Gone are the days when travellers would instantly book themselves a typical hotel when they visit a new destination. Four walls, a comfy bed, 24/7 room service, decent food, TV and Wi-Fi are no longer the only requirements to narrow down on the right accommodation. What travellers of today’s day and age are looking for, when it comes to accommodations, is a 360-degree experience, and the chance to be part of a new culture. And that’s exactly why machiyas in Japan are gaining popularity over typical hotels.
What Is A Machiya?
If you’ve ever watched a Japanese film whether it’s a Bruce Lee-starter or the delicate slice-of-life dramas by Yasujirō Ozu, you’d have noticed the distinct Japanese wooden houses, that are often no less than a character in the films, themselves. An integral part of the Japanese culture, machiya is a wooden townhouse that often functioned as both a residence and storehouse. Popular in the 1950s, these Japanese houses were built using traditional architecture techniques, no longer found today. That’s what makes them so special.
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Known for being super sturdy and even earthquake-resistant, machiya were extremely popular in Kyoto and Kanazawa. Folks in Kyoto often described the design of a machiya to be like an eel — narrow in the front with deep interiors. The front of the machiya was narrow as it played the role of a shop front. During the Edo period, shops were taxed for consuming more space. Hence, this design. The deep interiors gave Japanese families enough space to comfortably carry out their day-to-day happenings.
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Can You Stay In A Machiya On Your Next Visit To Japan?
If you thought the only way to experience a machiya is to come across it on a Japanese street or take a walking tour of it, then you couldn’t be more wrong. On your next trip to Kyoto, you can actually choose to stay in a machiya over a typical hotel. At the Machiya Residence Inn, Kyoto, you can rent out an entire machiya in the city and immerse yourself in the rich Japanese culture.
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Over 40 private machiya have been carefully transformed with modern amenities while leaving the existing traditional Japanese architecture, intact. The list of amenities includes fully equipped kitchens with a full range of luxury appliances, modern bathroom with Machiya Residence Inn toiletries and other amenities. What do we mean by other amenities? Everything under the sun, right from a washing machine, heating flooring, TV, Wi-Fi to air conditioner.
These traditional Japanese townhouses also have friendly staff eloquent in both Japanese and English languages, who are available 24/7 to assist you. Machiya Residence Inn is a space that promises to be a home away from home for couples, families, groups of friends and everyone yearning to experience a different side of Japan. You can rent a machiya here starting from 24000 Yen (₹15,312 approx) for two guests per night.
So, are you planning to trade off your hotel booking for a machiya on your next visit to Japan? We’re saying, it’s worth it!
Cover Image Courtesy: Canva