seating area in the living room with the great view into your lovely garden. It was a pleasure for us to sleep on futons. The bathroom with the Japanese high-tech was quite interesting and comfortable. At Friday morning we are going to leave.

Thank you very much for the nice time in Kyoto.
Best greetings

Arne and family, Austria

March 2008

This was our second time to stay in this beautiful Machiya, and we just love it! It's our home away from home when we travel to Kyoto on business. Miho who lives very close to the Machiya is always so cheerful and tries very hard to help us in anyway possible, and we appreciate it very much.

This time, Miho arranged a driver who took us on a day trip and showed us around some of the famous temples and shrines in Kyoto. It was wonderful! We hope to come back soon and thank you as always!

Amy and Kevin Chan, Singapore

My husband and I really appreciate the owner's responsiveness to our travel needs. The Machiya was very charming, comfortable and clean. We definitely would stay there again in our future travel to Kyoto. Thank you, Akemi.

Anonymous, Hawaii

January 2008

Our family (myself, my husband and our 2 children) had the pleasure of spending 3 weeks in Kyoto at this georgeous Machiya Townhouse. We loved it. The rooms are spacious and the house is truly unique. We especially loved the dining room with the sunken dining table with heating underneath. The house was warm and cosy and had everything we needed. Also, the location was ideal - walking distance to the popular shopping district and centre of town.

We highly recommend this place as a base whilst within Kyoto.

Wendy Mooney, Central Coast, NSW, Australia

January 2008

Absolutely wonderful! We loved staying here. Everything went as planned, Miho was a delightful hostess and the machiya was everything we needed. My husband and I stayed eleven nights and feel as though we really got to know Kyoto very well. We both thoroughly recommend this rental and would go back again ... and again ... and again.

Maile Sherman, Hanford, California

This was a wonderful house in which to stay. It was very well located (convenient to local transportation and the best shopping), beautifully renovated, a fine blend of the traditional and the comfortable, and the owner's relative was available to help out if needed. It is in a real neighborhood (a charming alley) and convenient to local buses and near everything else you would want to see in Kyoto.

The house was clean and well furnished with staples (like tea and coffee) to make it easy to settle in. Of course it is in a safe area too. We really loved our stay at the machiya.

Anonymous, Newton, MA

November 2007

My husband and I stayed at the machiya for 5 nights (October 20-25, 2007) and it was wonderful. It had all the comforts and conveniences of a modern apartment (much more than you would get at a hotel such as washer, computer, refrigerator, garden, etc.). It also had immense old world charm. We loved being there. It was also very convenient.

Miho told us that it was easy to get around on the bus and she was right. She gave us two great maps, one she made that told what bus to take to get to certain sights and the other was a city bus map. She also told us about a great restaurant that was very reasonable and we ended up eating there a few times.

Great experience. Would definitely recommend staying at the machiya.

Gail and Linus Masouredis, Oakland California

October 2007

We spent a week at this wonderful Machiya recently and could not have been happier with the accommodations. Everything was updated so tastefully. Very new, clean, well designed and efficient, but with old Japan aesthetics. This is a very quiet place with easy access to all of Kyoto. Miho was so helpful. We would love to stay there again.

David and Faith Wicklund, Minnesota, USA

We returned this evening from Japan and I wanted to tell you how much we loved your place! A perfectly designed house with all one needs. It was just right for me, my wife and son. We had plenty of room and the fixtures were very handy.

Miho was charming and showed us everything. We just relaxed and saw the sites. Kyoto was our favorite city. Thanks for everything.

Robert Murphy, California, USA

September 2007

On my recent trip to Kyoto, I had the pleasure to stay in your Machiya. What a great alternative to staying in a hotel. It was just beautiful with its hardwood floors and old wooden beams! I especially liked the sunken floor under the kotatsu in the living room. The western style washroom and kitchen were very convenient, and sleeping on Japanese futons, made the whole experience perfect. It overall gave me a feel for the way of life in Japan in the old days!

The location was also perfect. Being on an old cobble stone alley in the heart of the tourist district, we were able to walk to shops, sightseeing and restaurants. In a big city, it was so nice not to have to depend on transportation.

I especially want to thank Miho for all of her help. She was great in making suggestions about the best places to visit and where to eat! Arigato.

I will definitely be recommending this place to my friends in Tokyo.

Kento Hashimoto, Tokyo

April 2007

We are back from Japan and had an amazing time!

Thank you so much for the hook-up, and having Miho meet us at Maeniiya. It was nicely put together and very comfortable. The place was really just beautiful. Next time I, or my brother visit Kyoto, I am sure we will want to stay there again.

I have to definitely give a thumbs up for Miho as well. Miho totally made our stay way better than it would have been otherwise... she helped us find a few places, including Kiyomizu Temple (simply breathtaking!), and also helped us with our Japanese, and vice versa, us with her English. Her map was great as well. She should compose the official map!

Once you see it, the place really sells itself!

All in all, thanks again.

Jordan, Las Vegas