Shiki Homes |
A home with wonderful old-world ambiance, fused with modern amenities, Aki is a beautiful example of a Kyo-machiya, a traditional Kyoto home. As well as being a beautiful piece of architecture, this budget-friendly house has the flexibility to sleep up to five people. Textured, earthy colored walls, shoji sliding paper doors, tatami mat bedrooms, and warm wooden flooring in the kitchen and living space, Aki is overflowing with style and traditional Japanese elegance. However, it still feels calm, simple, and understated.
Throughout the home, the rooms are flooded with a soft, diffused light, emitting an ambiance of tranquility and lightness, the perfect atmosphere in which to immerse yourself after a long day exploring the delights of the city. This two-story, two-bedroom, 79 square meter home is generous in terms of space and even features a quaint Japanese garden. The kitchen is renovated and fully equipped so you can embrace authentic Japanese elegance while still retaining your creature comforts; it’s the perfect balance of all the elements.
Aki is idyllically positioned in the heart of Kyoto. It’s located within walking distance of the city’s many attractions but is also nestled in a quiet backstreet, ensuring complete tranquility. Less than a 10-minute walk east from Aki sits Kyoto Imperial Palace and the stunning surrounding Kyoto Gyoen National Garden, which season in, season out offers spectacular natural views and is the perfect location for a late-morning stroll.
Situated in an excellent position for those who want to explore the city by bicycle – which is highly recommended – from Aki, it’s about a 10-minute ride to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Nijo Castle and a 20-minute ride north to Kinkakuji, Kyoto’s iconic golden temple. Pedal 10 minutes to the east, and you’ll also reach the more northern end of Kyoto’s iconic Kamo River, the main waterway of the city, and an area home to plenty of excellent dining establishments.
Nishijin, the neighborhood in which Aki is located, is a beautiful neighborhood, home to traditional architecture and quaint streets. It’s an area known for its textile production. The Nishijin weaving technique is famous for its highly decorative and finely woven designs and is well-regarded for the quality and craftsmanship of its fabrics, which are commonly used for high-end obi and kimono.
The home is also surrounded by other similar Shiki-run properties, Hikari and Haru. Booked together, these homes could also be perfect for larger traveling groups of up to 15, like tours or research groups.
Aki, along with two other Shiki Complex houses, Haru and Hikari, are proudly owned by an individual with long-term ties to Kyoto and the Kamigyo-Ku neighborhood in which the homes are situated. The houses are owned by local Raku-san, the current owner and operator of the nearby Raku Museum. The Raku Museum is a fascinating local landmark dedicated to showcasing the Raku family’s famous ceramics. The Raku family was the family that made the bowls for Sen no Rikyu, Japan’s master of the tea ceremony. You can trust when you stay at a Shiki Complex home your money is going to help support local businesses.
From its charmingly traditional exterior to its exposed beams and tatami mat finishing, every inch of Aki exudes classic Kyoto charm. With ample sleeping space, generously sized beds, and a living-dining space perfect for gathering a small crowd, Aki can be as versatile as its guests are unique. The house is ideal for a cross-section of travelers, from small families to couples and even a group of close friends. If booked with neighboring Shiki Complex homes, these together could be excellent for groups of up to 20 people.
The home’s entrance leads on to the corridor, which directs guests upstairs. But before heading up to the second floor, the corridor opens up onto the generously spacious living room featuring a large L-shaped couch, perfect for sinking into while enjoying the 55-inch TV. This sofa can also fold out to become a sofa bed to accommodate additional guests.
Sliding paper doors connect the living room to the engawa (indoor/ outdoor space), opening up to a small Japanese-style garden. Open the engawa, set up a mat by the window, and you’ll have a perfect yoga nook.
On the opposite side of the house is where you’ll find the spacious dining area, which comes with a completely renovated, fully stocked kitchen, and dining table, with uniquely shaped chairs perfect for enjoying a meal or using as an impromptu workspace for planning out your next Kyoto adventure.
On the second floor sit the two bedrooms featuring two western-style double beds on top of traditional tatami flooring, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds. The two rooms are separated by a fusuma (Japanese sliding door), allowing guests to enjoy both communal-style living or the opportunity to embrace their privacy. Throughout the house are small pieces of Japanese design, like fans, and framed calligraphy, giving Aki an authentically Japanese and Kyoto-centric ambiance.
Located within walking distance of the Imperial Palace and the surrounding National Garden, Aki is the perfect base of operations for your trip to Kyoto. Aki is also within walking distance of Imadegawa Station, giving you access to the rest of the city.
Aki’s kitchen is fully equipped to handle all of your needs. Whether it’s whipping up a quick breakfast before heading out for a day of sightseeing or booking a personal chef to come and prepare a Japanese-style meal, you’ll find everything you need.
Aki has a classic Japanese-style garden, viewable from the kitchen and dining area. Spend some time meditating in front of the garden to calm your resltess mind after a day out in the bustling city.
Large Groups (Shiki Complex)
The Shiki complex is also a great option for large groups wishing to stay together. Book Aki with Haru, and Hikari to accommodate groups of up to 15 people.
From Kansai International Airport
The easiest way to get to Kyoto Station from the airport is the JR Haruka Limited Express Haruka Line. It takes 1 hour and 18 minutes. Kyoto Station is the fourth stop.
From Kyoto Station to Aki
From Kyoto Station, take the Karasuma Line north to Imadegawa Station (9 min; 5 stops). From there follow the directions on the map on the first page. When you reach the red marker, turn right down the alley to reach the house.