Mere blocks from Nijo Castle, Kyomachiya House offers the rare opportunity for Kyoto visitors to call a 150-year-old downtown house their home. Architects Yoshifumi Nakamura and Akira Minagawa have revamped the interiors of this distinctive two-story merchants’ house, resulting in a warm, airy collection of blonde-wood rooms, the two floors separated by a winding staircase. The first is home to a fully-equipped kitchen and dining room, as well as an exquisite bathroom and soaking tub chiseled from fragrant hinoki cypress. Outside the dining room is an atrium passageway with a century-old yew plum tree leading to a private library, looking out on the garden. Upstairs, beds lie under exposed beams; an additional room with tatami mats that can be made up into a second bedroom with traditional futons.
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