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Iho-an-Cottage of Lingering Fragrance

Bedrooms 1
Property type house
Minimum Stay 1 - 3 nights


About the property

House, 1 Bedroom + Convertible bed(s), 1 Bath, (Sleeps 2-3)

IHO-AN is a Traditional Kyoto Machiya (townhouse)

【We have 12 properties all centrally located.Please check our other listing, or inquire for details.】

IHO means Lingering Fragrance, AN means Cottage. The name came about from the lingering fragrance of incense that sometimes permeates the house from the adjacent temple.

Iho-An is a traditional Kyoto Machiya located down a tiny quiet laneway in an enclave of 12 houses. It has been lovingly restored in the traditional style and furnished with antiques along with modern amenities like air-conditioning, western toilet and modern kitchen. It is fully equipped with a kettle, toaster, hairdryer, linen, towels, microwave, washing machine, dryer, TV, and everything you need to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable.

Iho-an is 47.72 square meters, has two stories, upstairs is a large bedroom with a double bed, with adjacent lounge room overlooking Kyoto’s beautiful old tile rooftops. Be aware that the steps are very steep. Downstairs is a dining room with adjacent lounge room with fold down sofa bed. Through the sliding doors is a fully equipped modern kitchen. Also down stairs is the modern toilet and traditional round cast iron Japanese bath set in stonework but with a modern hot water system.

Iho-An is located in the temple district of Kyoto adjacent to Kyoto’s Higashiyama tourist area. The area around the house has many interesting shops and is steeped in Kyoto history. The highlights of Kyoto; Heian Jinju, Kyoto Museum, Nanzenji, Kodaiji and Chion-in Temples, Maruyama Park, Philosophers Path and many more are an easy stroll from Iho-An. There are many interesting cafes, antique shops and specialty shops that make sweets, incense and bags from old kimonos. Fifteen minutes away are the Higashiyama mountains that have superb hiking. Also the upmarket restaurant area of Pontocho along the banks of the Kamagawa River is an easy stroll. This whole area is flat and an easy walk and as with all Kyoto is quiet and perfectly safe.

There is free WIFI in the house.

Inside the house you will also find 'Kyoto guide' with lots of maps and information on sights and things to do. In Kyoto and we are more than happy to help guests plan their itineraries while in Kyoto. Please refer to our planned tours.

Iho-An is NON-SMOKING. No daily cleaning is offered.

Rates are as below.

(Please note that our base rates are in Japanese Yen, and US$ rates shown are approximate conversions for reference only.)

Regular Season Rate:15,000JPY for 2 persons

Jan.4-Mar.26, May.8-Jul.13, Dec.6-Dec.30

Middle Season Rate: 20,000JPY for 2 persons

Apr.26-29, Jul.17-Aug.12, Aug.17-Oct.31

High Season Rate: 26,000JPY for 2 persons

Apr.19-25, Apr.30-May.7, Jul.14-16, Nov.1-Nov.19

Festival Season Rate: 34,000JPY for 2 persons

Mar.27-Apr.18, Aug.13-16, Nov.20-Dec.5

*Every extra 1 person, add 3,000JPY per night

*Only for Regular season, every 7 nights, get 1 night fee.

*Under 3 nights stay, require a cleaning fee of 4,000JPY.

*Pl consult with us for special rate for long stay above 3 weeks.

More Details

Wendy Lee
Member since: 2008
Speaks: english, french, mandarin
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
July 3, 2017

About Wendy Lee

We, your hosts at Windows to Japan (a tour operator agency based in Japan which creates and organizes tours in Japan) can offer much more to help you optimize your Japanese experience, by planning and arranging parts of, or your entire tour in Japan by introducing unique windows through which you can unveil more layers of Japan’s enigmatic culture.

We offer special tours with reduced rates to guests staying in our houses. For more information, please contact us.

Wendy Lee purchased this house in 2009



Higashiyama House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM / Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
  • Air Conditioning
  • Broadband Access ...
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Free Wifi
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Dining Area
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • 1
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 4
  • Double Beds (1) Western Style Double bed, Sleep Sofa or Futons (1) Fold down sofa bed downstairs , sleeps one
  • DVD Player
  • Television
  • Video Library
  • cinemas
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • hiking
Check-in 3PM Check-out 11AM


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(20 traveler reviews)

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Iho-an-Cottage of Lingering Fragrance
average rating of 4.8 based on 20 reviews
St Louis, MO

Beautiful, Quiet and Traditional

  • 4 of 5

Even though our first entry into the Machiya was FREEZING (the heat was not on, and it took a day to get up to temperature), this was an amazing stay. Kyoto of course is incredible, but the location of this place and its quiet (with mod cons) ambience was a close second. We could walk everywhere--Yasaka shrine, Gion, Heian, museums, restaurants (we went to Indian--Kerala, and Korean--Pinyo and of course Niomon Uneno Noodles just down the street), and being close to the 24 hour grocery was so convenient. A note of caution to those who are larger and have any sort of joint problems (we aren't/don't and are quite athletic and agile)--this would not be a comfortable situation--the stairs are almost like a ladder, and the bathtub is not comfortable if you can't squat in it.There is a shower but it is not in a stall so you use the entire bathroom like a stall --which is fine, but if the rest of the house is cold (which it was the first day), then it's a bit chilly to dress outside the bathroom. It is great that such places exist! A wonderful Japanese adventure!

  • Submitted: Jan 8, 2017
  • Stayed: Dec 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0

Traditional awesomeness

  • 5 of 5

We rented the house for 5 nights to discover Kyoto. It was perfectly situated: in the center of Kyoto in a quiet but lovely neighborhood. It is very nice to have your own place (especially kitchen) to make some (continental) breakfast or to drink a cup of tea /coffee after a long day of site-seeing. As described, the house is built very small (tall people will bump their head/steep stairs) and you have to be quiet to not disturb the neighbors. Also, it is a lovely Japanese experience to take a bath in the Iho-an. I would certainly recommend this romantic small house for a couple!!

  • Submitted: Jun 7, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0
Eugene, Oregon

Great location, but not for everyone....

  • 3 of 5

My husband and I stayed at Iho-An for a week in March 2015. It IS perfectly located.... close to an excellent supermarket (go out of the little alley where the residences are, turn right, then right again at the first street, the Aeon Market is just down the block on the left), close to the subway and bus lines. However, we walked literally everywhere. Even out to the Golden Pavilion was about a 90 minute walk, which we enjoyed. So really, the location is absolutely perfect to see everything you would like to see.

The staff are amazing. They came to help whenever we had problems (I had not received the door code, and thought someone would meet us there... we called at about 7pm standing in the rain and someone was there to let us in within 10 minutes).

However, we had some issues. This is a very old home, which DOES give it that ancient, cultural experience, but it comes at a price. It is very small. Every room is separated by a ceiling header. This was okay for me at 5'4", however my husband is 6'2" and he had to constantly duck as he moved from room to room, and when he forgot, he would hit his head. It made it uncomfortable for him to be in the home because he couldn't move very freely.

The sitting room upstairs is where the TV is, which was a bit inconvenient in the evenings, and there is no local programming. We had our iPads and were able to connect via HDMI and then to Dish Anywhere, so that worked for us, but if you are planning on local programming, it is not available.

The toilet is in one little room (with two headers that my husband had to dodge every time he used it), and the shower and sink are in an opposite room. The floor is stone and VERY cold. The tub/shower is interesting. It is a cast iron round tub, about 2.5 feet deep and about 3 feet across. The bottom is concave, so you can't really stand flat-footed it in. You have to kind of fold yourself into this little tub and hold the hand-held shower over your head, put it down to soap up or shampoo, then rinse again. It was a bit of a challenge (more for my husband than me because I fit into it better). Then of course the stone floor was very cold when you get out. We used the slippers when we could, but the floor tended to get quite wet and we didn't want to have wet slippers.

We are perhaps better suited to a more modern property. For those who really want the traditional experience (and aren't much taller than 5'6"), I'm sure this property would work very well.

  • Submitted: Mar 26, 2015
  • Stayed: Mar 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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5 0
Vancouver, B.C.

A Magical Time at Iho-an

  • 5 of 5

We stayed in this wonderful machiya in March, April, and May of 2013 and loved every minute of it. Walking through the entrance way from the street to the small alley where the house is located is like stepping back 100 years in time – absolutely magical! The location in Higashiyama couldn’t be better and is close to temples, museums, restaurants, supermarkets (two within a five-minute walk), and the subway and busses. The area is quiet with plenty of atmosphere and interesting discoveries are found around every corner – we counted 9 small temples on our daily walk to the supermarket. The apartment itself was perfect for the two of us with an excellent well-equipped kitchen, living and dining areas downstairs (with two sofa beds) and a bedroom (with a very comfortable bed) and another sitting room upstairs (via a very steep stairway – definitely not for toddlers or anyone with mobility issues). The machiya is the perfect blend of traditional and modern and has been very well maintained and was spotlessly clean when we arrived. The owner Wendy and her staff could not have been more helpful, courteous, and accommodating and no request seemed too difficult for them. I would not hesitate to recommend this machiya and we look forward to staying at Iho-an again when we return to Kyoto.

  • Submitted: Jun 15, 2013
  • Stayed: Feb 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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3 0
Alberta, Canada

Excellent location, character accomodation

  • 4 of 5

Iho-an is in an excellent location, very convenient to the train system, it was quite and comfortable and gave a feeling for what old Kyoto would have been like . Wendy and Naoko went out of their way to make our stay as pleasant as possible, we thank them for making the reservation at the Rikichi; we had a wonderful evening at an excellent restaurant.

The only catch is if you are a little tall watch out for your head the beams and doorways are low, this is not meant as a negative all of the old machiyas are the same.

  • Submitted: Jun 13, 2013
  • Stayed: May 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0
Glasshouse Mountains, Queensland, Australia

Iho-an - We highly recommend it!

  • 5 of 5

We loved our stay here. Here's why -

The machiya is in an excellent position for sight seeing in Kyoto. On a previous visit to Kyoto, we stayed in a hotel close to the main train station and found it complicated to get around. Iho-an, on the other hand, is in a great position for sight seeing - within easy walking distance of Gion, Pontocho, Higashiyama temples etc, fantastic. We also preferred it for a more "Japanese experience", rather than staying in a hotel. We caught a taxi to the property after arriving on the shinkansen and it was not expensive, around 1200 yen from memory. The streets are a grid design and, once we had our bearings, we found it really easy to walk around.

The machiya itself is gorgeous, carefully renovated so that it's comfortable and pleasing but hasn't lost its character. It also has the modern conveniences of a washing machine (with dryer function) and a great kitchen. The bed upstairs is very comfy and we were really cosy up there in the midst of winter! Even with the heating on however, the downstairs area was a little chilly (remember, midst of winter!) Having said that, the kids were cosy when tucked up in bed under the doonas. And, blissfully, the toilet seat is heated!

The area has the conveniences of a supermarket close by, taxis, buses and subway easily accessed, loads and loads of restaurants and (for the kids tired of eating unfamiliar food and adults looking for a nice latte!) MacDonalds is a block away.

For an affordable, comfortable, convenient, "full of character" place to stay, you can't go past Iho-an. Before I booked this accommodation, I read a review of Iho-an that said "Just do it". So I did and am so glad. We loved it. :-)

  • Submitted: Jan 24, 2013
  • Stayed: Dec 2012
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional
This calendar has not been updated in over 2 months and the availability shown may not be accurate.

Additional information about rental rates

cleaning fee $54

To confirm the reservation, we ask for one night NON refundable deposit of a 1 night rate through credit card upon booking.
As for the rest balance, we ask for a payment by credit card (2% additional service fee) to be completed 3 weeks before your arrival. *Pl note we can accept only VISA, MASTERCARD, AMEX, JCB and Diner club.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.

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