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Features of Kyo-machiya

“Machiya” was built as a residence.
Its beauty and user friendly were polished and devised in long history.
The charm of”Kyo-Machiya”has been accumulated from the Heian period since the capital was transferred to Kyoto.
We hope that you understand the charm of”Kyo-machiya”

What is “Kyo-Machiya”?

What is Kyo-Machiya?
Traditional building of merchant house in Kyoto
Kyo-machiya is a traditional wooden building style seen in the city of Kyoto.
It is a residence that can run both daily life and business in the same building.
In Kyoto city definition, It is said that ” It was built before 1950 in a traditional wooden shaft assembly method”.
However, there are several definiti­ons and there is no unified view.
What is kyo-Machiya

Eel Bedding

What is the meaning of long and narrow sp­ace that hard is hard to live?

Eel Bedding
Kyo-machiya built in elongated site is called “Eel Bedding”, features are narrow frontage and deep depth. It is said that narrow frontage is the way to reduce the tax which had been decided by the size of the frontage.In Edo period or it tried to increase the number of shops facing the street and make the street crowd. Windows in front of Kyo-machiya have wooden grid and there is a Japanese traditional garden. Normally, main window is decorated with wooden grid and there is a Japanese courtyard in the center. You can see the relationsh­ip between our predecessors and residence from function and beauty of each space.

Climate of Kyoto

Climate of Kyoto
Summer is muggy, Winter is chilled.
Because Kyoto is a basin,it is famous for being muggy in sum­mer and chilled in winter. “Kyomachiya” with a depth is a spa­ce where you can see the ingenuity of taking advantage of its structure and taking in the flow of the wind into the house d­ue to the temperature difference from the hot and humid sum­mer by arranging the garden in the middle. Because of the re­ason, inevitably, it made a disadvantage that cold wind passes through.
Climate of Kyoto

“Machiya” building

Machiya building
The scent of wood and rush that Kyo-machiya have.
The newly built, renovated Kyomachiya has a new tree and tatami fragrance. Especially, “lgusa” of tatami mat raw mat­erial has many ingredients which is the same ingredients as herbal medicine and it is said that there are comfort and rel­axation effect. The smell of “Hinoki” which is the wall of bath­room also has relaxation effect and it is said that it’s same e­ffect as forest bathing.
Machiya building

The structure of MACHIYA(appearance)

  • Ichimonji-nokigawara Ichimonji-nokigawara


    It is house tiles which are constructed a straight line between the bottom of eves edge.
    Since the serious fire occurred several times in edo period, a tile started to use instead of wood.
    It brings uniformity to the town,And gives fresh information as well.

  • Inuyarai Inuyarai


    It is a bamboo-made fence that has attached to protect the wall from rain. When the road was too narrow and unpaved,
    it took on a meaning of protecting from dust while a wagon across the road. Moreover,
    thanks for the oil content and flexibility of bamboo, it showed the effects that robber could not climb the Inuyarai. It has prevailed in the middle of edo period.

  • Noren Noren


    Noren has had the meaning of blindfold or the purpose to avoid the wind. Dyeing and weaving have developed in the early edo period, dyed, which
    is designed from a name of a store and a trademark, has been used as a sign.

  • Mushikomado Mushikomado


    This is a kind of window that is covered with plaster, it would be seen originally the second floor of Machiya.
    It is necessary for the ho

  • Koushido Koushido


    Koushido (lattice door) is what most of the Kyo-Machiya has in common. It plays an important role in security since it is harder to see from outside, yet very clear from inside.
    It is also easy to tell the family business because of its own unique lattice pattern, length, and thickness.

  • Miseno-ma Miseno-ma


    A room on the ground floor in front of MACHIYA street. It was used for business space or guest room.

  • Tori Niwa (Doma) Tori Niwa (Doma)

    Tori Niwa (Doma)

    A narrow long corridor between the entrance and the back. It is also the way to let wind and the sun light in.
    The small space faced to Miseno-ma is called “Mise Niwa (store yard)”, the entrance is called “Gen­kan Niwa (entrance yard)”,
    and the space in front of kitchen is called “Hashiri Niwa (running yard)”. Some of house still have wide space, “Doma” in the entrance.

  • Hashiri Niwa (running yard) Hashiri Niwa (running yard)

    Hashiri Niwa (running yard)

    “Hashiri” is something like the kitchen today; the word comes from the way housewives are running around.
    The upper part is wellhole called “Hibukuro” to dissipate heat for smoke treating, which makes the roof frame look beautiful.For the period of time we used a cooking stove called “Okudosan” for boiling firewood,
    “Hashiri” was the warmest place in the house.
    However, it is rather the coldest place especially in winter time now that we use the electricity and gas as a fuel. That is why this style of the house has become rarely seen in modern society.

  • Stairs Stairs


    The houses which has Kyoto old style usually have stairs with a steep slope, for we are able to ma­ke good use of the quite narrow space.
    The storage space is provided under the stairs, which enables us to reserve room to store things.

  • Yards Yards


    Yards in MACHIYA are not to use, but to enjoy watching. Most large houses have a small yard ca­lled “Tuboniwa” in the space between rooms, in addition to a backyard.
    It is essential to have yards to transmit lights or winds inside because the houses have large depth despite having small width.

The newly built MACHIYA

MACHIYA is newly rebuilt if we find the severe deterioration, which helps the houses to stay look good and harmonious wi­th the surroundings.
(Some areas are not allowed to reconstruct buildings, so we can do only when it is possible.)