Think Japan, and your mind immediately conjures up ideas of cutting-edge technology, flawless infrastructure, and a culture that prides humility, respect and sheer perseverance despite the disasters thrown its way. Yes, Japan is all that and more. While the 21st century owes a lot of its technological advances to Japan, the traditional aspect of this country is very much intact. The land of the rising sun, majestic mountains, and warm, friendly people is a tourist’s delight. If you find yourself at this part of the world, ditch the hotels and get a slice of vintage Japan at these traditional Japanese homes that double up as vacation rentals!

1. Traditional 150 Year Old House Outside Kyoto

HomeAway Traditional Japanese House

150 Year Old Traditional House Outside Kyoto

Waterfalls, rivers, shrines, mountains, lush foliage – it’s time to embrace the unparalleled countryside of Japan at Keihoku, 1-hour north from central Kyoto. This traditional thatched house is a stunning embodiment of traditional Japanese living, with a touch of modernity thrown in for guests’ convenience. The itinerary here includes trekking, visiting the sake brewery, and spotting fireflies at night. Oh, and there’s sushi on offer by the hosts – fresh from the seaside!

Sleeps: 8 people

Average price per night: MYR 560

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2. Traditional Kyomachiya In Kyoto

HomeAway Traditional Japanese House

Traditional Japanese House In Kyoto

From outside Kyoto to in it, traditional homes are dotted all across Japan – like this beautiful, over 100-year old one. To add to the historical feel of this home, there’s antique calligraphy, armour, hanging scrolls et al from the Edo period, which lasted from 1603 to 1868. As mentioned in the description, the host himself will take you through Japanese history, should you be interested in the background of the country. Isn’t that lovely? But if you’d rather google, then there’s free Wi-Fi too!

Sleeps: 8 people

Average price per night: MYR 685

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3. Unoan Traditional Townhouse Near Gion

HomeAway Traditional Japanese House

Traditional Townhouse Near Gion

Although this one too is a century old, it has been renovated into a luxurious accommodation for vacation rentals. This lovely home located in Higashiyama is a stone’s throw away from Kyoto’s cultural sites such as Gion area, Yasaka Shrine, Kiyomizudera Temple, Sanjusangendo Temple, and Fushimi Inari Shrine. Such homes are referred to in Japanese parlance as Machiya – traditional wooden houses that were inhabited by urban merchants and craftsmen.

Sleeps: 6 people

Average price per night: MYR 1,000

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4. 100 Year Old Traditional Wooden House

HomeAway Traditional Japanese House

Traditional Wooden House, Kyoto

Think tradition, think machiya (again!). This rather spacious and aesthetic home, which has been slightly remodelled in all the right areas to give the feel of a premium vacation rental, is located at a short, 15-minute walk from Kinkaku-ji temple. Oh, and there’s also a professional guided tour on offer that includes interacting with the local Kyoto community.

Sleeps: 6 people

Average price per night: MYR 680

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5. The Totoro house

HomeAway Traditional Japanese House

My Neighbor Totoro Inspired Traditional House, Tokyo

Some homes are based on ancient culture and have a traditional feel, and some are futuristic looking but this mega cute vacation rental in Tokyo is inspired by cinema! Yes, but that doesn’t take away its traditional appeal one bit. It’s based on the home that is featured in the wildly popular, 1988 Japanese animation movie – My Neighbour Totoro. Here’s a neat idea – put the movie on your laptop/mobile device and watch it in the house. What a feeling of déjà vu!

Sleeps: 7 people

Average price per night: MYR 680

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6. Traditional house near Haneda

HomeAway Traditional Japanese House

Traditional House Near Haneda, Tokyo

The host describes this very pretty home in Ota, Tokyo rather well: “It’s a 60-year old house, so it isn’t equipped with the latest. But I think the traditional atmosphere can be enjoyed sufficiently.” The delightful old-fashioned interiors lend oodles of charm to this well-maintained home that serves as a great vacation rental too. And if you’re the sorts who loves to walk around, you can see Mt. Fuji from the bank of the river Tama.

Sleeps: 6 people

Average price per night: MYR 450

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7. Robot hosted classic Japanese home

HomeAway Traditional Japanese House

Robot Pepper Welcomes Guests

Don’t be misled by the title. This is an 80-year old, classic house with traditional Japanese interiors. The only thing modern – well very, very modern – is that the host is a robot. Now how Japanese is that! The name is Pepper, and he is studying English so converse with him to hone his skills. Plenty of fun if you’re with kids, we reckon. Back to the future, anyone?  Just don’t form an emotional bond.

Sleeps: 6 people

Average price per night: MYR 425

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8. Kyoto Toji Samurai Machiya

HomeAway Traditional Japanese House

Kyoto Machiya Near Toji Temple

The concept of this wonderful home located 300m from the famous Toji Temple in Kyoto, in the words of the host, is “Old Traditional Machiya with Modern Comfort”.  You’re welcomed by a beautiful doll in a wedding kimono (and Samurai Kevin) as you enter, so the culture dose of Japan begins right at the entrance, and the whole place is decorated with Japanese art-crafts! But there’s more to this house than tradition. All the modern (read: luxurious) amenities you’d expect from a vacation rental are seamlessly blended into the traditional feel.

Sleeps: 6 people

Average price per night: MYR 835

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9. Riverside Machiya With Elegant Garden

HomeAway Traditional Japanese House

Riverside Machiya in Kyoto

This traditional Machiya has been restored to provide premium accommodation to guests visiting Kyoto. Located along the river, the meditative and soothing Tsuboniwa garden is guaranteed to enhance the stay of the guests visiting. A modern kitchen with premium appliances help greatly to ensure a stress-free stay. The hosts strongly believe that interacting with locals is the key to making the travel experience a life long treasure. To this end, they are able to offer professional guided tours and authentic cultural activities in Kyoto.

Sleeps: 6 people

Average price per night: MYR 680

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10. Century Old Home In Kameoka Shi, Kyoto

HomeAway Traditional Japanese House

100 Year Old House Surrounded By Mountains

Huge rice fields, breathtaking mountains, historical shrines, clean, oxygen-laden air – the surroundings of this splendid home are as pretty as the interiors. If you’re looking for a vacation rental that exudes tradition inside out and is also rather modest in its pricing, then you’ll love this one. Oh, and if you’re the cycling sort, you can rent one for free so you can enjoy cycling around this straight-out-of-a-postcard town!

Sleeps: 4 people

Average price per night: MYR 224

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*Actual prices for your selected dates may vary from average prices shown above. Average prices are accurate at the time of publishing this post.

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HomeAway is the world leader in vacation rentals. The HomeAway network of sites represent more than 1.2 million listings of vacation rental homes in 190 countries and is part of the Expedia group family of brands. Visit www.homeaway.com.my  or download the HomeAway Asia app to choose the ideal holiday homes and vacation rentals for your next holiday.