Kyoto Nijo Castle Machiya Project – Part 5


Follow our journey as we renovate a traditional machiya townhouse in Kyoto. Once complete, the renovated machiya will be offered for sale.


The signing of the construction agreement with the contractor took place in Kyoto, taking a little over an hour to go through the paperwork. The contract document itself is only two pages (a lot shorter than a sales agreement) but comes with numerous attachments outlining the actual work.

In total there will be 14 sub-contractors plus the contractor involved in the project. This includes smaller sub-contractors such as the tatami maker, painter and floor heating contractor.

The contractor started work one week later, visiting all of the neighbors in advance to let them know about the upcoming construction as a polite courtesy. The first week has been spent demoing the interior and removing the old tatami floors upstairs and down to make way for the new flooring to go in.


One of the houses along the laneway had a notice posted up very recently informing of plans to obtain a simple lodging license to operate a guesthouse. It is next-door to an existing guest house that has already been renovated and has rates that range from 30,000 ~ 80,000 Yen per night (approx. 270 ~ 725 USD), depending on the season. Soon 4 of the 10 machiya in the laneway will have been renovated. This particular machiya is the only one left in the laneway that appears to have been kept largely original on the exterior without the later tiled bay window extensions that the other homes have. 

A notice outside a neighbor’s house informing of an accommodation license application. These notices are becoming a common sight in downtown Kyoto.

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