Yonbanchi is a two-room Bed & Breakfast offering traditional Japanese elegance in a quiet and central part of Kyoto. Nestled in green at the foot of Yoshida yama, the house is just steps away from Shinnyo-do temple, while Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion) and Heian Shrine are within walking distance (see map). Yonbanchi is perfect for budget-minded travelers seeking simple yet graceful accommodations in the heart of Kyoto.

The house dates from the late Edo period (1603-1867) and was originally occupied by the samurai in charge of Shinnyo-do temple, who was, it is said, a cousin of the emperor. The downstairs guestroom, originally fitted especially to receive dignitaries, adjoins the living room and looks out upon the front garden, which features a turtle stone, quite rare in residential gardens. At the top of a steep flight of stairs, the second guestroom overlooks the front garden. Guests sleep on traditional futons laid on tatami floors. No chairs are provided. The facilities (shower, traditional Japanese toilet and ultra-modern western-style heated Japanese toilet), being those of a family house, are shared. A wireless network is available.

Yonbanchi is located close to Yoshida-yama, one of Kyoto’s oldest and quietest neighborhoods. Set conveniently close to downtown, its residential, forested and shrine/temple areas provide exquisite walking along quiet streets and paths. The large, rambling compound of Shinnyo-do is famous for its cherry blossoms in spring and maple trees in autumn. Its dry "Zen-style" garden is said to symbolize the scene of mourning upon Buddha’s death. Ginkaku-ji, the Silver Pavilion, is about 1 kilometer (.6 miles) away, as are the Philosopher’s Path, Heian Shrine, and Nanzen-ji Temple. The immediate surroundings, close to Kyoto University, also offer several good and reasonably priced restaurants. Nearby public baths (sento) with saunas invite you to relax with one of the best aspects of Japanese culture.

Also: Find peace at Tango-an, our rustic Japanese farmhouse retreat north of Kyoto by the Sea of Japan. Details