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Amber House Gion in Prime Gion Location

Bedrooms 2
Property type house
Minimum Stay 5 nights


About the property

House, 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath, (Sleeps 2-4)

*Please also have a look at our other listings for The Gion House Lower Level, listing 294674, and The Gion House Upper Level, listing 105505. Amber House Gion is located in the same charming neighborhood, just 20 meters away from The Gion House. Location couldn't be better!!

Amber House Gion is a spacious two-storey machiya house, tucked away on a residential cul-de-sac off a side street in the center of old Gion. The back side of the house has windows that face directly into the gardens of Kenninji, the oldest Zen temple in Japan. There is no through car traffic, affording visitors a truly tranquil setting. The main sounds to be heard are the gongs and chimes from inside the temple, the nightingales in the Spring, the cicadas in the Summer, the crickets in the Fall,

The house was built in the Meiji Period, over 100 years ago, by a local architect, whose distinctive style sets this house apart. “Ochaya” tea houses such as this were originally designed as exclusive places where geishas would entertain the elite members of society, in a very high-end, private setting. Amber House Gion is now set up with a living room, two spacious bedrooms, kitchen, and bath. There is a small inner garden, framed by large plates of glass for private enjoyment. Radiant heating provides warmth in the Winter, and ample air conditioning assures coolness in the Summer. There is abundant natural light, since the house faces South.

Amber House Gion was renovated by renowned Kyoto architect, Geoffrey Moussas, who has achieved high acclaim for his machiya restorations in Kyoto. The house has been meticulously decorated with a high-end combination of antique and stylish modern elements, and was designed with the comfort of Western visitors in mind. Whenever possible, natural and locally sourced materials have been used, and synthetic materials avoided. Many elements have been made by hand in Kyoto by local artisans.

The house can accommodate two to four persons. Two spacious tatami mat bedrooms offer sleeping on either an extra-wide double bed, or a double futon. There is plenty of storage space. The kitchen is fully stocked with everything you might need if you were to cook at home every day. There is free wifi, however, there is no TV.

More Details

Curtis Hawes
Member since: 2003
Speaks: english, Japanese
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
January 17, 2018

About Curtis Hawes

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. He is obsessed with old Kyoto.


Higashiyama House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Downtown ...
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Free Wifi
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , tub , shower , Bathroom has under-floor heating
  • Modern high-tech toilet.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 double , 1 sleep sofa /futon , High quality double futon with feather comforter / pillows
    Bedroom 2 - 1 double , Extra-wide double bed with down comforter and pillows
  • Books ...
Onsite Services:
  • Massage
  • festivals
  • health/beauty spa
  • live theater
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • shopping
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(20 traveler reviews)

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Amber House Gion in Prime Gion Location
average rating of 5.0 based on 20 reviews

Definitely recommend!

  • 5 of 5

I stayed in Amber House with my parents and brother and we had such a lovely time. It was so nice to be able to spread out and we loved the quiet neighborhood. I think it was a highlight of the trip for everyone. All the charms of an old Japanese house without the inconveniences!

  • Submitted: May 3, 2017
  • Stayed: March 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Full of character in a great location

  • 5 of 5

We stayed in this house which is full of character for six nights. It had everything we needed for two adults and three children and was in a fabulous location - close to rail and bus links to see the sites and lots of easy eateries very close by. The booking process was easy and efficient. There is a small cafe next door and the manager was hugely helpful and serves great burgers and won-ton soup which went down well with the kids! Overall a great experience.

  • Submitted: Apr 9, 2017
  • Stayed: March 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Fantastic service and location

  • 5 of 5

We enjoyed our stay at this charming property.

The service was fantastic. The staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome, including a surprise "Happy Birthday" banner on my birthday! When our airline unexpectedly rescheduled our flight, Saki jumped into action to help us round up last-minute transport to Osaka.

We were two couples, so the two bedrooms with kitchen and living room were an ideal setup. We used the kitchen's rice cooker almost every day – it's surprising how nice it is to have hot rice available at any hour (add an egg or nori and you've got a great snack). The in-house laundry facilities were very welcome as this was the last leg of a 2 week trip.

As others have mentioned, the location of Amber House can't be beat. Hearing the soft drums/gongs from the neighboring temple in the morning was very atmospheric without being intrusive. So many great sights are within walking distance. The house's windows looked out onto secluded gardens – very peaceful. Being able to stay in this quiet, residential corner of Gion is worlds away from being in a hotel district.

  • Submitted: Mar 6, 2017
  • Stayed: February 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Great location and great facility!

  • 5 of 5

Such a rare thing to find so much quiet space among the crowds. And the location couldn't be better! Easy access to many great locations and the facility was great!

  • Submitted: Mar 1, 2017
  • Stayed: February 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Best place to stay in Kyoto

  • 5 of 5

I have stayed in 2 of Curtis's place in Gion (Both at the Amber house and the Gion house, on 2 separate occasions) and i would really love to recommend both places to stay.

The location is really convenient within walking distance from major tourist attractions and yet without the usual ruckus that tourists bring. The accommodation is in a quiet part of the neighbourhood with friendly neighbours around and a handy grocery shop round the corner.

Kyoto is known for its temples and shrines, and having Kenninji just next door would really add to the experience. Imagine waking up the calm morning chants from the temple - there's no better way to start your mornings than that.

The houses are very well equipped with everything thing you will possibly need and very clean and well kept too! Lovely and spacious too!

The friendly people working with Curtis are very helpful and kind too. If you would need any help during your stay, they would be the go to person! I had the privilege of meeting Curtis himself on the morning before my departure which was a very nice touch.

I look forward to coming back to stay the next time i'm in Kyoto :)

  • Submitted: Dec 11, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Each time we stepped inside this beautiful house, it was like stepping into another era.

  • 5 of 5

From the tatami mats, to the sliding doors, we loved every part of this house! It had been beautifully restored, and I loved walking on the tatami mats, so smooth and warm, with modern conveniences like heaters and air conditioners hidden cleverly behind timber facades, so as not to spoil the traditional feel. My family of 4, with two boys aged 8 and 9, stayed for 8 nights at Amber House. We arrived quite late on a Saturday night, but the directions we were given were excellent, so we located the key and entered the house smoothly. Saki, or Junko, from Guest Services, had left a little origami crane and a halloween pumpkin on the coffee table to greet us, much to the delight of my 9 year old son. We set off the very next day to buy origami paper, and he was folding Samurai hats that evening! Both my sons loved this house, I thought they would be too young to appreciate the many beautiful and traditional features, but they surprised me! They loved all the little areas, cupboards, nooks and crannies, tatami mats are perfect for children to play on. Having no television turned out to be wonderful for them, they explored and used their imagination instead. A lovely touch was that an iphone was provided for guests to use, and our boys used it to google origami tutorials, and check the weather, and we used it to text Junko or Saki, if we had questions. They would always reply within minutes, and the office is just one street away, so we felt very well taken care of, they were both lovely. Outside the door is the heart of Gion, with beautiful architecture and gardens everywhere you turn. The only downside of living in such a beautiful house, is that each time we would step out, our boys would pester us to return to the house so they could 'relax'! Thank you Curtis, Junko and Saki, we will always treasure our memories of Amber house.

  • Submitted: Nov 20, 2016
  • Stayed: October 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
48 Miles
Osaka Kansai (KIX)
Nearest Train
0.25 Miles
Keihan line Gion Shijo Station
Car: not necessary

Bordering Kenninji Temple, with its expansive grounds, gardens, and sub-temples. Kenninji is the oldest Zen temple in Japan.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Rates are in Japanese Yen. US $ rates are for reference only.

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.