As you step off the train in Kyoto, the people and the station overwhelm you. Hundreds of folks traveling to destinations all over Japan are moving through this train station in the center of the city. After our 45 minute ride from Kansai airport, we head toward the south exit to find Bus #100. We hop on the bus and pay using our bus passes and head west, toward the Higashiyama neighborhood and the rows of traditional Japanese homes called Machiya. After a winding walk through the neighborhood we look around for a small alleyway that opens into a small courtyard of twelve houses….at the end of the courtyard, we find our spot, Juichi-an, number 11.
This particular house is managed by a wonderful company Windows to Japan. These folks are easy to work with and provide excellent services to visitors in and around Kyoto.
As you can imagine, a stay in a machiya is like living in the past; a way to experience Japanese life as millions live it to this day. The rooms are small, the space tiny, compared to U.S. homes, and the machiya have an undeniable charm and feeling of being IN Japan in a way that a hotel room simply does not capture.
Our days are spent out and about in Kyoto visiting shrines and temples, shops and museums. Our evenings will be spent in this traditional home. We bring food from the local market, prepare it in the kitchen, and eataround a table sharing our experiences of the day.
Our time in Japan will capture your imagination and offer a perspective on the city few people ever get to experience.
After these days in Kyoto, you will leave with a real appreciation of the city, Japanese culture, and the history of this remarkable place. Are you ready for the adventure?