Staying at Matsu Sho An

The restored villa today is unlike a hotel or a ryokan, in that no in-house services are provided for guests. Matsu Sho An is an authentic machiya purely for rental on its own. Guests will not be sharing this abode with anybody else, making this a singularly unique experience of staying in a traditional Japanese house in the heart of Kyoto – in close proximity to the Imperial Palace, shopping, history and culture of Kyoto, with easy, direct subway and train access to the regions surrounding the city.

We hope that you will enjoy the unique experience of living in an authentic house built about 120 years ago, but now upgraded with modern amenities for your comfort.


  • Our towels are organic and environmentally friendly, hand-woven towels, specially made by Ikeuchi Organic Inc from Imabari City, the towel production centre of Japan.
  • You will find specially Japanese-made liquid soap and shampoo in each bathroom. A hair dryer is also available for your use.
  • A signature feature of Matsu Sho An is the granite Japanese bath (ofuro) set in the middle of the spring and autumn gardens, and filled with natural spring water.


  • All rooms are provided with underfloor heating, heaters and air-conditioners; room heating in winter and air-conditioning in summer.


  • Our kitchen is fully furnished with an induction hob, a refrigerator, and a full set of cutlery and crockery. There is also a sandwich maker, rice cooker and microwave oven.
  • We also have a Nespresso machine and capsules, a hot pot and a kettle in case you wish to make coffee and tea.
  • In recognition of the renowned products that come from this region, we have also provided Japanese tea specially made by the Ippodo Tea Company. As well as specialty tea made by the Lupicia Tea Company. But do bring your own if you have a particular type of tea or coffee that you wish to enjoy during your stay.

We invite you to use the natural spring water provided in the kitchen, to make a nice, hot cup of tea and coffee.


  • The machiya has a washing machine with washing powder provided; our caretaker will show you how to use it during your stay. We also have an iron with ironing board for your use.


  • Complimentary wireless high-speed internet connectivity is provided throughout the house.


  • A futon (a pliable padded mattress and quilt) is placed on the tatami floor for sleeping. The futons and pillows in Matsu Sho An are folded and stored away in a closet during the day to allow the tatami to breathe.
  • Our futon are locally made in Kyoto, by the third generation owner of Takaoka Futon Company Ltd, a company that has been making quality futon and zabuton since 1919.
  • The futon consists of top and bottom layers, both hand-sewn and filled with down feathers, with Egyptian cotton bed sheets provided.
  • The pillow covers are also in Egyptian cotton, hand sewn in traditional style, with the traditional pillows embedded with charcoal chips to absorb moisture, ensuring a healthy sleep.


  • We have provided a bicycle for the intrepid explorer who wishes to venture further afield from the surrounds of the machiya.

The Makings Of A Memorable Experience

We have dedicated ourselves to offer you an authentic re-creation of what it must have been like to live in a traditional 120-year old Japanese house, albeit with modern amenities. It is our sincere hope that the unique experience will stay with you long after you depart.