One of the best ways to experience a country known for its deep-rooted traditions is by going local. Whether it is the cuisine, the culture, the customs or local homes, each has a story to tell. Make your Japanese vacation authentic – book your stay at one of these traditional tatami mat vacation homes. Experience Japan from another era, one that still makes its exotic presence felt in homes around the country.
1. Historic property in the centre of Kyoto
This 150-year-old traditional Japanese townhouse located in the middle of Kyoto is a delight for the discerning traveller. Tastefully decorated and recently renovated with all modern conveniences and facilities, it retains its charm complete with tatami mat floored rooms, rice paper screens for windows, futon bedding, sunken dining table, and beautiful traditional Japanese gardens.
The views from the house are of the 150-year-old stone garden with a stream running through it, an old kimono factory, hills and valleys. The house is located a short walking distance from the local supermarket, Honganji Temple, Gojo Station, Kyoto Station, and the shopping district of Kawaramachi Shijo.
Average price per night: SGD 543
2. Traditional wooden townhouse in Kyoto
This traditionally done up machiya or townhouse in central Kyoto is well-appointed and very conveniently located. It can accommodate up to 8 people and is fully done up with modern appliances. It has kept its authentic flavour as well – you will find rooms with tatami mat floors, futons, low tables, wooden interiors, screens, floor cushions for seating, roll up curtains, and a traditional Japanese garden outside.
The hostel is an easy 3-minute walk from a grocery store, a convenience store, a supermarket, a drug store and is right next to lots of bars and restaurants in Kyoto’s main area, including the nearest station. Perfect for a stay that involves lots of sightseeing and partying.
Average price per night: SGD 411
3. 80-year-old traditional house in the old part of Kyoto
Experience Kyoto of the earlier days – visit its sights and book your stay at a place that transports you back in time. This 80-year-old traditional house is located in a small residential street making it easy for you to observe real Japanese life. The ancient Hirano Shrine and famous geisha street Kamishichiken Street with its teahouses are less than 15-minutes away by foot.
This strategically placed old house with its tatami mat floored rooms, futons and screens make for a very Japanese stay right in the middle of an old locality with sightseeing places such as Kinkaku-ji Temple, Ryoan-ji Temple and Ninna-ji Temple close by.
Average price per night: SGD 298
4. Traditional Japanese style house in Tokyo
This centrally located 4-bedroom HomeAway in central Tokyo can accommodate up to 10 people. It is about a 4-minute walk from Edogawabashi Station in the Otowa neighbourhood. Apart from some sightseeing spots in Otowa like Gokoku-ji Temple and Hatoyama Hall that are walking distance from the house, there is also the beautiful Edogawabashi bridge with its lovely sakura views in the vicinity.
The neighbourhood is quiet and safe with lots of families staying around the house. The host also lives nearby and is available in case of any requirement. The house is done up with paintings and traditional décor, giving it an authentic geisha house flavour.
Average price per night: SGD 228
5. Modern yet retro house in Kyoto
This lovely retro HomeAway with wood finishing, tatami mats, screens, sliding doors, traditional Japanese motifs on its walls, futons, and cushion seating is located in the heart of Gojo.
Though in a secluded neighbourhood, it is close to temples, bars, restaurants, railway stations, bus stations, and supermarkets. The well-appointed kitchen and spacious dining and seating areas are perfect for a stay of a group of up to 7 people.
Average price per night: SGD 248
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