In August 2018, Machiya Hotel Yanagi 町屋ホテルYANAGI, a hotel with a machiya 町屋 (traditional Japanese townhouse) exterior, opened in the Saiin 西院 neighborhood in central Kyoto. The exterior is a quaint 100-year-old machiya, but the interior has been fully renovated to create a modern Japanese space.

Operated by the Fukurou LLC Group, a welfare corporation, it was designed from the onset to be barrier-free and open to pets.

Visitors can appreciate the owner's attention to detail in the interior reflecting the principles of Zen Buddhism. There are no superfluous decorations or furniture, letting the natural beauty of wood shine.

Machiya Hotel Yanagi 2nd Floor


The best feature of the hotel is that even though it is a traditional Kyoto machiya, it is accessible to wheelchairs.

The first floor of the house is completely flat, with no steps or fittings.

The toilet area is spacious and can be used comfortably. Moreover, as of August 2021, for an additional fee, guests can also take advantage of a new service: a nursing staff dispatch service to assist guests who require assistance with bathing and toileting.

Pets Allowed

Moreover, another attractive feature is that pets are allowed (no extra charge). When you bring your pet, you need to bring your own cage and other pet supplies.

Comments from the General Manager

About the hotel's design:

A sense of unity is prevalent throughout the hotel, designed according to the theme of "water" and "bridge":

There are rivers and bridges everywhere in Kyoto, such as the Kamo River and Arashiyama, so I want people to feel that they are in Kyoto while they are staying here.

Ute Sawada, General Manager, Machiya Hotel Yanagi

An accessible hotel:

Concerned about the fact that not only Kyoto machiya houses but also most accommodation facilities are not equipped to accommodate pets and wheelchairs, Sawada wanted to make a difference:

If you come to Kyoto, I want you to have a special experience by staying in a Kyoto machiya house.

Ute Sawada, General Manager, Machiya Hotel Yanagi

Finally, English-speaking staff are available if you should have any questions or concerns before or during your stay.

Hotel Information

  • Facility Name: 町屋ホテルYANAGI | Machiya Hotel YANAGI
  • Address (JP): 京都市右京区西院上今田町18番12号
  • Address (EN): 18-12, Kamiimada-cho, Saiin, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City
  • Tel: 075-532-5888
  • Email:


The hotel is a mere one-minute walk from Nishioji Sanjo Station on the Keifuku Electric Railroad (Randen). To the north is Kinkakuji Temple, to the west on the Randen is Arashiyama, and to the east is Kiyomizu-dera Temple and the downtown area. A 10-minute walk to the south is an area with many restaurants. It's conveniently located for those who want to enjoy a wide range of activities all over Kyoto.

Tea ceremony experience

When she isn't busy managing Machiya Hotel Yanagi, German born Ute Sawada 沢田羽照, who obtained the title of Associate Grand Master (準師範) in the Senchadō Ōbaku-Baisa-Ryū School 煎茶道 黄檗賣茶流 this year, offers Sencha tea ceremony experience workshops for foreign visitors, as well as translation and consultation services to Kyoto area businesses catering to inbound tourists.

Beginning in October 2021, Sawada will begin offering tea ceremony experience workshops at Machiya Hotel Yanagi. The ceremony will be in the Senchadō Ōbaku-Baisa-Ryū style, which is a tea ceremony that brews sencha and gyokuro tea, not matcha with a tea whisk.

In order to officially experience a Japanese tea ceremony, you normally need to be invited, but it is a little difficult for ordinary people to participate. Sawada started this service with the hope of "conveying the appeal of Japanese culture to as many people as possible in a more casual manner."

The ceremony lasts 90 minutes and will be available for 3,500 JPY per person, limited to hotel guests.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.