Kyoto is known for its streets lined with historical Japanese wooden townhouses, also known as machiya. Many of them have been renovated into tourist attractions like an affordable boutique hotel, a Hello Kitty-themed hotel room and even a pop-up exhibition by luxury fashion house Gucci.
There’s no shortage of machiya to visit and stay in, but not all of them are fully equipped to welcome all guests. That’s where the accessible, pet-friendly Machiya Hotel Yanagi comes in. Located in a quaint neighbourhood of Kyoto, this 100-year-old machiya looks like a typical traditional townhouse with kawara tile roofing and wooden sliding doors. But the interior has been completely transformed into a stylish, modern Japanese house.
The floors are entirely flat, with access ramps and an extra large bathroom, so guests in wheelchairs can enjoy the space easily. You can also request a helper if you need any assistance.
The two-storey house can fit up to seven people. There’s one bedroom on the first floor with two beds, while the second floor has another bedroom with three beds and a traditional tatami room with two futons. Plus, there’s a fully equipped kitchen and a private outdoor terrace designed to look like a Zen rock garden.
The minimalist decor continues the Zen theme, and the house feels both uncluttered and stylish. As a nod to the rivers of Kyoto, the second-floor walls are partially painted blue and there are bridge-like walkways connecting some of the upstairs rooms.
Pets are also welcome to stay without any extra cost, which means your fur baby can join in the holiday, too. Just make sure to bring any necessary pet supplies and a cage.
For a real taste of Kyoto, guests can participate in an accessible sado (tea ceremony) experience, where you’ll learn how to brew sencha and gyokuro rather than the traditional matcha green tea. The ceremony takes place at the outdoor terrace on the first floor, but you can also request to have it indoors. It costs ¥3,500 per person for a 90-minute lesson and is offered in multiple languages to accommodate international guests.
Machiya Hotel Yanagi is only a short bus ride away from many city attractions like the famous Kinkakuji Temple, Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and Nijo Castle. A night here starts from ¥7,000 per person, and you can book through the official website.
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