Uta Yomi Dori
A renovated machiya, this residence is an aesthetic gem. Opening through specially designed front doors into an inner garden, guests then enter the house through a second pair of hinoki cypress wooden doors. A built-in couch is bordered by rolled kimono fabric pillows, set against a rich vermilion wall, where a commissioned painting in gold ink of the famous “one hundred poems by one hundred poets” hangs. An entrance fitting to this luxurious artistic house.
Description of the house
A single long dining / living room transverses the first floor that eventually overlooks a beautiful traditional Japanese garden. A large walnut table for family meals and gatherings is the centrepiece while a state-of–the art island kitchen with a “stepping stone” designed stainless steel top and bar stool area adds a tasteful balance to the traditional setting. The floor is of cypress wood with built-in under floor heating, and at night the whole area becomes magical by a series of lights within the wooden beams and the lit garden. The whole back facade of the house is a panel of double-glazed windows, overlooking the garden and the hills of Kyoto nearby.
Relaxing after a long day there are two wonderful options – to sit in the tranquil tatami (rush matting) tearoom on traditional cushions, (off the main room) where a circular window reflects light onto the ceiling from the garden outside, or to take a bath in the deep Japanese-styled bath, with bathroom doors that slide open to view the garden while one soaks in the steaming hot water - a rare experience in itself.
Upstairs, there is a choice – a traditional “tatami” room that sleeps two on futons or a western bedroom with hardwood floors with single beds. Both are appointed aesthetically with Japanese motifs and furniture. There is also a second bathroom, with a modern shower, toilet and washing facilities, and a computer desk area, made from a single piece of hinoki wood at the top of the stairs. The desk area looks out onto the Kyoto hills, making it an ideal place to read or get some work done.
There is even a secret meditation room for those who would like to get away from it all for a while and find some inner and outer peace from the world.
The name Utayomidori house is taken from the poetic bird of literature (The Bird That Recites Poetry), often called the Japanese nightingale, but more commonly known as the bush warbler. Frequently mentioned in Murasaki Shikibu’s 10th century masterpiece The Tale of Genji, set in Kyoto, and in Sei Shonagon’s Pillow Book, also set in the city, the bird is praised for its beautiful song, and it seems befitting that it is this bird that should epitomise the charm of this house.
The house itself is situated in Okazaki, one of the prized residential areas of Kyoto – quiet, traditional, with classic Kyoto charm - and perfectly located near a series of major temples (the famous Eikan-do temple is a five-minute walk away, as is the Nanzen-ji Temple complex. The Philosopher’s Walk and the Heian Shrine are also nearby). Bus and subway connections are conveniently located.
Plans and equipments
- Washing Machine
- Coffee Machine
- Table Ware
- Kitchen Ustensil
- Electric Kettle
Location of the house
In the area
Frequently asked questions