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The Gion House (Lower Level) in Prime Gion Location

Sleeps4
Bedrooms 2
Bathrooms1
Property type apartment
Minimum Stay 5 nights

Overview

About the property

Apartment, 2 Bedrooms + Convertible bed(s), 1 Bath, (Sleeps 2-4)

The Gion House is an old wooden, traditional-style 'machiya,' located on an atmospheric side street in the awe-inspiring geisha quarters of Gion, in the heart of old Kyoto. It was fully restored by renowned Kyoto-based architect Geoffrey Moussas.

The house was recently shown on American TV channel HGTV's series 'You Live in What?,' as well as on CNN International's 'On The Road.' The house has been shown in three architecture/interior-related magazines, and on several TV programs in Japan. The Gion House was selected by Lonely Planet Japan's author Chris Rowthorn as the 'Best Vacation Rental in Kyoto.'

The Gion House Lower Level is the entire ground floor, which has it's own entrance, and is completely independent from the Gion House Upper Level. The Lower Level was extensively renovated in March 2010, to make it suitable for vacation rental.

This unit has a large, traditional 'genkan' with stone step, which is typical of Japanese machiya. After removing your shoes, you step up, into a warm and cozy environment, with many architectural features that are particular to a traditional Japanese house. Whenever possible, natural materials are used...wood, paper, tatami, glass, and stainless steel. Upon closer observation, one can see that modern elements have been integrated with the old ones...there is radiant heating under the floors, to keep the place warmer in the Winter than your typical heating system. There is a fully equipped kitchen with high quality utensils and ceramic dishware made in Kyoto.

There are two bedrooms. One is Japanese style, a double futon on the tatami mat floors and ceilings of washi (traditional Japanese paper.) The other is bedroom has wood flooring, with a very solid and comfortable double bed. Both bedrooms have ample closet space.

The living area is adjacent to its own small garden. There is a sofa, and there is also a dining table placed over a traditional Japanese 'horikatsu,' an open space in the floor, which allows for comfortable seating.

Throughout are antique lighting fixtures and sliding doors, in addition to antique tansu chests and intricately handcrafted woodwork, which is also antique.

According to neighborhood sources, before it was converted into a residence, the Gion House was an 'ochaya,' or a traditional establishment where the patrons of Gion have been entertained by geiko and geisha in a very exclusive setting. The house is over 100 years old.

The location is superb in terms of being central and being steeped in atmosphere. This property is actually located within the very heart of what is considered to be 'Gion.' The location is completely quiet, since it is tucked on a side street with almost no through car traffic. There are numerous temples, restaurants, and shops located nearby, with walking access to major tourist sights such as Kiyomizu Temple, Chion-in, and Maruyama Park. The downtown shopping district and Kamo River are also just a ten minute walk away. Nearby is easy access to public transportation and taxis.

The Gion House is just five minutes' walk from Hanamikoji Street, one of the most traditional and preserved sections of Kyoto, where you can find old 'machiya' style wooden houses in abundance. You can also find geishas scurrying down the alleyways on their way to work in the evenings.

Our property borders the expansive grounds of the Kenninji Temple, Kyoto's oldest Zen temple.

You’ll enjoy the luxury and ambiance of the Gion House, and the location can’t be beat for a memorable Kyoto experience in the very special part of town called Gion.

Keywords: Japanese House

More Details

Owner
Owner
Member since: 2003
Speaks: english, Japanese
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
80%
Calendar last updated:
April 28, 2017

About The Owner

The owner, Curtis Hawes, divides his time between Kyoto and San Francisco. He has a deep affinity for both places. Bridging the rest of the world with Kyoto is one of his missions in life, and the Gion House is one small way to offer visitors a peaceful respite in a very Japanese setting, right in the middle of the city, in Gion.

The Owner purchased this apartment in 2006

Why The Owner chose Kyoto

I bought this house because of it's location, inside one of the neighborhoods that still retains more than a a bit of the flavor of 'old Kyoto.'

What makes this apartment unique

Some things that are unique about this property:

-The touch of the architect, who re-worked this old, traditional-style house, to make it perfectly modern and luxurious, without sacrificing the original charm of the house.

-The sounds that emanate from the neighboring Kenninji Temple grounds next door early in the morning....gongs and bells.

-The tranquility of the neighborhood, which is a rare luxury in the center of Kyoto.

Amenities

Higashiyama Apartment Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • apartment
Meals:
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • non smoking only
  • children welcome
General:
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Linens Provided
  • Telephone
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
Kitchen:
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
Dining:
  • Dining Area
Bathrooms:
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
Bedrooms:
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Double Beds (2) Option of sleeping on double bed or a double futon., Sleep Sofa or Futons (1)
Entertainment:
  • Satellite / Cable

Learn more about this vacation rental at the owner's website:

Reviews

Exceptional! 5/5 -
(97 traveler reviews)

The Gion House (Lower Level) in Prime Gion Location
average rating of 4.9793816 based on 97 reviews
5

Great place to stay central, but still quiet.

  • 5 of 5

Thank you to Curtis, Junko and Saki. We had a wonderful stay at the Gion house. Great location, the property had everything we needed, very modern yet traditional. The cafe next door was great as well.

  • Submitted: Apr 23, 2017
  • Stayed: Apr 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Calgary, Alberta
5

Our "Home" in Kyoto

  • 5 of 5

This was our first time in Kyoto and Japan; The lovely Gion House (Lower Level) became our home for 6 nights. We were sad to leave as had it truly became our home and oasis to come back to after busy days sightseeing. The house is located in a good area with many things available by walking; 3 minutes to the bus stop, 7 minutes to the train station, 10-15 minutes to the Nishiki Market area, 5-7 minutes to a small supermarket and just a few minutes to the quaint alleyways and streets of Gion. Curtis and his staff are very responsive and available, with many questions answered the same day or if not, by the next day. We were given very clear instructions how to arrive and for check-in that were easy to follow even for us non-Japanese speaking first timers. Junko was always available by phone or email if we needed anything and helped send our luggage onward to Osaka as well.

Overall the suite was decorated well, extremely clean and much of what you might need thoughtfully provided, plus fresh flowers that included ?cherry blossoms. Wifi worked great. The kitchen was set up well with even spices, cooking oil and salt and pepper. The only thing I didn't find was soy sauce, but you could easily get some small packets when buying sushi or prepared foods at supermarkets. There was no toaster, but apparently the microwave toasts? With all the pastries and breads available to purchase in Kyoto we did not miss toast at all. The bathroom sink area was compact (ie for one person) but the shower and tub area were large. Water pressure was great and the tub was wonderful to soak in, especially after hiking, with a convenient window right by in case it go too warm! If you are a bathroom person, this place is for you. We found the western bed comfy but a bit smaller than a conventional queen-sized bed. The washer/dryer worked very well; very small frequent loads worked better. The street outside can get noisy with traffic and with tourists by about 8 or 9 am but by around 8 pm it became very quiet. We also found our "neighbours" nice and friendly.

Overall we loved the Gion House (Lower Level ) and would return. The suite is made to sleep 4 people; I would recommend it for two adults only or two adults and maybe 2 small children if you like your privacy, as it is cozy by western standards.

  • Submitted: Apr 9, 2017
  • Stayed: Mar 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Dartmouth Mass
5

Beautiful and comfortable

  • 5 of 5

I was recommended to Lower Gion House by a wonderful friend. Traveling by myself without a wisp of Japaese language skills was challenging but Saki at Gion helped me negotiate reservations at restaurants and more. The exterior is beautiful old Kyoto style while the interior was modern, with full kitchen, luxurious stone soaking tub, clean as a whistle and fully connected. Perfectly located with a bouquet of seasonal flowers awaiting me.

  • Submitted: Feb 26, 2017
  • Stayed: Feb 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0
5

Rare pristine home in Gion

  • 5 of 5

I stayed at the Gion house with my husband and another couple. We had a lovely time in the house. Everything was exactly as described, clean, modern, and centrally located. You don't need a car to get around and explore old Kyoto/Gion if you stay here. Junko was extremely helpful in securing restaurant reservations for us. I would not hesitate to come back and stay the the Gion house if I find myself back in Kyoto, what a treat it was to have stayed here. Thank you Curtis and his wonderful staff/team!

  • Submitted: Jan 24, 2017
  • Stayed: Dec 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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5

Wonderful stay!

  • 5 of 5

We had the perfect stay in Gion house. The location is perfect right in the heart of the Gion district which made it the ideal base from which to explore Gion. The house itself is exactly what we were looking for - the luxury bed linen and fantastic bathroom were personal highlights! Also fantastic were the help we got before and during our stay - Curtis, Junko and Suki were super helpful in organising restaurants and transport and it was great to pop into their office upon arrival for help with our itinerary!! Their perfect English was another bonus! Definitely stay here if you're coming to Kyoto - we will be back! Thanks again.

  • Submitted: Nov 13, 2016
  • Stayed: Nov 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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5

Magnificent house in the heart of Gion!!!

  • 5 of 5

The Gion house is a jewel family house in the heart of Gion neighborhood. In a little calm street, just two minutes away from KenninjiTemple. You will find the peaceful sounds of the zen preying in the little Japanese garden. The interior combines the traditional Japanese decoration and the modern kitchen and bathroom. Wanderful!!!

Very nice welcoming with fresh flowers and origami. The owner and all the team are so nice and ready to help.

I definitely recommend a stay in the house!!!!

Thank you again for everything!!!

❤️❤️❤️

  • Submitted: Oct 19, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Map

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Rates & Availability

Higashiyama Apartment Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
USD
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
 
High Season
Apr 21 2017 - May 31 2017
5 night minimum stay
$320
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $27 per night, per additional guest
 
Mid Season
Jun 1 2017 - Sep 30 2017
5 night minimum stay
$300
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $27 per night, per additional guest
 
High Season
Oct 1 2017 - Nov 10 2017
5 night minimum stay
$320
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $27 per night, per additional guest
 
Peak Season
Nov 11 2017 - Nov 30 2017
5 night minimum stay
$340
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $27 per night, per additional guest
 
Mid Season
Dec 1 2017 - Dec 24 2017
5 night minimum stay
$300
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $27 per night, per additional guest
 
High Season
Dec 25 2017 - Jan 5 2018
5 night minimum stay
$320
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $27 per night, per additional guest
 
Low Season
Jan 6 2018 - Feb 28 2018
5 night minimum stay
$285
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $27 per night, per additional guest
 
Mid Season
Mar 1 2018 - Mar 20 2018
5 night minimum stay
$300
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $27 per night, per additional guest
 
Peak Season
Mar 21 2018 - Apr 20 2018
5 night minimum stay
$340
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $27 per night, per additional guest
 
High Season
Apr 21 2018 - May 31 2018
5 night minimum stay
$320
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $27 per night, per additional guest
 
My Standard Rate
5 night minimum stay
$330
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $27 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Rates are in Japanese Yen. US $ rates are for reference only.
Minimum stay 5 nights.

Payment by Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Paypal, or international wire transfer.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.

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