Best Kyoto Experience: Stay in a Traditional Townhouse “Machiya” 京都包棟町家月輪こはく庵

Kyoto offers a wide range of accommodations – from chic capsule hostels to fancy hotels. I looked at a lot of options. Finally I decided that we would splurge a little and book a traditional townhouse! Staying in a rustic townhouse turned out to be a wonderful touch that made our trip complete.

You experience the charm of traditional Kyoto by walking around ancient temples during the day, and that experience doesn’t need to end when you head back to the hotel. Sleeping on Japanese futon on tatami floors in a traditional townhouse in a residential area is a unique experience you don’t want to miss. The fusion of old and new is fascinating. You would likely stay in a townhouse built a century ago while the fanciest gadget in the house is an overachieving toilet with a control panel as complicated as one for a space shuttle.

京都住宿的選擇很多,從文青風格膠囊旅館到豪華飯店都有,我找了很多選項,最後決定要奢侈一點住在傳統日式老房子!最後全家都覺得很值得,有讓京都之旅更完整的感覺,體驗傳統京都不只是白天逛寺廟,晚上回飯店還可以繼續,可以體驗卡通看到的自己鋪床睡在榻榻米和式房間裡真的很酷。

Machiya (町家) are traditional Japanese wooden townhouses. During 17th-19th centuries, these were houses for merchants and craftsmen to run a storefront and live in the back.

These historic townhouses had been demolished at a scary rate. To preserve this culture, the Machiya Machizukuri Fund was created in 2005 to help fund renovation and preservation of ancient townhouses. Then these minimalist houses with modern and upscale facilities became popular accommodation choices.

這些獨棟木造日式老房子叫町家 machiya,是十七到十九世紀商人開店和住的房子,隨著都市更新一直被拆,2005年京都有了京町家保護和再生的一筆經費,接著就開始越來越多外表傳統、內裝現代的京町家旅館。

We stayed in the Kohaku-an (月輪こはく庵) in the Higashiyama District of Kyoto. It is one of the many properties of the Machiya Residence Inn. I chose this place because of its moderate cost, convenient location to bus stops and a major train line, and short walking distance to some of the most beautiful temples for fall colors.

我們住的月輪在東山地區,是Machiya Residence Inn的其中一棟房子,都是包棟町家住宿,之所以選這家是因為價格實惠、地點離公車和地鐵都很近、又可以走路到著名的楓紅景點。

This house can sleep up to six people. There are two western-style single beds in a bedroom on the second floor. Another bedroom on the second floor sleeps one to two people on Japanese futons. Two people can sleep on futons on the tatami floors in the living and dining room. Futons are neatly folded and put away during the day. You will need to make your own beds and put them away in a closet or cupboard just like the way you see in Japanese anime or movies.

月輪最多可以住六個人,二樓其中一間臥室有兩張單人床,另一間臥室是日式榻榻米,可以睡一到兩個人,一樓客廳可以睡兩個人,二樓和室和一樓客廳都是睡日式床墊,要自己鋪床。

There is one shower and a guest bathroom. If you haven’t experienced the paradise that a Japanese toilet takes you to, this is your chance to find out what you have been missing.

These toilets come with heated seats. When you’re done with your business, you can hit a button to wash your front or back — sometimes you are even able to control the temperature, pressure, and spray pattern of the water streams. Once you’re done washing, hit a button for warm air that dries. Worrying you may have stunk up the bathroom? There is a button for deodorizer. Sometimes these toilets even talk or sing to you while you do your thing. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out comedian Craig Ferguson’s piece on Netflix. (You can skip ahead to minute 42.)

整棟房子有一間浴室加廁所和一間獨立廁所,都是高科技日本馬桶。

Most of the doors are sliding paper or glass doors.

The center of the house is a lovely living room. There are tea sets, green tea, coffee, and a coffee machine.

客廳兼餐廳是榻榻米和室,咖啡機、咖啡、茶具和茶一應俱全。

It also has a full kitchen with basic kitchenware and a fridge plus a rice cooker and a tabletop hotpot cooker. We were able to make hot breakfast in the morning and enjoy dinner and drinks around the table as a family.

Even the bowls were so pretty.

還有超完備的廚房,有冰箱、簡單廚具、煮飯電鍋、和電磁爐,早上可以吃完早餐再出門,晚餐也可以回來打理,連碗都好漂亮。

Around the corner there is a decent supermarket, Daikokuya (大國屋).

Plastic bags are not free. People are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags to shop. I love that there is a self bagging area after checking out.

出門左轉隔壁巷子就是個超市,大國屋。 不只是鼓勵大家自備袋子,結帳完有個自己裝袋的區域。

One evening, we came back soon after dark, bought groceries at Daikokuya, and made a big hot pot for dinner.

其中一天晚上,快天黑越來越冷就打道回府,到大國屋買了一堆火鍋料和熟食,回來看電視煮火鍋好溫馨。

This frozen fried rice we found was very convenient and good!

誤打誤撞買了這個炒飯,下鍋熱一熱炒一炒就好,很方便,而且還不錯。

Machiya Residence Inn makes your stay very convenient. The staff speaks English. Their office is walkable from the Kyoto train station. You can check in at the office, get your combination to the number lock of the townhouse, store your luggage there, and have your luggage delivered to the townhouse you are staying in. On the day of departure, you can request delivery service for them to pick up your bags and keep them at the main office. (Luggage delivery service rate in 2017 was 750 yen per bag.)

住在Machiya Residence Inn出租的包棟町家很方便,講英文可以通,他們的辦公室離京都車站不會太遠,到京都可以先來check-in,拿町家密碼鎖的密碼,可以把行李寄在這裡,一天玩完再回來拿,或者可以請他們送到你住的地方,離開那天也是可以把行李留在町家,打電話check out,請他們把行李送到辦公室,要去京都車站坐車前再來拿行李。(行李運送一件日幣750)

Compared to other machiya hotels that I researched, Kohaku-an is a moderate-priced place. Although it’s not as big and fancy as some of the townhouse rentals, and there’s no beautiful hallway and Japanese garden, I love the moderate and compact living space. It was amazing to have a traditional Japanese townhouse all to ourselves.

Kohaku-an is in a very convenient residential area. There are two supermarkets and couple of convenience stores in the vicinity. The Tofukuji station of Keihan Main Line is about five minutes of a walk. It’s less than five minutes in walking distance from bus stops.

和很多包棟町家比起來,月輪算中價位,沒有厲害的日式庭院和漂亮走廊,但是小小的很居家,住包棟町家真的是體驗京都的好方法。

月輪地點很好,附近有兩家超市和幾間便利商店,走路五分鐘就到京阪本線的東福寺站,出門沒走幾步路就是公車站。

The house is within walking distance to some of the most beautiful temples in Kyoto.

Kyoto’s number one fall color destination Tofukuji is about a 15 minute walk. When the leaves turn, Tofukuji gets extremely busy. It is a place you want to go early in the morning. We took advantage of this location and visited the very busy Tofukuji soon after it opened in the morning.

這間房子離幾個賞楓著名景點很近,走路十五分鐘就到京都楓紅名所人擠人東福寺,早上想多早去都可以。

A much less visited temple, Chishaku-in, is within 10 minutes of walking distance. We strolled through the Chishaku-in also early in the morning when there were barely any visitors.

走路不到十分鐘就是比較不有名的智積院,這裡本來就比較少人,一早去十分清幽。

 

Kohaku-an|月輪こはく庵
3-8 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Sennyūji Suzumegamorichō 〒605-0975
Starting at 46,000 yen a night; rates vary depending on season, date, and number of guests.
kyoto-machiya-inn.com/kohaku/

Machiya Residence Inn
A map of its properties
kyoto-machiya-inn.com

 

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