Kyoto Machiya Tour! (by our intern Koji Spangler)



Now in Deepest Kyoto we have three intern students who learn Japanese at KCJS(Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies) They will be writing blogs, updating FB pages and will try to contribute to us in various ways!

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Here’s one blog article Koji, one of our interns, wrote on his experience! (AYUKO)


In the middle of downtown Kyoto, remnants of traditional Japanese architecture stand side-by-side modern shops and high-rise condominiums. Walking into one of these buildings, I was immediately struck by the sudden change in atmosphere: tatami-matted floors, natural sunlit rooms, and traditional carpentry offered stark contrast to the bustling Saturday morning taking place outside on Shijo street.
The event started with a tour led by the engaging and knowledgeable Mr. Yamamoto, who explained the interior of the machiya as we walked about, taking special note of the woodwork and craftsmanship peculiar to the Kyoto machiya. Mr. Yamamoto explained the reasoning behind the layout of the machiya. Machiya are typically narrow in width (due to an ancient tax code that calculated property tax by house width) and very long in length (to accommodate both a business in the front and family living quarters in the back). Characteristic lattice work crosses the front of the house, and the interior is carefully designed using specific wood and building techniques. Mr. Yamamoto explained the traditional Japanese tools and construction methods, and we even got to participate in wood planing (a traditional method of shaving or smoothing-out wood) ourselves!



After a tour of the machiya, lunch was provided for the guests. Prepared in the traditional Japanese style, this lunch was a delicious break between the Machiya tour and the city tour:


After lunch we followed Mr. Yamamoto out into the city, to walk along the streets of Kyoto and see more machiya. I was at once interested and surprised to see the traditional machiya in both busy side-streets and empty alleyways. Though I had not noticed them before, I realized they constitute a beautiful and scenic part of the Kyoto cityscape.


The last thing on our tour list was a visit to “Silte,” a textile shop that specializes in Kimonos and other kimono-related goods. The shop was decorated with traditional kimono cloth, pins, and other unique and beautifully crafted accessories.:


Machiya seem to be a hidden part of the Kyoto scenery. They’re unique style stands modestly beside the towering, contemporary buildings of the city. A closer look, however, reveals the beauty of the machiya, from its exterior structure to its handcrafted interior. This tour not only afforded me the opportunity to learn more about a historically important architectural structure, but allowed me to look at the beauty of Kyoto in a new light. (Koji Spangler)

9th Feb. Monitor tour! Visit Art Complex 1928 & Rice Cake Making with Sanjo locals!





Another monitor tour is coming on 9th Feb!Meet the locals & let’s have fun!

Interested in mixing with local people, enjoying in a local festival? Here we offer a great opportunity to join in a local community rice cake making event, in corporation with Sanjo Community Development Council with full English explanation by a certified English tour guide. We are also allowed to the GEAR performance theatre before their weekend performance, with a guided tour within the historic building including places where is usually off limit. Do NOT miss this chance and enjoy with us!

Visit Art Complex 1928 & Rice Cake Making Experience with Sanjo locals


© Yoshikazu Inoue

≪One hour walk and rice making experience with the locals≫


◎Including a visit to ART COMPLEX 1928: Home theatre to GEAR
◎Full visit through the ART COMPLEX 1928 Building including places where is usually off limit
◎Traditional rice-cake making experience with Sanjo locals and MORE!

Date: Sun. 9th Feb. 2014 (AM11:00~around PM2:00)
Fee:2000 yen/person(1 hr walk included)
Meeting Place: In front of Kyoto City Hall, on the north-eastern corner of Teramachi street & Oike street
(indicated as ★ on the access map)
Fixed Number: 7 people
Reservation & Inquiry: click here!!!
(Please give your name, contact number or address, number of participants on reservation)

The Guide: Haruka Kido (Director of GEAR, ART COMPLEX)
Interpreter: Ayuko Yamaguchi


1st Feb. Monitor tour! Japanese Carpentry & Traditional Rice Cooking Experience in a Machiya



We are happy to inform you of a great news!

Mr. Yamamoto’s NPO “Machiya All-Round Supporters” along with “Shijo-Kyo-machiya”, the one and only traditional townhouse which still resides on the busy street of Shijo, is going to do the event for promoting Kyoto machiya townhouse. We also participate in this for interpreting on the experience and a walking tour, offering the foreign people a wonderful opportunity to join in this event with NO language barrier! Do NOT miss this valuable monitor tour for a very reasonable price with light meal and FULL experience on Japanese culture, as this event is both a monitor tour and also a subsidized tour by Shimogyo-ward in Kyoto-city!

Machiya Experience with a Machiya Carpenter with Traditional Rice Cooking : Light Meal & 1hr Walking Tour


≪Half-day Experience (4 hrs)≫

◎Full explanation on Kyoto machiya
◎Japanese carpentry experience
◎Traditional rice cooking with “Okudosan”
(firewood kitchen range), light meal included
◎One hour machiya walking tour

Date: Wed. 1st Feb. 2014(AM10:30~PM2:30)
Fee:2000 yen/person(light meal, 1 hr walk included)
Place: Shijo Kyo-machiya
(indicated as ★ on the access map)
Fixed Number:10 people
Reservation & Inquiry: click here!!!
(Please give your name, contact number or address, number of participants on reservation)
The Guide: Shigeru Yamamoto (Machiya Carpenter)
Interpreter: Ayuko Yamaguchi


Host: NPO Kyo-Machiya All-Round Supporters
Collaboration: Deepest Kyoto Tour, Shijo-Kyomachiya
Subsidized by Shimogyo-Ward in Kyoto City