A Modernist take on Kyoto's Traditional Home
Modern Machiya :
Authenticity. It's what we're all seeking on our travels, right? "Come to Japan -- Eat the ramen, Sushi. Sushi. and Sushi. And of course don't forget about the Matcha Kit-kat's".
So why should you care about hidden Italian restaurants that host the most famous Geisha or French Cocktail bars that deliver the best smokey old fashions this side of the hemisphere? Why order the Kyoto Gin crafted by a Brit rather than the Japanese Whisky your friends all rant about back home?
Because you understand Authenticity isn't bound by cliches or trip adviser reviews. Of course the sushi is great. The Whisky, gold. And by all means they deserve every ounce of praise. But the hidden gems of Kyoto are often reserved for those that come in with an open mind and curious spirit. It's with this mindset and spirit that we set off to create Modern Machiya.
Located near the Mibu-Dera shrine, the house and district have a deep history. The local temple Mibu-Dera, is famous as the place that once served as the headquarters to the infamous Shinsengumi, a special police force - Formed of master-less samurai (Ronin) - organized by the shogunate to protect their interest in Kyoto during a time of political turmoil between forces supporting the military government and those who wished to return to imperial rule.
The Modern Machiya was built just after WWII, and was restored in 2019 in order to reveal its inner modernity, and its authenticity. We left untouched some earthen floors, restored glass panes, and brushed the wooden pillars and beams. You will also appreciate the comfort of modern amenities, its generous space, a bathtub with a view of the garden, and the retro art and records that pair with the house.
Traditional Machiya design and architecture has originated since the Heian period through today. Kyoto serves as the benchmark for these historic homes much likes how Palm Springs is a beacon for Mid-Century Architecture fanatics. As more and more Machiyas are torn down to make way for condominiums and themed hotels, our mission became, to not only preserve these structures that define Kyoto's cityscape, but to also not let tradition stifle creativity. Our guests savor the past and welcome the new.
We took influences from Scandinavian design as well as the mid-century modernist movement and felt that the clean, functional and simple lines that these designs would play well with one another. Often times however these designs by themselves leave a space feeling sterile and museum like. To counter this we aimed to balance this atmosphere with color, movement and energy.
We hope we achieved our goal and your stay at Modern Machiya provides an authentic, unique and unexpected Kyoto experience.