Ayako and I have always wanted to develop a unique Kyoto Elopement plan, and so recently, we went down to Kyoto to meet some vendors, check out venues and to do some general research. We love Kyoto, so any excuse to get down there, no matter how tenuous, is jumped on! While we were there recently, we met the Managing Director of Iori, a holiday home rental company: https://kyoto-machiya.com They acquire old Machiya, renovate, and let out to the traveling public.
We fell in love with their houses and general concept: don’t just stay in Kyoto, live like a local!
What is Kyomachiya?
Machiya, or Kyomachiya in Kyoto, are traditional Japanese houses that have changed little in over 1000 years. They are known for their very distinctive style, and have defined the architectural and historical atmosphere of downtown Kyoto for a millennium.
They were originally designed for merchants. The front portion of the ground floor opened on to the street for retail space. Typical machiyas were long and narrow, stretching a long way back, away from the street. They are deceptively large, breaking the stereotype “rabbit hutch” houses that come to mind for many outside of Japan, and can contain one or more small courtyards in the interior of the house. Due to their size, they made great family homes, and offered fantastic spaces for entertaining guests.
Once in danger of disappearing completely, they are now making a resurgence, probably in no small part to the aforementioned contribution to the architectural and historical atmosphere in Kyoto. Many companies are buying and renovating old machiya for use as holiday rentals, and they are fantastic.
What is it like to stay in one?
Ayako and I were lucky enough to be invited to spend the night in a beautiful house right on the Kamogawa in the heart of Kyoto. I can honestly say, it was the most Japanese thing that I have done in my 15 years in Japan. It was absolutely incredible. Granted, I have an affinity with history, and a love of architecture, even so, the experience of staying in an old house, in this case one that was near 100 years old, is one that I will cherish for years to come.
Granted, there are physical houses around the world that are much older. But none that have maintained the same design for a thousand years! Staying in the house, with it’s tasteful lighting, chic, classic furniture and traditional tatami really connects you to the history of this land, and for the length of the stay, we felt like we were locals to Kyoto. For someone who loves this city as much as I, this was a great feeling.
Now, we want to share this feeling with as many of our clients as possible. How?
What is the Kyoto Elopement Plan?
We are partnering with Iori Machiya Stay to offer you the chance to have an elopement or vow renewal like no other.
Our concept is to give you the intimate, elopement/vow renewal and stay experience not possible in traditional venues, gardens or shrines.
Have your ceremony in a Premium Machiya, in a garden, tatami room, or on a balcony overlooking the Kamogawa. After this, caterers can serve a romantic dinner for two in your own home for the night. You will have your very own waiter or waitress, so no need to do any washing up! If you wish, we can arrange a tea ceremony, complete with rickshaw ride to and from the tea house.
How Japanese can you get?!
How much does it cost?
Want to know more?
For more information or to book this plan, get in touch with us either through our contact page, or via email: email@example.com